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That possibility looms as vehicles for legalization of both stirred to life ahead of a veto session that begins next week.
When last Illinois was in session, the state legislature had several bills in the pipeline that might have legalized DFS and/or online casinos and poker. After the Senate surprisingly passed a bill with both in it in May, momentum stalled in the House.
The state was in the midst of trying to balance its budget at that time, and consternation over the DFS/gaming bill resulted in it being put to the side.
But there’s a sense that the upcoming veto session offers the possibility of something on this front being passed.
But the window is admittedly short. The legislature is scheduled to be in session Oct. 24-26 and Nov. 7-9. The session is designed, as its name implies, for the legislature to assess bills vetoed by the governor, and possibly override those vetoes.
But there is wiggle room to pass other legislation, as well. And it appears DFS and online gambling might get a look in the coming weeks.
Sources tell Online Poker Report that there are three bills to watch:
The latter two bills would still have to be loaded up with DFS and/or iGaming provisions, similar to what’s in H 479. The bill already passed by the Senate would in theory have the quickest path to passage, as it just needs to get out of committee and through a vote of the full House, and then onto the governor’s desk.
However, political concerns may put one of the other bills in play.
The state could realize tens of millions of dollars in tax revenue from legalization of online casinos.
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In the spring, it appeared that iGaming and DFS would have to pass in tandem, because of lobbying from parts of the state’s existing land-based gaming industry. It appears likely that calculus is still in play, not a given.
Regardless, the end of October and start of November provide a glimmer of hope for legalizing both DFS and online gambling.