Illinois is a fascinating State; the land of Lincoln; home to 10 land-based casinos, and the latest in a flurry on States to respond to the 2018 withdrawal of PASPA with gambling legislation. But there’s one big problem, they are yet to implement the new laws.
Like most other States, Illinois has not fully legalized gambling, but also allow certain land-based establishments and activities. The State law offers a confusing framework for online gambling Illinois players to get a handle on. Unlike in Delaware, Pennsylvania and New Jersey, it’s not quite open season for online casinos just yet. But a new law has been signed and it is about to change everything for online gambling Illinois.
On this page, we’ll be taking an in-depth look at whether land-based and online gambling Illinois is legal. We will also delve into what exactly the law states you can and cannot do in the great State of Illinois. Plus we’ll be giving you the round-up of the best casinos for Illinois players - stay tuned!
Illinois is a pro-gambling State which has its own Illinois Gaming Board. Whilst the board doesn't allow online gambling Illinois perse, they do allow online horse-race betting at sanctioned sites. What's more, Illinois has launched its own online State lottery. But as things currently stand, in late 2019, it is illegal for an online casino to set up shop in Illinois.
A landmark bill - 690 - has just been signed by the Governor Pritzker of Illinois; The Gambling Act, 2019. The Act makes significant changes to gaming law in Illinois. The Illinois Gaming Board is working through these changes and how to implement and regulate the Act. However, as of yet the changes are in the early stages and it is up to the Illinois Gaming Board to manage and put in place this new law. The law aims to liberalize and make online gambling Illinois legal as well as expand the land-based gambling scene - which is already pretty lively in this State.
However, as things stand right now, Illinois online players keenly wait for the Gaming Board to implement the new law. Illinois has, along with the aforementioned horse betting and lottery, 10 land-based, as well as river-based casinos in State. Besides these venues, there are many video machine establishments and charitable gambling. Therefore, both forms of both land-based and online gambling are legal in certain types across Illinois!
CasinoTop10’s Best Online Casinos in Illinois need to:
Be licensed and regulated;
Accept players 21 and USD currency;
Be in line with the 2019 Gambling Act of Illinois.
The Legality of Land-Based Casinos & Online Casinos in Illinois
The gambling age in Illinois is 21, which includes casinos, lottery and sports betting. Illinois currently allows some forms of land-based and online gambling Illinois. As proponents of gambling regulations and online growth, Illinois became one of the first States to offer an online state launched lottery. Illinois is definitely a pro-online state!
Current regulation makes provision for the following types of gambling in the law:
Online lottery Illinois - they are one of the only States to allow and facilitate online lottery.
Illinois has an established Racing Board that permits online horse-racing at sanctioned sites.
Charitable games and events as long as they only cover the following activities: blackjack, roulette, poker, craps, pull tabs, bear, bang, the dealer, gin rummy, big six, chuck a luck, five-card stud poker, keno, merchandise wheel, and hold-em poker. This does not extend to Illinois online poker.
The 2009 Video Gambling Act allowed for gambling machines to be set up at the following locations; in licensed Retail Establishments, Truck Stops, Veteran and Fraternal Establishments. A max of 5 machines is allowed per site for real money gambling. There are currently more than 2000 gambling machines spread across Illinois.
Illinois currently has 10 river-based casinos that they regulate. The 1990, Riverboat Gambling Act legalized them, making Illinois the second US state to do so.
In 2012, 2013 and most recently in 2019, there were attempts to legalize all types of online gambling Illinois. Additionally, Illinois aimed to increase land-based gambling across the whole Prairie State. The current proposal, which was signed into law in July 2019 is awaiting implementation and makes way for:
the expansion of Sports gambling through ‘racinos’,
more video machines,
6 new land-based casinos,
and online gambling via mobile and the internet.
According to ProPublica Illinois (2019), this could mean as much as: “7,000 video gambling establishments, 5,000 lottery-like sports betting kiosk locations, 16 casinos, five racinos and online sports gambling and casinos accessible on millions of mobile phones or the internet. The bill even allows video slot and poker machines at Chicago’s airports, O’Hare and Midway.” It’s something of a gambling revolution and the perfect response to the repeal of PASPA. PASPA ceased online sports betting as illegal in Federal law. Federal law supersedes the State level of regulation and creates country-wide law that all States must adhere to.
However, as things currently stand it is still illegal for online casinos to try to make a home in Illinois. This is with the exception of the horse-racing and online lottery that the Illinois Gaming Board regulates. With the 2019 Gambling Act not yet in place, Illinois online casinos are banned from operating. The current law specifically addresses this stating that it is illegal to operate, maintain or establish a website that facilitates a person to play a game of skill or chance via the internet for money or anything else of value counted as a wager on the outcome - this even extends to political odds.
