Senate bill filed in Illinois to look at potential impact of casino revenue

The Illinois State Senate has received a bill that wants experts to launch a report looking at the possible impact of online casino revenue in the state.

In particular, Senate Bill 285 wants the report to show how much the state could have received if online gaming was handed a privilege tax last February.

Online casino gaming in Illinois is currently illegal, though legislation to regulate the vertical has been filed to the Senate this year.

Looking at different revenues from different rates

Supporters of the bill want the report to look at how much online casino gaming could have made for the state under different tax rates. Namely, it wants to look at possible scenarios under rates of 12%, 15%, 16%, and 20%. Moreover, the report would be demanded to look at profits for adjusted gross receipts (AGRs) over $25 million.

The document should also, in the eyes of supporters, do the following:

“Provide additional revenue estimates where the definition of adjusted gross revenue excludes the dollar amount of non-cashable vouchers, coupons, or promotions redeemed by participants on an Internet gaming platform.”

The submitted legislation’s text also says:

“The COVID-19 pandemic made many Illinoisans wary of leaving their homes for non-essential activities and forced many casinos to close their doors for the safety of their patrons and employees.

“Internet gaming is partially immune to pandemics due to the remote nature of this type of gaming; and
states with legal and available internet gaming, such as New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and Delaware, were able to generate revenue during the Covid-19 pandemic.”

Is online casino gaming coming to Illinois?

Retail casino gaming is permitted in Illinois, and there are various venues throughout the state. Land-based sports betting is also legal, as is the online version. However, players cannot play real-money casino games on their mobile or desktop devices in the state.

This could, however, change in the near future. In February, a bill to regulate online casino games in Illinois was filed. Titled House Bill 3142, various licences would be available. Regulated land-based casinos would also be able to apply for an online licence to complement their existing operations.

Currently with the House Rules Committee, the Illinois Gaming Board would be given a 90-day window to draft emergency rules for a faster rollout if the bill was passed. The board would also be able to give operators a temporary licence within 30 days of their application filings.

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