Illinois State Rep. Bob Rita filed an online casino bill in February, and it has many Illinoisans wondering when we might see expanded online gambling in the Land of Lincoln.
It’s also worth taking a look at which online casino games would be available to Illinoisans should the bill pass.
Besides examining the bill itself, we have a good idea of which operators would be in a legal IL online casino market. From there, we can see what games those operators offer in other legal states.
Currently, online casino is legal in New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Michigan, West Virginia and Delaware.
Here’s what Illinoisans can expect should online casino pass.
Illinois should have plenty of online casino game options
HB 3142 states that internet versions of slot machines, table games and even online poker would be available. Furthermore, this would include simulcasted live dealer versions of casino games.
More specifically, Illinoisans would likely be able to play the following casino games online:
- Video poker
Note that this is not an exhaustive list, but the Illinois gaming market should offer all of the most popular casino games.
Based on what’s in the bill, Illinoisans would have live dealer and non-live dealer versions available.
The only difference between the two is that with a live dealer, you can see your dealer broadcasted virtually. It gives players more of a brick-and-mortar casino feel.
Which online casino operators could we see in Illinois?
The bill allows for a maximum of 36 skins. That’s a lofty number, and Illinois may never reach it.
But if the bill passes, we should see plenty of online casino operators in Illinois.
We’ve compiled a list of potential operators, based on Illinois sportsbook operators, existing market access deals and other states:
Once again, this is not an exhaustive list. Should Illinois legalize online casinos, expect to see even more operators pursue a license.
Why Illinois is an attractive market for online casinos
Illinois is the fifth-most populous state in the US, and we’ve already seen how much sports betting has thrived in the Prairie State.
The Illinois sports betting market recently passed the $2 billion mark in handle, and it could be a top-three state by monthly handle soon. Right now, it only trails New Jersey, Nevada and Pennsylvania.
The success should certainly translate to the online casino market. Michigan posted a banner first full month of revenue, raking in nearly $80 million.
For reference, Illinois is one of the most successful sports betting markets in the country, and operators profited $49 million in January. That was an all-time high.
There are currently 10 casinos in Illinois — which may sound like a lot, but it really isn’t considering the size of the state. Wisconsin, a smaller neighboring state, has 26 casinos. There are 23 in Iowa.
We should eventually have six new casinos in Illinois, but progress has been slow. So, a smaller reason why Illinois is an attractive online casino market is because there aren’t an overwhelming amount of brick-and-mortar options.