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Illinois Casinos & Gambling

Illinois Regulated Gambling:

Horse Racing 1927

Charity Games 1986

Lotteries 1974

Cruise Casinos 1990/Land-based Casinos 2019

Gambling Age in Illinois:

Lotteries/Pari-Mutuel & Horse Race Betting/Charity Gaming 18+

Casinos/Video Gaming Terminals 21+

Illinois Land-Based Facilities:

Casinos 10


chicago, illinois, lake michigan

Illinois gambling laws do not promise anything that could be mistaken for a US gambling Mecca. However, you would hardly confuse it for ultraconservative states like Utah or Hawaii. The Illinois Constitution authorizes a state lottery, pari-mutuel wagering, fantasy sports contests, and sports betting, even if there are no legal online casinos to be found here.

Illinois is home to 10 riverboat & land-based casinos where players can find slot machines and popular table games. Players close to the border of Wisconsin, Iowa, Missouri, or Indiana may be in luck since these states also have land-based Illinois casinos.

Unfortunately, interactive gaming such as online casinos remains prohibited by the Illinois Constitution. Online sports betting is also unavailable.

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roulette, roulette table, chips

This is a shame since online casinos hold several advantages over land-based casinos. They’re accessible 24/7, more convenient, and online casino games are more numerous than any land-based provider can offer.

Recognizing this, some Illinois players have chosen to play at offshore online casinos like the ones we recommend below for their Illinois online gambling wishes.

Illinois Online Gambling & Sportsbooks in 2022

Online sports betting was recently made legal in Illinois and as of March 2022 players are able to register and bet on sports from anywhere within the state.

However, online casinos and gambling at online casino games still remains illegal with no proposed bills suggesting change is on the way. There is a possibility that this could change in the future, however, as online betting is thriving.

Best New Casinos in Illinois

dice, chips, online gambling

In the past, casino cruise ships were the only option for players from Illinois who wanted to enjoy the genuine casino games experience of playing slot machines, roulette, baccarat, etc. That is unless you were willing to cross into another state. Since casinos made the migration online, this is no longer the case.

Today, hundreds of BTC & USD casinos accept players from Illinois, suggesting that your online poker options are far from limited. Still, what do you know about these casinos in Illinois? Are they licensed and trustworthy, or do they have a wide variety of slot machines, casino games, and live casino games? Are these games even fair?

bonus, us, promo

Of course, you’ll want to consider what casino bonuses each operator offers so you can choose the most enticing place to gamble online. Making a USD or BTC deposit or withdrawal should be fast, safe, and easy, as should all elements of legal online gambling. The best casinos in Illinois should accept several online casino payment methods.

Besides what we’ve already mentioned, there are plenty of other criteria for selecting the best new casinos in Illinois. Our experts understand this and have put together their list of the top online casinos (with a casino review) accepting players from Illinois. We invite you to read on.

Best Bonuses in Illinois Online Casino Gambling

mobile, hand, technology

Did you know that there is more than one thing that makes a bonus the best? Indeed, a higher match percentage with a higher maximum limit in bonus money is a start. The more free spins, the better, and ideally, you’ll have a choice of qualifying slots when you’re getting into online casino gambling.

Perhaps new players are too excited about casino games and are primarily guilty of not paying enough attention to the bonus T&Cs and wagering requirements. Our experts have chosen only the best bonuses in Illinois casinos to display below that are fair and give the best bang for your buck!

Illinois Gambling Laws Overview

justice, statue, lady justice

At present, there are 10 casino cruise ships in the state. The Illinois Gaming Board regulates and collects taxes for both these and land-based casino gambling in Illinois. The state permits table games: craps, baccarat, poker, twenty-one, video games of chance, slot machine, keno, roulette wheels, numbers ticket, and pull tabs.

Charity gaming, daily fantasy sports, fantasy sports, lottery, pari-mutuel & horse racing are all permitted in the state. Online casino games are not, as things stand, although along with online sports betting it does have its supporters among lawmakers.

As of this moment, Illinois casinos are a strictly brick-and-mortar affair, but online casino gambling where slot machines and other games are on offer is more than a pipe dream.

Although online gambling is not legal, Bill HB3142 underwent its first reading on February 19, 2021. It has now been referred to the Rules Committee. This Internet Gaming Act proposal would permit racetracks and casinos to offer Internet gaming under the regulatory authority of the Illinois Gaming Board.

Offline and Online Sports Betting

horse race, horse, equine

Sports betting was legalized in 2019, with July the first full month. The Illinois Sports Wagering Act allows the 10 state casinos, 3 horse tracks, and seven largest sports venues to operate a sportsbook. This enables players from Illinois to wager at physical locations and try online sports betting using sportsbook apps like FanDuel and DraftKings.

State law requires that customers using a mobile app for online sports betting must first register at a physical site.


games, chance, lotto

Lottery games in Illinois are authorized under the Illinois lottery law. The Illinois State Lottery is operated by the Camelot Group since January 2018, which also operates the UK National Lottery. It offers state and multistate lotteries such as Mega Millions and Powerball. On March 20, 2012, the Illinois lottery was the first state-backed game to begin offering online lottery sales.

Charity Games

help, refugees, refuge

Charity games are authorized under the Charitable Games Act. Not-for-profit charitable organizations are permitted subject to license and limited to no more than 12 charitable game events per annum. Bingo is authorized under the Bingo License and Tax Act. Operators must purchase a license for $200/year. A bingo event must be held no more than once per week with a maximum of 25 bingo games each. The maximum prizes must not exceed $2,250 per event. In some counties, this rises to $3,250.

