Coalition for Fantasy Sports Shows Support for Illinois House Bill 5648

The Coalition for Fantasy Sports has shown its support for proposed legislation introduced in the Illinois General Assembly. The bill advocates for the establishment of separate regulatory frameworks for fantasy sports and sports betting by the state’s gaming board.

At the start of this month, Rep. Eva-Dina Delgado introduced HB 5648, accompanied by Sen. Lakesia Collins’ SB 3710. These bills share similar translations and aim to modify Illinois’ Sports Wagering Act of 2019, specifically by exempting fantasy contests from being classified as “sports wagering.”

Secondly, they propose amendments to the Criminal Code of 2012, stating that individuals participating in fantasy sports will not face gambling charges as long as they comply with the guidelines outlined in the Fantasy Sports Consumer Protection Act. This legislative duo underscores a concerted effort to provide legal clarity and protection for fantasy sports enthusiasts while ensuring adherence to established regulations and standards within the industry.

Since 2019, Illinois sports betting has been legally permitted. However, the introduction of the Fantasy Sports Consumer Protection Act marks a significant step towards ensuring the safety and security of fantasy sports enthusiasts across the state.

“The proposed legislation aims to not only protect the hundreds of thousands of fantasy sports fans across Illinois but also the integrity of the games they enjoy. The framework would ensure legal clarity, responsible play, and consumer protection while promoting innovation and removing barriers to growth that threaten the fantasy sports industry,” the Coalition for Fantasy Sports said.

Hence, Collins added that she is delighted to spearhead the legislation that preserves the enjoyment of daily fantasy contests for sports enthusiasts and prioritizes their welfare.

“With the popularity of daily fantasy sports soaring, now is the time to codify the industry’s legal status into state law and ensure Illinois players are best protected,” Collins said. “That is why I’m incredibly excited to take the lead on legislation that would not only allow sports fans to continue playing the daily fantasy contests they love, but do so in a way that protects their best interests, puts up guardrails to keep bad actors out of the market, and generates potentially tens of millions in new tax revenue for Illinois.”

Illinois HB 5648 and SB 3710 Share Similarities in Revenue Remittance

HB 5648 and SB 3710 are similar regarding tax rates, spanning from a minimum of 10% to a maximum of 15% on gross revenue, as determined by the state’s gaming board.

Revenue taxes levied on fantasy sports operators would be channeled into the Common School Fund, thereby contributing to educational initiatives. Furthermore, a significant portion of the licensing fees collected by the state, specifically 85%, would be allocated to the state’s Gaming Fund, supporting various gaming-related endeavors. The remaining 15% of licensing fees would be specifically earmarked for the Department of Human Services, aimed at funding programs for the treatment of compulsive gambling, demonstrating a commitment to addressing the potential risks associated with gaming activities.

This legislation also proposes raising the minimum age to participate in fantasy sports from 18 to 19. This is closer to the minimum age requirement of 21 for sports betting, reflecting a more relative gap in age restrictions within the gaming landscape.

The decision to pursue this legalization comes amidst a shifting regulatory landscape, with some states opting to ban fantasy sports platforms altogether. This change in approaches brings a growing debate over the classification of fantasy sports: Is it an unregulated offshoot of sports betting or a legitimate form of fantasy competition? This discussion has gained traction in part due to advocacy from sportsbook operators, who argue that fantasy sports should be viewed more as an extension of traditional sports than an unlicensed gambling activity.


Editor’s Note: This article’s previous version noted that legislation proposed lowering the age requirement for fantasy sports and has been corrected.

About the Author
Tebearau Egbe

Tebearau Egbe

Tebearau Egbe is a seasoned gambling writer with more than four years of experience. Armed with a Masters degree in philosophy, Egbe possesses a unique ability to dissect complex industry developments, distilling them into insightful narratives that captivate readers.

Get connected with us on Social Media