When you sign-up through links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission. Learn more >

Image for Chris Altman Chris Altman - Updated October 14, 2022

Illinois May Lift In-State College Sports Wagering Ban

Illinois May Lift
  • Current law, like many sports betting laws in the US, bans bets on in-state college teams
  • New bill would amend law for two years, allow for in-person bets
  • Bill also expands video gambling machines

Play Fantasy Sports, Here!

Less than a year after the federal government overturned the ban on sports wagering, Illinois passed a sports betting legalization package in 2019. That legalization package would require in-person registration at Illinois casinos and include a restriction on bets on in-state collegiate teams like the Wildcats or Loyola. Two years later, in-person registration is again required to wager online, but the restriction on in-state college bets has the potential to be lifted.

Sports Betting in Illinois Pre-Amendment 1

Sports betting with the in-person requirement and a ban on in-state college bets went well in Illinois, but revenues were lower than hoped. The COVID-19 pandemic, in a strange turn of events, actually encouraged Governor JB Pritzker to issue an executive order allowing bettors to sign up with an online sportsbook without needing to physically visit a casino. This was a celebrated decision that opened up the market and was likely a contributing factor in their $400+ million dollar handle in October of 2020, despite the closing of many in-person sportsbooks.

However, Pritzker did not opt to renew this order, and in-person registration is once again required. If in-person registration requirements were going to impact the overall revenue from sports betting, lawmakers wanted another way to maximize potential revenue without attempting a risky and controversial change. After taking a look at the figures from the 2021 March Madness, it was noted that figures could have topped $200 million if in-state college bets were allowed: thus, House Amendment 1 was proposed.

House Amendment 1 On Senate Floor

House Amendment 1 passed the Illinois House quickly during a session early this week. It’s expected that the amendment shouldn’t have too much pushback from Illinois senators, particularly because it is a senate bill that legalized sports wagering in the first place. Amendment 1 will not only allow bets on in-state college teams but will also expand the scope of gambling for numerous venues in the Prairie State. Amendment 1 includes the following provisions:

  • Fraternal organizations like VFWs, American Legions able to apply for video gambling machine licenses (except Chicago and Cook County)
  • In-person, pre-game wagers on Illinois-based collegiate teams allowed
  • Eligibility requirements for venues to apply for retail sportsbook licenses eased

Don’t expect to be able to place any complex wagers or live bets on in-state college teams, however. Amendment 1 only allows for pre-game bets on the final outcome of a game. The limited expansion of Amendment 1, according to one lawmaker, is to ensure that the bill will pass muster with local colleges and operators.

Rep. Mike Zalewski says the amendment is “a good balance between what we heard from stakeholders and in being able to improve our sports betting market”. Technically, the Illinois legislative session ended on May 31, but there is still an opportunity for Amendment 1 to pass and allow in-state bets soon: the Senate meets on June 10t

Play Fantasy Sports, Here!

100% Deposit Match up to $100

21+ CO, VA, MI Only | Terms and conditions apply

Claim Now
Image for Chris Altman


Chris Altman

23 Articles

Chris Altman is a traveling writer and content specialist covering everything from betting to plane crashes. He has been working in sports betting, specifically legislation for some time now, covering industry developments and the legal landscape of sportsbooks in the U.S. Chris is also a published short story writer and zine editor. Email: [email protected]

More info on Chris Altman
We've been featured on:
espn logo
reuters logo
cbs-news logo
forbes logo
entrepreneur logo
entrepreneur logo
We only list licensed sportsbooks

© Rebel Penguin ApS 2023 (a subsidiary of Gaming Innovation Group Inc.)

We support responsible gambling. 21+ Only. Gambling problem? Call 1-800-Gambler.

WSN.com is run by iGaming Cloud Inc (a Gaming Innovation Group Subsidiary) and is registered with the New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement (DGE) under affiliate vendor ID 89744, with the Indiana Gaming Commission (IGC) under certificate of registration number SWR-000148, approved by the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board as a gaming service provider, under certificate registration number 117656-1, possesses a Vendor Minor sports betting license from the Colorado Limited Gaming Control Commission (account number 94414163), granted a vendor registration number VR007603-20-001 by the Michigan Gaming Control Board, an interim Sports Wagering Supplier license, under license number SWS 066, issued by the West Virginia Lottery Commission, a sports betting vendor registration, under registration number #100400, issued by the Director of Gaming Licensing and Investigations of the Virginia Lottery to operate in the State of Virginia, and a Vendor Registration issued by the Sports Wagering Committee of the Tennessee Education Lottery Corporation.

Advertising disclosure: WSN contains links to online retailers on its website. When people click on our affiliate links and make purchases, WSN earns a commission from our partners, including ESPN and various sportsbooks.