'It's a real game changer.' What legalized sports gambling means for Chicago sports fans

'It's a real game changer.' What legalized sports gambling means for Chicago sports fans

The U.S. Supreme Court made a groundbreaking decision Monday by lifting a federal law that prohibited sports gambling outside of Nevada. Although the move is merely hours old, how it will impact fans is a hot-topic.

Brett Smiley is Editor-in-Chief of, a company that produces original reporting on regulated sports betting. He said that some states have laws "ready to go," though Illinois has conversations that are on-going.

"Illinois, they have conversations that are ongoing, there are a number of bills on the table, some of them closer to completion or not" Smiley said to NBC Sports Chicago. "I think the legislative session runs for a bit longer in Illinois, so there’s definitely some runway for them to get something done. 

"I would think with the events from today, they’d be more likely to do so."

Illinois' legislative session ends May 31, giving the state a few weeks to put something together. The state has been proactive in getting something together, according to Yahoo Sports' Jay Busbee.

"Illinois is one of many states which took a proactive look at the Supreme Court’s case and decided to get ready if the tides broke sports gambling’s way," Busbee said. "In January of this year, the Illinois Senate introduced the 'Sports Betting Consumer Protection Act,' one of two bills designed as a framework for sports gambling in the state, to be updated and codified once the Supreme Court ruled."

Smiley mentioned several options for how fans will be able to place bets once laws are in place.

"The way it’s looking in every state is that they’ll either need to go to a casino or a riverboat [casino] in some cases," he said. "They should have an online component, so either an app or an online [website] where you can go.

"Hopefully you wont have to go into casinos to register for any of these, but it will be both of those things."

Smiley said that it is "a bit of a reach" regarding kiosks potentially being opened inside stadiums to place bets. However, he said that fans should be able to make a wager on their phones during a game.

The specific sports available to bet on will depend on the state, though Smiley said that states will offer "diverse menus" of events to keep pace with offshore sports books. Ultimately, he said today's decision is a game changer.

"This is a watershed moment for sports and sports betting in the US," he said. "The NFL helped usher in this law in 1992 and what it’s really done is only help an underground black market flourish. It’s a real game changer."

George Halas, Mike Ditka among three Bears named to NFL 100 All-Time Team

George Halas, Mike Ditka among three Bears named to NFL 100 All-Time Team

The Chicago Bears continue to be well-represented on the NFL 100 All-Time Team with three more additions to the roster Friday night: George Halas (coach), Dan Fortmann (offensive line) and Mike Ditka (tight end).

Halas' Bears coaching career spanned four decades and 324 wins. As the founder of the Bears and one of the NFL's original owners, his name is synonymous with the history of the league.

Halas is one of 10 coaches who will be selected to the All-Time Team. The coaches revealed so far include Bill Belichick, Tom Landry, Chuck Knoll, Vince Lombardi, Curly Lambeau, Joe Gibbs and Paul Brown.

Ditka was one of five tight ends chosen for the historic roster after a career that included five pro bowls in six years with the Bears. He last played for Chicago in 1966 but still holds the team records for career receptions, yards and touchdowns for a Bears tight end. He's also one of the franchise's all-time greatest personalities after leading the Bears to their only Super Bowl win as head coach in 1985.

Forttman, a seven-time Pro Bowler in the late-30s and early-40s, played guard for the Bears and was named to the 1940s All-Decade Team.

Sports Talk Live Podcast: Will Mitch Trubisky continue his hot run?


Sports Talk Live Podcast: Will Mitch Trubisky continue his hot run?

Ben Finfer, Ricky O'Donnell and Cam Ellis join Laurence Holmes on the panel.

0:00 - It's Bears vs Packers Sunday at Lambeau Field. Will Mitch Trubisky continue his hot run? And could the key to a Bears victory actually be making Aaron Rodgers throw the ball?

10:00 - Jason Goff joins Laurence from the United Center to preview the Bulls and Hornets. They discuss the reasons for Lauri Markkanen's success in December and Jason shares his love for all things Star Wars.

18:30 - Rick Hahn says the White Sox are better at the end of the Winter Meetings than they were at the beginning of it. So what's the next move that will make them even better?

Listen to the full podcast here or via the embedded player:

Sports Talk Live Podcast