Sports, gaming attorney: Banning Draftkings, FanDuel is 'terrible public policy'
A fifth amendment to House Bill 3308, which aims to make sports betting legal in the state, would make sure popular sports betting sites like DraftKings and FanDuel would still be banned in Illinois.
The amendment was introduced by Rep. Bob Rita specifically targeting those websites and ones like them.
Daniel Wallach, founder of the University of New Hampshire School of Law’s Sports Wagering and Integrity Program, believes that banning DraftKings and FanDuel would be an absolutely horrible idea.
“If Illinois wants to shrink its gaming market and tax revenue, and also reduce options for consumers, then taking DraftKings and FanDuel out of the market would certainly be a way to do it,” Wallach said. “But it would be terrible public policy, as well as harmful to Illinois."
Wallach points to the success New Jersey has seen as a model for the state to emulate.
"Look at the only new gaming state that is hitting its revenue marks and creating a robust online market — it’s New Jersey," Wallach said. "They did it because they have unrestricted mobile and a competitive market with a lot of operators. And look who is driving the revenue in New Jersey — the mobile companies, FanDuel and DraftKings. They are over 80% of the tax revenue coming into the state, and New Jersey’s market, per capita, is double to quadruple of any other new sports betting state. "
Critics of this measure, including Wallach, point out that its purpose seems to be to limit competition against the more traditional gambling locales, such as casinos.
"If you want to give consumers options and bring in revenue, you need the key mobile players in your state," Wallach said. "This proposed measure - as misguided as it is — is not the product of a legitimate public policy discussion on the issue, but, rather, appears motivated only by a desire of other gaming stakeholders to limit competition in what will likely be a hotly-competitive new marketplace. This has nothing to do with so-called bad actors, and everything to do with other stakeholders seeking to avoid having to compete with the two most potent online operators.”
The bill would need to pass the Senate by the end of the Illinois legislative session on May 31.