State Supreme Court bringing sports bets, social media access cases to region

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Illinois Supreme Court cases deal with sports bets, social media access


GODFREY — Almost 1,000 people will get a chance to see the state’s highest court in action Wednesday when the Illinois Supreme Court hears oral arguments on two cases at Lewis and Clark Community College.

One case will deal with whether someone convicted of sexual abuse can be prohibited from accessing social media while on probation. The second will address the ability to sue after losing a bet on illegal fantasy sports websites.

The hearings will begin at 10:30 a.m. at the college’s Hatheway Cultural Center at 5800 Godfrey Road. Doors open at 8:30 a.m. and ticketed observers must be seated by 10 a.m.

The Illinois Supreme Court is an appellate court, meaning it generally looks more at issues of law and process rather than the facts of a case. Most cases start at the circuit court, then go to the district appellate court before going to the Supreme Court.

People v. Morger comes from the 4th Appellate District. In 2018, Conrad Morger was convicted in McLean County of aggravated criminal sexual abuse and criminal sexual abuse involving a relative between August 2010 and November 2012. He originally was sentenced to probation and, as a condition of his probation, was ordered not to access any social networking websites.

Morger sought to access social media during his probation and the appellate court ruled against him, in part because exceptions could be made if necessary and the rule would expire at the end of probation.

In Dew-Becker v. Andrew Wu, the court will hear arguments about whether third-party fantasy sports betting sites are covered by the Illinois Loss Recovery Act, which allows those losing money in illegal gambling to sue to recover losses.

In this case, out of the 1st District Appellate Court in Chicago, Colin Dew-Becker bet Andrew Wu on the outcome of a Daily Fantasy Sports contest operated by the website FanDuel. Dew-Becker lost and filed a small claims lawsuit to recover his wager.

Lower courts have ruled that third-party fantasy betting websites are not covered under the act.

Wednesday’s event is sponsored by the Illinois Supreme Court, the Administrative Office of the Illinois Courts, the Supreme Court Historic Preservation Commission, Lewis & Clark Community College and the Illinois State Bar Association.

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