Illinois Online Casino Chances Still in Limbo

The prospect of online casinos being available in Illinois and its citizens is still seemingly far in the horizon, as the state’s legislative session has not put the house bill on its agenda.

During the recent hearing held by the Illinois House Gaming Committee, HB2239, which has been on the slate of the House Rules Committee since it was moved to this governing body last April 2024, was not included in its proceedings.

According to Illinois Rep. Dan Didech, who currently is the chair of the Illinois House Gaming Committee, iGaming in the Prairie State has not garnered much support or backing this year. Rep. Didech also noted that one of the primary reasons why HB2239 was not prioritized during the session was due to the state’s budgetary status and needs have not necessitated discussions for the state to look into new potential revenue streams,

“For a variety of reasons, the state budget has been on much more stable footing the last few years and we expect that to continue going forward. So we’re not seeing fiscal pressures to generate those sorts of revenues,” Didech noted.

HB2239 was filed by Rep. Edgar Gonzalez Jr. last February 2024. In the event that the bill is passed, it would create the Internet Gaming Act. This would allow for three skins per internet gaming license and a 15% tax on internet gaming. It was re-referred to the Rules Committee on April 5.

That said, the House of Representatives in Illinois still have around three weeks left before the legislative sessions end on May 24, 2024.

What Are the Developments in Online Casino Laws in Illinois?

HB2239 is not the only online casino-related bill that is still in the running for discussion in Illinois. In the Senate, Sen. Cristina Castro’s SB1656 faced a third-reading deadline on May 3, but the reading fell through. But Castro noted that missing the deadline wouldn’t necessarily mean the bill is dead. Online casino language could still become part of budget negotiations,

“We are still in the early stages of the legislative session with weeks of budget negotiations and passing legislation still on the horizon. My colleagues and I will continue discussing numerous revenue-generating proposals in the coming weeks, including internet gaming,” Castro stated.

SB1656 is still sitting in the Senate Subcommittee on Gaming, Wagering, and Racing with no scheduled hearing date.

Also known as The Internet Gaming Act, SB1656 was not the first bill introduced to the Senate. Back in February 2021, State Rep. Bob Rita introduced an Internet Gaming Act, but further developments for this bill did not garner much steam.

Moreover, no bills to legalize online casinos came up in the 2022 legislative session. State Rep. Michael Zalewski previously said he didn’t expect to see any major online casino developments during that year’s legislative session. However, Zalewski noted that come 2023, it could be a different story.

Creation of Problem Gambling Task Force Bill

Earlier in the session Didech introduced legislation to create a problem gambling task force. Known as House Bill 5307, the bill is proposed to “provide recommendations to the General Assembly on how the State should continue to meet its responsibility to assist those who suffer from a gambling problem or disorder.”

Didech stated  that the gambling expansion has been a success for Illinois, but it’s the legislators and lawmakers’ responsibility to be aware of the effects of that legislation [HB5307] and what should be done to mitigate the effects of problem gambling within the state.

Which US States have Legalized Online Casinos?

Currently, the states that have legalized online casinos are New Jersey, Delaware, Connecticut, Michigan, West Virginia, Pennsylvania, and most recently, Rhode Island.

In technical terms, online casinos are still illegal in Illinois. While both bills are still waiting for their respective legislative sessions, Illinois citizens who want to play online casino games can resort to sweepstakes and social casinos. 

Last Updated on by jonathan r

Online Casino Games
© Copyright 2024 Online Casino Games