iDEA Growth Educates And Informs On Sports Betting Law

Illinois Capitol BuildingiDEA Growth is swiftly becoming known as the voice of the online gaming industry, providing documented evidence of the taxes and jobs that come from this entertainment, and the success of consumer protection regulations and technology in safeguarding both the consumer and the games. In the past week alone, iDEA members have spoken to legislators and have been quoted in media outlets around the country on the economic benefits of online gaming and sports betting.

As previously announced, here are some of this week’s high-profile iDEA speaking engagements and how they were received in the mainstream media:


Legislators in Illinois are working on a draft sports betting bill which may come before the state’s General Assembly early next year.

On Oct. 17, Jim Ryan of Pala Interactive represented iDEA and gave testimony before the Illinois General Assembly on the economic benefits of legalized sports betting. Other witnesses included representatives from casinos; state representatives Lou Lang (D- Skokie) and Mike Zalewski (D- Cooke County), fantasy sports operators, the mayors of East St Louis and Des Plaines, Lindsay Slader of Geocomply, prospective licensees, gaming opponents Illinois Family Action, the Chicago Cubs, the MLBPA, and the NFLPA.

The media covered this hearing, and Jim Ryan’s testimony, extensively in the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, State Journal-Register, Rockford Register Star, Online Poker Report, iGaming Business, Sports Handle, ABC 20, Illinois News Network, and Fox 25.

Washington, DC

On Oct. 17, The Council of the District of Columbia’s Committee on Finance & Revenue held a Public Hearing on Bill 22-944, the “Sports Wagering Lottery Amendment Act of 2018.” iDEA founding member Jeff Ifrah provided testimony to the Committee, chaired by Councilmember Jack Evans. Other witnesses included Counsel for DraftKings, the NBA, MGM Interactive, and other concerned parties.

Following his testimony, Jeff was interviewed by Fox 5 and NBC 7 with coverage to come. Both WJLA-TV ABC 7 and Legal Sports Report (articles here and here) have already published coverage of the hearing.


On Oct. 9, George Sweny of the Stars Group represented iDEA at the invitation of Ohio State  Senators John Eklund and Sean O’Brien at a roundtable discussion on sports betting and online gaming. This event generated media coverage in Sports Handle and Gaming Today, with mentions in both the  National Football Post and CDC Gaming.

On October 18, Jeff had a 30-minute follow-up call with State Senator John Eklund. The Senator stated the legislature will reconvene after Election Day and invited iDEA to submit studies on online gaming to be considered prior to the next Senate testimony. The Senator also requested information on the online tools available to monitor consumer spending beyond their means and also to prevent underage gaming. iDEA was then invited to return to Columbus to provide more information once the majority of Senators are back in the area after Election Day. 


On October 12, 2018, Kentucky’s Interim Joint Committee on Licensing, Occupations, and Administrative Regulations held a hearing on sports betting, to which iDEA submitted written testimony and the Executive Summary of our Economic Benefits study.


iDEA member Mark Hemmerle will attend a hearing on sports betting on Friday, October 19 in Indiana, another state considering the introduction of a sports betting bill in the future.

Upcoming Events

iDEA continues to make our members’ voices heard across the U.S this fall, educating audiences interested in the positive potential for sports betting and online gaming for their communities.

  • October 18: Jeff Ifrah is meeting with Congressional Quarterly Magazine for a profile on iDEA Growth Association.
  • November 17-20: Jeff Ifrah will speak at SGAC’s Leaders Policy Conference in Scottsdale, AZ
  • November 27-28: iDEA is a sponsoring the ICE Sports Betting Conference in NYC