Illinois Online Casinos

Traditional online casino gaming is not yet legal in Illinois. But don’t fear slots and casino games fans, there is a solution for all keen players.

The Illinois state law on online casinos prohibits any online casino from accepting wagers in the Land of Lincoln. However, that doesn’t mean you cannot gamble at all when you are in Illinois. Thanks to a new range of sweepstake casinos, players can now play online casino games for real money online, or from their mobile.

There are numerous land-based casinos in Illinois, in addition to sportsbooks, horsetracks, and several other gaming options available. The Prairie State has a rich history of riverboat casinos but apart from horse racing, most other forms of gambling have not been legalized in the state.

However, things have started to change recently. Online sports betting in Illinois is now legal, and there are numerous IL sports betting apps live and accepting bets in the state. Additionally, a recent bill, Senate Bill 690 has been approved, which means six new casinos in the cities of Rockford, Chicago, Danville, Waukegan, Williamson County, and Cook County can be constructed. Chicago gambling, in particular, could see a huge jump in revenue in the state due to the size and prestige of the city.

This page covers the latest updates on Illinois gambling laws, what is legal in Illinois, online casino games which could eventually be available, and what to expect from online casino Illinois.

Online Gambling Illinois Updates

IL State Rep. Bob Rita has introduced the  Internet Gaming Act which would permit table games, online slot machines, and poker in the state. If the bill is approved, IL casinos and racetracks will have the opportunity to pursue a casino license for $500,000. There would be a maximum of three online skins per property.

This would legalize online casinos for the entire state, however, iGaming websites would not launch instantly as operators would need time to obtain their licenses and launch their casino platforms.

Illinois online casinos

Illinois Online Gambling Laws

Online gambling in Illinois is legal, but only via sweepstakes casinos. There are numerous different ways you can wager online in Illinois. However, the biggest exceptions are online casinos and online poker.

Illinois has not approved laws for either activity yet. However, momentum is building and because nearby states such as Michigan have launched their own online poker and casino industry, Illinois lawmakers can track the progress and the positive effect it has on the state’s revenue. Consequently, they will want this positive change for their own state.

Even though currently online poker in Illinois and online casinos are not available, it is likely that they are not too far away from gaining approval.

IL Sweepstakes Sites

Although IL residents cannot play for real money at regulated online casinos and poker sites, there are sweepstakes sites available. For those who are unfamiliar with sweepstakes casino and poker sites, they provide great entertainment. Players can play different types of online slots and it’s entirely legal.

The best sweepstakes sites in Illinois are:

The principle behind these websites is to enable to players to play for free and win some prizes. They are able to provide a wide range of online casino games and poker via a dual-currency system which means they are legal. Additionally, you can win real money prizes at these sites.

The casino games range from online slot machines to the classic table games and poker. If you are struggling to find Illinois poker rooms, Global Poker offers games such as no-limit Texas hold’em, Crazy Pineapple, and pot-limit Omaha. While not as intense or serious as a typical online casino, sweepstakes sites provide a decent alternative while we await the legalization of iGaming in the state.

IL Riverboat Casinos

The natural places to gamble in Illinois are at its casinos. A the time of its construction, each casino was required to be on water. Consequently, the majority of the physical Illinois casinos are riverboats moored permanently on waterways. However, one of the casinos, Rivers Des Plaines, is not what you would consider a typical riverboat casino as it rests in a pit filled with water.

Players will discover different games at each casino, but all offer slots and table games in several varieties. Some will also offer sports betting and poker onsite. All of the riverboat casinos in Illinois are listed below:

  • Hollywood Casino Aurora
  • Hollywood Casino Joliet
  • Casino Queen
  • Grand Victoria Casino
  • Harrah’s Joliet
  • Argosy Casino Alton
  • Jumer’s Casino Rock Island
  • Rivers Casino
  • Par-a-Dice Hotel Casino
  • Harrah’s Metropolis

The above casinos will be first in line to provide online gambling in Illinois should it become legal. Current state laws mean they are not allowed to be open 24 hours, so most shut their doors for a couple of hours every morning.

The Illinois Gambling Act authorizes six further casinos to be constructed in the following areas:

  • Chicago
  • Danville
  • Waukegan
  • Rockford
  • Williamson County (near Carbondale)
  • Cook County in either Bloom, Bremen, Calumet, Rich, Thornton, or Worth

Additionally, the new law permits riverboat casinos to transform into land-based casinos once they have paid a fee and gained approval from regulators.

Video Gaming Terminals

Video gaming terminals have been available across Illinois at licensed retail establishments since 2009. Residents can access them in places such as restaurants, bars, convenience stores, and hotels. Initially, the law permitted each establishment up to five VGTs in one location. However, since then,  the Illinois Gambling Act amended the Video Gaming Act to increase the total to six.

Other notable changes to the law include increasing the maximum bet from $2 to $4 and increasing the maximum win from $500 to $1,199. Additionally, progressive jackpots were authorized and tax imposed increased from 30% to 33%.

VTG’s are very similar to video slots. One of the biggest differences between VTG’s and slots in Illinois casinos is that each video gaming terminal features a huge variety of games to choose from.

Illinois Online Poker

Online poker sites are also currently illegal in Illinois. It is likely that online casino gaming and online poker will be linked regarding legalization in Illinois. Currently, both are waiting in the background as sports betting continues to expand in the state. There has been no timeframe given for legalizing online poker in Illinois.

If and when the popular card game does become legal, operators will likely come from land-based casinos. Market-leading brands will also likely have to partner with brick and mortar casinos to enter the iGaming industry.


is online gambling legal in Illinois?

Yes, Illinois residents can legally gamble online, but only on sweepstakes and sports betting sites. Online casinos are currently illegal in Illinois, but this could change depending on how successful sports betting is in the state.

What is the legal gambling age in Illinois?

If you are at least 18 years of age in Illinois you can legally gamble on lottery, bingo, dog, and horse racing. To bet in casinos, you must be at least 21 years of age.