The highly anticipated sports betting licensing process has finally started in the state of Illinois. The state Gaming Board recently released emergency sports betting rules and is expected to receive its first batch of applications in the weeks to come.
What to expect in Illinois?
After the board released its emergency sports betting rules, the licensing process is expected to begin in a large number of categories soon. The board hasn’t confirmed an official start date, but we expect that the procedure will start in early 2020. Meanwhile, the board has confirmed operator fees and eligibility criteria for each category. They include- official league data suppliers, occupational, suppliers, management service providers, and master sports betting licenses.
The master sports betting licensee will pay a 5% fee on their total sports betting handle every calendar year. The license will cost at least $2.3 million and has a $10 million cap. Racetracks in the state will be allowed to apply for a master license as well. However, they will have to pay the greater of $5 million or 5% of sports betting handle during a calendar year as a fee. The online sports betting license will be available at a much higher fee of up to $20 million. However, the board did not cover this sector under its emergency rules.
Additionally, the gaming regulator will be allowed to issue a temporary operating permit where public safety or gaming integrity will not be compromised.
The long wait for sports betting comes to an end
The Illinois Gaming Board administrator Marcus Fruchter said that the release of applications and the beginning of phase 1 of the licensing procedure is a big step for the state. He pointed out that the process actually began earlier this year when the General Assembly and Governor Pritzker moved towards creating transparent and ethical sports betting market in the state.
The emergency sports betting rules were published in their final form after the board closed a 30-day comment period from stakeholders to suggest modifications. Fruchter said that the Comment period allowed the board to create final rules and use the best practices of sports betting from states that have already implemented it. The rules for the state’s sports wagering markets will be available in the upcoming weeks. Most experts expect the market to start expecting bets by 2020. However, we cannot be sure when exactly the first operator will start working.