Illinois governor looks to legal sports betting for revenue

Gov. J.B. Pritzker hopes the burgeoning sports-gambling industry will help solve Illinois' budget troubles, but state lawmakers must first legalize expanded wagering.

Posted: Mar. 3, 2019 7:30 PM
Updated: Mar. 4, 2019 6:12 AM

CHICAGO (AP) - Gov. J.B. Pritzker hopes the burgeoning sports-gambling industry will help solve Illinois' budget troubles, but state lawmakers must first legalize expanded wagering.

Pritzker said during his budget address last month that the state could count on $200 million from legalized sports gambling licensing fees to help fill the state's $3.2 billion budget hole.

But the Chicago Tribune reports that in order to get that money, lawmakers must first legalize expanded wagering.

The U.S. Supreme Court last year ended Nevada's monopoly on state-sanctioned sports betting. Illinois is one of about a dozen states where lawmakers are considering legislation to legalize sports gambling.

Pritzker's proposal has not yet been put into bill form, but he wants to create 20 licenses for in-person or online sports betting.

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