Online Poker Legislation Introduced in Illinois

Last week, a new bill was introduced in the state of Illinois to legalize online poker and casino gaming. Representatives Robert Rita and Jonathan Carroll created HB 3142 to get the ball rolling on the state’s iGaming market. The Internet Gaming Act covers all the bases, providing all the details for the new industry.

Setting up an iGaming Market

As the bill stands, land-based casinos would be allowed to obtain licensing for online gambling. Each license holder could offer up to three skins. A license application fee costs $500,000 and to renew each year, a $250,000 payment must be made.

If the bill is able to move forward, the state’s Gaming Board will have three months to come up with emergency regulations as well as provide temporary licensing. It seems the Reps want to be able to get online gambling going as quickly as possible if the legislation gains enough support to pass into law.

Interstate Gaming Included

Varying from other states that have legalized online poker or are considering the option, the Representatives added in language covering interstate gaming. With this option, Illinois would be able to pool player liquidity with other states that offer legalized online poker gaming.

Right now, in the US, New Jersey, Delaware, and Nevada have a compact for player pooling. For smaller markets, this is a good idea as it widens the player pool. More options are there for cash games and tournaments, which means a larger market and more revenues earned.

For operators, gambling protocols must be implemented including deposit limits and self-exclusion options. The industry would set aside $10 million in funds to create programs for potential problem gambling needs.

It will be interesting to watch over the next few weeks to see if the bill gains any ground and if it has the potential to push Illinois to the forefront of the US iGaming industry.   

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