For any proud alum of an Illinois university awaiting the day when you can place a legal sports wager on your alma mater, consider this scenario:
You’ve got a hunch the Fighting Illini are finally going to beat mighty Ohio State on the gridiron, or at least lose by fewer points than Las Vegas has predicted. You walk into one of the state’s casinos, cash in hand, only to be turned away at the betting window.
The reason? The Illini are playing at home. Had the game been scheduled for Columbus, your bet would have been accepted.
That’s the peculiar compromise a lawmaker is considering to soothe athletic directors worried that legalized college sports betting in Illinois could lead to point shaving, leaks of sensitive information and other corruption.
In a letter sent last month to Gov. J.B. Pritzker and state legislators, the officials said lawmakers should exclude college sports from the gambling bill going through the General Assembly. Barring that, they said, legislators should make college games off-limits if they feature in-state teams or are contested within Illinois’ borders.