Illinois Reps Introduce Online Gambling Legislation

Online gambling is on the minds of two Representatives in the state of Illinois. Jonathan Carroll and Robert Rita filed legislation this week to see the state legalize iGaming. House Bill 3142, titled the Internet Gaming Act, would set up the industry, allowing land-based casinos in the state to apply for online licensing.

Details of the Bill

The two representatives took the time to create a bill that discusses the finer details of legalizing iGaming. If approved, land-based casinos would be allowed to operate up to three skins per license. They also have the option to work with online management service providers to set up the sites for them.

To get started, operators would have to pay a licensing fee of $500,000. Each year, the license would require a $250,000 fee. For a management service provider license, the cost is a bit less at $100,000. However, this license is only allowed if the operator has similar certification in another vertical. Management service providers must pay a $50,000 renewal fee every four years.

The legislation will create two additional licenses, a supplier option for content and services, and an occupation one. The content and service license will cost $75,000 and provide customer-facing operations for businesses.

For the occupation one, the fee is $1,000 and it covers individuals involved in the industry that will make changes to software or hardware of operations. It is connected to those who have access to customer information. The renewal fee for this license is just $200.

The representatives did their homework and also added in details involving linking accounts in other jurisdictions. The bill will set up the industry to provide player pooling with other states, which opens up the region for far higher revenue potential.

One downside of the bill is in-person registration for online accounts. The state did the same for its sports betting accounts, with players having to sign up at a physical location within the first 18 months of operation. For this sector, players will only need to use a physical location for the first six months of services to sign up for an online account.

Tax Considerations

A major component of any online gambling legislation is the tax percentage. For this bill, the Reps have set the gross revenue tax at 12%. The money will go straight to the State Gaming Fund. A total of $10 million will be taken from the fund and sent to the Department of Human Services to provide programs for problem gambling treatment.

Any funds that remain will be sent to the Education Assistance Fund and Illinois Pension Stabilization. Right now, the bill must move from the House Rules Committee to the full House and then the Senate before it can become a reality.

The state Gaming Board must also take 90 days to create emergency rules for the new industries before any services can begin. The regulator will have the opportunity to provide temporary licensing within a 30-day time frame of the application being filed.

Rebecca Kont
Rebecca Kont

Rebecca lives in Las Vegas and after completing her degree at Reynolds Journalism school joined the USGS team to pursue her journalism dreams.