Whilst the law addresses the operator's position it does not comment on what residents of Illinois may do or restricting them from playing at non-Illinois online casinos. This refers to international online casinos having a green light to accept Illinois residents. This differs from States like Washington, where players are prosecuted for gambling online.
Land-Based Gambling in Illinois Today: The River Bed Scene
Since the 1990 River-Bed Gambling Act, Illinois players have to be thankful for the 10 land-based casinos. These casinos currently operate along the Chicago side of the Lake Michigan river-bed, Illinois and they offer some fantastic choices.
Of course, if you fancy spinning the reels of a Slot or playing Video Poker, you can head to one of the many establishments enabled by the State under the Video Gambling Act of 2009. This means there’s plenty of land-based gaming options for casino Slots and Video Poker players in Illinois littered throughout the State. The majority of these casinos are congregated around Lake Michigan.
As we’ve covered, the 2019 Gambling Act is set to revolutionize Illinois online gambling, even mentioning online and mobile in the wording! But it requires patience as it is a big legislative overhaul. It needs a thorough regulatory framework, an increase in staffing, license design, and so much more. All this is to ensure that online gambling Illinois creates a safe, sustainable and taxed online jurisdiction.
Until then it is still illegal for online casinos, other than those licensed as horse betting sites, to be set-up in Illinois. However, the law is a grey space for players and only speaks from the operator's point of view and not the players'. As with other states like California, this creates an unclear position for players.
What should I know about Online Casinos in Illinois?
The State runs the online lottery in Illinois;
Online horse-racing sites are legal when licensed and regulated by the Illinois Gaming Board;
International Online Casinos can accept Illinois players.
Gambling Laws Governing Offshore Casinos & What it Means for Illinois Players
Illinois patiently awaits the full legalization of online gambling Illinois for now. Online casinos are regulated by both the laws, where they are established and those where they offer their services. There is no Illinois law pertaining to residents gambling online in Illinois. Illinois gambling law allows for residents to gamble online in the form of horse-racing and lottery.
Obviously, horse-racing, lottery, land-based video machines like Slots, charitable games, and River-based casinos are currently legalized by Illinois state law. With further legislation upcoming, players can soon expect to enjoy the full range of casino games, both skill and chance including:
Payment options at online casinos are designed to fit worldwide pockets with options covering cards, e-wallet, bank transfer, voucher and so on in USD. Neteller has just withdrawn from US markets due to licensing concerns, but PayPal is an all American favorite. Paypal is available at most international casino sites. So these options can be found once Illinois online gambling is legalized. Presently, you find these options on sites for Illinois online lottery and horse betting.
Illinois Online Gambling and Casino FAQs
Is online gambling Illinois legal?
Illinois state law is currently changing to legalize online and mobile casinos for Illinois online gambling.
Is online sports betting Illinois legal?
Currently, only some forms of online sports betting, like horse-racing are legally permitted in the State of Illinois.
Is Online Poker Illinois legal?
It is illegal for Illinois casinos to offer online poker, but you may play Video Poker which is one of a handful of licensed land-based Video Machine establishments in Illinois.
Can I play at online casinos Illinois via mobile or tablet?
Currently, no but soon you will be able to gamble at online casinos operated and regulated by the Illinois Gaming Board via mobile, desktop or tablet.
What casino games can I play at online casinos Illinois?
Currently, only horse-racing and the lottery are provided online by Illinois online sites. To play slots, jackpots, card games and live casino options they will be legal and regulated soon.
Is it possible to play casino games online with dollars?
Yes, most online casinos accept USDs. You will be able to check our casino reviews for full details of how you can pay, play, and withdraw at top casinos.
Are the Illinois online casinos on this site regulated?
All casinos recommended at CasinoTop10 are licensed and regulated sites. The best sites also display the eCOGRA or iTech Labs logo, showing they have external RNG and RTP testing and are a fair gaming establishment.
Am I eligible to receive a casino bonus online at an Illinois Casino?
Yes, once online casinos that accept players from Illinois are regulated. These will certainly offer very generous welcome offers designed to tempt you to sign up. Often they have a match deposit deal or a no deposit deal. You can find out more about online casino bonuses here.
Which online casino payment options are popular in Illinois?
Debit and Credit Card such as Visa, Mastercard and American Express are the most popular online payment methods used across the whole of America for online payments, whilst PayPal is the favourite e-wallet. However, these payment options are only available for online horse betting and lottery.
Do I need to pay taxes on my gambling winnings in Illinois?
Yes, you must pay tax on all gambling winnings if you were a resident of Illinois at the time you made the money!
Play at a Real Money Casino Illinois Today!
With the up and coming Illinois online gambling scene, the future looks exciting for keen online gamblers from Illinois. Currently, Illinois players can enjoy online lottery and online horse race betting. With the new Illinois online gambling law, there is more to come and look forward to!