Illinois Online Casinos and Gambling Sites in 2024

Posted by Arthur Crowson

Gambling in Illinois

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Illinois has become one of the biggest gambling states over the past few decades.

It offers many legal gambling options, ranging from riverboat casinos to regulated sportsbooks. But is Illinois online gambling among these legal options?

The good news is that you can legally gamble online in the Prairie State. You will find many online casinos, poker sites, and sportsbooks in Illinois.

However, we recommend fully understanding the legalities before you start playing. This guide covers the ins and outs of Illinois gambling laws, real-money gambling sites, and bonuses.

Summary of Illinois Gambling Laws

The Prairie State provides many gambling opportunities, including lotteries, riverboat casinos, poker, and sports betting.

It also features legal online sportsbooks and tolerates offshore online casinos and poker rooms. Here’s a summary of what you need to know:

GamblingIllinois
Is Online Gambling Legal?Yes
Playing at Online CasinosGray area (offshore casino play tolerated)
Legal Age Online21+
Land-Based CasinosYes
Legal Age Land-Based21+
Online Sports BettingYes
Charitable GamblingYes
State LotteryYes
Social GamingNo

Illinois has legalized most types of gambling. You can see what games of chance are legal, illegal, and in a gray area below.

GamblingIllinois Legal Status
Online CasinosDespite being unregulated, offshore casinos and poker sites have served Illinois since the 1990s. IL gamblers have been playing at these sites for just as long without incident.
Casino GamblingRiverboat casinos have been operating in this state since 1990. Land-based casinos are currently under construction after the 2019 Rebuild Illinois Act (SB 516) passed.
PokerSeveral Illinois poker rooms operate inside casinos. Rivers Casino Des Plaines currently offers the largest poker room at 22 tables.
Horse Racing BettingThree IL racetracks are operational, including Arlington Park, Hawthorne Race Center, and Fairmount Park. Off-track betting (OTB) is also available for remote wagering on national races.
Dog Racing BettingDog racing is illegal in Illinois.
LotteryThe Illinois Lottery offers daily games, scratch-offs, and multi-state drawing tickets (i.e., Mega Millions, Powerball).
Daily Fantasy SportsDaily fantasy sports (DFS) is unregulated in Illinois and lies in a gray area. DFS sites continue to serve IL residents amidst the legal uncertainty.
Sports BettingLawmakers legalized sports betting in June 2019 with the passage of SB 690. Illinois now offers legal retail and online sportsbooks.
Charitable GamingRegistered and licensed charities can hold gambling fundraisers. Some approved charity gambling games include blackjack, craps, and roulette.
Social GamingSocial gambling is not technically legal under Illinois gambling laws. However, many small-stakes gamblers hold private poker games with no trouble.

Best Illinois Online Casinos

Many offshore online casinos are available to Illinoisans. We have reviewed dozens of these gaming sites and determined the following are the best operators at the moment.

Where to Gamble in Illinois

The Land of Lincoln features many gambling establishments, including casinos, horse tracks, lottery retailers, poker rooms, and sportsbooks.

These venues are available everywhere, from Chicago to Metropolis on the Ohio River. If you would rather stay home, Illinois offers plenty of opportunities for online gambling, too.

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Land-Based Casinos in Illinois

The 1990 Riverboat Gambling Act paved the way for riverboat casinos. Until recently, Illinois riverboat casinos had to dock on a waterway.

However, the 2019 Rebuild Illinois Act legalized six land-based casinos, with most currently under construction.

