John Pappas, executive director of the Poker Players Association action group, expressed his opinion regarding the legalization of online poker in front of the Illinois Senate Executive Committee of the Illinois State Assembly Wednesday.
Pappas noted that regulated US online poker rooms, would bring great revenues of around $200 million annually to the state. Additionally, better consumer protection and tighter regulations would also be guaranteed. He added: “Prohibition will only play into the hands of the criminal element.”
Senator John Cullerton, who is in favor of the introduction of online gambling, also spoke during the hearing. He said that he is hoping for a variation of gambling expansion package to be created before the end of the spring legislative session, so that the US gambling laws would be followed.
He was pushing for this bill for nearly two years, therefore he expressed his concern that once again online gambling legalization could be quite challenging for achieving. The primary reasons given by the senator were the strong opposition from land-based casino owners and horse track operators.
Cullerton said: “There’s a lot of complications about how it affects the existing gaming industry. That seems to be where the hang up might be right now.”
He added that the revenue from legal online poker could help filling the expected $1.5 billion gap, formed by Illinois’ temporary income tax, expiring in the middle of the next fiscal year. He added: “The other states that are just getting started are bringing in some money, so that might play a role in it when we try to pass a budget.”