Illinois lawmakers have introduced House Bill 3142 that, if passed, will see the state establish a regulated online casino industry.
House representatives Robert (Bob) Rita and Jonathan Carroll are behind House Bill 3142 known as the Internet Gaming Act. Should the legislation pass a House vote, existing land-based casinos would be allowed to apply for internet gaming licenses paving the way for online poker and casino games within the state.
With the sports betting industry thriving in the state, both Rita and Carroll feel that now is the time to allow online casinos enter the market.
Under the proposed legislation, each license holder would be allowed to run three casino skins. They can also partner with as many as three iGaming providers.
The legislation also proposes a cost of $500,000 for each license with a renewal cost of $250,000. The suggested tax rate for all iGaming revenue is 12% which is the same rate currently paid on all sports betting revenue.
However the bill faces opposition with some representatives voicing concerns over video gaming terminal (VGT) operators’ potential loss of revenue.
Speaking out in support of VGT operators, Senator Dave Syverson said:
“Bars and restaurants that have been just devastated by the overly restrictive COVID rules from the state of Illinois need the little bit of video gaming they have going right now to help them stay in business. If they lost VGT revenue to the internet, we’d see a lot of restaurants and bars having to close.”
The bill is under evaluation by the House Rule Committee and if it passes, the Illinois Gaming Board will have 90 days to establish a framework for launch.
Image credit: Patrick Emerson / CC BY-ND 2.0