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Desire For Online Casino Gambling Delays Illinois Daily Fantasy Sports Bill: Report

Some Casinos Want Far-Reaching Approval Of I-Gambling


A piece of legislation backed by DraftKings and FanDuel that could set up fantasy sports operations at Illinois commercial casinos has been put on hold, despite passing the Illinois Senate last week by a 32-22 vote.

According to a report from the Daily Herald, the legislation has faced opposition from some casinos in the state, who actually want other forms of online gambling legalized as well. They want more than just DFS, so the bill is too narrow in their eyes.

“With any bills that come anywhere close to gaming, everybody has their parochial interests that they pile on,” state Sen. Kwame Raoul, one of regulated DFS’ main backers, told the Daily Herald.

The state indicated last year that it was interested in regulating DFS. The legislation called for players to be at least 21 years old, and it would impose a 5-30 percent tax on revenue.

In 2014, Illinois held a hearing on online poker. According to a 2013 study from H2Gambling Capital, the Illinois online casino gambling market could be worth more than $700 million annually, but only if it shares liquidity with other states as well.

Just Nevada, New Jersey and Delaware currently have online casino gambling, but California, Michigan and Pennsylvania are all seriously considering the games.

“Today, Illinois and a handful of other states offer their lotteries over the Internet,” the Poker Players Alliance said at the 2014 Illinois hearing. “And of course, for many years, Illinois horse bettors have been able to wager through the Internet. Establishing a regulatory regime for online poker and online gaming in Illinois will result in an open and competitive licensed market which would be attractive to both local riverboat licensees and worldwide operators.”

Illinois once flirted with a plan to let its lottery oversee online casino gambling, but the most recent discussions were aimed at letting the commercial casino industry there offer the games.

The Illinois DFS bill won’t likely be moving to the House for consideration anytime soon.

According to testimony at a Congressional hearing this month, the North American fantasy sports market is worth $26 billion annually, with DFS approaching $2 billion of that figure.

If Illinois ends up regulating DFS, it would become just the fifth state to do so. Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan said late last year that DFS is currently illegal gambling under state law.