Lawmaker Aims to Legalize Fantasy Sports Gaming in Illinois

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Springfield - To make it to the NFL, and make millions of dollars, it takes skill.

To win in fantasy sports leagues, gaming experts agree that it also takes skill.

"You can win, and you can be successful as much as you're willing to put the effort in," said Stacie stern of Head2Head Sports.

While daily fantasy sports sites like www.fanduel.com and www.draftkings.com continue to risk operating in Illinois since Attorney General Lisa Madigan's decision last year, other sites, like Side League, out of Chicago have not.

"We had to stop operating as soon as the attorney general opinion came out.  We spoke with our lawyers and they basically said the litigation risk and the amount of money you could potentially be putting at risk would put you guys out of business.  We have ten employees.  All of us grew up on Chicago and we're all Chicago natives, Bears, Bulls fans, so it's really important to us that we stay here and operate here.  We don't want to take our business elsewhere," said vice president Tony Giordano.

That's why state representative Mike Zalewski is introducing legislation to legalize fantasy sports gaming in Illinois.  That's something he says is good for the fans and good for the state.

"It would effectively bring to Illinois safe, reliable, and regulated fantasy sports play for the first time.  We need this legislation to provide certainty and protection for the industry, its partners, and the millions of Illinoisans who play these contests," Zalewski told reporters on Thursday.

While the state is still without a budget, and it doesn't appear an agreement between Democrats and Republicans is close, Zalewski said that he hopes this bill will be heard during the spring session.

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