You can see the riverboat casinos and planned brick-and-mortar establishments below:

– American Place (temp. casino open)
4011 Fountain Square Pl, Waukegan, IL
Sportsbook: Coming soon

– Bally’s Chicago (opening 2026)
Medinah Temple, 600 N Wabash Ave, Chicago, IL 60611
Sportsbook: Coming in 2026

– Golden Nugget Danville
204 Eastgate Dr, Danville, IL 61834
Sportsbook: Yes

– Hard Rock Casino Rockford (temp. casino open)
610 N Bell School Rd, Rockford, IL 61107
Sportsbook: Yes

– Walker’s Bluff Casino Resort (coming soon)
777 Walkers Bluff Way, Carterville, IL 62918
Sportsbook: No

– Wind Creek Chicago Southland (opening 2024)
17400 S. Halsted East Hazel Crest, IL 60429
Sportsbook: No

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Horse & Dog Tracks

Horse racing betting is legal via the Illinois Horse Racing Act of 1975.

You can watch races and place bets at three operational tracks. Arlington Park and Hawthorne Race Center are in Chicago, while Fairmount Park is in the St. Louis area.

Simulcast OTB betting is available at various locations, including the three tracks mentioned above.

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Online Sports Betting

Sports betting is the only regulated form of gambling in the state.

Mobile operators must pay a $20 million fee and a 15% tax rate to obtain a 4-year license. They can renew their licenses for $1 million after four years.

Offshore sportsbooks like Bovada and BetOnline.ag continue accepting bets from Illinois despite not having local licenses.

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Bingo Halls and Charitable Gambling

Charitable gambling is legal in Illinois, but it has stipulations. Non-profit organizations must pay a $400 license fee every two years.

They are also limited to running the following games of chance:

– Bang
– Beat the Dealer
– Big Six
– Blackjack
– Chuck-a-luck
– Craps
– Five-card stud
– Gin Rummy
– Keno
– Merchandise wheel
– Poker (e.g., Texas hold’em)
– Pull table
– Roulette

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Social Gaming at Home

This state is surprisingly harsh on social games despite its liberal stance on most gambling.

Sec. 28-1(a) of the Illinois Criminal Code of 1961 broadly defines illegal gambling as follows:

“A person commits gambling when he or she knowingly plays a game of chance or skill for money or other thing of value […]”

Illinois has made many exceptions to this rule, including casinos, charities, lotteries, poker rooms, and sportsbooks. It is also tolerant of offshore betting sites and poker rooms.

But Naperville authorities did bust a 13-person gambling game with illegal drugs in 2015. You are unlikely to get busted if your private game is small and drug-free.

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Poker Rooms and Clubs

Illinois has a sizable poker scene with ten land-based poker rooms. Rivers Casino Des Plaines and Grand Victoria Casino have over 20 tables.

Online poker is non-regulated in Illinois but is easily accessible through offshore sites. You can safely play here because state authorities have never arrested anybody for playing.

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Eight-Liners

Eight-line slot machines feature three reels and eight paylines. Their key feature is offering prizes under $5.

Illinois features legal casinos and regular slot machines, so it does not have eight-liners.

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Casino Cruises

Most Illinois casinos sit on waterways due to the Riverboat Gambling Act.

These boats were previously like cruises because they had to be moving before accepting bets. But as of 1999, riverboat casinos can stay docked and still provide gambling.

Real Money Online Casino Games for Illinois

Dozens of online casinos offer games to the Land of Lincoln. As discussed below, you can play online slots, blackjack, poker, and live dealer games here.

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Online Slots

Illinois has almost 70,000 slot machines between its casinos and video lottery terminals (VLTs). But you may want to gamble at home rather than visit a casino or convenience store.

In this case, you can play online slots on a smartphone, tablet, or desktop computer. Offshore gaming sites collectively offer thousands of mobile slots to IL residents with exciting features like hot-drop jackpots and bonus rounds.

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Online Poker

This state features ten brick-and-mortar poker rooms—more than most states. But Illinois does not offer massive poker tournaments or much cash game action beyond hold’em.

You can find a broader selection of tourneys and cash games at online poker sites. Some offshore poker rooms feature tournaments with 6-figure prize pools.

icono verde de dos cartas, una vuelta y la otra oculta y una mano encima

Online Blackjack

Blackjack is the most popular table game at offshore casinos. Many sites feature multiple online blackjack variations.

