How do Recent Changes to Gambling Law in Illinois Affect Customers?

For some people it may be quite hard to wrap their head around, but gambling isn’t completely allowed everywhere, at least not right now. Some countries are completely against gambling like Singapore, Qatar, and the United Arab Emirates. So for people to get into gambling on sports or whatever it is they’re interested in, they would pretty much be required to use mobile betting apps and VPNs, given how their ISPs block access to gambling websites and how there are no brick and mortar gambling establishments.

I’ll be honest, I get it, some people really struggle mentally and have a real hard time getting a handle on their gambling habits so whether governments cite religious reasons or just make it outright law against gambling, they’re doing it to protect the people, at least that’s how I imagine they see it or try to make it seem.

Brick and mortar betting shops are fast becoming a thing of the past, now that everybody has smartphones at least. Source: Financial Times

But, for me at least. If I work hard for my money, which I do, I work 3 jobs just like many other people. If I want to have a little bit of fun and stick £5, £10, £20 on a few games of football or a few random horses, even if I know nothing about the sports involved, but say I’m sat with mates having a few drinks. I feel like I should be allowed to do that and I shouldn’t have to jump through hoops to get it done, you know? WITHIN REASON, I should be allowed to do what I want with my money and as long as I’m gambling responsibly, I don’t see a problem with it.

So, for people like me who enjoy having a dabble on some sport as a bit of fun, today we’re going to take a look at some of the more recent changes to gambling laws, specifically for if you’re interested in sports betting in Illinois, so we can see what the punters can and can’t do with their hard earned cash, or what hoops they have to jump through..

Before we get into the actual laws, it’s worth taking a look at the pre-change finances of some of the gambling industry in Illinois. We’ll show a range of figures starting from June 2020;

Month/Year Total Handle Revenue Hold % State Tax Revenue
June 2020 $8,281,803 $368,651 4.45% $59,446
September 2020 $305,222,938 $6,837,289 2.24% $1,107,906
December 2020 $491,720,536 $23,873,152 4.86% $3,823,629
April 2021 $537,158,723 $43,605,926 8.12% $7,068,029
August 2021 $400,359,760 $26,849,155 6.7% $4,380,802
December 2021 $789,600,348 $36,677,208 4.6% $5,436,664

Key: Handle = Total amount wagered. Revenue = Gross gaming revenue kept by sportsbooks after payout. Hold % = How much was kept vs the betting handle. State Tax Revenue = Taxes collected yb Illinois State and local jurisdictions

As you can see, the figures have been growing over time already with a fair bit of fluctuation in how much the sportsbooks actually keep. But whether these figures will rise due to the new changes to gambling law remains to be seen, however we can refer back to this in a year or so to see if these laws have helped out the gambling industry in Illinois or not.

It’s worth noting that while these changes to the Illinois Gambling Act are recent they were passed on October 28th, 2021, and were signed into law by Governor Pritzker. The legislation was made to amend certain provisions of the Illinois Gambling Act, Sports Wagering Act, Video Gaming Act, Raffles and Poker Run Act, and the Horse Racing Act of 1975.

Since we’re talking about how these laws affect customers it seems like the logical place to start would be the In-Person Registration Requirement. Up until March 5th, 2022, it was a legal requirement for customers to attend a betting shop IN PERSON to sign up to have the ability to gamble online, which to me seems like such a redundant idea. Thankfully those in charge agreed and you no longer have to walk into a shop just so you can put a daft $5 bet on a couple of games of hockey.

While some people might say that this makes sense. As it stops any chances of underage gamblers signing up etc. It’s safe to say that it’s quite obvious how this one will affect the customer in the long run, it’s going to make it so much easier for people to get into gambling as a little bit of a side hustle if you will, so it wouldn’t surprise me if you see the number of active gamblers in Illinois rapidly rise over the coming months as more people realize you no longer have to go INTO a shop to sign up anymore.

Next up, there was talk about wagering on collegiate sports, specifically for Illinois. Now, to a lot of the United States and for punters outside of the United States, gambling on collegiate football for example might seem like a pretty normal occurrence, I know in the UK collegiate sports isn’t really big but in the States, in particular, a huge deal is made of Collegiate Football. They’re some of the most-watched sporting events broadcast on TV at times.

Bringing horse racing into the hands of the masses in Illinois, these changes will allow more people to gamble on horse racing from the comfort of their own homes. Source: Enjoy Illinois

For me this is kind of one of the bigger ones, the appeal for online gambling for me is the sheer amount of markets available meaning anyone can use their knowledge of whatever sport it is to try and make a quick buck, so for example, I have most of my success gambling on esports like Rocket League. But, this can only be a good thing for the people of Illinois, given that more markets mean more people can conceivably get involved.

The final thing I’m going to touch on is one of the more weird changes, specifically the Horse Racing Act of 1975. The state has eliminated the residency requirement for owners of Stallions, to be owned by a resident of the State of Illinois. Not only that but they now allow for the breeding of stallions with out-of-state semen. Quite a weirdly specific one, but it allows for potential growth of the Illinois horse racing scene.

Now, you may not think this one will affect customers and in some aspects, it might not. But, first and foremost, for Illinois residents and specifically fans of horse racing residing in Illinois, any expansion of the scene is a good thing. Secondly, for customers WANTING TO INVEST in horses, for another way to earn from the sport, this will give you yet more avenues to spend your money.

That’s going to do it for this one, for those of you specifically in Illinois, what do you think about the recent changes? Are you happy? Do you think it’s pointless changing them? Let us know. For those of you reading this outside of Illinois, how do these changes compare to where you’re from? Are your laws more or less strict? Either way, to all of those who like a dabble, best of luck, and don’t forget to gamble responsibly! Take care folks!


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