John Cullerton, President of the Illinois Senate since 2009, has proposed that the state becomes an internet gambling hub in a letter to fellow legislative leaders on Tuesday. In it, he suggests that by organizing a major online poker site, Illinois could gain worldwide popularity and bolster finances in the future.
There are only two weeks remaining until the scheduled adjournment on May 31st, and Cullerton clearly wants to push the proposed legislation through while the lawmakers are still in session. Getting in to pass the idea before many of the other States get in on the online poker act could prove to be a great way for Illinois to make a substantial amount of extra money.
“Certain forms of iGaming, especially poker, rely on large pools of potential players, and states that move swiftly to design a system that captures the widest audience of participants will have an advantage in terms of long-range success” Democrat representative Cullerton wrote.
The question is, will the state benefit from being among the first to pass a law sanctioning internet gambling, or is it too risky? Cullerton’s enthusiasm does not seem to strike a chord with Patty Schuh, a Senate Republican spokeswoman, who noted that allowing “internet poker to be sanctioned by the state of Illinois [would raise] a whole lot of questions that need to be answered. Being first isn’t necessarily a good thing.”
However, it’s worth remembering that a whole host of countries already allow internet gambling, and everything from online bingo to fast poker from sites like iGame provide large amounts of revenue in countries around the world, including the United Kingdom.
Though internet poker is only legal in some States, a large number of operators deal exclusively in US Dollars. It makes perfect sense for other States to want to get in on the action, especially when it becomes apparent how lucrative the online gambling industry can be. Some companies are even floated on the Stock Exchange in the United Kingdom.
The State of Illinois only started offering lottery ticket sales online in March, so a move into the online poker industry could represent a major step forward, allowing for new streams of revenue to come in at what can only be described as a difficult economic time, especially in the USA. After all, the gambling industry is going from strength to strength all across the globe.