Please ensure Javascript is enabled for purposes ofwebsite accessibilityLegal sports betting begins to take Illinois by storm | KHQA
Close Alert

Legal sports betting begins to take Illinois by storm

sports betting pkg
Facebook Share IconTwitter Share IconEmail Share Icon
Comment bubble

Access to sports wagering is available online through any mobile device giving users a chance to press their luck 24/7.

Illinois governor J.B. Pritzker signed House Bill 690 last summer, making Illinois one of fourteen states, including Iowa, to legalize sports betting.

But the plan to add sports books to casinos and online gaming in the Land of Lincoln is not an overnight process.

Only three of the state's ten casinos currently have sports betting licenses, but the bill will allow for up to six.

Only seven sports venues such as racetracks, convention centers, and playing fields can obtain a license, including more than 5000 lottery facilities.

"I think it will bring a lot of new gamblers into play. There is a lot of people who play the slot machines aren't necessarily into the sports wagering so you'll see a lot of new gamblers enter the market," President of Maxamillions Tanner Freiburg said.

State Representative Norine Hammond said the state anticipates sports betting could result in more than $200 million in revenue.

She did not vote on the bill because she doesn't see herself as a proponent to the massive expansion of state gambling.

She said supporters already have a plan to use the revenue from sports betting.

"The gaming expansion is the funding to be used for capital funding strictly and so that would be for any building around the state that the state own," said State Representative Norine Hammond.

Hammond wants to see how the impact will ultimately play out.

"Anticipating the revenue is one thing, but actually seeing what will be there is another," said State Representative Norine Hammond.

Pritzker's goal to have sports betting up and running this past NFL season fell short. But state officials hope for a different story during this year's March madness.

Skeptics warn that access to sports wagering at your fingertips could lead to a larger problem - gambling addiction.

Quincy Psychologist, Dr. Frank Froman said gambling can be just as dangerous as other addictions.

"Certain things can end up exciting you and the excitement causes certain changes in your brain chemistry, endorphins secreted by your brain. And these are the feel good hormones and they make you feel like a winner," Clinical Psychologist Dr. Frank Froman said.

According to the North American Foundation for Gambling Addiction Help, nearly ten million people in the U.S. struggle with a gambling habit, with up to six billion dollars spent on gambling each year.

Addiction experts throughout the country are concerned that legalizing gambling could lead to a growing epidemic.

"A lot of people enjoy it a lot of people look forward to it, a lot of people have "fun" doing it., but when they pull back and realize what they've lost, they have to realize that this is not fun at all and part of the thing about losing is you want to go back to the place where you've lost it and see if you can get it back," Clinical Psychologist Dr. Frank Froman said.

Despite this potential threat, local gaming businesses still want in on the action.

Tanner Frieburg owns Maxamillion's locations in Quincy.

"Obviously if it was ever an opportunity for us to add sports wagerring we'd certainlly look into it," President of Maxamillions Tanner Freiburg said.

The legalization includes a $6.8 million investment for addiction and mental health services, up from $800,000 in the Fiscal Year 20 budget.

This increase in funding will align Illinois with the national average for funding problem gambling services.

Comment bubble

If you or someone you know struggles with a gambling addiction you can visit

Loading ...