Chicago to Impose Sports Betting Tax
The Chicago City Council is expected to approve a new ordinance that would add a 2 percent tax on all sports betting revenue in the city. This new policy has been discussed in recent weeks, and it is expected to pass, increasing the already high tax rate in the Windy City.
Sportsbooks will now be required to pay a 19% tax on all gross gaming revenue, which is one of the highest rates in the United States. The state of Illinois has a tax rate set at 15 percent, but Cook County also imposes a two percent tax.
This new tax would be put in place in an effort to help a new casino project that will be starting in the Windy City at some point. Online sports betting keeps people from visiting the casino floor, but lawmakers in Chicago argue that the new casino will attract business.
Illinois just brought in more than $840 million in monthly handle for October, despite having some extremely strict laws compared to other states. This state also doesn’t have remote registration in place at this time, making it harder for bettors to sign up for a new account.
Rush Street Fighting Hard
Neil Bluhm is an important figure in the gaming industry in Illinois, and he was pushing hard for this new tax to be imposed. Unfortunately, Bluhm is not going to get his wish entirely as he believes that a two percent tax is not even close to enough.
Bluhm is a co-founder of Rush Street Gaming, and that company owns and operates the Rivers Casino in Des Plaines. Rush Street was also extremely vocal when Illinois was legalizing sports betting as it hoped to keep other online operators out of the state.
When this topic was being discussed by city council members, Bluhm argued that online sports betting is going to hurt whatever company wins the bid to build a casino in Chicago. Rush Street is one of the companies that has applied to receive that Chicago license, but a final decision has not yet been made.
Sportsbooks Coming to Stadiums
The Illinois sports betting industry is going to get a major boost as early as 2022, thanks to a new rule. The Chicago city council also voted to lift a restriction that is keeping professional sports teams from opening up a retail sportsbook at their stadiums.
There is still a final vote that has to take place, but it appears that professional teams are going to win this time around. Retail sportsbooks at professional stadiums are legal based on the IL sports betting law, but the city of Chicago has kept that from taking place.
The Chicago Cubs have already partnered with DraftKings, and they appear to be ready to open up a DraftKings retail sportsbook as early as 2022 if given the opportunity.