The Illinois State Senate President suggested to the state’s legislators Tuesday that it may be time to look at legalizing and regulating online poker in the Land of Lincoln. With no states having intrastate online poker up and running yet, Sen. John Cullerton (D) wants Illinois to jump at the opportunity to be the online poker center of the United States.
Sen. Cullerton penned a letter to Governor Pat Quinn and the members of the Illinois General Assembly, urging them to pass a bill before the legislative session ends May 31st. Aside from competition with other states (namely Nevada, which may have intrastate online poker sites active by the end of the year), Sen. Cullerton fears the possibility of eventual federal regulation that could stop states from creating their own online gaming networks if they haven’t done so before legislation is passed.
Sen. Cullerton appears to have an understanding of online poker, writing, in part, “Certain forms of iGaming, especially poker, rely on large pools of potential players, and states that move swiftly to design a system that captures the widest audience of participants will have an advantage in terms of long-range success.”
As usual, not all of Sen. Cullerton’s colleagues are thrilled with the idea. Naturally, one of the opposition voices came from the Republican side of the aisle. Patty Schuh, spokeswoman for Senate Republican leader Christine Radogno, said, “If you allow Internet poker to be sanctioned by the state of Illinois, there are a whole lot of questions that need to be answered. Being first isn’t necessarily a good thing.”
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