Will Illinois Be 4th State to Legalize Online Gambling?Published August 15, 2017 by Elana K
Recent reports suggest that Illinois is in prime position to move forward with iGaming legislation. If legislation passes, Illinois will become the fourth state to legalize online gambling in the US.
It was long thought that Pennsylvania would become the fourth state to legalize online gambling, but today it seems that Illinois might be the better bet. Pennsylvania’s legislative session has ended with no progress made, while recent reports suggest that Illinois is in prime position to move forward with iGaming legislation.
Earlier this year, the Illinois Senate moved quickly to pass a bill that would legalize online gambling, but it came to a halt when it reached the House. Rep. Michael Zalewski, the bill’s sponsor, has said that he is ready to try a new approach to getting his bill passed, since the approach he has been trying for two years is not working.
The DFS Issue
Zalewski’s bill lumps both daily fantasy sports (DFS) and online gambling together in the hopes that they can kill two birds with one stone. However, DFS is in some ways more complicated than online gambling.
DFS has come under scrutiny in U.S. over the past two years, with various states ruling it illegal and requiring legislation to allow it to back into the market. Specifically in Illinois, Attorney General Lisa Madigan ruled that DFS is illegal in 2015.
Zalewski stated that in order to get his bill passed, he needs to get the existing land-based casino industry on board.
Benefits of Online Gambling
Legalizing online gambling in Illinois could help the state generate significant revenue, a benefit that can’t be disregarded so easily, especially since the state just raised its income and corporate taxes. Revenue from DFS and iGaming could perhaps ease the burden on Illinois residents.
When to Expect Movement?
While the Senate has already resumed, it’s the House that needs to make a move on the legislation. Reports say that movement will take place in November of this year or early 2018. While that's still a while away, at least progress is expected.