Illinois Governor Pat Quinn Not Interested in Legalizing Online Poker
It’s no secret that the online gambling industry is one of great import to the United States, especially where tax dollars are concerned. The Department of Justice made that clear when it redefined its stance on the issue a few years back, giving individual states the right to pass their own laws, for or against online gambling. Delaware was the first to jump on the band wagon, followed quickly by Nevada and eventually New Jersey. Other states are working on similar legislation, but despite efforts, it doesn’t look like Illinois will be joining the circle of legalization anytime soon.
Two weeks ago, it was reported that public officials were making a third attempt to land a bill with online gambling literature on the desk of Governor Pat Quinn. Last year, when the first attempt was made, the online gambling portion of the bill was abolished long before it hit the governor’s desk. A second attempt was made in March of this year, and on that occasion, the online gambling portion of the proposed statute did make its way to Quinn, but he staunchly refused to even consider it, personally stripping the internet gaming segment of the bill.
The latest bill met a parallel fate to the original attempt, being removed from the proposition before Quinn could get his hands on it. It is obvious that lawmakers in Illinois do not believe that Gov. Quinn will show interest in legalizing any form of online gambling; at least not the way it is currently being suggested.
The one time that Quinn was handed a proposition that included online gambling literature, he called it “problematic”. He stated that throwing a brand new idea into a bill at the last minute was no way to incorporate internet gambling into the state’s taxable regime. However, Illinois is suffering from a severe issue of underfunded pensions, and law makers have challenged the governor to schedule a special forum to discuss possible solutions. Ostensibly, the Land of Lincoln will have to come up with more tax dollars. What better way than to tax online gambling; an activity that is occurring within the state already, but lacks the legal framework to generate revenue for the state.
Speculations are coming in that the next step may be to devise a standalone bill dealing with the issue of online gambling. Perhaps without the cloudy definitions of adjacent issues veiling the primary intent of the bill, public officials will be able to settle upon a more liquidating arrangement, wherein the governor, law makers and tax payers can all agree on an amicable solution.
In the end, the ball falls back into the court of legislative script writers. The only thing we can say with any probable assurity is that Illinois won’t be catching up with Nevada anytime soon. The Silver States is currently the first, and only, US state to launch an active, real money gambling site. UltimatePoker was launched on April 31, 2013, by the Station Casinos group, in association with the UFC (Ultimate Fighting Championship), and already dealt its millionth hand in just over two weeks of action.