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Illinois Says Sports Betting Will Go Live For March Madness


Given Chicago’s reputation for desperately needing money in order to slow down a freight train of mounting debt, it’s surprising it took this long for sports betting to get the OK. Gov. J.B. Pritzker recently announced that casinos will be able to accept sports wagers in time for March Madness. If you’ve driven on I-94 over the last year, you’ve probably noticed billboards promoting sports betting at all the Indiana-based casinos conveniently located just over the border. Hoosier State sportsbooks have reportedly pulled in $5 million in tax revenue since going live last September.

Argosy Casino, just outside of St. Louis, says its ready to take bets. Rivers and Grand Victoria casinos, which are just outside of Chicago, were also granted temporary licensees. The only caveat is that bettors won’t be able to plop down any money on college basketball teams within the state. Illinois’ recent road win at Penn State pushed it off of the bubble and into the tournament for now. Loyola sits a half game behind Northern Iowa in the MVC standings. And Southern Illinois, Northern Illinois, and Bradley are currently live to reach one of the secondary tournaments should they lose in their respective conference tournaments.