Sports Betting Advocates Go Back To The Drawing Board; Illinois Moves Closer To Legalizing DFS

Written By Steve Ruddock on June 2, 2017 - Last Updated on June 27, 2018
Illinois DFS bill

It was a rather inconspicuous week on the daily fantasy sports and sports betting front.

A late thrust to pass a DFS bill by the Illinois legislature was the only real DFS legislative development.

On the sports betting front, supporters are busy retooling their strategies after the US Solicitor General disappointed everyone when he advised the Supreme Court to not hear New Jersey’s sports betting appeal.

DFS legislation update

Illinois’ last ditch effort

Illinois had the stage all to itself this week, and it didn’t disappoint.

A flurry of late activity led to DFS language added to multiple bills, and one of those bills, HB 479, managed to pass the Senate on what was supposed to be the final day of the legislative session.

The House didn’t act on the legislation, but with a budget remaining elusive, the House is now in what is called a “continuous session.” That means the session is extended indefinitely and it could still act on the legislation the Senate sent over.

According to local reports, there could be some debate in the coming weeks, but action isn’t expected until the end of June:

 “…House Speaker Michael Madigan said that the House will hold public budget hearings in June, beginning with one in Chicago on June 8.

Rauner, who frequently holds media events throughout the state, says the hearings are designed merely to manage reporters and phony headlines.”

Legal Sports Report has more on this developing story.

The DFS bill tally

The number of states that have introduced legislation seeking to legalize DFS in 2017 still stands at 23. The number of states with active legislation continues to shrink and currently sits at 17:

  1. Alabama
  2. Arkansas
  3. Connecticut
  4. Florida
  5. Georgia
  6. Hawaii
  7. Illinois
  8. Iowa
  9. Kentucky
  10. Maine
  11. Minnesota
  12. Montana
  13. Nebraska
  14. New Jersey
  15. New Hampshire
  16. North Carolina
  17. Ohio
  18. Oregon
  19. Pennsylvania
  20. Rhode Island
  21. Texas
  22. Vermont
  23. Washington

Legal Sports Report’s legislative tracker has up-to-the-minute updates on all DFS legislation.

Sports betting legalization update

SG opinion doesn’t bode well for NJ’s sports betting case

After acting Solicitor General Jeffrey Wall advised the Supreme Court to deny New Jersey’s petition for appeal, supporters of legal sports betting are once again looking for a path forward, and weighing the options at their disposal.

The “nuclear option” has been discussed, but this seems more like a bluff than a route New Jersey would explore seriously.

In addition to the public talk, according to one source I spoke with on background at the East Coast Gaming Congress, there are 10 other things the state would try before it even considers resorting to the nuclear option.

ECGC also saw American Gaming Association President Geoff Freeman deliver a keynote address. In the address Freeman put forth the AGA’s three-year plan for federal legislative action on sports betting. Which includes a bill and hearings in 2018, and possible action in 2019.

Sports betting legislation

Eight states are fighting for a repeal of PASPA, or pre-committing to legalizing sports betting if federal sports betting laws were to change:

  1. Hawaii
  2. Maryland
  3. Michigan
  4. New Jersey
  5. New York
  6. Pennsylvania
  7. South Carolina
  8. West Virginia
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Steve Ruddock

Steve Ruddock is a veteran of the gambling industry, having been a longtime contributor to numerous publications both online and off centered on the regulated US online gambling industry. Steve is based in Massachusetts.

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