The past week has been shrouded in mystery as far as the prospects a hybrid online gambling/DFS bill, and a separate standalone DFS bill. Here’s what’s happened (or not happened, as the case may be):
This is the most concrete thing that has come out of the capitol building on the issue:
— Poker Alliance (@ppapoker) June 28, 2017
Beyond that, even chatter on the ground in Illinois seems unsure of either bill’s prospects, especially with just a few days left in the special session.
The Illinois Senate already passed the iGaming/DFS bill at the end of May.
Conventional wisdom appears to be this: The iGaming/DFS bill is not going anywhere without a larger budget deal. That being said, things can change quickly as negotiations go on behind the scenes.
Illinois, of course, has been mired in a budget debacle for the past few years. Lawmakers in the state are in danger of not passing a budget for the third straight year.
At stake is Illinois becoming the first state to have its debt downgraded to “junk” level if it doesn’t pass a budget.
For both, the status quo would persist.
For online gambling, it will continue to happen in the state, albeit in an unregulated fashion, via offshore websites. The state will continue to miss out on the possibility of hundreds of millions of dollars in revenue that could help ease the budget shortfall.
Will the statehouse act on iGaming and DFS now or any time soon? That’s a question we’re going to have to wait to find out the answer to.