New Illinois Bill Recommends Creation of a Problem Gambling Task Force

The Bill looks to create a comprehensive 10-member Task Force to battle problem gambling and advice the General Assembly on new methods and programs that should be instated over the next few years.
New Illinois Bill Recommends Creation of a Problem Gambling Task Force
February 13, 2024

Illinois is one of the country’s biggest sports betting markets and one that’s seen a steady uptick since the launch of legal sports betting.

Now, a new bill submitted by Rep. Daniel Didech (HB5307) looks to amend the state’s gambling laws and introduce a new concept of a Problem Gambling Task Force.

Should it be approved by the legislature, the Task Force will be in charge of providing recommendations to the Assembly on methods the State could use to ensure continued efforts in achieving a responsible gambling atmosphere.

According to PlayUSA, the Task Force would look to find new ways to help those afflicted by problem gambling and ensure that more players are approaching online gambling as an entertaining pastime instead of a serious vice.

Comprehensive Task Force to Aid Responsible Gambling Efforts

To be efficient in its tasks, the proposed Problem Gambling Task Force would have ten members with different expertise and from different areas of the industry.

The members of the Task Force would include two members of the Illinois House of Representatives, who would work alongside one healthcare professional, one member of the Department of Public Health, one member of the Illinois Gaming Board, one member of the Department of the Lottery, one member of the Illinois Racing Board, one member of a related nonprofit organization, one member of an organization with a gambling license, and one person affected by problem gambling.

The creation of such a comprehensive Task Force would ensure that the members are able to recognize all the different threats as well as solutions to potential existing and future problems that state’s operators and players could face in regards to responsible gambling.

Task Force Will Advise the Illinois General Assembly

According to the provisions of HB5307, the newly formed Task Force would be given a very specific mandate. It would be required to meet at least four times and provide a list of recommendations to the governor by the end of 2025 before disbanding altogether on January 1, 2027.

In those four meetings throughout 2024 and 2025, the Task Force would review the existing services and programs in relation to problem gambling within the state, as well as those offered in other states and on the federal level.

Furthermore, the Task Force would look at the relationship between gambling advertisements and problematic gambling behavior in the state of Illinois.

Once its job is complete, the Task Force would be required to present a series of recommendations to the General Assembly. These recommendations could include increases in funding for specific programs, more research into problem gambling, and new programs and initiatives on the state level.

The Task Force would look for any existing areas that the state has not had a chance to address thus far when it comes to problem gambling and ensure that those are brought to the attention of the General Assembly.

Once the recommendations are made in late 2025, the Task Force will exist for another year, helping the State implement its recommendations and continuing to work with the State to iron out the details of any new measures and programs being put into place.

If approved, the Problem Gambling Task Force will be disbanded at the start of 2027 and could help both Illinois and other states gain a better understating of problem gambling and ways to prevent, reduce, and treat it in the future.

Illinois is one of leading candidates to launch regulated igaming this year. A bill that allows for Illinois online poker, with a provision for multi-state, alongside online casino, is under consideration.

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