Sports Betting Alliance Campaigns against Proposed Illinois Tax Hike

The Sports Betting Alliance (SBA), a group of sports betting operators including FanDuel, Fanatics, DraftKings, and BetMGM, has come out in opposition to an increase of sports betting tax from 15% to 35% that has been proposed by Gov. JB Pritzker.

Proposed Illinois gambling tax increase sees major opposition by SBA.

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The organization began a campaign asking people to contact state lawmakers to express opposition to the tax hike. According to an SBA spokesperson, so far more than 25,000 emails have been sent to Gov. Pritzker and state lawmakers expressing opposition to the increase.

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Potential of Negative Side Effects

The SBA argues that the proposal would have several negative side effects, chief amongst which would be worse odds for players and, therefore, fewer bets placed. Furthermore, increased taxes would lead to fewer promotions and bonuses, and the cumulative effect could be players turning to illegal offshore operators who do not pay any tax.

Illinois lawmakers have until the end of May to vote on the proposed tax increase and the SBA has urged people to continue expressing their opposition throughout the period.

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Tax Increase to Put Operators under Financial Strain

A further argument put forward by the SBA is that the proposed tax increase would put sportsbook operators under financial strain. Operators chose to enter the market expecting to pay 15% tax and an increase of 133% would significantly impact their ability to invest in responsible gambling, customer support, and the latest technology.

A number of the state’s operators are operating at a loss but have remained open due to the low tax rate.

Many states have far higher taxes than Illinois and those in favor of the increase claim that it would bring in a further $200 million in tax revenue. However, as Amy Howe, FanDuel’s CEO, has explained, lawmakers must be careful of the potential for unexpected consequences resulting from tax increases.


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