February 20, 2021 Casino, Poker, Online

Illinois lawmaker proposes iGaming legislation

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Illinois state Rep. Bob Rita has proposed legislation that would legalize internet casino gaming in the Land of Lincoln.

HB 3142 would create the Internet Gaming Act, which would allow casinos and racetracks to offer “internet gaming or contract with a platform to offer internet gaming, as regulated by the Illinois Gaming Board.”

The legislation proposes up to three internet gaming skins per licensee. Rita’s bill would tax iGaming at 12% of adjusted gross gaming revenue. That is beneath Illinois’ sports betting tax of 15%.

In filing the Internet Gaming Act, Rita may have taken inspiration across the Great Lakes from Michigan, which launched online casino gaming last month. Michigan introduced online casino gaming on Jan. 22 and online poker on Jan. 29.

Over its first 10 days, January online gaming revenue in Michigan totaled $43m.

Rita, an early proponent of legalizing sports betting in Illinois, may also be eyeing the day when online poker is allowed to be played across multiple states.

Last month a federal court rejected the Department of Justice’s broad interpretation of the Wire Act, a decision that could open up interstate online gaming in the coming years.

Rita’s bill outlines that the IGB “may enter into agreements with other jurisdictions to facilitate, administer and regulate multijurisdictional approved internet games, including, but not limited to, poker.”

Online gaming bills have faced previous resistance in other states due to uncertainty regarding the federal government’s interpretation of the Wire Act.

Only Michigan, Pennsylvania and New Jersey, Nevada and West Virginia presently authorize online casino gaming.

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