Common examples include classic, European, Perfect Pairs, Pirate 21, and Suit ‘Em Up Blackjack. You can also visit a land-based Illinois casino and play most of these games in person.

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Live Dealer Games

Many online casinos serving this state offer live dealer casino games. Live baccarat, blackjack, and roulette are the most common ones.

Some casinos provide other games like Blackjack Early Payout, Super 6, and three-card poker.

Other Available Games at Online Casinos in Illinois

The list of games extends beyond blackjack, slots, and live dealer tables. You can also enjoy the categories listed below at IL online casinos.

Top Bonuses at Gambling Sites for Illinois Players

Most sites offer large bonuses to IL residents. The casino bonuses covered below offer reasonable rollovers and deposit limits.

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  • Banking methods: Crypto only
  • Rollover requirement: First deposit 25x, next deposits 50x
  • 6 months to clear rollover

The Bovada crypto bonus matches your initial three deposits by 125% up to $1,250.

You must deposit at least $10 with Bitcoin, Bitcoin Cash, Bitcoin SV, Ethereum, Litecoin, or Tether.

You will also need to use the following bonus codes:
– First deposit: BTCCWB1250
– Second and third deposits: BTC2NDCWB


Wagering requirements are 25x (b+d) on the first deposit bonus. Playthrough requirements increase to 50x on the second and third deposit bonuses.

Craps and live dealer casino games are not eligible for meeting wagering requirements.

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  • Min Deposit: $25
  • No max cashout
  • Rollover requirement: 30x

The SlotsandCasino bonus matches your first three deposits by 300% up to $1,500 ($4,500 total).

You must deposit $25 or more to qualify and meet 30x wagering requirements (bonus + deposit).

Eligible games for satisfying wagering requirements include everything except craps, live dealer games, and progressive slots.

Illinois Online Gambling Laws

The Illinois Criminal Code criminalizes unauthorized gambling, but it features many exceptions. These exceptions lead to confusion about what is legal—especially when gambling online.

The penal codes and laws below reveal whether you can safely gamble online here.

icono verde con cartas, un dado y una ficha

Is Online Gambling Legal in Illinois?

This state only seems concerned with preventing illegal gambling establishments from operating within its borders.

It has never pursued an offshore gambling site nor arrested anybody for placing online bets.

It did not even go after daily fantasy sports sites when Attorney Gen. Lisa Madigan claimed they were illegal in 2015—an opinion that the Illinois Supreme Court later overruled.

Online gambling generally seems legal in Illinois, especially if you only play at offshore sites versus operating them.

Anti pair 2 Green cards spade face up

Local Unregulated Gambling Sites are Banned

Section 28-1-12 of the Illinois Criminal Code (source #6) makes it illegal to operate “an Internet site that permits a person to play a game of chance or skill for money or other thing of value by means of the Internet.”

This law points to local operators, considering that the state has never pursued offshore gambling sites.

soccer ball with a hand

Online Sports Betting is Legal

Section 28-1-15 deems regulated online sports betting legal “when conducted in accordance with the Sports Wagering Act (SB 690).”

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Online Lotteries and Pari-mutuel Betting are Legal

Section 28-1-3 and Section 28-1-6.1 note that online pari-mutuel betting and lotteries are lawful.

*Please be advised that the information provided on this page does not constitute legal advice. Our team strongly recommends you seek professional counsel from a qualified attorney regarding your specific questions or concerns on the topic.

Illinois Online Gambling vs. Neighbor States

Illinois is mostly the same as its Midwestern neighbors regarding legal gambling options. You can see how the Prairie State compares to surrounding states below.

