Illinois lawmakers are set to push forward the regulation and legalisation of online gambling in upcoming meetings.
State Representative Bob Rita announced two hearings in the state to discuss the practice which will be held on August 22 and October 2 in the state’s capital of Springfield.
Rita was a primary sponsor behind 2017’s State Senate Bill SB 0007, which would have amended the Illinois Horse Racing Act of 1975 and Riverboat Gambling Act by allowing casinos to be established around the state.
While the bill was approved in May 2017, it died soon after as no further action was taken. A second bill, relating to fantasy sports, also died last year but may be discussed during the scheduled meetings.
Bob Rita, a supporter of online gambling, has stated that the practice could contribute up to $700 million to the state.
In a press release, he said: “As I have said from the beginning in working on this issue, gaming expansion presents many tremendous opportunities to create revenue, jobs and economic growth in Illinois.
“The gaming landscape has changed significantly since I took on this issue five years ago, and I want to use these hearings to understand how those changes present new opportunities for us to put the right package together as we look to meet budget needs and provide a spark for our economy.”
Casinos in Illinois can only operate on riverboats under the Riverboat Gambling Act of 1990, meanwhile sports betting and online casinos remain illegal in the state.