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Question of the day

Tuesday, Apr 23, 2019

* From Hannah Meisel’s interview of Gov. JB Pritzker

“I’m focused on sports betting. I said that in my budget speech, as you know,” the governor said. “It’s very important for us to be a leader in sports betting to make sure we get ahead of the other states that are trying to do it. That’s why I suggested in my speech that we, at a minimum, get sports betting passed. I know there are a lot of other ideas out there, a lot of people who want to get their idea included in a bill. But I’m laser-focused on making sure we get sports betting.” […]

One of [Rep. Mike Zalewski’s, D-Chicago] amendments would allow professional sports leagues to get a cut of sales from sports betting in Illinois. Zalewski acknowledged that this idea isn’t universally popular because not everyone thinks that leagues should share in the revenue. But, Zalewski pointed out that Illinois is the home to many pro teams. […]

All of Chicago’s major league sports teams, minus the Bears, have signed onto a proposal being pushed by the National Basketball Association, Major League Baseball and Professional Golfers’ Association of America that would distribute 25 cents of every $100 bet to pro sports leagues. But Pritzker has not yet committing to this revenue-sharing model.

“Well that hasn’t been done in any other state,” Pritzker said. “But I’m certainly willing to listen to anybody and I know that the legislature has heard from a number of those folks, so they’ll be considering it as well.”

* The Question: Should professional sports leagues get a cut of the Illinois sports betting handle? Take the poll and then explain your answer in comments, please…

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- Posted by Rich Miller        

  1. - hot chocolate - Tuesday, Apr 23, 19 @ 1:16 pm:

    Voted yes, but with a caveat. Beer prices must drop by half.

  2. - 47th Ward - Tuesday, Apr 23, 19 @ 1:17 pm:


    Why not cut in the NCAA too?

  3. - Northside Dem - Tuesday, Apr 23, 19 @ 1:18 pm:

    If they get a cut, MLB should let Pete Rose back into baseball.

  4. - Blue Dog Dem - Tuesday, Apr 23, 19 @ 1:21 pm:

    No. We already subside the NFL and NBA with a taxpayer funded minor league system.

  5. - ChicagoVinny - Tuesday, Apr 23, 19 @ 1:22 pm:

    No other states give this sort of cut, why should we be the first?

  6. - Precinct Captain - Tuesday, Apr 23, 19 @ 1:24 pm:


    Blank ‘em.

  7. - Commonsense in Illinois - Tuesday, Apr 23, 19 @ 1:25 pm:

    I voted yes, but anyone receiving benefit of the proceeds of a sports book should undergo a background check by the Gaming Board. This is the same requirement for any owner of a casino. Sports Books take in hundreds of millions of dollars in revenues and its proceeds should not be paid to any person or organization who cannot meet higher standards that are required in gaming.

    Simply saying…Oh, the teams will get a cut…isn’t enough. The legislation ought to spell out the purposes for which any allocation of money can be put to use. Further, I would strongly be opposed to proceeds going to the teams and/or their owners absent any sort of stipulations.

  8. - JS Mill - Tuesday, Apr 23, 19 @ 1:29 pm:

    NO. I simply can not think of a single reason why. As it stands they get far to much from the state already.

  9. - Quizzical - Tuesday, Apr 23, 19 @ 1:29 pm:

    No — there’s no reason to let them in on the windfall, they’re already making money hand over fist. Also there would be incentives for leagues to increase the pot by interfering with fair competition.

  10. - The Magnificent Purple Walnut - Tuesday, Apr 23, 19 @ 1:29 pm:

    I voted no, but I would lay 3 to 1 they get a cut…

  11. - Jocko - Tuesday, Apr 23, 19 @ 1:29 pm:

    Yes…on the condition that professional athletes (and owners) are taxed at the highest rate.

    The thought that three baseball players would be (collectively) worth 1 billion dollars makes my head swim.

  12. - Bogey Golfer - Tuesday, Apr 23, 19 @ 1:30 pm:

    “but giving away 25% of the pie….”
    It is 0.25% (25 cents for every $100.) Details, details.

  13. - ChiBoy - Tuesday, Apr 23, 19 @ 1:33 pm:

    This is something for the professional sports leagues to work out with the betting companies. Let them litigate this conflict over who owns the value being created.

  14. - Bogey Golfer - Tuesday, Apr 23, 19 @ 1:33 pm:

    And we all know that professional athletes on away teams pay a State Income Tax for the game(s) played here, right?

  15. - The Doc - Tuesday, Apr 23, 19 @ 1:35 pm:

    Hard no. Anything that provides a financial incentive for pro franchises to encourage sports betting on or against THEIR OWN TEAM is a conflict of interest.

