Illinois bill amendment would allow sports exchange betting

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A proposed amendment to the Sports Wagering Act in Illinois filed by Rep. Robert Rita would introduce exchange trade wagering.

House Bill 1405 seeks to extend the current sports betting regulations in the Prairie State to include betting exchanges, defined in the bill as “the buying and selling of betting contracts at any time prior to the conclusion of an event based on a describable zero to 100 scale of probability”.

Under the bill’s terms, two betting exchange licenses would be up for grabs if it were to pass, with licensees liable to a $500,000 licensing fee. 

Any licensee would be allowed to offer betting exchange services for a period of four years initially and may renew for a $100,000 fee as long as the operator remains compliant with regulations. 

For the tax rate, HB1405 stipulates that betting exchange operators would pay the same rate of tax as regular master sports betting licensees, that being 15% for both retail and online sportsbooks. 

Any prospective licensee must be at least 21 years of age, have no criminal background and be able to “demonstrate the level of skill required to operate sports wagering”.

Currently, New Jersey is the only state in the US that allows exchange trade wagering, with Prophet Exchange and SportTrade both live in the Garden State

Whether HB1405 has the political support to pass through the house remains to be seen but offering the legislative another opportunity to earn tax revenues through two more operators could be a persuasive proposition.