Fantasy bill offered in Illinois

March 01, 2016 3:00 AM


An Illinois lawmaker who has offered a bill to legalize fantasy sports in his state, says his plan would “protect as many as two million,” residents of the state who enjoy playing the games.

Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan has said daily fantasy sports contests are illegal under existing law but the legislature could change the law if it wants to.

So Rep. Mike Zalewski, D-Riverside, introduced a bill last October that would do exactly that. He said his bill is not about protecting giants in the business such as DraftKings and FanDuel.

He wants to protect people who play the games and “small Illinois companies” that are game providers or that offer related products such as data services. While the biggest operators have gone to court to keep their operations up and running, smaller fantasy sports providers are on the sidelines until there is some clarity.

Phil Hevener has been writing about the Nevada gaming business for more than 30 years. Email: