Illinois Could Move Ahead with Online Poker Legalization in 2024
- llinois could legalize online poker next year via two Bills
- Both Bills still have until January 2025 to obtain approval
- The Bills would allow Illinois to join multi-state poker compacts
Illinois could become the newest US state to launch regulated online poker.
Two iGaming Bills put forward earlier this year seeking to legalize online poker and online poker casino gaming.
The Bills are still up for consideration in the General Assembly and could win approval from lawmakers before the January 2025 deadline. Both Bills contain provisions for multi-jurisdictional gaming, allowing Illinois to join interstate poker agreements.
Online Poker Legalization Possible in 2024
HB 2239 and HB 2320 are two separate Bills introduced by Rep. Edgar Gonzalez Jr. (D-Chicago) and Rep. Jonathan Carroll (D-Northbrook) respectively back in February. Both legislators share a common goal of legalizing online poker in the state and allowing it to participate in shared liquidity compacts, such as the Multi-State Internet Gaming Agreement (MSIGA).
The two Bills propose different tax rates though – HB 2239 recommends an online poker tax rate of 15%, with licensing fee set at $250,000. HB 2320 on the other hand calls for a lower tax rate of 12%, but proposes a higher licensing fee of $500,000.
The proposed tax rates are still lower than those currently in place in three of the four states that are part of the MSIGA. Delaware is implementing the highest rate at 62.5%, followed by Michigan (20% to 28%) and New Jersey (17.5%). In Nevada, online poker operators are paying a much lower tax rate of 6.75%.
The two Bills are still very much alive as the current legislative session in Illinois will end in January 2025. A lot can happen next year, with either or both legislation having the potential to pass the state’s legislature. If that happens, Illinois, with a population of 12.6 million people, would become home to the second-largest online poker market in the US, just behind Pennsylvania.
Illinois Joining MSIGA would Revolutionize US Online Poker
The future of online poker in Illinois and in the US as a whole would become even brighter if the state eventually decides to join MSIGA. With the addition of Illinois, the compact would cover about 36 million people. This would entice network operators currently active in the US regulated online poker market – PokerStars, WSOP/888, and BetMGM – to launch in the state and grow their player pools.
Another exciting possibility is the US debut of Run It Once (RIO), the online poker site founded by three-time WSOP bracelet winner Phil Galfond. RIO’s parent company Rush Street Interactive already indicated a possible online poker launch in 2024 and Illinois would be a very attractive prospect.