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U.S. State of Illinois Allows Online Betting on Horseracing


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It is not just American online gambling fans who are becoming
increasingly fed up with the United State’s ‘wishy-washy’ anti-online gambling
laws, but individual states too, the most recent being Illinois, which has taken
the forward-thinking step of legalizing online betting on horseracing.

According to recent reports, this week the Illinois Racing Board (IRB)
voted to allow citizens in Illinois to place bets on horse races from the
privacy and security of their own homes and offices, an extremely welcome move
in a state that is renowned for winters colder than Jack Frost’s bowling balls.

Although the move by Illinois will only benefit horseracing fans, it has been
embraced by proponents of legalized and regulated online gambling in the United
States as a small, but important victory. Unlike the U.S. government in general,
and other ‘holier than thou’ states, Illinois understands finance.

Its lawmakers have realized that instead of allowing horseracing fans to wager
with unregulated operators online, and in doing so deprive the state of
much-needed online gambling tax dollars, it can keep horseracing revenues (and
thus taxes) in the state by issuing licenses to approved online operators.

In fact, the Illinois Racing Board has already approved three companies to start
accepting horseracing wagers. However, the IRB’s decision was not only taken to
satisfy racing fans, but to bolster the state’s ailing horseracing industry. In
recent years the take at Illinois racetracks has been on the decline.

By giving Illinois’ horseracing fans better and legal online sports betting
options, the hope is that interest in horseracing will undergo a resurgence and
reach previous levels of popularity. ‘It’s great that Illinois is finally
getting into the electronic age,’ said Racing Board Commissioner, Dennis
Bookshester.

‘This is an opportunity for us to really increase the amount of interest in our
sport,’ he said. While Illinois has not made any noises about legalizing online
casinos, online poker rooms, online bingos sites or other forms of online sports
betting, at least it has recognized the potential of gambling online.

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