The hope for the state of Illinois to finally see online gambling and daily fantasy sports legislation within the current legislative session is slowly dying. The proposed piece of legislation is trying to gain support as it is forced to deal with certain problems related to the state budget’s gaps.
The worst part is that there has not been much information on the case, with almost no information about the standalone Daily Fantasy Sports (DFS) Bill and the hybrid online gambling/DFS bill. After the local legislature made another meeting to once again discuss the matters related to online gambling within the state, but since then, there has not been much information about the prospects of the pieces of iGaming legislation.
A hearing that has to be held in the Illinois’ House Executive Committee to consider online gambling legislation on Saturday, was moved to Tuesday, which on its turn was cancelled for Wednesday. The hearing was finally held on Wednesday, but no actual action was taken by the Executive Committee on either the hybrid online gambling and daily fantasy sports bill H 479, or the standalone DFS bill S 1531. The DFS bill was only mentioned over the Executive Committee hearing, but there is no vote upon it.
Currently, there are two proposed House amendments for the DFS bill, and one of them would actually come into effect in case that H 479 is passed in the state.
The lack of any actions on both the iGaming and the DFS bill leave little to imagination as far as the fate of online gambling within the current legislative session is concerned. The online casino, poker and DFS legislation has already gained the support of the local state senate, which approved the bill at the end of May. Still, similar vote was needed to be pulled by the Illinois House of Representatives, and of course, the piece of legislation would need the signature of Governor Bruce Rauner in order to become law.
Considering the fact that local legislature has only until Friday to deliver a budget for the upcoming fiscal year, online gambling issues seem to be pushed aside from state’s legislature focus, despite the fact that Governor Rauner has warned legislators that their session would be extended until they are able to provide actual solutions.
The state has been facing financial difficulties lately, not to mention the fact that the Illinois Lottery announced it could stop offering two lottery games due to a budget impasse. As Casino Guardian has previously reported, Illinois lottery players could be stripped of the opportunity to purchase Mega Millions or Powerball tickets soon. The local legislature has been facing difficulties to deliver a balanced budget, and the above-mentioned lottery games were to become unavailable unless the budged impasse is resolved. This, however, must happen until June 30th.
Overcoming the budged deadlock is also a necessary condition for an eventual piece of iGaming and/or DFS piece of legislation to be passed. Unfortunately, the state of Illinois has been stuck in the same budget issues over the past few years and now, the state lawmakers could not manage and pass a budget for the third straight year.