A bill that would legalize daily fantasy sports in Illinois has stalled while another has been filed that would ban it altogether.
State Rep. Scott Drury’s bill would ban daily fantasy sites like FanDuel and DraftKings. He says the companies cannot govern their activity and should be banned in Illinois.
“This industry cannot exist in Illinois,” Drury, D-Highwood, said. “It’s unable to regulate itself.”
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State Rep. Mike Zalewski, D-Riverside, sponsored legislation that would legalize daily fantasy sports as well as create a framework to tax the industry. He said Drury’s effort to ban the sport only creates more criminal laws.
“We have ample opportunity to regulate it, tax it, make sure that it’s safe, and go forward from there,” Zalewski said.
Drury said Zalewski’s bill doesn’t provide strong enough safeguards to keep kids from gambling. “Actually the bill essentially legalizes gambling for minors because there’s nothing in there that can actually prohibit them from playing.”
Zalewski said his legislation includes safeguards for minors. He added that banning fantasy sports would create a litigation nightmare in Illinois. “The attorney general’s going to be forced to litigate a matter that the General Assembly can easily fix with passage of a bill.” Zalewski estimated his bill would generate $5 million to10 million in tax revenue in the first two years.
Because the legislative session is over, both Zalewski and Drury’s bills would need supermajorities to pass and be effective immediately.
Daily fantasy sports were played by nearly 2 million Illinoisans last year.