Will local bookies survive when legal sports betting comes to Illinois? The odds look good. John Keilman, Chicago Tribune · June 18, 2019 at 11:39 am The man on the phone said he doesn’t take as many bets as he used to — badgering deadbeats to pay up gets old after a while — but he’s still in the business, accepting small wagers on football games for a handful of trusted customers. It’s a side gig, not his main way of making a living, but you might nonetheless think he’s an endangered species with legalized sports betting coming to Illinois as soon as this fall. Why put $100 on the Bears through a bookmaker when you can do it at a casino or through a sanctioned smartphone app? The man, though, said he’s confident bookies like him aren’t going anywhere.