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NEWS 9 May 2019

Illinois sports betting bill amendments set tax rate at 25%

By Matthew Enderby

An amendment proposed to Illinois sports betting legislation would set a tax rate of 25%, while a second option includes language to establish an integrity fee of 0.2%.

Representative Michael Zalewski, who took over as the bill’s primary sponsor this week, filed two amendments before Wednesday’s subcommittee hearing.

The first amendment would authorise Illinois sports betting for riverboat casinos, horseracing tracks, off-track betting parlours, video gaming operators and the lottery.

This amendment sets the tax rate as 25% of adjusted sports wagering receipts.

All master license fees are $10m, or 5% of net terminal income, adjusted gross receipts or total handle - whichever is the greater amount.

Lottery can be offered in 2,500 retail locations with the initial license fee of $30m and a tax rate of 100% of sports wagering receipts.

Skin licenses are $5m each and to add a sports stadium, off-track betting or any other land-based venue is also a $5m fee.

The second amendment would allow operators to apply for their own licenses, but at a fee of $20m. There would be three online licenses available should the legislation proceed.

The tax rate in this case is proposed as 25% of annual adjusted gross receipts with funds spread among the State Construction Fund, Pension Stabilisation Fund and Common School Fund.

An integrity fee of 0.2% on handle paid to the sports leagues was written into this amendment option.

Also included in the second amendment are seven land-based licenses for $15m each. These would go to the first seven applicants from the state’s riverboats, racetracks and video gaming terminal operators.

Stakeholders of the Illinois gaming industry were outspoken against these amendments and said they would likely result in lower odds and force customers to go to neighbouring states or offshore bookmakers.

Tom Swoik, Executive Director of the Illinois Casino Gaming Association; Steve Brubaker, representing the Illinois Harness Horsemen’s Association; and Ivan Fernandez, Executive Director of the Illinois Gaming Machines Operators Association, all considered the taxes and fees to be too high.

RELATED TAGS: Online | Land-Based | Sports Betting | Legal & Regulatory
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