Illinois Online Gambling

Latest news on gaming, sports betting, lottery and online casino in Illinois

The legal Illinois gambling industry is constantly growing.

Illinois online sports betting is prevalent. And getting started is easy. It only takes a handful of minutes to sign up for an IL betting app.

If sports betting isn’t your thing, then you still have plenty of other gambling options at your fingertips. The Land of Lincoln has almost everything that a gambler could want.

Illinois has 11 different casinos to visit. Plus, there are five more under construction — including Bally’s Casino in Chicago.

The state also has the most video gaming terminals in the country and two horse racetracks.

Toss in retail and online lottery, and Illinois gamblers have an incredible number of options available.

With more casinos and sportsbooks opening for business soon, the Illinois gambling industry should continue booming throughout the summer. Stay tuned to PlayIllinois for all of the latest gambling news in the state.

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Legal Gambling Options in Illinois

Online Sports Betting

So far, there are seven regulated online sportsbooks in Illinois: BetRivers, DraftKings, FanDuel, PointsBet, Caesars, Barstool and BetMGM. Casinos, lottery outlets, stadiums and racetracks can apply for operator licenses. There are three online-only licenses up for grabs.

The more sportsbooks and the more competition, the better it is for you. Take advantage of welcome offers and free bets when you sign up at a legal Illinois sportsbook. All the popular betting options are available, including moneylines and same-game parlays.

Online Lottery

Today, you’ll find regular in-state draws and big multi-state prizes such as the Powerball and Mega Millions at the Illinois Lottery. Instant-play games are available; many of them are themed, such as Deal or No Deal. The Illinois Lottery offers fast play lottery online and at retail locations. You can buy Illinois lottery tickets online, too. There is also a lottery app where you can check drawing results.

The IL Lottery funds several charitable organizations in the Prairie State that support children, veterans and infrastructure.

Retail Sports Betting

Currently, there are 11 retail sports betting options in Illinois. Retail sportsbooks allow you to enjoy food and beverage service, watch the game on a big TV and bet on the game in person.

Every Illinois casino, racetrack and sports stadium can host a retail sportsbook. Sometime in 2022, a DraftKings Sportsbook will be at Wrigley Field and FanDuel Sportsbook at the United Center.

Thankfully, you can find a retail sportsbook at most Illinois casinos, racetracks or off-track betting locations.

Daily Fantasy Sports

Daily fantasy sports (DFS) contests run legally in Illinois. On April 16, 2020, the Illinois Supreme Court ruled that head-to-head DFS contests do not constitute gambling. So it’s safe to play DFS in Illinois. Major sites, including FanDuel DFS, DraftKings DFS, Yahoo and Monkey Knife Fight, offer real-money picks.

DFS is an online game where players compete against others by building a team of pro athletes with a limited salary cap. Players earn points (and victories) based upon those athletes’ performances in designated games.

Casinos

There are 11 casinos in Illinois that play host to slots, blackjack, roulette and more. The newest is Hard Rock Casino in Rockford. Five more casino facilities are coming down the regulation pike, including a major entertainment casino complex in Chicago.

The only real-money casino games allowed in Illinois are at retail casinos. The Internet Gaming Act would allow regulated online slots, online table games and online poker; however, that bill is stalled.

The only legal online casino options operate using sweepstakes rules.

Poker

There are two types of real-money poker in Illinois: retail and charity. Rivers Casino near Chicago opened a new poker room in the spring. There are four poker rooms in Illinois:

  • Bally’s Quad Cities Casino and Hotel, Rock Island
  • Hollywood Casino, Aurora
  • Grand Victoria Casino, Elgin
  • Rivers Casino, Des Plaines

The Internet Gaming Act would legalize online poker in Illinois. If that legislature passes, the only legal online poker option is Global Poker, which operates under sweepstakes gaming rules.

Illinois Gambling FAQ

Yes, but only online sweepstakes casinos. There are several ways you can gamble in Illinois; however, two exceptions are online casino games and online poker. There is pending online casino legislation but, according to one senator, a passage in 2022 is a long shot.

Yes, casinos, horse racing, lottery gambling and charitable gambling have been legal in Illinois for many years.

Bill SB 690 adds online and retail sports betting to this list. Gov. JB Pritzker signed this bill in June 2019. The licensing process is under the jurisdiction of the Illinois Gaming Board. The first batch of sportsbooks went live starting in May 2020.

This bill allows for six more retail casinos in Illinois, including one in Chicago. The number of gambling machines in the state will also increase.

It’s a possibility. On Feb. 19, 2021, State Rep. Bob Rita introduce the Internet Gaming Act, which would bring online slot and table games to the state. Visit PlayIllinois.com for the latest news on this bill.

