Illinois Looking at Online Poker Through Lottery
Lawmaker Introduces Proposal for State-Run System
Not long after its lottery went online, the state of Illinois is looking at other types of Internet gaming, including poker. A proposal in the form of an amendment to an existing bill was filed on Tuesday.
On Monday, Senate President John Cullerton sent a letter to Gov. Pat Quinn and other lawmakers outlining his plans. The proposed legislation creates a new Division of Internet Gaming within the Illinois Lottery.
Illinois estimates new revenues in the hundreds of millions of dollars. If enacted, the Division’s Internet gaming platform could be up and running next year.
Cullerton wrote in the letter: “The state could organize the first major poker pool, garner worldwide popularity, and position itself as a ‘hub’ for multi-state and international iGaming.”
The legislation could be heard in the Senate’s Executive Committee as early as this week.
While Illinois looks at a state-run online gaming product, Nevada is on the verge of licensing its well-established casino companies to run games. Both models would be intrastate at first.
The population of Illinois is nearly 12.9 million, while Nevada has 2.7 million residents and about four million visitors per month.
A gaming regulator said Monday that the Silver State will have real-money online poker operational in seven to 10 months.
Follow Brian Pempus on Twitter — @brianpempus
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