The bill, which passed by a 10-4 vote, still has to get through a full senate vote, which could happen within the next few days.
If the bill passed it would legalize all online gambling including games of chance and games of skill, such as poker.
Despite Illinois governor Pat Quinn vetoing two earlier attempts, this time he seems optimistic about the bill.
Just hours before the online gambling bill passed through senate committee, Quinn announced a massive $400 million cut from the state’s education budget so he would welcome any new influx of cash.
Quinn went on to say that under the right circumstances he would approve gambling expansion in the state.
International Sites That Operated in the U.S. to Be Locked Out
The Illinois online gambling bill includes a “bad actor” clause that would restrict any online poker sites that offered online gambling when it was in violation of U.S. law during the 10 years prior to their application.
That clause would ban all major online poker sites, even the ones that withdrew because of UIGEA.
Illinois could potentially become the fourth state to legalize online poker joining Nevada, New Jersey and Delaware.
Illinois is an intriguing option for online gaming thanks to its large population. Illinois’ 12.8 million residents is more than the population of Nevada, New Jersey and Delaware combined.
Although Nevada, New Jersey and Delaware have all legalized online poker, there has yet to be a single U.S.-facing site launched. Some industry insiders believe the first one will launch before the end of 2013.