A new responsible gambling bill is making its way through the Illinois Senate. If passed, the bill would require Illinois sports betting operators to send a pop-up message to bettors after every 10 bets placed.
The pop-up would direct bettors to a website with various gambling addiction resources.
The bill advanced through the Senate Health and Human Services Committee this past Tuesday. Next up, the bill will move into the Senate for a full vote.
Senate to vote on Illinois responsible gambling bill
Proposed by Illinois Senator Bill Cunningham, SB 1508 looks to supplement the state’s current responsible gambling requirements. As the law currently reads, Illinois sportsbook operators must prominently display gambling addiction resource information throughout their apps and websites.
With this bill, sportsbooks would have to integrate a pop-up message to appear after every 10 wagers. The message would invite bettors to a website with information about gambling responsibly. Once there, bettors can access various resources and learn more about setting wagering limits. They can also opt out of sports betting for a set period by enrolling in the voluntary self-exclusion program.
“Illinois has been a leader in the regulation of sports betting, and we need to ensure that we are also addressing the potential harms associated with gambling addiction. By requiring sports wagering apps to display a pop-up message with resources for gambling addiction assistance, we can help individuals who may be struggling with problem gambling access the help they need.”
Illinois sports betting grows increasingly popular
A gambling expansion bill legalized Illinois sports betting in June 2019, leading to its debut in March 2020. In the three years since launch, Illinois sports bettors have wagered over $18.7 billion at the state’s __ sportsbooks.
In terms of overall sports betting handle, that number situates Illinois in the top five nationally.
Barstool joined Illinois’ sportsbook ranks in 2021, and BetMGM jumped on board in 2022 just ahead of March Madness, resulting in a consistent monthly handle of over $1 billion in the state.
This year, five online sportsbooks are going through the final review stages, meaning Illinois could celebrate yet another banner year in 2023.
The five sportsbooks on track to launch this year are:
- Bally Bet
- Hard Rock Sportsbook
- Circa Sports
However, these five apps likely won’t get the green light before March Madness kicks off. The next Illinois Gaming Board meeting is slated for March 16, the first day of the NCAA Tournament.
Gambling addiction resources in Illinois
With the addition of every new Illinois sportsbook, though, comes an increased potential for gambling addiction.
A June 2023 report from the Illinois Department of Public Health revealed that roughly 3.8% of adults in the state possess characteristics associated with an increased risk of problem gambling.
The data notes that over half a million Illinois adults are at risk of developing a gambling problem. Moreover, more than half of them likely already have a problem.
Illinois problem gambling initiatives are slated to benefit from a $10 million budget in fiscal year 2023. A portion of these funds will be allotted to the state’s “Are You Really Winning?” campaign, which directs those with a potential gambling problem to state-specific resources.
Making the process even one step easier for at-risk gamblers can be a potentially life-saving step.
“Problem gambling can have a devastating impact on individuals and their families, and we need to do everything we can to prevent and address it. Illinois will continue to be a leader in the modern sports gambling industry and we need to make sure that those who need help won’t have to ask how to find it.”
Players who think they may have a problem can text GAMB to 833-234 or call 1-800-GAMBLER for assistance.