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Illinois Legalizes Online Horse Race Betting

October 15, 2009 (CAP Newswire) — As hinted last week, the Illinois state government has approved the legal betting on horse races via the Internet, reports the Belleville News-Democrat in this story.

“The Illinois Racing Board met in Chicago, and its 11 members unanimously approved Tuesday advance deposit wagering — online betting — in the Land of Lincoln,” Will Buss writes in the article.

During the vote, the board also certified three online betting companies to provide the Internet betting services. The three companies will have licenses good for this year and through the end of 2010.

The legalization is not so much a testament to the state’s desire to give its citizens freedom to gamble online, as it is a somewhat desperate attempt to raise money for the cash-starved government by taxing the online betting.

Still, it represents a promising step ahead, for online gambling in general and for the Illinois-based companies in specific. (As an illustration of this, TVG, one of the companies receiving a license, has wasted no time in issuing this press release announcing the new service.)