Thursday May 16,2013 : ILLINOIS SENATOR TRIES FOR ONLINE GAMBLING LEGALISATION AGAIN
New stand-alone bill being circulated
Illinois Senate President John Cullerton, who has previously but unsuccessfully supported the idea of legalised intrastate online gambling, is working on a new stand-alone proposal and is currently circulating a draft, Crain's Chicago Business reports.
The fresh initiative follows last month's stripping of online gambling clauses from a land gambling expansion bill.
Sen. Cullerton's office confirmed Tuesday that a proposal was being circulated, although details were sparse, with an aide to the Senator revealing that these would soon be provided.
Unconfirmed reports indicate that the Cullerton bill proposes a $20 million licensing fee, with a tax rate based on the GGR of various types of games and ranging from 7.5 percent to 20 percent.
Legalisation would cover all online gambling aspects but with reservations around sports betting, where the federal Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act presents a serious obstacle.
Illinois online gambling would be restricted to residents over the age of 21 years.
Online gambling operators would be regulated by a new body set up for the purpose within the state lottery and titled Division of Internet Gaming. State lottery chief Michael Jones would have overall control of the regulator and the enforcement of its provisions using state agencies.
The Internet gaming unit would be authorised to contract with foreign operators and government entities if required.
It is possible that the new bill could be introduced at committee stage as early as next week, insider sources suggested.