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Lawmakers to discuss legalizing sports betting

ILLINOIS (WCIA) -- Look out sports fans, your team's next big win could get even more exciting. That's because the state may let you earn some winnings, legally. Lawmakers could be putting sports betting on the table.

But the proposition has just been introduced. Rep. Lou Lang (D-Skokie), who filed the bill, says he's not even sold on the idea yet but wants to get the conversation started. 

Technically, sports betting is illegal but if New Jersey wins an upcoming U.S. Supreme Court case, that could change. Lang says, if so, he wants Illinois to be ahead of the game. 

"It already happens so I would be interested it. It would do it, it would be fun," says fan Michael Tucker. 

Nicole Stapleton, a waitress at Springfield's Brickhouse Grill and Pub, says it'll be a hit.  

"I think customers would really like it. I mean, any type of gambling normally bring in really great revenue," says Stapleton. 

That's exactly why the state may want in, but some lawmakers say that's not enough to hop on board. 

"We really shouldn't be having the revenue drive us," say Rep. Sara Wojcicki Jimenez (R- Springfield). 

She says legalizing any type of gambling comes with consequences. 

"There are some ramifications that come with that in terms of people investing their money in gaming machines and sometimes people get addicted. There are issues that stem from that then government has to try to help." 

Rep. Lang says he wants to explore the option through discussion and research. Wojcicki says she's open to listening.


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