Illinois Online Poker Legislation
Illinois first proposed online gambling in 2013. The state is facing a crisis with its pension funding. The proposed solution includes an expansion of gambling. The latest online gambling bill in Illinois would regulate online poker and casino games in the state. This same bill would also expand brick and mortar casino gambling in Chicago, at airports and at racetracks.
Illinois is no stranger to legalized gambling. There are ten licensed casinos in the state. There are also racetracks, a state lottery and video poker machines in bars and truck stops.
Proposed Online Gambling Bill
The Illinois online gambling bill would allow casino operators to offer online poker and casino games to anyone located within the state. Interstate compacts would be allowed and the system would be managed by the state lottery. Any company that has ever been found guilty of offering illegal internet gambling would be forbidden from receiving an interactive gaming license in the state. This would leave out Party Poker, bwin, some payment processors, as well as some sports betting companies.
The online gambling portion of the bill was removed in April 2013. Governor Pat Quinn voiced his objections to online gambling. There was also an agreement within the horseracing industry to oppose expansion of gambling over the internet. This was due to the group being left out of the potential revenue.
A similar bill was introduced in 2017. It passed the state senate but appears to have died in the assembly.
No Agreement on Terms
Unfortunately, the inability of gaming concerns within a state to agree on the terms of gambling expansion has created this situation in other states as well. These include tribes and the horseracing industry. Both of these groups do not want to get left out of the windfall that online gambling may bring.