Daily Fantasy Sports Bill Passes in Illinois

Daily Fantasy Sports Bill Passes in Illinois

Daily Fantasy Sports Bill Passes in Illinois

The legalization of the daily fantasy sports industry is a hot topic all throughout the United States, but citizens of the state of Illinois may finally be seeing a resolution to the matter as the state’s Senate just passed a new bill. Opposition to the bill still exists, and it will have to go one step further and pass through the House, but this could be a monumental step towards the legalization of DFS games. DFS fans and companies may therefore soon find reasons to rejoice as this story develops further.

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The Attorney General of Illinois, Lisa Madigan, had previously rebuffed the idea of DFS legislation, saying that DFS games are equivalent to illegal gambling and therefore cannot be allowed. This bill is an attempt to override Madigan’s views and prove that the DFS industry should be allowed to legally operate throughout the state of Illinois. The results of this proposition could influence matters in other states where DFS legislation is also being worked upon. New York, for example, is a particularly heated area at the moment with regard to the DFS industry, but it seems as though things are moving forward both there and in Illinois.

This new bill overcame the biggest obstacle in its path last Thursday, when it was passed by a vote that finished with 32 in favor and 22 against. This was actually the closest voting result for a DFS bill throughout the entire United States. Various people spoke out in favor of the bill during floor proceedings, but many also argued against the idea of passing it. Clearly, opinions were divided, but the fact that the bill got through the vote is a very important step and means that the future is looking increasingly bright for the DFS industry.

illinois state representativeHow did we get to this point? Well, it’s been just over 12 months since the issue of DFS legislation was first brought to light in the state of Illinois. It was Representative Michael Zalewski who, in April of 2015, began work on his own bill. He put forward language regarding the legislation of DFS games in October of last year, and shortly after this the Attorney General made her comments regarding the industry. Swiftly afterwards, industry-leading companies FanDuel and DraftKings took action and stated their intent to prove their legality. Things went quiet for a while, but then Zalewski’s bill passed through a committee last month and has now survived this vote, having been worked upon and put forward by Senator Kwame Raoul.

The bill has done well so far, but there are still many hurdles lying ahead of it. One interesting issue that has arisen in the wake of this vote is the announcement that one member, Democratic Senator Antonio Munoz, has made attempts to try and prevent the bill from being transmitted to the House. Munoz originally voted against the bill on the Wednesday, but reconsidered his position and then voted in favor of it on Thursday. It seems as though he has changed his mind once again, as he is now making this attempt to slow down the bill’s movement.

Various press outlets have attempted to get in touch with Munoz for comment, as his actions are relatively hard to understand for most people. Unfortunately, for now, the senator has not replied or given any sort of statement to explain his actions. Without sufficient knowledge on the matter, we can only speculate on Munoz’s possible reasoning for filing this motion, but it’s clear that his influence could, at the very least, delay the movement of the bill. Munoz may still choose to undo his actions, but only time will tell how things play out.


In the meantime, we can think about the possible future that lies ahead of this bill. Naturally, the resolution of the Munoz motion could have some influence, but the bill has still passed the vote and should eventually enter the House. We can expect plenty of opposition to once again appear in the House, and the result of any vote is very difficult to predict at the moment. The legislature will actually be adjourning at the end of this month, so any further movement for the bill will have to be swift. Both supporters and opponents of the DFS industry are hoping for a rapid conclusion to the matter, with DFS fans based in Illinois particularly hopeful of a positive outcome.

Interestingly, Illinois is one of the few locations in the US where the casino industry has actually weight into matters and offered its own resistance against DFS legislation. Casino representatives have made their views clear that, in its current form, the DFS industry should not be considered as a legal practice as it does not offer sufficient protection for consumers. These representatives have also voiced concern that the DFS industry is being given a type of special treatment, so it could be interesting to see if the casino industry decides to offer any further resistance as the story unfolds.

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