Do I need a gambling license for this? 2 Answers as of February 10, 2014

I am starting up a website that allows users to bet on games. For example, they can send a challenge to another user saying, I bet you $10 The Chicago Cubs will beat the Chicago Whitesox today. The other user can accept. If he does, winner gets the money. Do I need a gambling license for this? Are ONLY certain users from certain states allowed to use this feature? I am located in Illinois if that matters.

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Lawyer for Indie Media
Lawyer for Indie Media | Sue Basko
Illinois is probably the worst state in the U.S. in which to try to run a bookie business. It is illegal in Illinois to run an online or offline sports betting system. Illinois law states that anyone who "knowingly establishes, maintains or operates an Internet site that permits a person to play a game of chance or skill for money or other thing of value by means of the Internet or to make a wager on the result of any game, contest, political nomination, appointment or election by means of the Internet" is committing a crime. As a bettor, the only way Illinois residents can legally bet on sports teams is through an online sports betting service that is offshore and located outside the nation, and this is only questionably legal. As we all know, there are many local betting pools among friends. Putting it online is squarely illegal in Illinois at this time. The Illinois legislature is said to be working on making a legal framework for sports betting. You may want to keep yourself aware of pending legislation and may even wish to go speak at hearings.
Answer Applies to: Illinois
Replied: 2/10/2014
Law Offices of Henry Repay
Law Offices of Henry Repay | Henry Repay
I think it unlikely that you will get a specific answer on a site like this. I do not know the answer with any certainty, but I cannot imagine that it would not be considered the same as other types of betting establishment. There are other considerations as well, such as form of entity, etc. If you are serious about moving something like this forward, consult with an attorney. Relying on online advice will not be sufficient.
Answer Applies to: Illinois
Replied: 2/5/2014
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