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Report: Sports betting could bring in $100 million

Wednesday, Feb 6, 2019

* Illinois Public Radio

Robert Bruno, a professor at the UIUC School of Labor and Employment Relations and director of the Project for Middle Class Renewal, said 10 states have already legalized sports gambling in the last year, but none are in the Midwest. “There is some advantage to be the first mover, so Illinois may want to be out of the box first. Obviously that incentivizes taking action,” he said.

But there is still debate on how it could impact gambling addiction.

Frank Manzo, policy director for the Illinois Economic Policy Institute, said sports betting already exists in the black market, and regulating it could help with those concerns. “People are doing it anyway, and legalizing sports betting, which is an economic activity that has been approved by the U.S. Supreme Court, would bring those bettors into a safe and regulated marketplace.”

Bruno said their analysis estimates up to $100 million annually in state tax revenue, which could not only go toward infrastructure or public education, but also toward funding gambling addiction programs. […]

According to the report, legalization could also help create up to 2,500 jobs.

The Illinois Economic Policy Institute’s full report is here.

- Posted by Rich Miller        

  1. - Anonymous - Wednesday, Feb 6, 19 @ 9:39 am:

    I would love to see this at Fairmount Park in Collinsville. That track needs a new source of revenue to keep it open and build it up. Let’s do this. Gambling is certainly dubious, but it can be directed into the right way here. Let’s not mess up like we did with the gas station slot machines.

  2. - njt - Wednesday, Feb 6, 19 @ 9:40 am:

    Highly doubtful after Sunday’s 16 point affair /s

    All of the professional sports continue to move towards higher scoring, betting friendly models. The states that can capitalize early and develop tools to capitalize on a huge market will reap the rewards. Anecdotal, but I don’t know of a single person who wasn’t in on the action Sunday in one shape or another.

  3. - JAH - Wednesday, Feb 6, 19 @ 9:47 am:

    Unfortunately COGFA’s numbers aren’t even close to this

  4. - wordslinger - Wednesday, Feb 6, 19 @ 9:56 am:

    I would prefer all activity, including online betting, be restricted to licensed onsite locations. That seems to me the best way to generate secondary economic activity.

    For example, on an NFL Sunday or March Madness day, you go to your favorite bar and grill, grab some lunch and a couple of beers, make a couple of bets.

    An online-only option doesn’t do that.

  5. - benniefly2 - Wednesday, Feb 6, 19 @ 10:00 am:

    That number seems a bit optimistic to me. According to the following report, it looks like total revenue from sports books in all of Nevada was $300 million from a bit over $5 billion wagered. Unless Illinois puts a ridiculous tax rate on the revenue from future books, I can’t see it going that high.

  6. - Oswego Willy - Wednesday, Feb 6, 19 @ 10:02 am:

    The gambling prong to revenue is weighed to the negatives that gambling could (it does) bring to society in addictions.

    I’m not against betting, heck, I’ll put over/under and odds on anything. The structure of the gambling will get my greater attention.

  7. - Birdseed - Wednesday, Feb 6, 19 @ 10:10 am:

    Not that it matters, but New Jersey sports books lost 4.5 million on their 1st Super Bowl.

  8. - A 400lb. Guy on a bed - Wednesday, Feb 6, 19 @ 10:24 am:

    Waiting for the Catholic Bishops to come out against sports gambling.

  9. - OneMan - Wednesday, Feb 6, 19 @ 10:26 am:

    A quick glance at their report doesn’t seem to show any allocation for how sports betting will cannibalize other gaming in the state.

    Also with benniefly2, I think their revenue numbers are high. Also, I think their venue count is low. I see this getting tied to video gaming as well (you can add a sports betting machine to a location).

  10. - Jose Abreu's next homer - Wednesday, Feb 6, 19 @ 10:37 am:

    Birdseed, that’s an old ploy by the casinos to market that you, the consumer, can beat the book. They only announce when they lose to entice you. They never announce when they destroy the public.

    Sidenote: That line should’ve higher on the game. Pats -2.5 was a layup

  11. - wordslinger - Wednesday, Feb 6, 19 @ 10:53 am:

    I think there’s a false assumption in generating the estimate that there would be $12 billion in legal sports betting in Illinois. Way too high, I believe.

    The researchers base their figures on the amount of legal wagering in Nevada and Delaware, but assume bets are being made only by citizens of those states, and apply the per-capita wagering to Illinois’ population.

    Of course, people from all over the country bet at Nevada books, and all over the East Coast in Delaware. Out-of-state tourism is the point of the exercise.

  12. - njt - Wednesday, Feb 6, 19 @ 11:07 am:

    benniefly2, a good point and thanks for that data.

    I can’t find the source data, but I would be interested to see how this evolves with DraftKings/FanDuel applications that continue to trend towards more real time bets. My assumption is the $300 m is based on “static” bets being placed prior to the event. I’m interested to see what what “dynamic” betting, i.e. wagers made during games, and prop bets might do to that number.

  13. - Anonymous - Wednesday, Feb 6, 19 @ 11:18 am:

    Can we please not have this in bars and gas stations?

  14. - 47th Ward - Wednesday, Feb 6, 19 @ 11:18 am:

    ===Way too high, I believe.===

    Agreed. Bet the under.

  15. - Anonymous - Wednesday, Feb 6, 19 @ 12:06 pm:

    IL needs to get involved in online poker, would be an outstanding revenue source, especially if they joined with other states where it is legal.

  16. - Been There - Wednesday, Feb 6, 19 @ 12:11 pm:

    === Let’s not mess up like we did with the gas station slot machines====
    I dunno. Last time I looked at the video gaming reports it seemed to be doing pretty well.

  17. - Anonymous - Wednesday, Feb 6, 19 @ 12:44 pm:

    Too high…$45-60 millions seem reasonable

  18. - benniefly2 - Wednesday, Feb 6, 19 @ 1:24 pm:


    The prop bets and such are accounted for as ‘other’ bets or they are counted in the category they were made (i.e. superbowl prop bets would be considered football in general). In either case, the $300 million in revenue is for the entire handle, including exotics and such, of all of the books in the State of Nevada.

  19. - anon2 - Wednesday, Feb 6, 19 @ 1:26 pm:

    === Last time I looked at the video gaming reports it seemed to be doing pretty well. ===

    Did you miss the Sun-Times expose on video gaming last month? “THE BAD BET: How Illinois Bet on Video Gambling and Lost”

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