Illinois Sports Betting Bill A Shining Example Of Cringeworthy 19th Century Protectionism

Illinois Senate approves sports betting bill, with Governor JB Pritzker slated to sign it into law. But it comes with controversial requirements.

The Illinois Senate has approved a bill legalising sports betting in the state, and Governor JB Pritzker is expected to sign it into law… but there are a few catches.

Firstly, there’s the eye-watering $10m license fee and a controversial legal requirement to buy official betting data from the pro leagues – otherwise known as ‘integrity fees.’

Secondly, existing online-only operators, like DraftKings and FanDuel, will not be allowed to launch their own sports betting brand in the state for 18 months – even if they partner with a land-based casino.

Though the 18 months is more plateable than the 3 years originally proposed, it is still unique among states so far, and has understandably caused resentment among online operators, with accusations of unfair practices being levelled at land-based casino operators like Rivers Des Plaines Casino.

DraftKings CEO Jason Robins took to Twitter to comment, saying:

“While it is good to see sports betting bills passed, excluding DraftKings and FanDuel is like passing a ride sharing bill that excludes Uber and Lyft. Very disappointing Illinois customers will not have the best options available to them for 18 months.”

And following that up with:

“Also, imagine if your entire competitive strategy was to lobby to keep the best products out of the market.  How bad must you think your own product is?  (I would tweet this at Greg Carlin but I don’t think he’s on Twitter)”.

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