'Bad actors' not welcome in Illinois sports betting market

Lawmakers in Illinois are adding language to a sports betting bill that bars “bad actors” from participating in their marketplace. It’s a move that’s aimed at keeping daily fantasy sports and sports betting giants, FanDuel and DraftKings, out of the state’s gaming market.
Late last week, an amendment was added to HB3308 stating, “No sports wagering operator license or Internet sports wagering vendor license shall be granted to an applicant that has accepted, that has or had an affiliate that has accepted, or that has officers or directors who are or have been officers or directors of another party that accepted wagers through the Internet in contravention of any United States law, Illinois law, or any substantially similar laws of any other jurisdiction before the application date…”
The amendment was aimed squarely at DraftKings and FanDuel as both companies continued to serve Illinois players even after the state banned daily fantasy sports back in 2015. But that isn’t the only reason lawmakers want to keep the two companies out of their state.
It’s no secret that DraftKings and FanDuel have emerged as major player in the US sports betting market and are currently dominating the market in New Jersey. That has Illinois lawmakers worried that the companies will garner a huge share of their market, at the expense of local operators and horse race tracks. One lawmaker pointed out that local operators would be loathe to pay the $10 million licensing fee (with an additional $50,000 due every ten years) if outside operators are going to dominate the sports betting scene.
Lawmakers have also added language to the bill that requires sports betting licensees to have ties to locally operated brick-and-mortar gambling establishments.