The Illinois bill, which aims to regulate online casino gambling and daily sports fantasy (DFS), seems to find support, slowly but surely, in the Illinois House, trying to cope with a number of financial difficulties and bridge the gaps in the state’s budget.
The attempts to invalidate the ban on online gambling in Illinois did not start from yesterday, but up to now, there is no development in the case. It was as far back as 2012 when such proposal emerged into the light, but it could not find any approval. Thus, the hopes of the proponents to liberalize online gambling in the state were in limbo.
Just next year, the bill was placed again on the table of discussion, but the strong opposition of the state’s horse racing industry managed to impose its opinion and the bill run upon the rocks once again. To address the concerns of the horse racing industry, the bill was amended, but it seems that this was not a sufficient measure, as the bill failed to pass once again. In 2016, the bill tried to take another path forward, but it still could not manage to be enacted.
The proponents of the bill, though, kept on pushing through the legislation system and this year seems to be more favorable to their hopes. Illinois legislators are currently discussing the proposal for the legalizing of the online gambling, trying to overcome the imminent financial crisis. The House Executive Committee heard the Illinois appeal on Wednesday, 28th June, at a continuous session, when it was admitted that the legislation of the online gambling industry could be the life-boat to the state’s economy.
Shortly after that, the case was swept under the carpet once again, with the potential to be one of the last possible measures for dealing with the state’s economy upheaval.
However, if the bill comes into effect somewhere in the future, only land-based casinos will be allowed to offer also online games. For that right, the casino operators need to pay $10 million for a fee license and they need also to contribute 15% of their gross gaming revenue (GGR). In that way, the illegally operating online casinos will come out of the shadowy world, being regulated and taxed. This will stop the leakage of money to the “underworld”.
According to different official reports, the state can reap up to $266 million in 5 years only from online gambling. Not to mention that if the state also allows DFS, it will add $19 million to its budget. John Pappas, Executive Director of the Poker Players Alliance, expressed his hopes for the eventual enactment of the bill, outlining before the Committee heard the case, that the liberalization of online gambling industry will create a fair playing environment, give a boost to the state’s economy and enhance the development of the industry.