Less than two weeks ago, it became clear that Illinois was not going to proceed with any effort to legalize and regulate online gambling in 2017. The time for severe consideration and debate passed. Whilst Illinois did go further with online poker and casino game legislation than most anticipated, there simply wasn’t enough time or assistance this year to create it happen.
Nevertheless, the forward movement in 2017 and indicators from a supportive legislator point to a powerful work to push on-line gambling next year as a a part of a larger gaming expansion bill.
Putting 2017 Efforts on Ice
In truth, Illinois made more progress than numerous other states that introduced on-line poker and/or casino game legislation in 2017. The main Senate bill (S.208) to legalize and regulate web gaming and daily fantasy sports passed the full Senate by a 42-10 vote in May. Its Home partner (H.479) did not find the same achievement, though. It stalled in the Home Executive Committee in June when hearings were scheduled and cancelled.
The bill did reemerge throughout the October veto session, but it never produced it from the agenda to an actual discussion during these few available days. And using the House’s decision, the bill was tabled for the year. The great news, however, is that H.479 still lives and will be available for discussion when the following legislative session starts in January.
Because it stands, the Illinois House starts a perfunctory session on January 16, at which time attendance is optional for mot legislators but committees can meet and discuss bills. All members officially return to work on January 23. Something can happen in between now and then, with lobbyists and interested parties sure to schedule meetings and initiate correspondence.
Among the sponsors of H.479, Illinois Rep. Michael Zalewski, spoke to Dustin Gouker of On-line Poker Report lately about the probabilities for an additional work in 2018. In essence, Zalewski noted the difficulties of passing any kind of gaming legislation because of the number of stakeholders with interests to consider.
Zalewski did express self-confidence that “sooner instead of later, we’ll get to a comprehensive package that individuals can assistance.” The need for such a bill emerged from input he received in the horse racing business wanting another choice for income, from the video gaming business, and from brick-and-mortar casinos that want to expand in to the online poker and casino game realm.
Regarding a timeline, Zalewski talked about that there are some “big ticket items” to deal with in January, and then lading as much as the Democratic main in Illinois will consume energy via February and the initial half of March. Consequently, he expressed hope that a broad gaming expansion bill could begin moving in the spring of 2018.
The primary reason that on-line gaming proponents may be optimistic is the good momentum that the bill garnered within the Illinois Senate in 2017 and the intention of legislators like Zalewski to pursue a bill around the House side in 2018. He has clearly been paying interest towards the problems and unique interests involved to know what obstacles he faces but also exactly where he can find compromise.
Additionally, the passing of comparable legislation in Pennsylvania inspires much more want to see it done in Illinois as well. Regardless of major disagreements on some parts of the gambling expansion bill in Pennsylvania, legislators had been ultimately able to find common ground and pass the legislation. And contemplating Illinois is intent on pursuing a variety of gambling expansions and improvements, those lawmakers can view Pennsylvania’s bill as a model and build on or about that instance. Additionally, Illinois will see Pennsylvania’s on-line gambling regulations established within the coming months and millions of dollars in licensing charges collected from operators.
Other states like New York and Michigan may also be contemplating on-line poker and/or casino game legislation in early 2018, which might add pressure to join the legion of states prepared to take the business into their own hands, produce jobs and income, and compete with other states for Americans’ gambling dollars. States like New Jersey, Nevada, and Delaware – and eventually Pennsylvania – will begin combining online poker liquidity in 2018, showing the possible for that industry.
Illinois isn’t a certainty by any means, but it looks much more like a state to watch for online gaming possibilities in 2018.