Illinois state senators stunned observers on Wednesday by overwhelmingly approving online gambling and daily fantasy sports legislation.
Before we go any further, understand that the state House of Representatives adjourned without considering the legislation in question, and won’t be back in session until June 8. Meaning the state’s online gamblers have a long nervous week ahead to frantically dial their local representatives and yell ‘one time’ into the phone.
The Senate vote – 42-10 in favor of passage – came as something of a shock, as the state legislature hasn’t seriously considered online gambling legislation since, well, ever. Multiple bills have been filed over the years but none of them made any headway whatsoever.
This current bill started out as a push to formally legalize DFS, but the Chicago Tribune reported that online gambling was added as a way of getting the state’s casino operators on board. Casino operators reportedly view online gambling as a hedge against DFS, which they consider to be direct competition.