Illinois Senate Passed a Controversial Sports Betting Tax Bill

In terms of Illinois sports betting news, things have been quite great and there have been few issues among the sportsbook operators and bettors. However, things have changed in a big way in recent months. In case you missed it, major changes could be on the way and it’s something that people are less than fired up about. That’s because the Illinois Senate passed a controversial sports betting tax bill and now things are headed to the state House.

According to a report, the Illinois Senate indeed passed the new sports betting tax bill – one that’s been under fire for quite some time. With this new tax bill, sportsbooks could be taxed as high as 40 percent. If this new law ends up going into effect, Illinois would become the state with the second-highest sports betting tax in the country. Right now, New York taxes sportsbook operators at a rate of more than 50 percent.

People in New York aren’t too happy about that fact, so imagine how people in Illinois are feeling. There has been a ton of pushback over this new sports betting tax proposal, A quick look on social media shows that not a lot of folks are too fired up about this. Things will still need to get passed in the House and then more loops will need to be jumped through for the law to be put in place, but all signs are pointing to 2025 being the year where things are implemented.

Illinois has been hard at work to get this tax hike over the line and the feeling is that things will get finalized in the coming months. Some officials are holding out hope that things won’t get done, but at this point, it would be a major shocker if this major change doesn’t go down. It’s going to result in a lot more money for the state each month, but the high cost could result in some sportsbooks having second thoughts about moving forward.

Will the tax hike be in place for the NFL season?

As things stand, will the tax hike be in place for the NFL season? This is a worry that a lot of people have, but keep in mind that the sports betting tax hike won’t be in place until 2025 at the earliest. The change can’t go down before then, which means that things won’t be in place by the fall or early winter. If things do get launched in early 2025, that would result in the tax hike being present for the end of the regular season and the NFL playoffs.

Obviously, this would have an impact on the NFL betting for the state. Things are once again expected to be high in Illinois this season, as the Chicago Bears are bringing in a new era. During the 2024 NFL Draft, the Bears used their No. 1 overall pick to select star quarterback Caleb Williams. Not only that, but the Bears also were able to land wide receiver Rome Odunze in the first round. This came after landing Keenan Allen in the offseason.

The Bears traded a mid-round pick for Allen and then gave him a huge extension. General manager Ryan Poles is betting big on the additions for this team and people are fired up over them too. Because of this, fans are going to be checking the NFL betting odds consistently and placing a ton of bets on Chicago. Will they be able to make noise in the NFC North? We think so, which will be good news for the state overall.

In terms of NFL betting as a whole, the state is going to see a ton of productivity regardless if the Bears go on a deep run or not. Add in the NCAAF betting into the mix and you know things will be sky-high once September gets here. The good news for the sportsbooks is that early on in the campaign they won’t face the higher tax rates, but that could change once January arrives. This is something we’ll have to keep a close eye on.

Online Illinois sports betting continues to be strong

One thing to keep in mind here is that online Illinois sports betting continues to be strong. Since the start of the new year, the numbers have been sensational for Illinois. Online betting has always been high, which is why the state is trying to take advantage of things by raising the sports betting tax. With such a high betting handle on a consistent basis, this of course means more revenue for the state as a whole.

Because of that, it only makes sense that higher taxes will also result in a lot more money for Illinois as well. At the end of the day, lawmakers are trying to generate the most amount of revenue possible, which is why we could see things change in a blockbuster way in 2025. It will be interesting to see when everything will get finalized, but sportsbooks need to start getting mentally prepared for what’s to come.

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Peter Lewis

Peter Lewis Jr. comes from Mississippi where he and his family spend their days discussing college football, baseball and basketball. He's written sports journalism for years after studying journalism at a local university. Over time, Peter has cultivated extensive knowledge covering sports betting legislation across the country. He closely tracks the latest regulatory developments and provides key insights into their impacts. Peter also offers sharp MLB betting analysis, leveraging stats and trends to identify value on matchups.