Online Gambling Bills Advance in IL and ND
Illinois and North Dakota have joined the list of states looking to legalize online gambling in the United States. In Illinois, a bill to legalize online poker and online casino games is being considered by the legislature. Over in North Dakota, a pair of bills that could legalize online poker and sports betting are now moving to the Senate.
Illinois iGaming Bill Filed
Illinois is joining Georgia, Florida, and other states looking to legalize online gambling in 2021. State Rep. Bob Rita has filed HB 3142, a bill that seeks to regulate online gambling in multiple forms. The bill will legalize internet gaming, which includes online poker and online casino games.
If passed, casinos and racetracks in the state will be able to offer up to three skins to players in the state. An operator’s license will cost $500,000 and $250,000 in renewal fees. Online gambling would be taxed at 12%, making it a viable option for many online gambling companies.
Under the terms of the bill, Illinois would be able to enter into interstate compacts, meaning online poker sites could join interstate networks. The only network presently existing is the WSOP.com network. However, now that PokerStars operates in multiple states, we could see a Stars network in the near future.
Should this bill pass, there are also rules in place to allow for emergency regulations to be put in place within 90 days. As such, we could see online gambling launch in the state by the Fall.
We give this bill about a 60% chance to pass. The state legalized online sports betting in 2019, so legalizing online casino games like online slots is a natural next step. Lawmakers and supporters will likely focus on the 50% contribution of taxes towards schools as a way to get this bill to pass.
North Dakota Poker and Sports Betting Bills Advance
In North Dakota, there are a pair of bills looking to legalize online poker and online sports betting. The first is House Concurrent Resolution 3012. The bill seeks to legalize online poker. Earlier this week, the bill passed the ND House of Representatives by a margin of 54-40. The bill now moves on to the Senate for a vote.
If the measure passes, a referendum vote will be held in 2022 during the annual general election. Citizens could then decide whether to legalize online poker. If citizens choose to legalize online poker, online poker sites will be taxed at 10% and most forms of poker would be legal online. Players will need to be 21 or older to play.
The other bill to pass the House was House Concurrent Resolution 3032. This measure had greater support, passing by a 70-24 margin. Sports betting has been exploding across the United States for a couple of years now, and lawmakers will likely have a harder time explaining a nay vote for sports betting than online poker.
Of the two measures, we would almost guarantee sports betting to pass if the measure makes it to a ballot. The casual sports bettor will step up to give themselves more options to vote on sports outside of local office pools.
We can’t make the same prediction for online poker. North Dakota doesn’t exactly scream online poker hub. While there are certainly those in the state that will support online poker, the lack of regulation of online slots or other online casino games will make the measure less appealing to the casual gambler. Online poker is a very niche platform, and it may be hard to find the necessary support, even if you use the customary “new jobs” angle.