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Featured contributor Andrew Silver analyzes the Illinois betting bill and penalty box clause in EGR North America Article

The Illinois state legislature passed a bill this month legalizing both brick-and-mortar and online sports gambling, and Governor J.B. Pritzker has indicated that he will sign it into law. Although the law’s passage is a good sign for the ever-expanding American sports gambling industry and marks an improvement over previous drafts of the bill, it remains an imperfect one.

An important change from prior drafts of the bill is the removal of a “bad actor” provision, which purported to not allow companies that offered sports gambling deemed unlawful to obtain an online sports wagering license for a period of three years after the law’s passage.

If passed, this would have operated to exclude daily fantasy sports operators from obtaining licenses in Illinois, because a 2015 opinion by the Illinois Attorney General—which explicitly named FanDuel and DraftKings—deemed daily fantasy sports unlawful.  FanDuel and DraftKings filed a lawsuit challenging the Illinois Attorney General’s opinion, but they ultimately voluntarily dismissed the lawsuit prior to obtaining a ruling on its merits.

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