As it stands, most states that chose to examine online poker legislation in early 2018 moved to abandon it, at least until their next legislative sessions kick off next year. Not Illinois though. The state is set to be the next state to fully launch its online gaming industry, a process that will begin when they create a regulatory framework for legalized sports betting.
There are high some pretty expectations following the announcement by a lawmaker who intends to push for comprehensive gaming expansion that will encompass sports betting, online casino games, online poker as well as daily fantasy sports. The lawmaker, Representative Bob Rita who is also the head of the Illinois House Subcommittee on Gaming Sales and Other Taxes, believes that by advancing the proposed regulatory framework bring “tremendous opportunities to create revenue, jobs, and economic growth” in the state.
The lawmaker will be bringing together the two House committees in the coming weeks so as to coordinate efforts for a significant gaming expansion bill that promises a number of economic opportunity initiatives. The first of these subcommittee hearings is scheduled for August 22 with the following shortly after on October 3.
“As I have said from the beginning in working on this issue, gaming expansion presents many tremendous opportunities to create revenue, jobs and economic growth in Illinois,” Rita said in a press release. “The gaming landscape has changed significantly since I took on this issue five years ago, and I want to use these hearings to understand how those changes present new opportunities for us to put the right package together as we look to meet budget needs and provide a spark for our economy.”
The primary focus of the hearings, according to WCSJ News, will be to address the possibility of not only online sports betting but also other forms of online gambling. It is hoped that the hearings will assist the lawmakers in better understanding of the issues that need to be addressed as far as sports betting is concerned. The lawmakers will be returning to the capitol in November – shortly after the mid-term election – for the fall veto session and when this comes to an end we will have a clearer picture of the future of online poker in Illinois.
Too Early To Get Their Hopes Up?
Online poker fans residing in Illinois have quite a lot to be hopeful about. This is because the desire for sports betting and daily fantasy sports in the state is strong and since these issues are certainly going to be discussed rather explicitly during the hearings, the push for online gambling is also going to be just as prominent. The inclusion of online poker and other online casino games is being considered by very many of the state’s casino simply because they have seen the benefits similar initiatives have brought to Atlantic City, New Jersey.