Illinois Internet Gaming Act Bills Keep Seeing Movement But No Action

Without hearings, it’s easy to forget the Illinois Internet Gaming Act (IGA) bills exist in the House and Senate. However, the Illinois General Assembly recently saw movement on both bills. The body is scheduled to adjourn on May 24.

On April 5, HB2239 made its third trip to the House Rules Committee in two years. No hearings are scheduled there.

On April 12, SB1656 received a third reading deadline of May 3 from the Senate. Meanwhile, that Internet Gaming Act remains in the Senate Subcommittee on Gaming, Wagering, and Racing — where there are also no slated hearing dates.

Of course, it would be a big deal if Illinois online casinos became legal in the state with nearly 13 million residents. However, the sponsor of the House bill told Bonus early on that 2024 would be a year of online gambling education. House IGA bill sponsor — state Rep. Edgar Gonzalez Jr., D-Chicago — didn’t return a request for comment from Bonus on April 17.

SB1656 sponsor state Sen. Cristina Castro has never returned my requests for comment for Bonus, including one I sent the Elgin Democrat on April 17.

If either bill is passed before May 24, it may change the 2024 online casino legalization landscape. If both are approved and Gov. J.B. Pritzker signs the IGA into law, it will be the only new online casino state in 2024.

Maine’s iGaming bill was the last one standing, but it died on April 16. So, no online casino legalization efforts succeeded in 2024.

UPDATE: 05/06/2024

On May 3, the deadline the Senate set for the Internet Gaming Act to have its third reading, the body extended that due date to May 17.

What the Internet Gaming Act Bills Contain

Online sportsbooks launched in 2020. Sports betting is taxed at 15% of gross gaming revenue (GGR), resulting in $428,645,523 for state coffers.

Legal Sports Report notes that Illinois is a top sports betting revenue state.

Castro and Gonzales similarly propose online casinos do the following:

  • Operators pay a 15% tax rate
  • Each online casino licensee be allowed three skins, or online casino brands

Bonus tallies that Illinois online casinos would generate $275 million in annual tax revenue.

Meanwhile, LSR reports that Pritzker wants to raise the sportsbook operator tax rate to 35%.

Bonus and LSR are Catena Media publications.

About the Author

Heather Fletcher

Heather Fletcher

Heather Fletcher is Lead Writer at Bonus, concentrating on online casino coverage. She specializes in breaking news, legislative coverage, and gambling marketing strategy overviews. To reach Heather with a news tip, email [email protected].
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