April 26, 2019

Illinois is rolling the dice with plans to bring riverboat gambling to dry land

Illinois might be going all in on its gambling industry, with casino expansion and state-sanctioned sport betting.

Illinois, whose major investment in video gambling recently went bust, is refusing to fold, recently passing a bill to let riverboat casinos expand onto dry land for the first time. 

The state is mid-debate over the legalization of sports betting. But let’s get back to the important stuff: Riverboat. Casinos

Taking the ‘river’ out of the flop, turn, river 

Illinois is one of 5 states that prohibits gambling on dry land but lets casino-owners set up shop on boats or docked barges (some which sneakily sit on land over inch-deep water pits, a loophole). 

These strange riverboat gambling laws are a holdover from paddle boat glory days, when booze, brawling, and betting flowed freely along the currents of the mighty Mississippi.

So, what changed?

Now that gambling is federally legal, multiple states are jockeying to set up news sportsbook operations. Since Illinois already has some river-ready gambling operations, this new bill is intended to expand existing gambling revenue available to support education.

Plus, they won’t have to deal with card shark attacks anymore.

Who’s not so on board with the plan? The casinos, who may have to dish out up to $10m per sportsbook license.

Daily briefings, straight to your inbox

Business and tech news in 5 minutes or less

Join over 1 million people who read The Hustle

Psst

How'd Bezos build a billion dollar empire?

In 1994, Jeff Bezos discovered a shocking stat: Internet usage grew 2,300% per year.

Data shows where markets are headed.

And that’s why we built Trends — to show you up-and-coming market opportunities about to explode. Interested?

Join us, it's free.

Look, you came to this site because you saw something cool. But here’s the deal. This site is actually a daily email that covers the important news in business, tech, and culture.

So, if you like what you’re reading, give the email a try.