Sports gambling a good bet for Illinois, new report argues

LA GRANGE, Ill. (WEEK) — Legalizing sports betting could create 2,500 new jobs and raise $100 million in new annual revenue for the state, a new report argues.

The new study by the left-leaning Illinois Economic Policy Institute and Project for Middle Class Renewal at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign argues legalizing sports betting would help the state raise new revenues.

Co-authors Frank Manzo IV and Dr. Robert Bruno looked at gaming models in Nevada, New Jersey and the United Kingdom to help analyze the potential economic and fiscal impacts of sports betting legalization in Illinois.

“Dedicating half of all projected tax revenues produced by sports betting to higher education tuition assistance would allow the State of Illinois to increase annual MAP grant funding by more than 10 percent,” said Bruno.  “With billions of dollars already being wagered on sports illegally in Illinois, a well-designed sports betting law could provide additional resources to address a wide range of public needs— such as expanding educational opportunities, rebuilding our state’s capital infrastructure, and combating the social costs of gambling addiction through proper treatment.”

The study’s authors argue legalization would greatly reduce black-market betting and generate more revenue for the state than similar types of gambling like horse racing.

Read the full report here. 

Tim Shelley

Tim Shelley

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