Illinois Lawmakers put forward Online Casino Bill
Online casino gaming could be heading to the Prairie State as new legislation is introduced in Illinois
Online iGaming is being pushed by two representatives in the state of Illinois. Robert Rita and Jonathan Carroll have this week filed legislation that would see Illinois legalize online casino gaming. House Bill 3142, which has been filed under the name Internet Gaming Act, would create the industry and give land-based casinos the opportunity across Illinois to apply for online licensing. This comes following the legalizing of Illinois online sports betting last year.
Breaking Down the Bill
The two representatives have spent time devising a bill that discusses the finer details of legalizing iGaming. If it receives approval, physical casinos would be eligible to operate up to three skins per license. Additionally, they would also have the option to work in conjunction with online management service providers to set up the sites for them.
To begin with, operators would be required to pay a licensing fee of $500,000. Following that, there would also be an annual license fee required of $250,000. The management service provider license is slightly smaller at $100,000. However, this license is only permitted if the operator has similar certification in another vertical. Management service providers must also pay a $50,000 renewal fee every four years.
The legislation would see the introduction of two additional licenses, an occupation one and a supplier option for content and services. The fee for the occupation license is $1,000 and covers people involved in the industry that will make significant changes to the software or hardware of operations. This applies to individuals who have access to customer information. The license renewal fee for this license is $200.
The content and service license is much more costly at $75,000 and provides customer-facing operations for businesses.
Both representatives have carried out a lot of background research and have included details involving linking accounts in other jurisdictions. The bill would create an iGaming market that would provide player pooling with other states. Consequently, this opens up the region to potentially earning a lot more revenue.
One of the negatives of the bill is the in-person registration requirement for online accounts. The state initially had this in place for its sports betting accounts, with players required to register at a physical location within the first 18 months of the market being in operation. However, for online casino gaming, players will only need to register in-person for the first six months of services to sign up for an online account.
One of the most significant aspects of any online gambling legislation is the tax percentage. Regarding this bill, the representatives have set the gross revenue tax at 12%. All money generated will go straight to the State Gaming Fund. Up to $10 million will be taken from the fund and transferred to the Department of Human Services in order to assist with programs for problem gambling treatment.
Any remaining funds will be sent to the Education Assistance Fund and Illinois Pension Stabilization. Currently, the bill’s next steps are to move from the House Rules Committee to the full House. The final step is to go to the Senate before legal iGaming in Illinois can become a reality. The state Gaming Board must then take 90 days to draft emergency rules for the new markets before any sites can launch.
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