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Illinois Lawmakers Push Bill To Combat Problem Gambling Issues

Written By Nicholaus Garcia on March 31, 2023
legal sports betting illinois gambling apps

A new bill addressing gambling in Illinois will require sports betting operators to notify players regarding the amount of time spent using sportsbook apps. 

Filed by Senator Bill Cunningham, SB 1508 seeks to intervene on the Illinois sports betting addiction problem identified in the state.

On Thursday, the bill passed through the Senate floor. As a result, the House has referred it to the Rules Committee for its first reading.

Addressing potential harm

Language in the bill states that mobile operators must remind players about their gambling activity at least once per hour. 

Upon initially filing the bill, Cunningham said

“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.”

Providing problem gambling resources through apps

The bill mandates operators to do several things. First, they would be forced to alert players on the amount of money they have wagered since logging into the app. Then, Illinois sportsbooks would have to include hyperlinks to problem gambling resources like websites and telephone numbers.

Speaking with WAND, Cunningham said considering the amount of money generated from sports betting, lawmakers have a responsibility to help those in need.

“I think we would all acknowledge that [legalizing sports betting] brings with it some responsibility for those of us who are policymakers. And I think that we need to ensure that part of that responsibility is making sure people who have problems with gambling can easily get help.”

Throughout its short journey, the bill has only seen two sentence changes. One change came from the Health and Human Services Committee and the other from Cunningham on the Senate Floor. 

Following its third reading, Illinois Senators passed the bill unanimously in a 54-0 approval.

Photo by PlayUSA
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Nicholaus Garcia

Nick Garcia is a senior reporter for PlayUSA. Garcia provides analysis and in-depth coverage of the gambling industry with a key focus on online casinos, sports betting and financial markets. Garcia has been covering the US gambling market since 2017. He attended Texas Tech University as an undergrad and received a Master of Arts in Journalism from Columbia College Chicago.

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