A new report shows Illinois is one of 18 states that will likely propose legislation to allow sports betting. Local lawmakers say it's set to come up this legislative session. However, this isn't the first time they've tried to make it legal.
"We passed legislation in the senate last year as far as sports betting," says Sen. Steve Stadelman, D-Rockford. "So there was a bill introduced last session, passed the senate, but was not called for a vote in the house."
Stadelman, who supports the move, says it's still unclear where exactly sports betting could take place. But, he says casinos have been the most interested in making the activity legal.
"My guess is that there would be a number of different venues online. It could be at current gaming facilities such as casinos across the state," Stadelman says.
Sen.Dave Syverson, R-Rockford, says he thinks allowing sports betting would help not only Rockford, but the rest of the state. That's because the dollars captured from the gaming go back into funding municipalities and roads.
He also says sports betting could be one portion of a larger gaming bill that would help bring a casino to Rockford. But, lawmakers say a pending Supreme Court case in New Jersey could have an impact here.
"So, if the supreme court says yes, new jersey can implement sports betting -- I think you're going to see the concept spread all across the country," Stadelman says.
We reached out to Rep. Litesa Wallace, D-Rockford, who is not running for re-election, to see if she supports the issue. We have not heard back. Rep. John Cabello, R-Machesney Park says he also supports this issue. Lawmakers say they expect to have more details about this proposal in about a month.