Fantasy Sports & Daily Fantasy Sports

football, ball, sport

Illinois permits both fantasy sports and daily fantasy sports after the Supreme Court of Illinois ruled that they are skill-based competitions. Big providers like Draft Kings and Fan Duel can legally accept bettors from the state.

Horse Racing and Pari-Mutuel

horses, horse, tradition

Horse racing and pari-mutuel betting are regulated by the state through the Illinois Racing Board. Gambling in Illinois covers two types of horse racing which are harness racing and thoroughbred racing. The Board is also responsible for licensing off-track betting facilities.

OTB is available at 37 authorized parlors, 5 horse racing tracks, and through mobile. Simulcast racing is also open in the state. As per the Illinois Gambling Act, these facilities are empowered to offer these services.

Riverboat & Land-Based Gambling in Illinois

Riverboat gambling in Illinois is permitted on any water entirely within the state, or any other water except for Lake Michigan, representing the state boundary. A docked riverboat on Lake Michigan may also conduct riverboat gambling on table games and slot machines.

These can offer table games, including blackjack, roulette, craps, video poker, slots, and sportsbook. Land-based casinos were legalized in June 2019 and since then we have seen as many as 10 open with more to come in 2023. There are no tribal casinos offering gambling in Illinois, nor is there a single real money online casino.

Casinos Address Website
Argosy Casino Alton 1 Piasa Street – Alton, IL 62002
DraftKings at Casino Queen 200 S. Front Street – East St. Louis, IL 62201
Harrah’s Joliet Casino & Hotel 151 N. Joliet Street – Joliet, IL 60432
Elgin Riverboat Resort 250 S. Grove Ave. – Elgin, IL 60120
Hollywood Casino Aurora 1 W. New York St, Aurora, IL 60506
Hollywood Casino Joliet 777 Hollywood Blvd. – Joliet, IL 60436
Rivers Casino Des Plaines 3000 S. River Road – Des Plaines, IL 60018
Par-A-Dice Hotel Casino 21 Blackjack Blvd. – East Peoria, IL 61611
Harrah’s Metropolis Casino & Hotel 100 E. Front Street – Metropolis, IL 62960
Bally’s Quad Cities 777 Bally’s Blvd. – Rock Island, IL 61201

Illinois Casinos Map



Illinois Gambling History

poker, cards, casino

Horse racing was legalized in 1927, and under the Illinois Horse Racing Act of 1975, pari-mutuel betting also became legal. Off-track betting (OTB) parlors followed in 1987.

In February 1990, Illinois passed the Riverboat Gambling Act to legalize riverboat gambling. They would begin operating a year later, and there are presently 10. In 1999 enactment PA 91-40 allowed dockside riverboat casinos which saw an increase in dollar value for gambling in Illinois.

In July 2009, five video gaming terminals were placed in licensed retail establishments, veteran and fraternal establishments, and truck stops.

football, quarterback, sport

Fast forward to December 2015, the attorney general concluded that fantasy sports and daily fantasy sports represent illegal gambling. In April 2020, the Illinois Supreme Court overturned this decision. FS/DFS is considered legal because it is more of a game of skill.

On June 28, 2019, the Illinois Gambling Act was signed into law by Gov. J.B. Pritzker, overhauling gaming laws in the state, including online sports betting and land-based casinos, but not legal online casino gaming. It also allowed horse tracks to apply for expanded gambling options.

Illinois Gambling FAQ

question mark, pile, questions

What types of gambling are legal in Illinois?

Illinois permits casinos, sportsbooks, charity games, pari-mutuel & racing, lottery, and FS/DFS. As things stand, there are no IL online casinos, although that may change in the future.

Are lotteries legal in Illinois?

Yes, Illinois operates a state lottery, offering draw, scratch, and pull tickets. It also sells multistate tickets like the Mega Millions and Powerball.

Is sports betting legal in Illinois?

Yes, Illinois passed a bill in June 2019 that permitted sports betting at casinos (land-based/online/cruise ship casinos). As of this moment, there is no online sports betting or online casino games, but who knows what the future holds?

Does Illinois have land-based casinos and online casino games?

gambling, roulette, game bank

In February 1990, riverboat casinos were legalized in Illinois. At present, there are only 10 riverboat casinos in the state. However, in June 2019, gambling was expanded to permit land-based casinos. It’s expected that the number of land-based casinos will grow.

If Illinois were to permit online casinos, there’s no guarantee this would affect the popularity of land-based casinos. Many states which have recently embraced online casino betting are still opening new land-based casinos.

Is daily fantasy sports and fantasy sports legal in Illinois?

Yes, in April 2016, the supreme court of Illinois ruled that DFS and FS are games of skill that are not prohibited under gambling laws as online casino play would be.

What is the legal gambling age in Illinois?

Illinois lotteries, charitable gaming, and pari-mutuels have a legal gambling age of 18 years and older. The exception is casinos and video gaming terminals, where the legal age is 21 years and older including riverboat casinos. It is expected that if online casino play were legalised, it would be at the higher age limit.


warning sign, exclamation mark in red triangle, alert

The Prairie State can be a pretty good place to live for some types of gambling but not others. There is a decent selection of casinos (particularly if you factor in neighboring states), a state lottery, and pari-mutuel wagering. Legal sports betting is also available, as are fantasy sports contests.

Illinois, like most states, has been reluctant to authorize and regulate interactive gaming. In 2021 alone, there was a push by Republicans to legalize Internet gambling. However, some uneasiness has left the timeframe unclear. The gambling situation in Illinois is dynamic, so we invite you to visit our Illinois page periodically for updates.

In the meantime, until we see Illinois sports betting and Illinois online gambling, riverboat casinos and some terrific offshore online casinos like the ones we recommend above accept players from Illinois.

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