State of Illinois to become online gambling hub?

State of IllinoisThe Illinois Senate President, John Cullerton, recently introduced an amended online gambling bill HB 4148. This proposed legislation would allow interstate online gaming if this conformed to future federal law. There is pressure on to have the amended bill passed before the end of May since Congress is to consider proposed legislation to allow states to engage in online gaming but only states with a framework in place would be allowed to do so. Since the states of California, Massachusetts and New Jersey are also working on such frameworks Senator Cullerton wants Illinois to be the first state ready to offer interstate online gambling.In March Illinois became the first state to sell lottery tickets on the internet after the United States Department of Justice issued an opinion on the Wire Act of 1961 which permitted intrastate online gaming that does not involve sports betting. Senator Cullerton’s proposed legislation would set up a Division of Internet Gaming within the Illinois Lottery. It would have its own director and staff and its income would be provided by the state and the revenue from internet gambling. Cullerton has also said that income from online gambling would be hundreds of millions of dollars and that the state could benefit from this rather than the illegal online gaming operators which are used by some Illinois online gamblers.

The proposed Division of Internet Gaming would concern itself with promoting online gaming, setting up an international gaming platform, accepting bets and paying out winnings, checking that players are legally permitted to gamble and offering interstate online gaming such as poker. His hope is to see Illinois become “a ‘hub’ for multi state and international igaming”.

There is opposition to Senator Cullerton’s proposed legislation by groups which claim that by making poker and casino games available 24 hours a day on computers, mobile phones and tablets that people can play anywhere and that this will cause an increase in gambling addiction. Another concern is that if Illinois were to become a centre for interstate online gaming how would fraud, under age gambling and identity theft be prevented? However senator Cullerton claims that the proposed legislation would allow only those over 21 to gamble online while physically present in the state and would allow players to set their own time and spending limits online.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *