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 Las Vegas style casinos in Illinois, in addition to sportsbooks, horse tracks, 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 casinos in Illinois.
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 for legal online casino gaming.
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.
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.
Currently, there has been no timetable set for when online casinos in Illinois will become legal. Although other states, such as New Jersey, have enjoyed success with online casino gambling, for now, if you are an Illinois resident, you must wait. However, the good news is that although there are no Illinois online casino sites available, Illinois sports betting is legal.
Online sports betting launched in 2020 with BetRivers Illinois. The DraftKings sportsbook, Caesars sportsbook, and FanDuel sportsbook soon followed, and now there are numerous Illinois sportsbook options accepting wagers.
Retail sportsbooks had a jump on online sites such as DraftKings Illinois as they had already begun accepting bets. Illinois also required in-person registration for online sports wagering, but that requirement was temporarily suspended due to the Coronavirus pandemic before being removed completely in March 2022.
Having a legal online sports betting industry is excellent news, as some people may have been tempted to use offshore sportsbooks instead. Because offshore sites aren’t regulated, you may have trouble withdrawing funds quickly, or there may be some disputes over certain wagers. The same applies for offshore casino sites, where you can play casino games online, but fair play isn’t guaranteed.
All gambling activity is overseen by the Illinois Gaming Board. This means every online sportsbook that is licensed, like FanDuel Illinois, must adhere to strict guidelines for security and fair play. Consequently, bettors can wager on the Chicago Bulls, Chicago Bears, and major events like the Super Bowl, knowing they are playing in a safe environment.
For now, if you want to play an online slot machine, stick with the sweepstake sites until more Illinois casino options become available.
Although IL residents cannot play for real money at regulated online casinos and poker sites, sweepstakes sites are available. For those who are unfamiliar with sweepstakes casino and poker sites, they provide great entertainment. Players can play a whole host of unique online slots, and it’s entirely legal. Some of these may be from major software providers such as Pragmatic Play and Hacksaw Gaming, and others may have their own in-house teams developing original games,
The principle behind these websites is to enable players to play for free and win real money prizes. They can provide a wide range of online casino games and poker via a dual-currency system (Gold Coins and Sweeps) which means they are legal. Additionally, you can win real money prizes at these sites.
Casino games range from online slot machines to 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 severe as a typical online casino, sweepstakes sites provide a decent alternative while we await the legalization of iGaming in the state.
Check out our detailed guide to sweepstakes casinos available in the US to learn more about what each of our top 5 recommended sweeps cash casinos offers in terms of free offers, slots and promotions.
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:
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. These are the best options before real money online casino sites appear.
The Illinois Gambling Act authorizes six further casinos to be constructed in the following areas:
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 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%.
VGTs are very similar to video slots. One of the biggest differences between VGTs and slots in Illinois casinos is that each video gaming terminal features various games to choose from.
Online poker sites are also currently illegal in Illinois. It is likely that legal online casinos and online poker will be linked regarding legalization in Illinois. Currently, both are waiting in the background as sports betting expands 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.
Yes, Illinois residents can legally gamble online, but only on sweepstakes and sports betting sites. Online casinos are still illegal in Illinois, but this could change depending on how successful sports betting is in the state.
At some point, we expect to see online casinos legal in the state to join successful online sportsbooks.
If you are at least 18 years of age in Illinois, you can legally gamble on the lottery, bingo, dog, and horse racing. To bet in casinos, you must be at least 21 years of age.
No, Sweepstake Casinos are the main option for players in Illinois to play at online casinos and have a "real money" element to them, where cash prizes can be redeemed from the casino.
There is currently no specific date for when or if this will occur; Illinois also has the largest number of video game terminal (VGT) operators in any US state, so in addition to the typical barriers to entry, there is also strong opposition from these providers given the impact that online casinos and slots could pose to these popular machines and the businesses relying on them.
There are numerous legal options available in Illinois, including Online Sportsbooks, Lottery, Retail Sportsbetting, Daily Fantasy Sports (DFS), Sweepstake Casinos, and retail and charity Poker.
In Illinois, all of the casinos operate under the Riverboat Gambling Act, which stipulates that the casino boats were required to be on the water to operate. Since 1999 however a change in the law occurred meaning these boats could remain docked whilst operating.