The Debate Around Online Gambling Continues in Illinois

It's all a bit of a mixed bag at the moment in Illinois as far as the legalization of online gambling is concerned. Illinois Governor Pat Quinn is in favor of some types of gambling, but it seems, not Online Poker. His firm stance on the issue was made clear earlier this month when a much broader gambling expansion bill was approved by an Illinois senate committee, a bill that included the legalization and regulation of online poker. Gov Quinn also made his thoughts crystal clear on the bill in general saying that he may be in favor of if, if it addresses the issue of corruption. However, it's his words on online gambling in general that are interesting and by saying that the idea is just too new, does not bode well. He said, “I think that’s problematic, it’s a brand new idea and there hasn't been much review on that at all. Anytime you have something brand new it shouldn't just be thrown into a bill at the last minute.” This isn't the first time talk of online gaming in Illinois has fallen short of the mark (should that happen here) as last year a bill that would have legalized online poker never even made it to the Governor's desk.

Blow to Liquidity

Should the bill be stopped in its tracks then this could and most likely would be a huge blow to the issue, and indeed the problem of liquidity in US online poker. Illinois has by far the largest population of states that have legalized online gaming to date, being way ahead of Nevada, New Jersey and Delaware. With 13 million residents it would prove invaluable when state compacts are being considered, as Illinois have more potential players than the other three states combined. Lawmakers are indeed trying to sway Quinn's decision and they have put a block on all campaign contributions from the gambling industry but this alone may not change the Governor's thoughts. Should online poker come into being in the state however, with the softened bad actor clause meaning that all companies that have not been convicted with an offence in contradiction to US law being able to offer their services in the state, this paves the way for the giants of PokerStars and Full Tilt. The key word here is convicted, and PokerStars settled all criminal charges and of course now own Full Tilt. Illinois, should it legalize online poker and form state compacts, would make a huge difference to the scene as it is at the moment, however we are simply going to have to wait and see whether or not Governor Quinn can be swayed.