Illinois Representatives Make Attempt to Legalize Online Gaming
House Bill 3142, also knowN as the Internet Gaming Act will allow Illinois’ brick-and-mortar casinos to apply for internet gaming licenses.
If they secure the licenses, the casinos will be able to operate up to three skins, or contract up to three internet management service providers and then offer online casino gaming to people of appropriate age to gamble.
The internet gaming license fee would be $500,000 with renewal charge $250,000. Meanwhile management service provider licenses would cost $100,000 but only if that business already had similar certification covering another vertical. The lasting period of the license would be four years and the cost for renewal would be $50,000.
The act is expected to create two other types of licenses. The first is a supplier license for content and service providing businesses to customer-facing operations and would cost $75,000.
When it came to management service provider category, the fee could be reduced if the provider is already licensed in Illinois to $50,000. It would last for four years and the renewal fee would be $50,000.
The last license is the occupation one, which would cover individuals capable of making critical changes to hardware or software, or which have access to customer account data.
This license would cost $1,000 for those who are not existing license holders. The cost of the renewal would be $500.
House Bill 3142 would also allow for linking or commingling accounts in other jurisdictions, meaning customers can play with other customers from different states.
The bill would also allow for the Illinois Gaming Board to enter partnerships with other territories to operate multi-jurisdictional games, such as online poker.
As for the in-person registration requirement, which was first included in the state’s sports betting regulations, the legislation does carry over it. Unlike sports betting, however, this will be in place for six, rather than 18 months.
Gross Revenue Tax
As part of the legislation, operators would have to pay 12% gross revenue tax, which goes straight into the State Gaming Fund. Meanwhile the Department of Human Services will receive $10m of this tax revenue for launching problem gaming treatment programs.
Any remaining money will be transferred to Illinois’ Pension Stabilization and Education Assistance Funds.
The bill currently sits with the House Rules Committee. If it passes, the Illinois Gaming Board would be given a 90 days period to develop emergency rules for a quick roll-out.
The regulator may also grant operators temporary licenses within 30 days of their applications being filed.
The launch could come less than two years after Illinois Governor J.B. Pritzker signed an omnibus gaming expansion bill into law, that led to the launch of sports betting in the state.
As part of the legislation, up to six new land-based facilities would be allowed to launch in the state, including a major facility in the Chicago area, as well as slot machines at racetracks and the O’Hare and Midway airports.
Source: “Illinois Lawmakers file bill to legalize online casino”, iGB North America, February 22, 2021
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