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Chicago White Sox third baseman Lenyn Sosa rounds the bases as we look at efforts being taken in Illinois to make iGaming a reality.
Chicago White Sox third baseman Lenyn Sosa rounds the bases on his solo home run. Photo by: David Richard/USA TODAY Sports.

Illinois legislators have introduced in the past two bills that would make online casino gaming legal in the state. Illinois residents already have access to our best sports betting sites, but real-money online casinos are not legal in the state — yet.

Senate Bill SB1565, sponsored by State Sen. Cristina Castro, and House Bill HB2239, introduced by State Rep. Edgar Gonzalez Jr. (D-Chicago), failed to pass the committee process and eventually didn’t make it to a vote. Gonzalez is determined to change that in the upcoming year. 

The bills and next steps

Both bills are similar. They propose a 15% tax revenue from online casinos that would be licensed by the Illinois Gaming Board, with each licensee allowed to operate up to three casino skins. Both lawmakers and their supporters cited the need for new tax revenues as the driving force behind the proposed legislation.

The earliest Illinois lawmakers can consider legalizing iGaming again is January 2025, meaning that Rep. Gonzalez and/or Sen. Castro could reintroduce new bills to make online casinos legal in the state. While they have both introduced their iGaming bills multiple times, the bills never made it past the legislative committee. Our best mobile casino apps will need to wait a while longer before operating in the Prairie State.

What they're saying

Speaking to the press earlier this week, Gonzalez indicated that strong opposition from companies that have a vested interest in Video Gaming Terminals (VGTs) venues across the state have been lobbying strongly against his propositions to have Illinois join neighboring Michigan online casinos and the other six US states that currently allow iGaming. 

Despite opposition, Gonzalez is still determined to introduce and advocate iGaming bills in Illinois legislative sessions come 2025. 

“Our priority this session was the budget, and although iGaming was presented as a potential new revenue stream for the state, members of the House and Senate were wary of its implementation, especially after VGTs expressed opposition to the bill,” Gonzalez told Poker Pro on Monday.