A lawmaker in Illinois submitted a proposal that would legalize online poker and other casino games in the state.
Rep. Bob Rita filed HB 3142, which if passed would allow a casino or racetrack to offer up three platforms for online gaming. Within the legislature, it is being referred to as the Internet Gaming Act.
Rita’s proposed legislation, which was co-sponsored by Rep. Jonathan Carroll, would tax gross gaming revenue at 12%. Illinois legalized sports betting in 2019, which included online betting. The Internet Gaming Act would bring its gaming market up to speed with the state’s sports betting industry.
In a move that is bullish for its rollout of an online poker product, the bill expressly states that providers will be able to accept wagers from those that are out of state which opens the door for a compact with other online poker rooms from different states.
The only multi-state compact available currently is the one on WSOP.com between players living in Nevada, New Jersey and Delaware. But with the recent ruling on the Wire Act, more multi-state liquidity pools are likely to pop up in the future as more states legalize online gambling.
The Illinois Gaming Board “may enter into agreements with other jurisdictions to facilitate, administer and regulate multijurisdictional approved internet games, including, but not limited to, poker,” read one section of the bill.
The bill also calls for the regulators to adopt emergency rules within 90 days of the bill’s passage, which would likely make Illinois the quickest of any state to go from legislation to implementation with regards to online gambling.
If passed, Illinois would become the seventh state to legalize online poker. Nevada, New Jersey, Delaware, Pennsylvania, and Michigan all have active online poker markets. West Virginia legalized it in 2019 but have yet to launch a market.
Several reports have said that the state was waiting for the ruling on the Wire Act because the market would be too small without a shared player pool from other markets.
Illinois would charge operators a $500,000 fee for its license and a renewal fee of $250,000. All of the money collected from internet gaming would be put into the state gaming fund.
The bill has been referred to the Rules Committee. If it passes, it will head to the floor for a full vote.