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Illinois Considering Online Poker
Illinois Considering Online Poker
When the Department of Justice issued its reinterpretation of the Wire Act in December of last year in response to the interest New York and Illinois had in selling lottery tickets via the Internet, the door was opened for Illinois to become the first state to offer any type of web-based, real-money gambling to its residents.  Illinois began selling lottery tickets over the Internet earlier this year. Now, Illinois is beginning to explore other areas of online gambling to increase its ... [continued]

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As you are well aware if you are an online poker player, the Black Friday crackdown on April 15th closed the doors to several large poker sites in the US, and it also cast some doubt on the future of online poker for American players. We aren’t sure yet when people will be getting their money back (although sites have guaranteed that it will happen), and beyond that, the plans for regulating and taxing legitimate online poker operations are unclear. But in the meantime, with intrastate poker regulation seeming like more of a realistic option than ever, we wanted to give you some insight on what might be coming for your state. Today we are checking out the future of Illinois online poker, so if you are a resident of Rockford, Chicago, Quincy, Effingham, or anywhere in between, this will hopefully help to clear some of the air around your future poker options.

It is hugely important to note that none of this is set in stone yet - our goal is just to help make the landscape more clear before anyone decides where they’re going. With that being said, online poker in Illinois might have a bit of an uphill climb for a few reasons. For starters, Illinois is a state where there has not been any significant overture in state government to regulate and tax online poker. Being the 5th largest state in the Union, it is not impossible to conceive of Illinois supporting its own intrastate poker platform, but to this point there has been no new legislature drawn up in support of Illinois online poker. That is not to say that it will not happen, but unlike other states that have at least explored the idea officially, Illinois has yet to start down that road.

Part of the reason for Illinois’ reluctance to explore online poker for its residents is likely because the gaming infrastructure as it currently stands is not very conducive to new gaming companies opening shop. Illinois has offered legalized riverboat gambling since 1990, and in that time 9 major riverboat casinos have opened. Despite taxing these companies at the highest rate of all 50 states, Illinois has still managed to issue its maximum allowable number of gaming licenses. What that means is that for Illinois online poker to become an intrastate reality, it would have to spring up from within the existing gaming companies, because there is no new license available for an outside company to come and open shop.

Online poker in Illinois may still have some hurdles to jump, but that does not mean that it can never happen. Two significant gaming companies (Harrah’s and Argosy) already have their brands physically located in Illinois, so if either company decided to use its nation-wide outlets to support intrastate poker (and states allowed it, of course) then Illinois would be positioned to benefit, particularly if the newly-formed Harrah’s/Caesar’s Entertainment group is able to facilitate regulated online poker. Whatever happens in the future, Illinois online poker players can be sure that we will stay up to date and keep you up to date about the future of online poker in the Land of Lincoln. Good Luck at the Tables!

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