Though Illinois online casinos are not, yet, legal, this branch of online gaming is evolving with every passing day. Online casinos are a profitable arm for major gambling entities throughout the world.
Consider this Online Casino 101.
Basically, online casinos are casino games such as slots, poker, and roulette on your computer screen or on your mobile device. You set up an account just like you would to open an Illinois online sports betting account, log on, and start wagering real money with each spin or virtual throw of the dice.
It’s possible 2023 is the year online casinos in Illinois are legalized. In the meantime, you should learn about how online casino gambling works, where it’s available and what it offers you.
Where are online casinos available?
There are six U.S. states that allow online casino gambling. They are Connecticut, Delaware, Michigan, New Jersey, Pennsylvania and West Virginia.
There are also places throughout North America where you can log on and pull a virtual slot machine handle. In Canada, many provincial lottery corporations offer some form of online casino. Though, only Ontario is home to a truly open online casino market. Ontario currently has 41 live online gaming operators and that includes six of the seven companies currently offering sports betting in Illinois:
Mexico allows gambling online, but there’s not that much oversight of the activity.
Cuba has a complete ban on gambling, but you know it still happens. Jamaica and Puerto Rico each have relaxed rules on online casino gambling.
How do you play?
In US states where online casino gambling is allowed, it’s accessible through the same apps you use for your sports betting needs. Either at the top or bottom of these apps is a Casino icon. Tap that and you’re transported to the virtual casino floor where you’re given the option of playing slots, blackjack, craps, poker or more.
You can usually use the same account that you have set up for sports betting to spend at the casino.
How do online casinos work?
So long as you gamble with a legal, regulated online casino, it’s important to note the games are not rigged. All casino games are regularly tested and certified for fairness. A reputable casino lists its games’ theoretical Return To Player statistics while publishing actual payout rates, certified by independent gaming labs and testing authorities.
At states where online casinos are open, the various regulatory bodies in those states take charge monitoring that the games are valid. In Illinois, this would fall to the Illinois Gaming Board.
These virtual games – just like the ones on site at a casino – use pseudorandom number generator (PRNG) software to produce the results. It’s just like you were standing in front of the table or slot machine. It’s the same technology.
There are also live dealer games, where you can use camera technology to see and hear your dealer. These games (usually poker) are streamed in real-time and you also have the chat feature where you can talk to the dealer and other players.
Also, don’t worry about not getting paid if you win. If you only gamble with operators that are legal and regulated, getting paid will not be a concern. It’s the law.
What do you need to access an online casino?
You have to verify your location using geolocation software. You will have to install that software on your computer or mobile device or the website or app won’t work. Online casinos can require a drivers’ license, passport, military ID or social security number for you to establish your account.
All this information is held on a secure server.
If you’re making a deposit with a credit or debit card, you may be asked to prove ownership of the card by sending a picture of both sides. This is all done to eliminate underage gambling and fraud.
How easy is to gamble this way?
It works just like placing a bet on the Bulls or the Bears. You log into your account, but instead of looking at point spreads, you pick a slot machine to put some money on. You’re in control with how much you bet on each spin or roll of the dice. You’ll be amazed at the number of games offered at online casinos. They have hundreds of slot machines to play, blackjack at various betting levels and poker.
Online casinos also offer the “demo” mode for most games, meaning you can play just for fun, without risking any real money. This is a good way to find a game you like, and then when the urge strikes you to put real money down.
Are there responsible gaming measures at online casinos?
Yes, online casinos are always tracking how much time you have spent at the virtual casino and will send you periodic notifications that it may be time to log off.
You can also set up your account with protections to make sure you don’t gamble more than you should.
These protections include limited the length of time you play, how much you can bet per day or week and how much you can deposit into your online casino account.