However, there isn’t legal online casino gaming in Illinois at the moment. Bill SB 690 didn’t include a provision for online casino games.

The only options for online casino games are the nationwide sites that operate legally in the state under sweepstakes gambling laws. Brands include Chumba Casino and LuckyLand Slots.

 

Not any time soon. As with casino games, online poker was not included in the current legislation. There is a sweepstakes site, Global Poker, that will legally offer online poker games in Illinois.

No, depositing at offshore sportsbooks is a major risk. With legal and regulated online sports betting now available in Illinois, there isn’t any need to risk your money this way.

These books are based in small nations in the Caribbean or Central America, with little oversight. You won’t have anyone to turn to if you have nonpayment or other dispute.

With legal Illinois sports betting, you’ll have a lot of advantages.

These include regular deposit options (following in-person registration) like credit cards or bank transfers, the best odds and range of bets, plus the security of the Illinois Gaming Board to turn to should you need them.

Compare this will need to deposit using bitcoin or expensive prepaid vouchers offshore, and you’ll quickly realize that legal sports betting is the safest option.

You must be 21 years or older to place a bet legally in Illinois.

Most forms of gambling are available in the Prairie State, though not all of them are available online. These include:

  • Casino games and slots at retail casinos or online sweepstakes gambling sites.
  • Poker at casinos or charity poker rooms or via sweepstakes gambling.
  • Sports betting online or at retail venues.
  • Lottery games include Illinois-only draws, multi-state draws, scratch cards and online games.
  • Horse racing bets via the pari-mutuel pools, live and online.
  • DFS contests run in IL, though these are the topic of legal challenges.

There are also bingo and draws allowed under charitable gambling regulations.

No. As of March 5, 2022, the in-person registration requirement expired in Illinois.

Resources

Your first task is to choose from the major brand online sportsbooks that are coming to Illinois. You can take advantage of the free bets and matched welcome bonuses at several to see which interface you like the best.

You can access online sportsbooks in two ways:

  • You can use your web browser, which works on laptop and desktop computers.
  • You can access your favorite sportsbook via your mobile device. For the best mobile experience, downloading the app is the way to go.

Illinois sportsbooks will detect whether you have an Apple or Android device and send you to the Apple or Google Play Store to download the sports betting app.

All the sports betting brands need your individual information when you register an account.

You’ll find the ways the sites collect this information can vary. When you first visit a website, hit the sign-up button and follow the prompts.

The betting site will ask you to provide a screen name, email, birth date, address, telephone number and the last four digits of your Social Security number.

ID documents aren’t typically a part of the request, though you might need to provide them for additional security screening.

Unlike illegal offshore sportsbooks, you can fund your Illinois gambling account using the same options you use to make online purchases.

You’ll be able to deposit and withdraw safely using any of the following options:

  • Credit or Debit Cards: All sportsbooks allow Visa and Mastercard.
  • Prepaid Debit Cards: In other states, major operators, like DraftKings, have branded prepaid cards. You fund these from your bank (or regular credit card), which allows you to keep keep your gambling bankroll and regular spending separate.
  • Bank Transfers Using ACH: This type of local transfer is also known as e-checks. You can get additional verification, which speeds this up.
  • Bill Pay: Treat sports betting as a utility bill, using bill pay at major banks only.
  • Bank Wires: This method has more significant charges than ACH, though many people who deposit substantial cash use it. Some books accept cashier’s checks and money orders.
  • PayPal: This popular e-wallet lets you keep your bank and online merchants and sportsbooks separate. Alternative brands, including Skrill and Neteller, are available.
  • Cash Payment Options: You can take cash to the cage at the retail casino or use a commercial service like PayNearMe.

Note that legal sportsbooks will ask you to use the same method you used to deposit funds to withdraw (where this is possible), which helps control fraud and money laundering.

Every casino in Illinois and sports arenas in Chicago can apply for a sports betting license. Chicago City Council lifted its sports betting ban in December 2021, which means United Center and Wrigley Field could host sportsbooks, too.

Here are the nine Illinois cities with retail sportsbooks — Chicago could be the 10th in 2022:

  1. Alton
  2. Aurora
  3. Collinsville
  4. Crestwood
  5. Des Plaines
  6. East St. Louis
  7. Elgin
  8. Joliet
  9. Stickney 

Responsible gambling programs include all the protections and assistance for those who develop issues with their gaming habits.

Online sportsbooks provide additional tools and assistance to balance the ease of access. While most people gamble for fun and do so safely and responsibly, a small percentage of people have issues.

Responsible gambling features include:

  • Advice on what constitutes problem gambling (a self-assessment quiz).
  • A list of charities’ telephone numbers and websites that offer help.
  • Tools to manage bet and deposit amounts, and time spent on the gambling site.
  • Tools to take a timeout or completely self-exclude.