The Illinois Gaming Board (IGB) voted on Wednesday to permanently remove Rule 1310.C1 from the Sports Wagering Act.
The rule prohibited “any wager on the individual performance of a minor.” The board had been temporarily waived it for a year, and now, it is gone for good.
During the meeting, IGB Administrator Marcus Fruchter said it was “impractical” to manually verify the ages of “thousands” of athletes in the US and abroad.
“It does not appear that this rule added significant added value, other than increasing compliance costs for a marginal benefit. We have existing rules in place that further legislative intent, and ensure the integrity and safety of Illinois sports betting.”
Fruchter also said that the board had not received any reports of integrity concerns pertaining to wagers of this nature. They also received no public commentary about the necessity of the rule.
For example, he cited international hockey on soccer, where it is common for 16- or 17-year-olds to play on professional sports teams. He said that comprehensive data for participants in those sports is not maintained.
In the US, you’ll occasionally see 17-year-olds playing on college basketball teams. And individual college prop betting is legal in Illinois, even if betting on Illinois college teams is not.
What it means for Illinois bettors, and what it doesn’t
Most Illinoisans likely aren’t aware that this rule exists or that it was waived for the last year.
In other words, this won’t change anything for IL sports bettors.
While one might read this move as permission to offer markets on, say, high school football or the Little League World Series, that won’t be the case.
Fruchter cited Sec. 25-25.H of the Sports Wagering Act, which reads:
“A licensee under this Act may not accept wagers on a kindergarten through 12th grade sports event.”
That rule remains in effect. So, this decision will only impact college and professional sports.
You still can’t bet on Illinois college teams here
Illinoisans can now bet on an individual prop market for, say, a 17-year-old Gonzaga point guard.
But they still can’t bet on an Illinois game at all.
- Who’s For, Against: Illinois has several pending pieces of gaming legislation, including the in-state college betting. Here’s who is arguing for and against the proposals.
At Wednesday’s board meeting, we learned how much was bet on March Madness in Illinois.
The unofficial total was a whopping $176.8 million, and of course, that excluded any wagers on Illinois or Loyola-Chicago.
It also excluded a mystery operator that has yet to report its numbers. Once that happens, we could see IL March Madness sports betting handle crack $200 million.