Sports betting could be operational in Illinois in March

ROCKFORD, Ill. (WIFR)-- Sports books will soon be coming to Illinois, and the outcomes of sporting events could change the outcome of some lives.

"This has been an illegal market going on for such a long time, this is a way to tap into that market,” Illinois State Senator Steve Stadelman said. more money for the state and at the same time regulate it and make it safer for people who do like to bet on sports.”

In June of last year Illinois Governor J.B. Pritzker signed the bill, legalizing sports betting in the state. About eight months later, we’re inching toward the finish line.

"By the time March Madness comes around and the NCAA tournament that's a heavy time that people like to bet on sports,” Stadelman said. “I think the state still hopes to have an operation in place by that time to take advantage in the increased interest in betting on sports."

The bets placed will generate a new revenue stream for the state, but there are some drawbacks to letting people put money on their favorite teams.

"I have been a chief co sponsor of the expansion of gaming bill, I voted no on it this time because of the 21 new or increased taxes," State Representative John Cabello said.