Illinois State Representative Supports legalizing Online Casinos & Slots
Kansas is the latest sports betting destination to join the fold of legalized sports betting across the United States. The new regulation would allow all of the state’s four major gambling establishments to open a new retail sportsbook inside their facilities, and team up with at least three online services each. The state of Native American gambling tribes also may renegotiate their existing tribal compacts to allow sports betting on sports games. All of this potentially opens up a new arena for sports betting in Kansas.
The proposal would take a major step forward toward normalizing the sports betting industry in Kansas. Lawmakers have previously discussed the idea of legalized sports betting at the legislative hearing stage, but this new bill promises to be more comprehensive than any of those previous attempts. The original bill, which died in committee, contained language that allowed gambling at all State House and State Senate buildings. A final version of the original bill included language that limited the games to non-institutionalized wagering on games funded by state funds. The current bill includes language from both chambers that leaves the final decision up to the State House, where it is expected that more comprehensive language will be added.
One of the most optimistic elements of the final bill is that it encourages innovation. In the past, there were few if any changes to the laws governing sports betting. The original House and Senate bills would have left the entire system much the same as it was. According to the officials, however, they hope to improve things by “demystifying” the sports betting world and making it easier for consumers to understand how betting works. This may mean that the final bill will have a few different approaches, rather than all of them being the same as it currently stands. There is also hope that some aspects of the bill will be included in a future update to the federal law.
While lawmakers anticipate legalized sports betting to be popular, they acknowledge that it will take some time for the bill to become law. There are currently three different versions of the bill, but only one has been approved by both houses of Congress. The only other bill currently pending in Congress would regulate online gambling, but that plan is not expected to come to the floor for a vote anytime soon.
Some politicians are worried that legalizing sports betting will lead to people using their illegal gambling techniques to bet illegally online. They fear that organized crime will take over the sport betting industry and make it impossible for Congress to protect the interests of ordinary citizens. If legalized sports betting is legalized, it is possible that organized crime could set up shop right in the heart of the Strip. The legislation faces a likely vote in the House as early as Tuesday. If it passes the Senate, it will then proceed to the White House for further consideration. In the meantime, the Illinois House is debating another bill that would legalize horse racing betting.
The second proposed piece of legislation would regulate all sports betting activities in the state. This piece of legislation would not only federally legalize sports betting, but it would also create regulations for sports betting conducted on local courts. Lawmakers expect this piece of legislation to face an uphill battle in the Illinois House. One possible reason the legislature may not pass the current bill in the timeframe is that it is opposed by the House speaker and majority leader. State Senator Daniel Bissinger (D-IL) believes that the proposal is doomed to fail because it does not go far enough. He plans to introduce a bill next year that would create an independent board to oversee all licensed gaming establishments.
The fourth proposed piece of legislation would allow local governments to set their own tax rates. Currently, cities and municipalities cannot impose higher local taxes on sports betting. Rep. Bissinger hopes that the House would pass his bill introduced last month that would allow cities and municipalities to tax online sports betting sites and impose local taxes on people who do bet on sports betting over the internet. He estimates that the new tax structure could generate $1.5 million a year for cities.
Three members of Congress, all from Illinois, are sponsoring the latest effort to legalize sports betting in the country. Illinois Representatives Tammy Cook (D-IL), Robert Dolderman (D-IL), and Danny K. Williams (D-IL) have proposed the Online Casinos and Slot Machines Fairness Act. The bill has yet to be voted out of committee. If passed into law, Cook and Dolderman will join Representative Barney Frank (D-PA) and Senator John McCain (R-AZ) as the only Congressional representatives to co-introduce a bill to legalize casino gambling in the United States.