Illinois bill to address sports betting addiction passes Senate

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Lawmakers in Illinois are working on new legislation to address the scourge of sports betting addiction in the state by mandating operators to remind players about their gambling activity at least once per hour. 

SB1508 was filed by Senate President Sen. Bill Cunnigham and seeks to intervene on a sports betting addiction problem that has been identified in the state. Yesterday, the measure passed through the Senate floor.

The bill aims to tackle addiction by forcing operators to display a message within its app at least once per hour to players reminding them of the time elapsed since they logged onto the app. 

Operators would also be forced to give players messaging alerting them to the amount of money they have wagered in that time. Finally, sportsbook apps would have to include hyperlinks to websites and telephone numbers to resources to get support for problem gambling. 

SB1508’s journey took it from the Health and Human Services Committee, where it saw one small amendment altering the semantics of one sentence. The Committee then unanimously voted the measure through 8-0.

Another small amendment was made by Cunningham as it reached the Senate Floor, where it then had its second and third readings. 

Upon the third reading, Illinois Senators passed the bill unanimously in a 54-0 approval, ultimately sending the bill over to the House. 

“Illinois has been a leader in the regulation of sports betting, and we need to ensure that we are also addressing the potential harms associated with gambling addiction,” Cunningham said when he filed the bill.

“By requiring sports wagering apps to display a pop-up message with resources for gambling addiction assistance, we can help individuals who may be struggling with problem gambling access the help they need.”

The House has referred SB1508 to the Rules Committee for its first reading.