As more and more states legalized gambling operations across the country, many of them were looking up to Illinois. Illinois is one of the states that has been leading the way in terms of legalizing betting and is one of the first states in history to have many bet types. Illinois has a lot of options today as this betting guide will clarify. With casinos, the upcoming addition of sports betting and poker, it's not surprising that many players appreciate what the casinos offer in Illinois. However, the situation in Illinois is the same as in some other states. Online casinos and poker are not regulated.
Betting online on sports could theoretically have been legalized in Illinois, but so far there is no licensed operator.

Frequently Asked Questions

Illinois gambling history

When it comes to casinos, Illinois is the first state they operated in, though at the time they did not necessarily have to be legalized. It was in the 19th century that river casinos were operating in the state without the state interfering. Since then, things have gotten more on the legal side because Illinois was the first state to organize a state lottery. This addition was made in 1974 and has grown strong since then. The riverboat casinos were officially legalized in the early 1990s, allowing the betting circle to be completed in Illinois.

In 2011, land-based casinos were finally legally operating, which means that casino games could eventually step from water to firm ground in the state. How many casinos are there in Illinois? There are currently 10 casinos operating in the state of Illinois that offer players a wide range of betting options, without having to go too far to enjoy them. And with interesting betting additions, Chicago betting history just starts with the other chapters that are to be added.
From a social perspective, gambling in Illinois is part of state history. Like Chicago is synonymous with the prohibition time in the United States, Illinois and its river gambling are synonymous with the early days of betting in the United States. Today, Illinois hotel casinos are more popular than river boats and help players to experience betting all over the state. Overall, Illinois still learns a lot about betting, but the fact that betting is an interesting part of its history makes it an important part of Illinois social history.

Legal status of Illinois casinos and online casinos

Land-based casinos in Illinois

Illinois currently offers 10 casinos for those who want to play casino games. Illinois casinos are located across the state, from East St. Louis to Joliet and East Peoria. There are relatively large casino brands offering terrestrial options, with names like Harrahs, Rivers, Par-A-Dice, Jumer’s, Grand Victoria, Casino Queen, and Hollywood in the list of casino game providers. Compared to the first river boat casinos in Illinois, this is a huge upgrade. Luckily for people in Illinois, participating in the gambling that these casinos can provide is completely legal.

Legal status of land-based casinos in Illinois

For land-based casino games, Illinois has legalized the participation in such games offered at each land-based casino. The Illinois Gambling Act also legalizes gambling machines in places like truck stops and bars. Between state casinos and the fact that slot machines and video poker can be played in bars and trucks, there is a good selection of land-based gambling options to be accessed.

Illinois online casinos

Players who want to use online casinos in Illinois may be disappointed because there are no casino websites available for this state. In fact, there is no official legalization or ban on online casino games that players should consider if they want to use their favorite online games. In general, players in Illinois have a good situation because they can access offshore casino websites instead of linking to fewer state-sanctioned online casinos.

Legal status of Illinois online casinos

The Illinois Gambling Act does not officially turn online casino gambling legal or illegal. Therefore, players can play through an offshore site in an online casino without worrying about breaking the law. This is because, again, there are no laws regarding online casino games for people in Illinois. However, we strongly recommend not to play in these offshore locations. They are not under the US law and are only partially available to US authorities. If you have problems with an offshore operator, you have no chance. Unsecured withdrawals, unprotected personal information - there are many negative aspects of foreign providers of casino services.

Online gambling in Illinois in the future

Regarding the future of the casino industry in Illinois, something is hardly going to change soon. The beginning of the physical casino industry was only in 2011, and the only change that could happen is the addition of new land-based locations along the way. The online casino circumstances in Illinois are such that no one wants to change, because the state does not need to worry about adjusting it. In the meantime, the players have more options by betting offshore than at land-based operators that also offer online gambling.


Legal status of Illinois sports betting and online betting

Land-based betting operators in Illinois

Betting on sports at land-based locations in Illinois was not legal until 2019. However, this changes when a law was passed allowing this type of action. Until 2019, however, players could not bet on sports at physical facilities, at least until different casino operators could get their licenses and officially start. Fortunately, this time came early enough for sports lovers.


Legal status of Illinois betting operators

Finally, good news for sports lovers: Illinois has passed laws that allow sports betting to be placed at physical locations. This was done in June 2019 under Senate Bill 690, passed with a clear margin from 46 to 10 to allow sports betting both online and at physical locations. There are a few interesting things to keep in mind, especially since you cannot bet on games involving college sports teams from Illinois. However, this is more than enough to make the sports fans happy right now.


Illinois online sports betting

For online games, Illinois is also in the same situation as sports betting in physical casinos. This situation is currently pending until legalization of this activity translates into the licensing and operation of online sports gambling. One thing that stands out from the current legalized environment in Illinois is that the major sports betting players will be forced to operate, for the first 18 months, under the patronage of a land operator.


