Bad actor clauses in online gaming bills are put in place so block the immediate entry of operators who did business in the US, post UIEGA in late 2006. The debate continues as to whether or not they are a good thing and to what ends they really do serve and may be Illinois has found the correct way to deal with this.
In the wording of the initial Senate Bill 1739 there contained, “No Internet gaming license shall be granted to any applicant who has accepted wagers via the Internet in contravention of this Section or United States law in the 10 years preceding the application date.” This is similar to the clause in the Nevada bill. Sensibly, in many observers eyes it has now been amended to add “been convicted of accepting” wagers in violation of US law. This small change is a big deal and also makes things a tad clearer. The change means that Online Poker operators that continued servicing the US market post UIEGA can still be considered to be suitable for a license. The bill was introduced last week and the 555 page document lays out plans to legalize various forms of online gambling, most notably poker and it's looking likely that existing Illinois land based casinos will be treated with priority when it comes to handing out licenses, they would however need to partner up with software companies and more.
It's looking more and more likely that 888.com are out in pole position when it comes to creating the partnerships required for all of this to be a successful venture. They have already been awarded a license to operate in Nevada and has recently announced plans to launch it's very own US poker network, The All American Poker Network. It also has deals with WMS Gaming and indeed the mighty gaming brand Caesar's.