    Many of these teams are already subsidized by state and local governments for dubious reasons. Don’t introduce yet another.

  16. - Perrid - Tuesday, Apr 23, 19 @ 1:36 pm:

    Anon-I-Guess, they aren’t asking for 25%, they are asking for 0.25% of everything bet.

    I say no. First because our state is bankrupt and needs money, and so I see no need to give handouts to rich people, and also because it seems more than a little shady to give people related to the teams being bet on a piece of those bets. Seems a bit incestuous.

  17. - FormerParatrooper - Tuesday, Apr 23, 19 @ 1:39 pm:

    I voted no. Pete Rose ethics will creep in and the whole thing will be more like scripted professional wrestling instead of a sport.

  18. - Cheryl44 - Tuesday, Apr 23, 19 @ 1:39 pm:

    I would say yes but we paid for both ballfields. They have to give all the city/state money they’ve gotten over the years and then yes.

    And they should rip that spaceship off Soldier Field.

  19. - City Zen - Tuesday, Apr 23, 19 @ 1:39 pm:

    Are professional sports leagues still tax exempt? If so, they should be exempt from this “tax” as well.

  20. - Mchenry Bob - Tuesday, Apr 23, 19 @ 1:40 pm:

    No. Did not this state learn anything even after eighty years, the lessons of Shoeless Joe.

  21. - TheInvisibleMan - Tuesday, Apr 23, 19 @ 1:41 pm:


    Too much of a conflict of interest. Too much of an incentive to ‘rig’ events.

  22. - illini - Tuesday, Apr 23, 19 @ 1:42 pm:

    If anyone can explain to me why the Billionaire owners of professional sports franchises are entitled to even more public monies I might listen. But until then my vote is a solid NO.

  23. - NIU Grad - Tuesday, Apr 23, 19 @ 1:43 pm:

    Public money being directly diverted to a private entity….no thanks.

    I think the teams are getting enough from the taxpayers.

  24. - 47th Ward - Tuesday, Apr 23, 19 @ 1:44 pm:

    Gambling occurs over each and every pro sports game already, and neither the Vegas sports books nor the mob are paying the pro leagues a dime for the courtesy of playing the games and publishing the stats.

  25. - Norseman - Tuesday, Apr 23, 19 @ 1:47 pm:

    I voted no. Perhaps if the professional teams ensured that no public money would go to stadiums, public money already spent would be paid back and they would guarantee residence in the state.

  26. - A guy - Tuesday, Apr 23, 19 @ 1:47 pm:

    H— no.
    Aside from any inroads to conflict, are they currently taxing bookies for a spiff on what’s going on?

  27. - Chip - Tuesday, Apr 23, 19 @ 1:50 pm:

    I voted no.

    The sports leagues are just trying to extract concessions to not oppose legislation. It is just a form of extortion. We already see the horse tracks, video gaming operators, and others trying to do the same thing.

    Legislation should be in the best interests of the State and the People, not based on who can threaten to throw a wrench in the works.

  28. - Flapdoodle - Tuesday, Apr 23, 19 @ 1:50 pm:

    NO. Professional sports franchises are already underwritten by public transportation and public safety resources, not to mention stadium infrastructure and tax abatements, plus they share heavily in ancillary revenue like concessions and parking. All these revenue enhancements counterbalance claims that sports franchises boost local economies (a much debated proposition). There’s no reason to further line the pockets of already very wealthy owners, especially as they show little hesitation in pulling up stakes and relocating franchises. At the very least, if pro sports franchises are to receive revenue from sports gambling, those franchises should be required to sign long-term contracts not to relocate and post significant (as in, this is gonna hurt a lot) financial bonds to be forfeited if the contract is violated. And in the case of publicly owned and/or operated stadiums, for franchises to receive gambling receipts, they should be required to forgo tax beaks and sharing in ancillary revenue. But basically, just NO.

  29. - cannon649 - Tuesday, Apr 23, 19 @ 1:56 pm:

    no- no reason to do it - Not unless they start giving the a state a royalty

  30. - Wensicia - Tuesday, Apr 23, 19 @ 1:56 pm:

    No, this is poisoned fruit as far as baseball is concerned, and the league, owners don’t need the additional wealth.

  31. - lakeside - Tuesday, Apr 23, 19 @ 1:57 pm:

    No. I was just going to write “hahahahhahahahahahah,” but Flapdoodle was much more eloquent. So, what they said.

  32. - Flynn's Mom - Tuesday, Apr 23, 19 @ 2:01 pm:

    No, for almost every single reason given so far.

  33. - lake county democrat - Tuesday, Apr 23, 19 @ 2:03 pm:

    What would we get back for it? Would they help promote state gambling at the stadiums, on their websites and apps, etc.? Does the state get to say the words “Super Bowl” rather than “the Big Game”? Send Benny the Bull to help pitch businesses to move to Illinois?

