(230 ILCS 45/25-45)
Master sports wagering license issued to an online sports wagering operator.
(a) The Board shall issue 3 master sports wagering licenses to online sports wagering operators for a nonrefundable license fee of $20,000,000 pursuant to an open and competitive selection process. The master sports wagering license issued under this Section may be renewed every 4 years upon payment of a $1,000,000 renewal fee. To the extent permitted by federal and State law, the Board shall actively seek to achieve racial, ethnic, and geographic diversity when issuing master sports wagering licenses under this Section and encourage minority-owned businesses, women-owned businesses, veteran-owned businesses, and businesses owned by persons with disabilities to apply for licensure.
For the purposes of this subsection (a), "minority-owned business", "women-owned business", and "business owned by persons with disabilities" have the meanings given to those terms in Section 2 of the Business Enterprise for Minorities, Women, and Persons with Disabilities Act.
(b) Applications for the initial competitive selection occurring after the effective date of this Act shall be received by the Board within 540 days after the first license is issued under this Act to qualify. The Board shall announce the winning bidders for the initial competitive selection within 630 days after the first license is issued under this Act, and this time frame may be extended at the discretion of the Board.
(c) The Board shall provide public notice of its intent to solicit applications for master sports wagering licenses under this Section by posting the notice, application instructions, and materials on its website for at least 30 calendar days before the applications are due.
Failure by an applicant to submit all required information may result in the application being disqualified. The Board may notify an applicant that its application is incomplete and provide an opportunity to cure by rule.
Application instructions shall include a brief overview of the selection process and how applications are scored.
(d) To be eligible for a master sports wagering license under this Section, an applicant must: (1) be at least 21 years of age; (2) not have been convicted of a felony offense or a violation of Article 28 of the Criminal Code of 1961 or the Criminal Code of 2012 or a similar statute of any other jurisdiction; (3) not have been convicted of a crime involving dishonesty or moral turpitude; (4) have demonstrated a level of skill or knowledge that the Board determines to be necessary in order to operate sports wagering; and (5) have met standards for the holding of a license as adopted by rules of the Board.
The Board may adopt rules to establish additional qualifications and requirements to preserve the integrity and security of sports wagering in this State and to promote and maintain a competitive sports wagering market.
After the close of the application period, the Board shall determine whether the applications meet the mandatory minimum qualification criteria and conduct a comprehensive, fair, and impartial evaluation of all qualified applications.
(e) The Board shall open all qualified applications in a public forum and disclose the applicants' names. The Board shall summarize the terms of the proposals and make the summaries available to the public on its website.
(f) Not more than 90 days after the publication of the qualified applications, the Board shall identify the winning bidders. In granting the licenses, the Board may give favorable consideration to qualified applicants presenting plans that provide for economic development and community engagement. To the extent permitted by federal and State law, the Board may give favorable consideration to qualified applicants demonstrating commitment to diversity in the workplace.
(g) Upon selection of the winning bidders, the Board shall have a reasonable period of time to ensure compliance with all applicable statutory and regulatory criteria before issuing the licenses. If the Board determines a winning bidder does not satisfy all applicable statutory and regulatory criteria, the Board shall select another bidder from the remaining qualified applicants.
(h) Nothing in this Section is intended to confer a property or other right, duty, privilege, or interest entitling an applicant to an administrative hearing upon denial of an application.
(i) Upon issuance of a master sports wagering license to a winning bidder, the information and plans provided in the application become a condition of the license. A master sports wagering licensee under this Section has a duty to disclose any material changes to the application. Failure to comply with the conditions or requirements in the application may subject the master sports wagering licensee under this Section to discipline, including, but not limited to, fines, suspension, and revocation of its license, pursuant to rules adopted by the Board.
(j) The Board shall disseminate information about the licensing process through media demonstrated to reach large numbers of business owners and entrepreneurs who are minorities, women, veterans, and persons with disabilities.
(k) The Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity, in conjunction with the Board, shall conduct ongoing, thorough, and comprehensive outreach to businesses owned by minorities, women, veterans, and persons with disabilities about contracting and entrepreneurial opportunities in sports wagering. This outreach shall include, but not be limited to:
(1) cooperating and collaborating with other State
(l) The Board shall partner with the Department of Labor, the Department of Financial and Professional Regulation, and the Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity to identify employment opportunities within the sports wagering industry for job seekers and dislocated workers.
(m) By March 1, 2020, the Board shall prepare a request for proposals to conduct a study of the online sports wagering industry and market to determine whether there is a compelling interest in implementing remedial measures, including the application of the Business Enterprise Program under the Business Enterprise for Minorities, Women, and Persons with Disabilities Act or a similar program to assist minorities, women, and persons with disabilities in the sports wagering industry.
As a part of the study, the Board shall evaluate race and gender-neutral programs or other methods that may be used to address the needs of minority and women applicants and minority-owned and women-owned businesses seeking to participate in the sports wagering industry. The Board shall submit to the General Assembly and publish on its website the results of this study by August 1, 2020.
If, as a result of the study conducted under this subsection (m), the Board finds that there is a compelling interest in implementing remedial measures, the Board may adopt rules, including emergency rules, to implement remedial measures, if necessary and to the extent permitted by State and federal law, based on the findings of the study conducted under this subsection (m).
(Source: P.A. 101-31, eff. 6-28-19.)