July 8, 2024 3 min read


Fact-checked by Velimir Velichkov

Online Gambling Gains Momentum, Possibly Coming to Illinois in 2025

State Rep. Edgar Gonzalez Jr. wants to see iGaming reach Illinois in 2025, as he believes the momentum is in the state’s favor in the next legislative session

While Illinois residents can already enjoy sports betting, they will have to wait until at least 2025 to see their dream of legally accessing real money online casinos turn into reality. State Rep. Edgar Gonzalez Jr. is determined to make that happen. 

At the end of May, when Illinois’ legislative session came to a close, the two iGaming bills aimed at legalizing online casinos hit another obstacle

Namely, State Rep. Gonzalez Jr.’s House Bill 2239, and State Sen. Cristina Castro‘s Senate Bill 1565, failed to advance out of the committee stage and make it to a vote, and postponed any movement until the start of next year, when the next legislative session will begin. 

The two proposals suggested a 15% revenue tax for operators.

“The Momentum Is in Our Favor”

During an exclusive interview for PRO, Rep. Edgar Gonzalez Jr. (D-Chicago) explained that opposition from video gaming terminals (VGTs) contributed to the sinking of his iGaming expansion bill aimed at online casinos in 2024

The House lawmaker wants to give it another shot with a new bill next year.

Gonzaler Jr., whose efforts to extend iGaming in the Prairie State have been most fruitful so far, believes “the momentum” is in their favor, adding he would “definitely look forward to working with iGaming advocates to continue pursuing this legislation next year.”

The lawmaker explained that both he and other supporters part of the General Assembly were already gearing up for a new attempt to extend online gambling for state residents by introducing fresh legislation during the upcoming legislative session.

“Our Priority This Session Was the Budget”

During the same interview, Gonzales Jr. said “Our priority this session was the budget,” adding “even though iGaming was presented as a potential new revenue stream for the state, members of the House and Senate were wary of its implementation,” with special emphasis on VGTs open opposition expressed toward the bill.

House Bill 2239 was introduced in February of last year and it took close to one full year to get it assigned to the House Gaming Committee, from where it was re-referred to the House Rules Committee in April 2023.

Gonzalez’s bill will once again be assessed once lawmakers meet in the fall for two weeks

The General Assembly’s current makeup can meet at any moment until January 11, 2025. The legislature holds biennial meetings which means their sessions expand over two-year periods.

Should the bill pass, Illinois would join a constantly expanding roster of US states to embrace online gambling as a way of boosting their economies, including neighboring Michigan and Indiana

Illinois has every chance to become a big player in the market once it gives the green light to online casino games and online poker, establishes regulation and licensing provisions, and decides how much of the revenue generated from iGaming should reach programs aimed at the prevention and treatment of problem gambling

After finishing her master's in publishing and writing, Melanie began her career as an online editor for a large gaming blog and has now transitioned over towards the iGaming industry. She helps to ensure that our news pieces are written to the highest standard possible under the guidance of senior management.

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