Legal status of Illinois betting websites

Although sports betting is now legal thanks to the adoption of SB 690 in June 2019, there is currently no sports betting available. Indeed, the legal and operational licensing process is taking place in full. The scheduled launching of online sports bets in Illinois is still subject to confirmation.

Sports betting in Illinois in the future

In the future, sports betting will be one of the most interesting forms of betting in all Illinois. It is interesting for players to participate in person and online sports betting for those who want to feel the action. To predict the future of the local sports betting market, you should look to neighboring Indiana, which has promotions at in-person venues while preparing online betting options as well. Players in Illinois may expect similar experiences.

Legal status of Illinois poker rooms and online poker

When it comes to casinos in Illinois near Chicago or elsewhere in the state, of course, there are many ways to play poker at the physical locations. There are 12 poker rooms in Illinois, including non-profit gaming rooms that come with 10 casinos across Illinois. With the number of the poker rooms equalling that of casinos, poker is Illinois's top priority.


Legal status of Illinois land-based poker rooms

Is Illinois Casino Poker legal? That is right. Unlike 19th-century river casinos in Illinois, poker players can take part in everything the 12 Illinois poker rooms without having to worry about the legality of everything. This is a product of legalizing casino games, starting with the legalization of river casinos in the 1990s. Since then, games like poker and popular casino games have been legal on land locations.


Illinois online poker: offshore

Looking at online gambling, Illinois discovered that the poker scene resembles the world of online casinos. However, there is no specific way for Illinois to play poker online. Illinois can be left behind compared to Nevada and New Jersey, where players can experience the thrill of the game with state-sanctioned online operators. There are many offshore suppliers who are not legally banned because there is no law against them. However, we do not recommend playing with such providers.


Legal status of Illinois online poker

Legally, nothing makes online poker in Illinois currently illegal. Like other states, i.e. Iowa and Indiana, online poker is currently in the gray area. Without taking any action to make online poker legal, players may access offshore poker websites that are not regulated inside the state and the United States that accept players from Illinois. However, we do not recommend playing on such offshore poker websites.


Online poker in Illinois in the future

With all the money available in the online poker market in the United States and around the world, any view of the future of the poker industry in the state will be rejected unless the state will participate into future regulations. For now, however, there seems to be no plan to do this and the options that have been loaded for land-based poker players make online poker games unlikely.

Legal status of Illinois lottery and online lottery

Lottery is often overlooked in the betting industry, but Illinois was the first state to allow lottery games through Illinois lottery in the 1970s. Since then, they have advanced a lot, as players can participate in the lottery both offline and online, depending on their preference. Illinois was one of the first states to sell lottery tickets online, making it a leader in the lottery industry.

With the popularity of online scratch cards and other forms of lottery games, deciding to let players enjoy the lottery in different ways is a wise decision. Indeed, the operation of online lotteries is legal in Illinois.

Legal status of Illinois fantasy sports

Daily fantasy sports are in an interesting situation in Illinois because they are not currently illegal, but not completely legalized either. This has caused a lawsuit between Illinois and its major players in the industry, who want to clearly legalize the daily fantasy sports betting. There is a legal dispute between companies, governments and other agencies related to the legal status of DFS.

The fact is that bettors should worry about is that they are now allowed to use websites of well-known companies that make daily bets on fantasy sports while the situation is waiting to be legally clarified. Because DFS is being regulated nationwide, players are unlikely to have to worry about the Illinois operators' legal status in the future.

Legal status of Illinois social casinos

Games in social casinos are not banned in Illinois, although there is still no law governing this type of action. Just like playing in real money online casinos with no legal or illegal status, players in Illinois can expect a similar unregulated experience with social casino promotions. Of course, the big difference between social casino games and traditional casino games is that it is not really money. If someone does not decide to buy chips or other play money from these operators, there is no real cost to participate in these games. These may include casino games, such as slot machines and poker, but there are no real gaming components for them. Instead, players can compete with friends and others for this type of game through social networks and other platforms. There are ways to keep track of who will win the most.


Illinois gambling conclusion

Is Illinois casino gambling legal? Yes, it is legal, as opposed to the first days in the state where Illinois illegal casinos operated. Terrestrial casinos and poker are currently legal, including future sports betting. Online players will be happy to know that they can play online casino games and poker without having to worry about the legal consequences of gambling with offshore operators. And players who bet on sports will be happy to see that legal land bets and online sports betting will soon appear in the state, as vendors are preparing their offers. In general, the Illinois betting menu is reliable, because greater legalization means more options for any player. Although Illinois is one of the pioneers of betting compared to other states, it seems to be increasingly catching up with other states, adding more betting options.