A hearing on Wednesday in Springfield bodes well for the future of online gambling in Illinois. Support for legalizing online casinos appears to be widespread.
Illinois State House members met for the Illinois House Executive Committee on April 28, to discuss a proposed Internet Gaming Act. It seems that it’s not a matter of if, but when Illinois lawmakers will vote on the act.
Once the committee has completed its hearings and formulated suggestions, a bill is expected to be voted on this year. The state would then be able to begin the process of granting licenses to operators for online casino gaming.
Experts Forecast Significant Revenue For The State
Estimates on the revenue from Illinois licensed gaming range from $250 million to a staggering $1 billion over the first five years, when considering all economic benefits to the state. It’s felt by most experts and lawmakers that there is a long-held demand for online gambling in Illinois, and that citizens are anxious for it to be fully legalized and licensed for both sports and casino gaming.
The popularity of online casinos and sports gaming in Illinois could dwarf the success of other states, according to some experts. Jeff Kaplan, who is vice president of strategic and financial planning for Penn National Gaming, believes that revenue from online gaming in Illinois would exceed that of Michigan, which went online earlier this year.
Changes To Current Online Sports Betting Suggested
There’s also an indication that lawmakers in the state may alter current guidelines on sports gaming, including allowing college betting, lifting the ban on wagering on in-state schools, as well as the ban that restricts bettors’ ability to register for accounts remotely. Currently, gamblers must register for online sports betting in-person at a physical licensed casino location.
But according to the Chicago Tribune, there is some opposition to legalizing online (or remote) registration. “Lawmakers responded coldly to remote sign-up pitches,” the Tribune reported today.