It appears that after all Illinois may not be one of those US states where American internet casinos will spring up anytime soon. Latest developments indicate that lawmakers may have to scrap their plans to include online gambling into a proposed bill on gambling expansion in the state of Illinois.
Although Gov. Pat Quinn has been cautiously supportive of the efforts in general, he is among those who view the concept of online gambling with a degree of suspicion.
“I think that’s problematic. It’s a brand new idea and there hasn’t been much review on that at all. Anytime you have something brand new it shouldn’t just be thrown into a bill at the last minute,” opined the governor to the media recently.
Throwing the possibility of legal online gambling out of the bill would of course be bad news for those Illinoisans who are eager to wager their money in American poker rooms. On top of that, however, such a move also threatens to impede the practical implementation of online legalization efforts by Delaware, Nevada and New Jersey by limiting the prospects for a larger, interstate player pool.
Illinois has 13 million inhabitants, which roughly equals the combined population size of the other three states. It is easy to see why those states are also hoping for a positive decision in Illinois.
On the other hand, a removal of the online part from the Illinois gambling bill may spur current and future “legalization” states to legislate the possibility of international compacts into their respective laws, in order to prevent disinterest stemming from limited player liquidity.
At the same time it’s important to keep in mind that while American gambling laws are permissive of interstate compacts, the legal status of their international equivalents is questioned by some experts as an activity, which may not be covered by states’ rights.
As it stands now, the outcome in Illinois can not be predicted with certainty, but it is quite possible that online gambling legalization will be sacrificed for the time being.