MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — The state of Illinois has legalized sports betting, joining a growing number of states turning to gambling to raise tax revenues.
A bill to make it legal in Minnesota didn’t make it out of the legislature this year, but sports betting is spreading across the country. In just the last month, sports betting is also suddenly legal in Iowa and Tennessee — bringing the total to 13 states.
Illinois is hoping to have a sports betting system in place for the NFL season. The new law also vastly expands the number of places fans may be able to place bets, including the Cubs at Wrigley Field, the Bears at Soldier Field and the Bulls at United Center. Supporters are predicting thousands of jobs and revenue.
“This session, we legalized sports betting and expanded gaming, leading the Midwest in a new industry and setting us up to generate hundreds of millions of dollars in revenue for our state,” said Governor J.B. Pritzer.
Here’s the big unknown: The state is betting the new law will bring in $700 million a year in gambling taxes and license fees. The money earmarked for public construction projects.