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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

Illinois

Online Gambling & Casinos in Illinois

Illinois is not precisely 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.

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 casinos. Unfortunately, interactive gaming such as online casinos remains prohibited by the Illinois Constitution.

This is a shame since online casinos hold several advantages over land-based casinos. They’re accessible 24/7, more convenient, and offer similar if not more casino games. Recognizing this, some Illinois players have chosen to play at offshore online casinos like the ones we recommend below.

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Best New Casinos in Illinois

In the past, casino cruise ships were the only option for players from Illinois who wanted to enjoy the genuine casino 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 options are far from limited. Still, what do you know about these casinos? 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?

Of course, you’ll want to consider what casino bonuses each operator offers so you can choose the most enticing. Making a USD or BTC deposit or withdrawal should be fast, safe, and easy. 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 casinos (with a casino review) accepting players from Illinois. We invite you to read on.

Best Bonuses in Illinois Casinos

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.

Perhaps new players 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 Overview

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. 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.

Although internet 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.

Sports Betting

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 online using sportsbook apps like FanDuel and DraftKings. State law requires that customers using a mobile app must first register at a physical site.

Lotteries

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, Illinois was the first state to begin offering internet lottery sales.

Charity Games

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

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

Horse racing and pari-mutuel betting are regulated by the state through the Illinois Racing Board. Illinois has 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.

Riverboat & Land-Based Gambling in Illinois

Riverboat gambling is permitted on any water in Illinois or any other water except for Lake Michigan, representing the state boundary. A docked riverboat on Lake Michigan may also conduct riverboat gambling. These can offer table games, including blackjack, roulette, craps, video poker, slots, and sportsbook. Land-based casinos were legalized in June 2019, but none have yet opened. There are no tribal casinos in the state.

Casinos Address Website
Argosy Casino Alton 1 Piasa Street – Alton, IL 62002 argosyalton.com/casino
DraftKings at Casino Queen 200 S. Front Street – East St. Louis, IL 62201 draftkingsatcasinoqueen.com
Harrah’s Joliet Casino & Hotel 151 N. Joliet Street – Joliet, IL 60432 caesars.com/harrahs-joliet/casino
Elgin Riverboat Resort 250 S. Grove Ave. – Elgin, IL 60120 grandvictoriacasino.com/gaming
Hollywood Casino Aurora 1 W. New York St, Aurora, IL 60506 hollywoodcasinoaurora.com
Hollywood Casino Joliet 777 Hollywood Blvd. – Joliet, IL 60436 hollywoodcasinojoliet.com
Rivers Casino Des Plaines 3000 S. River Road – Des Plaines, IL 60018 riverscasino.com/desplaines
Par-A-Dice Hotel Casino 21 Blackjack Blvd. – East Peoria, IL 61611 paradicecasino.com
Harrah’s Metropolis Casino & Hotel 100 E. Front Street – Metropolis, IL 62960 caesars.com/harrahs-metropolis/casino
Jumer’s Casino & Hotel 777 Jumer Drive – Rock Island, IL 61201 jumerscasinohotel.com/gaming

Illinois Gambling History

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 gambling which saw an increase in gambling dollar value.

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

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 wagering and land-based casinos. It also allowed horse tracks to apply for expanded gambling options.

Illinois Gambling FAQ

What types of gambling are legal in Illinois?

Illinois permits casinos, sportsbooks, charity games, pari-mutuel & racing, lottery, and FS/DFS.

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).

Does Illinois have land-based casinos?

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.

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.

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.

Conclusion

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, some terrific offshore online casinos like the ones we recommend above accept players from Illinois.

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