Online Poker Bill Passes Illinois Senate

illinois bill

Lawmakers in Illinois approved legislation that would regulate and legalize online gaming and daily fantasy sports.

State Senators signed off on the bill by a 42-10 vote, thus moving the bill to House for consideration. House lawmakers will meet sometime this month to discuss the features of the measure that moved so quickly through the legislature last week.

Under the bill, HB 479, present casinos in the state would be allowed to offer casino games over the internet. The Chicago Tribune reports, casinos in the state don’t just want online gaming limited to fantasy sports, as was the case in 2016.

Two years ago, Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan stated that DFS sites disregarded gambling laws. The state is searching for tax revenue from DFS along with online regulation to give a lift to its coffers.

Licenses would reportedly cost $10 million and would be considered an advance payment of taxes, which would be a total of 15 percent revenue. The Division might enter into compacts for online poker with several other U.S. states. Presently only New Jersey, Nevada and Delaware have online gaming. Pennsylvania is also pondering the activity.

Online poker in the state could bolster live games. During the initial three months of 2017, the Illinois poker market revenue was $3.34 million, down by 9 percent.