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Building Trades Unions Opposed To Illinois Sports Betting Tax Hike


Three state building trades unions last week came out against the potential Illinois sports betting tax hike in separate letters to state legislators. 

  • International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers 
  • Illinois Pipe Trades Association 
  • International Union of Operating Engineers

Illinois sports betting tax hike potential

Gov. JB Pritzker’s budget proposal includes raising the Illinois sports betting tax rate to 35% from 15%. The

However, the legislature has hit a stalemate on the budget (including the tax hike issue). The session is expected to stretch into Memorial Day weekend. 

“That’s a tax structure that’s tough for any industry, let alone a nascent one,” Rep. Curtis Carver said earlier this week, according to the Chicago Sun Times

Letter on Illinois sports betting tax rate

A letter from IBEW Local 134 business manager Donald Finn urged that the tax structure for Illinois sports betting should remain the same. 

“As you know, a critical funding mechanism for the vertical program in Rebuild Illinois hinged on gaming revenues, including authorizing sports betting and increasing the tax on Video Gaming. It is our understanding that the Governor has proposed, the General Assembly is considering, a tax increase to these gaming revenue streams but would then divert these increases from vertical capital to the general revenue fund. 

“We understand the Senate’s finances are in dire share and additional revenue is needed. However, we believe that diverting this proposed gaming tax increase from vertical construction to general revenue will have a crippling effect on vertical construction in Illinois and set a terrible precedent for funding future capital construction programs.”

Sportsbooks seek to halt tax hike

The Sports Betting Alliance, comprised of FanDuel, DraftKings, Fanatics and BetMGM, has urged customers to reach out to their representatives in order to halt the hike. 

Over 53,000 emails have been sent to the Illinois legislature and Gov. Pritzker, a spokesperson for the SBA told LSR

The SBA believes that a higher tax rate will mean worse odds for players. Customers will receive less promotions and bonuses. And a hike will increase illegal offshore sports betting, as its operators play 0% in taxes. 

Others push to raise sports betting tax

Illinois isn’t the only jurisdiction weighing a possible sports betting tax hike. 

New Jersey is considering a hike to 30% from 14.25%

However, an amendment that would have raised the sports betting tax rate in Massachusetts to 51% from 20% was shot down. 

Ohio signed into law an increase to 20% from 10% for the 2024-25 fiscal year. 

Will tax hikes eventually hurt bettors?

Nine operators negotiated and agreed to a 51% sports betting tax rate in New York

Last year, DraftKings CEO Jason Robins told NY state legislators that, without a reduction, the operator might be forced to offer worse odds. 

That has yet to happen, however. 

The post Building Trades Unions Opposed To Illinois Sports Betting Tax Hike appeared first on Legal Sports Report.

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