Even though there is a surge in the sports betting industry in Illinois, the state seems to be wary of legalizing online casino games or poker. However, this might change soon with State Rep. Bob Rita introducing a new piece of legislation that could well take Illinois down the iGaming and online poker route.
This prospective legislation is named HB3142 or the Internet Gaming Act. It contends that casinos and racetracks may apply for licenses for interactive gambling against a fee of $500,000 fee which is similar to Pennsylvania. However, each venue can claim up to a maximum of three skins.
There is a very strong incentive to see the legislation through by Illinois as the States where iGaming has been legalized get huge inflows of revenue. This is especially crucial in present times, where states are struggling financially and looking to make up for lost revenue due to the Covid-19 pandemic. Even though Illinois generated tax revenue of $12.3 million in December alone, that from iGaming would further bolster its financial position.
In the legislation, Bob Rita recommends that the tax on iGaming would be the same as that of sports betting, which is currently 12% on profits. The proposed online gaming framework, therefore, makes sense as the industry is way ahead more lucrative than sports betting.
In spite of the many angles going in favor of the legislation, the passage of the bill might not be smooth and easy. There is still a chance that legislators and residents will not take too kindly to the idea of legalizing the iGaming industry. Several state bodies and businesses might also dig their heels in, as they fear that there will be an adverse impact from the societal and economic viewpoint.
If HB3142 does go through successfully despite the odds in all chambers of the legislation and gets the nod from Gov. Pritzker, the Illinois Gaming Control Board would have to administer the Internet Gaming Act within 90 days.