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Illinois leads the way on Mid West Sports betting

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States in the Mid-West have been responding to the legalization of sports betting as a result of May’s Supreme Court decision, and Illinois appears to be leading the way.

Illinois lawmakers are currently engaged in discussing the issue and have been taking evidence from several stakeholders in the sports betting industry, as well as holding hearings on the subject. The first hearing in front of the Gaming and Sales and Other Taxes House subcommittees was held on August 22 in Chicago and a second hearing is scheduled for October 3.

Legislative attempts to start the ball rolling on sports betting, including a bill from the state senator and former Oakland Raider Napoleon Harris, have so far made little progress. But lawmakers will have another chance to consider sports betting legislation this year during the so called ‘veto session’ in November, during which legislation that has been previously vetoed can be reconsidered.

There are doubts, however, about whether much progress could be made at that time, given the proximity of the mid-term elections, so the most likely date when sports betting will be progressed is early January when lawmakers return for a two-week session.

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In Michigan, the push for sports betting is being led by Representative Brandt Iden, who has been meeting with Indian gaming representatives, while discussing the issued with fellow lawmakers. There has been some legislative progress, with the passing of three bills that potentially lay the framework for sports betting online, but the stumbling block in Michigan appears to be over the redrawing of the contracts with the tribes who run 20 of the state’s 25 casinos.

Meanwhile, in Ohio progress has been slower. A bill was introduced in July, but that was simply to open discussions on sports betting. The main problem in the Buckeye State is the state constitution, which prohibits gambling, and may have to be amended for sports betting to be introduced.

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