People in the state of Illinois went to bed one night dreaming of betting on Daaaaa Bears and Daaaaa Bulls in a legal sense this fall. Unfortunately, those dreams came crashing down the next day. Legislation had been in motion in Illinois well before PASPA was struck down by the US Supreme Court in mid-May, but it did not make it through the state congress prior to its recess.

Now, it would take a special session to get sports betting back in the minds of policy makers. That seems rather unlikely. While the short-term prospects, at least for 2018, seem to look a lot different, Illinois should be one of the faster-moving states for 2019 and it would be a stunner to not see some form of sports gambling by 2020 at the absolute latest. Casinos are already in place and losing money from the mass population center of Chicago to surrounding states is, as we’d say in gambling terms, a –EV decision.

Once the opposition from the pro leagues faded, the green light lit up for Illinois. It seems like it will be only a matter of time. Coming to an agreement could be a challenge for both sides of the aisle, but we’re talking about a lot of money. And, as we all know, money talks.

Recent News Stories About Betting

Eric Ramsey of the Legal Sports Report has a fantastic summary of what has gone on in Illinois in 2018 with regards to sports betting.

NPR Illinois spoke with Senator Napoleon Harris regarding his thoughts on legalized sports betting and its place in the state. This was a pretty fascinating interview, to say the least.

A phenomenal compilation of thoughts from lawmakers on both sides of the aisle was put together by Jeff D’Alessio of the Champaign News-Gazette.

Steve Ruddock at Online Poker Report also took a look at what happened in the lead-up to the state legislation’s recess regarding sports betting and how it seemed to mirror the state’s push for daily fantasy around this time last year.


While legalization in Illinois may not happen in 2018, it should be considered a near-lock for 2019. Neighboring states are pushing quickly or will push quickly next year and Illinois cannot lose that money across state lines.

Neighboring States