In Illinois, two amendments were reportedly added to the state’s proposed sportsbetting legalization measure earlier this week that could eventually require some licensed operators to pay a tax rate of up to 25%.
According to a Wednesday report from Legal Sports Report, Michael Zalewski from the Illinois House of Representatives has taken over as the primary sponsor of House Bill 1260 and immediately added the pair of amendments as part of the legislation’s consideration by that body’s Sales, Amusement and Other Taxes Subcommittee.
The first of the two proposed amendments from the Democratic legislator would allow every riverboat casino, lottery, horseracing facility, off-track betting parlor and video gaming establishment in Illinois to apply for a sportsbetting license in exchange for a $10 million fee. These operators would also purportedly be required to hand over 5% of the greater amount of their associated net income, total handle or adjusted gross receipts in tax.
As written, the amendment to the proposed legislation would reportedly allow all ten of Illinois’ licensed riverboat casinos to pay $5 million for the right to run either one online sportsbetting service or a land-based sportsbook at a site such as a stadium with these operations’ adjusted sports wagering receipts taxed at a rate of 25%.
Legal Sports Report reported that the now-amended legislation would furthermore give licensed video gaming operators permission to run sportsbooks on 10% of their estate and pay the same amount for one online sportsbetting license. For lotteries, the proposed measure would allow only parlay wagering at 2,500 retail locations in exchange for a $300 million fee and a 100% tax rate on wagering receipts.
Finally, Zalewski’s first amendment would also permit horseracing tracks in Illinois to apply for either one online sportsbetting license or permission to run a sportsbook at three of their authorized off-track betting establishments.
By way of comparison, Legal Sports Report cited Tom Swoik from the Illinois Casino Gaming Association as detailing that recently-passed sportsbetting legislation in Iowa had set the tax rate at 7.5% while Indiana’s just-ratified measure features a 9.5% duty alongside licensing fees that top out at $100,000.
Swoik reportedly told Legal Sports Report…
“I’m not saying we need to be as low as Iowa or Indiana necessarily but when you’re talking three to four times more, it just seems outrageous. It’s all about what the odds are. If we’re paying three to four times more in taxes, we’re going to have to offer lower odds.”
Legal Sports Report explained that the second amendment introduced by Zalewski would allow already-established online sportsbetting operators such as DraftKings Incorporated and FanDuel Group to pay $20 million for one of three independent remote licenses. In exchange, every licensee would purportedly be required to hand over 25% of their adjusted gross gaming receipts to the State Construction Account Fund, Pension Stabilization Fund and Common School Fund and pay an ‘integrity fee’ to local sports league worth 0.2% of their handle.
This second amendment would additionally make seven new land-based sportsbetting licenses available at a cost of $15 million each and require horseracing operators running a sportsbook to pay 2% of their annual gross revenues to the Horse Racing Purse Fund.
However, in exchange for their sportsbetting licenses, this second alteration would moreover reportedly mandate that all operators use official data supplied by leagues for in-game wagers, not offer markets on collegiate sports taking place in the state and agree to a three-year ban for any entity found to have participated in an unlawful gambling service.