The Illinois State Senate has already passed a bill that would legalize online gambling in the state and today the House Executive Committee will be meeting to discuss the option. The committee agenda includes H 479, a measure that would see online gambling and daily fantasy sports legalized and regulated within the state. S 1531 is also under consideration and would seek to solely legalize daily fantasy sports contests.
According to the Poker Players Alliance, John Pappas will be testifying today in front of the committee on the subject of online gambling. It is unknown as to who else might be showing up to provide insight on the matter.
The measure was able to pass within the Senate by a vote of 42 to 10, around three weeks ago. Representative Michael Zalewski is the sponsor of the measure along with several state Senators including Napoleon Harris, Steve Stadelman, Kwame Raoul, Pat McGuire and Dave Syverson.
The bill was first introduced in January and was not believed to be going anywhere this year. However, movement has been made and this week could mark a significant upturn in the possibility that online poker gaming will become a reality in the state. It has been estimated that as much as $300 million in revenues could be earned by online poker games within the state.
According to the language of the bill, a Division of Internet Gaming would be created and this group would be formed within the state Gaming Board. The group would be in charge of issuing the five-year licenses on offer and a licensee would be allowed only two brands. A license will cost $10 million and would be considered an advanced payment of taxes. Taxes would be set at 15% of revenues.
The bill states that lawmakers have discovered that residents of the state take part in illegal online gambling via the unregulated websites offered by offshore operators. These operators are not subject to taxation or regulation in the United States.
It will be interesting to see if the House approves the measure and if Illinois will eventually become the next state in the US to offer online poker gaming.
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