Cullerton: Online Gaming Could Bring In Revenue
The Illinois Senate president says legalizing internet gambling could bring in much-needed revenue.
But Chicago Democrat John Cullerton says he expects stiff opposition to any proposal.
During a hearing in Springfield Wednesday, Cullerton says "people are already gambling, and we're not making any of the money.''
John Pappas is the executive director of the Poker Players Alliance, which says the state could bring in almost $200 million a year if it legalized online poker.
He said regulation of the industry should not be viewed as an "expansion" of gambling.
"Today, Illinois citizens have access to online poker, online casino games, and online sports better," he said. "Regulation simply would mean corralling the current unregulated marketplace, and turning it into a system that is safe for consumers, and accountable to regulators and our government."
Three other states allow the practice. Cullerton has pushed for online gambling before. But he says he understands there's "a lot of complications,'' including how it might affect the state's casinos.
Anita Bedell is executive director of the Illinois Church Action on Alcohol & Addiction Problems. She says Illinois' gambling market is saturated.