US StatePlaying at Online CasinosState Regulated CasinosSocial CasinosOnline Sports BettingLotteryFantasy SportsCharitable Gaming
IllinoisGray areaNot LegalLegalLegalLegalGray AreaLegal
WisconsinGray areaNot LegalLegalGray areaLegalGray AreaLegal
MichiganLegalLegalLegalLegalLegalGray AreaLegal
IndianaGray areaNot LegalLegalLegalLegalLegalLegal
KentuckyGray areaNot LegalLegalLegalLegalGray AreaLegal
MissouriGray areaNot LegalLegalGray AreaLegalLegalLegal
IowaGray areaNot LegalLegalLegalLegalLegalLegal

Commonalities between these states include legal charity gambling, lotteries, and social casinos.

Most have regulated online sports betting, except for Missouri and Wisconsin. Michigan is the only state to have regulated online casinos so far. 

Illinois and its neighbors without online casinos tolerate offshore gaming sites. Kentucky did try seizing 141 offshore gambling domain names in 2008. However, the Bluegrass State has left unregulated gambling sites alone ever since.

Tips When Playing at Online Casinos in Illinois Safely

You can be confident about the safety and reputation of most offshore online casinos in Illinois. Nevertheless, consider the following tips for enjoying gaming sites safely.

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Find a Reputable Site

Illinois does not feature a regulated online casino market. But most gaming sites serving this state have a license elsewhere (e.g., Curacao). Licensed offshore casinos are more reputable than unlicensed competitors.

two green speech bubbles next to one another

Seek Out Good Service

Finding good support at online casinos is crucial for a positive and enjoyable gaming experience. While no casino site is perfect, reliable customer support contributes to building trust between the casino and its users.

icon find a bonus green

Check the Terms and Conditions

All online casinos require you to meet bonus terms and conditions. However, reputable gaming sites ensure fair terms and offer a reasonable chance to earn bonus funds.

It is also important to know the online casino’s rules and privacy policy.

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Sign Up and Play for Free

You do not have to deposit immediately when interested in a gaming site. Instead, you can register and play free games to test out a casino or specific games.

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Use Cryptocurrency

Using crypto offers several advantages; players can enjoy a greater degree of privacy, as transactions are not directly tied to personal information.

Deposits and withdrawals are processed faster, and sites will have lower fees compared to other banking methods.

Also, in some regions, traditional banks may have restrictions on transactions related to online gambling. Cryptocurrencies provide a workaround for players facing these restrictions, allowing for more flexibility when playing online.

Pros & Cons of Gambling in Illinois

The Land of Lincoln offers more advantages than the average state.

But as covered below, you should also know the potential downsides when gambling in Illinois.

Pros

  • Many forms of legal gambling.
  • Tolerates offshore online casinos and poker rooms.
  • Mild 4.95% state tax rate on gambling winnings.
  • Deposit at gambling sites with cryptocurrencies.
  • Bonuses worth thousands of dollars.

Cons

  • No in-state regulation for online casinos.
  • High rejection of credit card deposits.
  • Regulated sportsbooks are low on promos.

The Future of Online Gambling in Illinois: Our Prediction

Illinois has already legalized most forms of gambling, but it still has room to growespecially in the online sector.

It only features online betting sites and lotteries, while casinos and poker remain unregulated. Of course, this situation is not terrible for players, who can choose from many offshore poker sites and casinos.

Recent efforts to legalize and regulate online casinos have not gained any traction. SB 1656 is the latest legislation to fall by the wayside.

We see the online gambling status quo remaining for at least a few years in Illinois. If anything happens, online casinos will probably become regulated faster than poker.

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Answers to Our Reader’s FAQ

The following FAQ covers the most common questions regarding IL online gambling.

Disclaimer

As part of our commitment to transparency, it’s important to disclose that this website engages in affiliate marketing. This means that when you click on our links to online casinos and make a purchase or sign up, we may earn a commission.

These commissions contribute to the upkeep of our platform and the creation of valuable content. While we aim to provide accurate and unbiased information, it’s crucial to note that our reviews are not influenced by affiliate partnerships.

Additionally, we advocate for responsible gambling practices and encourage users to gamble responsibly. If you believe you may have a gambling problem, please seek assistance from relevant support services.