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After months and months of following the legalisation of online gambling in Pennsylvania story, we finally got a big breakthrough last week when the Keystone State’s Senate passed HB 271. Despite being forced through with a ridiculously high tax rate, it was at least a step in the right direction after years of dilly-dallying.
What’s more, we had a few additional US online gambling regulation updates to bring to your attention, as online poker in New York took a step closer while New Jersey’s internet gambling revenue was driven by quality online casino activity.
However, we had no idea that Illinois was preparing any such legislation which would see iGaming regulated and released to the general public, but we’re delighted to say that this possibility is well and truly on the cards!
Originally, HB 479 in Illinois only looked to legalise daily fantasy sports (DFS).
This is a hugely popular gambling avenue in the US, but land-based casinos were apparently concerned about how its success may eat into their earnings. Enter online gaming!
In a bid to counter any issues that may arise, the Senate included online casino entertainment within HB 479 to appease operators somewhat – with the vote sailing through at 42-10.
It’s a shock result mainly due to Illinois’ previous attitude towards iGaming, with any bills in the past often lacking much conviction before subsequently being dismissed.
In a similar situation to Pennsylvania, many observers and experts have suggested that legalising online casino in Illinois would be a viable remedy to close the predicted hole in the state’s finances.
To boost Illinois’ coffers, casinos who successfully apply for a license to operate online would submit $10million as a deposit for future tax commitments, with the tax rate set at a maximum of 15% – a far cry from Pennsylvania’s attitude.
The inclusion of the Internet Gaming Act within HB 479 would only allow for licenses to be given to current operators in the region, but online poker is also an option.
Furthermore, online casinos which grossed under $100million of gaming revenue would only be subjected to 10% – a rate that gives the market the best possible chance of reaching its potential.
Unfortunately, while HB 479 has passed through the Senate with ease, it’s unknown at this point what the House’s thinking is – which is the next stage of discussion.
Illinois’ speaker has demonstrated a cautious approach to online gaming in the past, but perhaps the bill has been secretly drumming up support in the background.
While we can speculate all we like at this moment, we should have a clearer picture of Illinois’ intentions on 8th June.
This is when the House will reconvene after a week’s break, so keep your eyes peeled for any new updates on Netent Casino!