The Illinois Senate has passed a bill addressing sports betting addiction. Senate Bill 1508 requires sports gaming companies to display a message to people at least once every hour noting how much money they have wagered since logging in.
The alert would also include a hyperlink to websites and phone numbers for assistance with gambling addiction. Senate President Pro Tempore Bill Cunningham (D-Chicago) noted the proposal comes as the state’s industry rakes in millions per year off betting.
According to the Illinois Gaming Board (IGB), January saw a record-high in bets wagered with $1.07 billion in legal sports betting in the state - an increase of more than $20 million from January 2022.
But according to a separate study released last year by the Illinois Department of Human Services, approximately 380,000 adult Illinoisans are considered to have a gambling problem while an additional 761,000 are believed to be at risk of developing one.
"I think we would all acknowledge that that brings with it some responsibility for those of us who are policymakers," Cunningham said, as reported by WAND. "And I think that we need to ensure that part of that responsibility is making sure people who have problems with gambling can easily get help."
SB1508’s journey took it from the Health and Human Services Committee, where it saw one small amendment altering the semantics of one sentence. It then passed unanimously out of the Senate. The legislation now moves to the House for further consideration.
“Illinois has been a leader in the regulation of sports betting, and we need to ensure that we are also addressing the potential harms associated with gambling addiction,” Cunningham said when he filed the bill.
“By requiring sports wagering apps to display a pop-up message with resources for gambling addiction assistance, we can help individuals who may be struggling with problem gambling access the help they need.”