Lobbyist outlines benefits of online gaming to Illinois

The lobbyist says the nine casinos he represents are in favour of online gaming.
The lobbyist says the nine casinos he represents are in favour of online gaming.

Legislation permitting sports betting was passed in Illinois in June 2019, but online casino gaming is yet to be legalised.

US.- Lobbyist Tom Swoik has explained how he believes online casino gaming would benefit the state of Illinois following the Covid-19 pandemic by boosting tax revenues.

Swoik is executive director of the Illinois Casino Gaming Association and has spoken on various occasions advocating igaming.

Speaking at a special committee session on gaming held by the state senate, he said: “Igaming still is an untapped market in Illinois. Seeing what’s happening in other states with internet gaming, especially in New Jersey, it hasn’t had a negative effect on casino brick-and-mortar operations that people thought it might have.

“We’ve also seen admissions in casinos in New Jersey increase because people started coming back. Or, it was new people coming that had a good time doing it online and so they decided to go to the casinos.

“If we had igaming when all the casinos had to shut down for three-and-a-half months, that not only would have helped the industry, but it would have helped the state out with tax collections, too, and they wouldn’t have lost as much money.”

Swoik represents nine casinos, and says each of them is in favour of legalising online casino gaming.

In the context of the current pandemic, use of mobile gambling platforms has surged, but many remain unsure if increased use will continue once the pandemic ends.