Legal Online Casino Gambling Illinois Update: Illinois Online Casino Gambling Bill HB314 Submitted

Illinois online casino gambling bill could see the state legalize iGaming in 4 months.

Illinois online casino gambling bill HB314 was submitted by State Representative Bob Rita on February 19, 2021 and it could pave the way for legal online casino gambling in Illinois.

The bill would allow legal Illinois iGaming and legal Illinois Poker, with approved operators eligible to take bets online in the same way that Illinois currently allows legal sports betting.

Sports wagering has been legal in Illinois for over a year and the recent COVID pandemic brought sports betting online for residents of The Praire State. This has boosted the Illinois sports betting revenues hugely and the knock on effect is an increase in tax revenue for the state. In December sports betting brought in $12.3 million in tax revenue for Illinois and iGaming could increase that exponentially.

The recent figures from Michigan showing that online casino revenues dwarfed those from sports betting, due to different bonusing structures for different products, and it is thought that legal online casino gambling could help to fill a $2 billion revenue deficit in the Illinois budget, which has been caused by COVID, with a proposed tax rate of 12% on all iGaming revenues.

The plans for legal online casinos in Illinois suggest a $500,000 initial license fee, which would allow each license holding betting venue (casinos or retail properties) to offer three online slots for operators. This is similar to Pennsylvania although the cost of entry is significantly lower. There are currently 10 casinos and 3 racetracks in Illinois, which would allow for 39 licensed online casino operators.

The HB314 bill is focused on fast-tracking online casino gambling in Illinois and states that the Illinois Gaming Control Board would have just 90 days to prepare and issue licenses and operators could begin accepting bets within 30 days of receiving approval. This means that Illinois legal online casino gambling could be live just 4 months from the bill passing, should Governor Pritzker so choose.

The proposed legal betting age in Illinois is to be set at 21, which is the same as other legal online casino states such as New Jersey and Michigan.

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