Charley Steiner Symposium tackles sports betting

Digital Originals

EAST PEORIA, Ill.– When it comes to sports gambling, not everyone is betting it’ll bring in a lot of money.

Bradley University hosted the 5th Charley Steiner Symposium on Tuesday. The symposium included discussions on a variety of sports-related topics including one on sports betting.

This panel featured Cori Rutherford, Par-A-Dice Hotel & Casino VP and General Manager, Rep. Mike Unes, and Bradley University’s President Gary Roberts. Dave Kindred moderated the discussion.

The panelists spoke about the recent legalization of sports betting in Illinois, how it should be regulated and whether or not it would be a profitable move for Illinois.

State Representative Mike Unes said he voted against the legislation with one of the reasons being the price for organizations to get a sports betting license compared to surrounding states.

“In Illinois, the sports betting license in this legislation that was passed could be up to 10 million dollars,” Unes said.

This is the figure Unes compared to states like Indiana where he said the price to get a sports betting license is around $100,000 dollars and Iowa where he said the price would be around $50,000 dollars.

Unes attributed the price difference to Illinois projected revenue of $200 million dollars which he said he doesn’t believe will be a possibility.

“Knowing that the surrounding states are going to be able to do it at a lesser expense, I’m not sure that the projected revenues are going to be there because I think it’s going to really question whether or not an organization really wants to get into that arena,” Unes said.

Cori Rutherford said her Casino would have to pay 5 percent of its annual gross revenue from last year which about 3.7 million. She mentioned there’s a chance they might go for it, but at the same time getting the license would not be very profitable.

Rutherford like sports arenas, like Wrigley Field, would be the places to pay S10 million dollars for sports betting licenses, while horse tracks would pay $5 million.

She acknowledges sports betting is going to happen regardless, so she said she wants it regulated to ensure it’s done legitimately.

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