Government Pat Quinn has signed into law an innovative bill that will enable casinos and and racing tracks to take winnings off players who owe money in parental support. The law, HB 2843, which comes in response to the unacceptable situation that $3 billion in owed in unpaid child support, will force casinos to take money from players whose names appear on a database of “deadbeat” parents, and send the money to the Illinois Department of Healthcare and Family Services instead. The government will then distribute the money to parents who are owed payment.
The law passed by Quinn also allows the government to withhold offenders’ driving, fishing and hunting licenses and even their professional licenses in certain cases. The state hopes to recuperate at least $1 million this year through initial steps taken. The law, which was sponsored Dunlap Republican Sen. Darin LaHood, comes into effect immediately.
Race tracks and casinos in Illinois will be obliged under the new law to post signs warning gamblers that should they owe money in parental support and their name appears in the state database, they risk having their money intercepted by the casino and turned over to authorities.
In June this year, Illinois lawmakers adjourned their legislative session without making any progress in online poker which has become a controversial issue. Online poker was initially introduced as part of an overall gambling expansion bill in the state, however, when the Governor said that he was having trouble stomaching the idea of online gambling without testing the issue first, the internet wagering part was removed from the proposal.
Illinois lawmakers have suggested in the past that a standalone online poker bill may be introduced, although no progress has been seen on that front.