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The House Executive Committee will convene on Tuesday.
There will be testimony at the hearing, although we don’t know how much:
Regardless, the bill being considered on Tuesday is a positive development, as it could have been mothballed quite easily. Instead, the House has decided to take it up during its special session.
The state legislature adjourned at the end of May. But lawmakers had failed to pass a budget yet again after a couple of years of futility on that front. That led to Gov. Bruce Rauner convening a special session of the statehouse.
Lawmakers returned to the capital of Springfield last week, although little public momentum toward a budget deal has happened. The session is only scheduled to last 10 days, so the bill’s fate should be known this week.
One piece of the puzzle in potential negotiations in the state appears to be iGaming, which has a chance to provide hundreds of millions in tax revenue for the state in the coming years.
While the bill could win approval in committee, it’s not clear if House Speaker Mike Madigan or Rauner is on board. Both would be crucial to the legislation’s prospects.
Of course, divining what is happening behind the scenes in any legislature — Illinois especially — is difficult at best. But things could be clearer after Tuesday’s hearing.
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Illinois hadn’t been talking about online gambling at all in 2017, nor had it tackled the subject much previously.
But a late effort cropped up at the end of the regular session last month, in what appears to be an effort to appease opponents of daily fantasy sports regulation in the state. The bill would legalize DFS, which some gaming interests in the state oppose, while offering the carrot of legalized iGaming.
That effort gained traction quickly, with the Senate approving it 42-10. The bill moved to the House, but not in time for it be considered before adjournment.
That gets us to Tuesday’s hearing, when the fate of iGaming in Illinois could be determined.