Online casino gaming in Illinois back in focus
Lawmakers in Illinois attempted to pass an online casino bill in 2021, but those efforts ultimately failed.
In fact, IL online casino gambling didn’t even really garner much attention or discussion this time around.
The next logical attempt would come in 2022, but one lawmaker believes that 2023 will be the best chance. Senator Cristina Castro will play a key role in this process, and she believes it will take some time to get more support for this form of gaming.
Castro introduced SR 303 back in 2020 as she saw the effects of COVID-19 on the commercial casino industry. This bill requested an online casino gambling study to be done, and those findings are set to be revealed on October 1.
The clear benefit of more iGaming options is another new revenue source for the state. Illinois continues to try to recover from the pandemic, and adding online casinos could provide a huge boost.
One of the biggest pieces of this study will estimate how much tax revenue the state missed out on by not having online casinos in 2020. This will be an important piece of the discussion, but it won’t convince all lawmakers to approve this new form of iGaming.
Representative Bob Rita was the lawmaker that introduced an online casino bill earlier this year, even though he isn’t a fan of the industry. There is a chance that this bill could be saved during the veto session, but it’s not likely.
Illinois sports betting has become the second-biggest sports betting market in the US, and it could become a large online casino industry as well.
Is Gambling Fatigue Setting In?
Ever since Illinois voted to pass an expanded gaming bill back in 2019, the issue of gambling has become a major topic in the state. Lawmakers have spent much of their time on issues related to gambling, and it could be causing some fatigue.
Just after the online casino study report comes out this Fall, lawmakers will be in a veto session to discuss some of the previous topics. Sports betting will be one of the biggest topics, especially as it relates to whether or not in-state college betting should be offered.
Currently, Illinois does not allow for this type of betting to take place, but there is a bill on the table to change the rule. University leaders from around Illinois are fighting back against this bill, and it has turned into a massive debate.
Senator Castro believes that lawmakers are tired of this talk around gaming, and she believes the next year could be spent in a better way. It is her belief that the state should spend time and money in 2022 educating residents on the dangers of problem gambling and discussing how to bet responsibly.
Not only does the state need to target individual bettors, but lawmakers also need to be more educated on the topic. This could take some of the discussion away from current bills and could allow lawmakers to feel better about voting for iGaming.
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