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Illinois Congress Approves Online Gambling

June 1, 2009 (CAP Newswire) — An interesting development in the United States’ ongoing struggle on whether or not to legalize online gambling: Lawmakers in the state of Illinois have just passed a bill that would allow online wagering on horse racing.

Writing at, Preston Lewis compares Illinois’ new iniative to legalize onine horse betting to existing legalized online gambling in New Hampshire and North Dakota, which allow the selling of lottery tickets via the Internet. While these cases don't amount to all-out legalization of online gambling in all shapes and sizes, they do nevertheless represent a notable breach in the stern federal anti-gambling laws.

Technically, such online gambling activity is probably not allowed under the UIGEA — although, given the vagueness with which that particular law is written, it’s hard to say for sure. So, some states are feeling increasingly comfortable defining online gambling laws for themselves. (Which may actually be permitted; some interpret the UIGEA as allowing states to make their own decisions in this regard.)

This law was promoted as a method for stimulating revenues in taxation — an incentive that’s proving more and more powerful given the economic difficulties being faced in the U.S. and abroad, and one that’s likely to help Barney Frank and Jim McDermott pass their online gambling legalization and regulation bills. (For more on that story, please click here.)

Click here to read more about Illinois’ quest to legalize online horserace wagering at