CHAMPAIGN, Ill. (WAND) - Legalizing sports betting could create about 2,500 jobs for the state of Illinois.
The University of Illinois Labor Education Program and the Illinois Economic Policy institute took on a study evaluating policy options and the fiscal impacts of sports betting.
"Opening up a sports book typically occurs in a physical location. This is mainly in casinos or maybe a race track. By allowing Illinois residents to take bets you would create jobs at this physical location for those who take the bets and make the lines," said Policy Director Frank Manzo.
Manzo says it doesn't end there. With more lines and public places to bet, it allows people the opportunity to add positions for ticket holders, food distributors, cashiers and more.
The proposal was originally introduced last year by the Illinois Senator and Republican House member. Governor Pritzker said it was something he was going to consider for the state's budget.
Researchers say if this goes through it will grow the Illinois economy and reduce black market gambling.
"This activity is already happening. People are already placing bets illegally. We just had the Super Bowl. Millions of bets have been placed illegally," Manzo said.
However, one of the downfalls of legalizing gambling can be an increase in taxes. This can either stop or reduce gambling all together.
If Illinois does choose to legalize it, some of those revenues can be used to invest in treatment programs for those gambling addicts. Right now, this is still a long process and it will take time until a final decision is made or revisited.