New Plan Could let Illinois Casinos be a Part of Fantasy Sports Betting

A new bill that would have allowed casinos, in the state of Illinois, to set up daily fantasy sports (DFS) operations, through their online sites was being set up. The measure, which was backed by DFS giants, DraftKings and FanDuel, would have clarified the confusion around DFS legalities and made sure their games were legal in the state, has been frozen due to a motion filed by a Democratic State Senator.

The Illinois Senate approved the measure by a narrow margin. Under the new law, The DFS operators would have to pay taxes between 5 per cent and 30 per cent based on the annual revenues generated and all players participating in DFS contest would have to be of a minimum age of 21. However, due to the motion filed, the bill might be prevented from moving to the Illinois House indefinitely.

DFS is a booming industry and has shot to immense popularity over the last decade; 192,000 players with paid DFS accounts have been recorded in the state of Illinois alone that took part in real money contests last year.

Lawmakers have been deliberating over rules for the DFS industry, to try and regulate their services and offer consumer protection to their massive player domain. However, casino representatives have criticised the proposed plans, saying that the regulations on the bill were too weak compared to what the casino industry must comply with and the proposal is too narrow. Some casinos would also like to see a plan, which would allow for other kinds of Internet gambling

Paul Gaynor, who represents Rivers Casino in Des Plaines , said, “If you're going to have a conversation about legalizing Internet gaming, that should be a comprehensive law.”.

Lawmakers sponsoring the bill have responded to the criticism by saying that while they have tried to compromise by allowing casinos enjoy a page out of the daily fantasy sports market, the legislation was not put in place to make sweeping changes to gambling laws in Illinois.

The Chicago Democrat, who sponsored the plan, State Senator Kwame Raoul, said, “With any bills that come anywhere close to gaming, everybody has their parochial interests that they pile on.”

Raoul said that legislators were responding to the negative opinion, which was issued by State Attorney General, Lisa Madigan, in December 2015, stating that all DFS contests were illegal gambling and should be regulated under gaming laws. However, not all senators agreed.

State Sen. Laura Murphy, a Democrat from Des Plaines, said, “I would suggest that if we are going to expand gaming to this magnitude in the state that we have a comprehensive bill, a bill that holds everyone accountable to the same standards.”

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