A more serious step was taken by the state of Illinois in 2017 at online gambling than in past years. There were surprising moments when the subject became a part of serious discussions, but it stalled ultimately without much progress. Now, when the New Year has begun, what is the status?
Have a look at what happened in the year 2017 and why the fate of online gambling is such an uncertainty in the New Year.
• 2017 the Roller Coaster Action
Bills were introduced in both the Senate and House in the year 2017 to regulate and legalize the online poker and casino games. The Senate bill moved quickly and cleared the full Senate in the month of May by a vote of 42-10. However, the companion bill on the House side failed to even make it through the House Executive Committee (HEC) in the month of June. Then, hearings were scheduled, but got cancelled.
In the month of October, when it was brought up for possible discussions during the veto session, there was some hope prevailed that the bill could pass, however, it didn’t make it onto the final agenda for debate. And thus, the bill died.
• Bills on the table
It looks like H.479 is still a practicable bill after being returned to the House Rules Committee (HRC) last year in the month of in September. It is primary champion and sponsor, at that time the Illinois State Representative Michael Zalewski, state that there were going to be difficult in pushing the bill in the year 2018, but realized that there would be an opportunity in the spring after “big ticket items” were handled.
According to the State Journal-Register, Zalewski is confident now and he says, “I believe there are enough critical opportunity and mass in the General Assembly to get something done.”
One of the reasons for the legislature to move this year, according to Zalewski, is the recent realization of legislators that these kinds of games and technology will be needed to compete with other states for gambling revenue. With the legalization of online gambling in Pennsylvania late last year to add to thriving markets like New Jersey, it is becoming imperative that Illinois must do the same.