  34. - Notorious RBG - Tuesday, Apr 23, 19 @ 2:04 pm:

    No, for all of the reasons already stated by others. I wish some of the 56 yes votes (so far) would chime in as to why. Other than beer-price reduction, which I could be talked into supporting…

  35. - DuPage Saint - Tuesday, Apr 23, 19 @ 2:04 pm:

    I voted no but maybe money bet on college games could have a percent go to Illinois public colleges for non athletic scholarships or capital funds.

  36. - Former State Worker - Tuesday, Apr 23, 19 @ 2:04 pm:

    Absolutely not. I haven’t seen a cogent reason as to why they should get a cut of this.

  37. - Nick Name - Tuesday, Apr 23, 19 @ 2:05 pm:

    No. What’s next? Letting the players bet on games?

  38. - Left Leaner - Tuesday, Apr 23, 19 @ 2:11 pm:

    No. Although maybe willing to bend a little bit if the funds were specifically limited to charitable purposes, youth sports leagues, sports safety, things like that. Professional sports leagues already get far too many handouts from taxpayers.

  39. - Lost In Chicago - Tuesday, Apr 23, 19 @ 2:13 pm:

    Yes, but only if the sports leagues allocate it to fund programs to educate athletes, coaches, referees/umps, etc on how to handle any outside pressures to alter games, outcomes, or even spreads. Initial education would not be enough, so the funds would be for continued monitoring, mentoring, training.

  40. - Cautious Observer - Tuesday, Apr 23, 19 @ 2:15 pm:

    Let the sports teams show us their financial records to back up a claim that they need more revenue. I voted NO.

  41. - Just Me 2 - Tuesday, Apr 23, 19 @ 2:23 pm:

    The money should go to help pay for the bonds on their ridiculous stadiums.

  42. - Shanks - Tuesday, Apr 23, 19 @ 2:25 pm:

    They should get their fair share…but than again, they should also pay their fair share in taxes/real estate.

  43. - Michelle Flaherty - Tuesday, Apr 23, 19 @ 2:30 pm:

    No. How much did we pay for the stadium where the Bears play?

  44. - Occam - Tuesday, Apr 23, 19 @ 2:33 pm:

    Let them set up their own sportsbook and then they will see a revenue stream.

  45. - Been There - Tuesday, Apr 23, 19 @ 2:33 pm:

    I voted no. The only reason they get TV ratings on those Thursday or Monday games besides the markets where the teams are from is that the bettors are watching (including fantasy). They make money already. In the end the bettor is the one paying.

  46. - Dance Band on the Titanic - Tuesday, Apr 23, 19 @ 2:36 pm:

    No. Sports betting does not add a dime to their costs so there is no reason for them to get compensation.

  47. - TopHatMonocle - Tuesday, Apr 23, 19 @ 2:37 pm:

    I agree with Lost In Chicago. They can get a small cut as long as they put some compliance program in place to educate and monitor refs and athletes to prevent games from being impacted by betting.

  48. - PJ - Tuesday, Apr 23, 19 @ 2:41 pm:

    Can anyone, anyone at all, articulate a good case for why they should be written into the law? I see none.

  49. - The Bashful Raconteur - Tuesday, Apr 23, 19 @ 2:58 pm:

    Nope. Slippery slope. Avoid serious conflicts or even appearances of such. Keep them away.

  50. - Huh? - Tuesday, Apr 23, 19 @ 3:12 pm:

    “Public money being directly diverted to a private entity”

    Happens all the time
    Think tax incentives to lure companies into the state. What was the bait for Amazon? $2 billion?

  51. - XonXoff - Tuesday, Apr 23, 19 @ 3:14 pm:

    Not surprised they’d take a run at this but it’s a no from me.

  52. - NoGifts - Tuesday, Apr 23, 19 @ 3:24 pm:

    No. Sports leagues getting a cut opens the door to nefarious activities. Same reason players can’t gamble on their sports.

  53. - Adm Stockd'le - Tuesday, Apr 23, 19 @ 3:34 pm:

    No, and don’t care if they promise additional injury updates or stat access; for as just like the stock market, legalized betting should be based just on publicly available (free) information

  54. - Mason born - Tuesday, Apr 23, 19 @ 3:57 pm:

    Voted yes but those $ should be required to be spent improving the quality of Umpires, Referees, etc. No more NFC playoff screwups. (Insert your favorite blind Ump tale)

  55. - Boone's is Back - Tuesday, Apr 23, 19 @ 4:01 pm:

    No. They get enough freebies from the state and city as it is.

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