Illinois is the latest US state to look towards regulating online gambling in order to raise much needed cash for the state budget. A new bill will need to be treated in the current session before it can be signed into law.
Illinois has yesterday taken the first step to introduce online gambling legislation that if approved would pave the way for legal intrastate poker in the Prairie State.
According to Reuters
, Senate President John Cullerton has presented a bill that would create an Internet gambling platform for the state's citizen as part of a strategy that is to secure much needed funds for the state budget.
Illinois is facing a monster $83 billion unfunded pension liability and has been fighting chronic budget imbalances for years.
With the new bill, it is now the hope that regulated online gambling will work to raise the needed funds by setting up a single online gambling platform, as well as opening the door for further expansions in the future, Cullerton said in a letter to legislative leaders and Governor Pat Quinn.
"At its heart, the proposal creates the division of Internet Gaming within the Illinois Lottery whereby the division's executive director can establish a single Internet gaming platform to usher in igaming as well as permitting the division to partner with existing Illinois gaming entities and other third parties at the appropriate time," Cullerton said.
The bill will need to be approved in the current session, scheduled to end on May 31, in order to qualify for pending legislation in the U.S. Senate that allows states with the proper regulatory framework to offer Internet gambling.
Illinois' aspirations to enter the online gambling market comes shortly after the state became the first in the U.S. to introduce online lottery tickets for the State Lottery in March.