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  • Land Based Gambling

    Live Dealer Games
    Casino
    Regulated Since: 1991
    Gambling Age: 21
    Live Dealer Games
    Sports Betting
    Regulated Since: 2020
    Gambling Age: 21
    Live Dealer Games
    Poker
    Regulated Since: 1991
    Gambling Age: 21
    Live Dealer Games
    Bingo
    Regulated Since: 1983
    Gambling Age: 18
    Live Dealer Games
    Lottery
    Regulated Since: 1974
    Gambling Age: 18
    Live Dealer Games
    Horse Racing
    Regulated Since: 1927
    Gambling Age: 18
    Live Dealer Games
    Dog Racing

    Online Gambling

    Live Dealer Games
    Online Casino
    Live Dealer Games
    Online Sports Betting
    Live Dealer Games
    Online Poker
    Live Dealer Games
    Online Bingo
    Live Dealer Games
    eSports Betting
    Live Dealer Games
    DFS

    Overview

    The windy state of Illinois is one of the few US states that have always had a more liberal approach to gambling activities. In Illinois, you will have access to thrilling gambling activities including State lottery, charitable gaming, casinos, Daily Fantasy Sports and pari-mutuel betting.

    When it comes to Poker Illinois is the place to be with the game running through the veins of the state. In Illinois, there is a range of tournament for professionals and newcomers to enjoy.

    Over the years Illinois has gone through the motions of having one or two legal gambling activities available to making nearly all forms of gambling legal. Now, in 2020, they are working on going full circle by finally implementing the updated legislation. If the new legislation is put in effect sports betting, more casinos and online gaming activities could become part of the legal gambling activities in the state.

    With the new legislation in the works, Illinois could soon become a gambling mecca in the Midwest. With the new gambling expansion bill which was signed into law in June 2019, there will be provision made for new casinos, sportsbooks and gaming positions. These gaming opportunities will also drastically increase the state’s annual gambling tax revenue by $350,000,000.

    Even with the new laws and regulations enabling a wider range of gambling avenues the state of Illinois is taking its time to prepare. According to the Gaming Board they unlike their neighbour states are working on rolling out the new gambling forms in a proper manner, to ensure they do what’s best for the state.

    Even after the Casino, Smoking Ban implemented in 2008 causing a massive revenue decrease the state has done everything possible to rebuild their gaming glory. With the addition of new casinos, sports betting and possibly online casino gambling Illinois will be the ultimate gaming state. Even before the addition of these betting additions Illinois already established itself as one of the top gaming states in the US. Offering players a safe space to enjoy casino games via riverboats, pari-mutuel betting on horse racing, charitable gambling and a state lottery. There’s something for every type of gambler to enjoy in this windy state. 


    Regulation

    Unlike other states, Illinois is very specific in its laws and regulations implemented. Thus, anyone going against these laws and regulations is committing a felony and will be convicted. Any gambling activities in an unlicensed establishment falls under a Class 4 felony.

    The good news is that Illinois is a liberal state that has chosen to embrace the gambling industry rather than show it the door. Most popular forms of gambling have been legalised within this state over the years and now even more gaming activities are being written into the range of acceptable and regulated variants available in the state.

    The racing industry was the first to be created in Illinois back in 1927 during the Great Depression. Like many other states, Illinois jumped at the chance to increase revenues during this trying time. Then a couple of years later they were among the first to start a state lottery. The Illinois Lottery was launched in 1974. It is the oldest in the country and the state holds lotto drawing and sells scratch-off tickets. The Illinois Lottery includes Lucky Day Lotto, Lotto Extra Shot and interstate lotto’s Powerball and Mega Millions.

    Bingo players waited nearly a decade from the launch of the lottery for the legalization of Bingo games. Bingo was brought to Illinois in 1983 and 1991 it was a proper celebration with the legalization of casinos. The Riverboat Gambling Act passed in 1990 allowed for Illinois casinos to open on riverboats. These casinos were filled with a variety of Poker, Slots, Video Poker, Blackjack, Craps, Roulette and other table games. Another great addition to these casinos is a poker room were many big poker tournaments are hosted annually. The laws were strict at first forcing boats to be on the water and leave the dock two hours for the first decade. In 1999 the laws were altered allowing these casinos to become more traditional and remain on the dock.

    In 2008 there was a massive revenue decrease with the implementation of a casino smoking ban just before the Great Recession. The ban resulted in a 20% loss of gambling revenue as many smoking gamblers chose to find casinos beyond the borders that permitted smoking. The ban along with the recession resulted in major revenue loss for the state. So much so that by 2015 the state had to stop paying big lottery winners due to a budget deadlock in the state legislature.

    Apart from the riverboat casinos, there are slots and video poker games that can be found in bars, restaurants, gas stations and at many charitable organizations. It is believed that there are over 4,500 video gaming establishments and businesses hosting 18,000 machines within the state.

    The new Gambling Act was signed into law on June 28, 2019, and it makes a range of significant changes to the laws. These changes are still being worked through and being implemented in the state. The new Act will see the addition of 6 new casinos, 20 sportsbooks and thousands of new gaming positions. 

    Licensing

    The different forms of legal gambling within the state of Illinois is licensed and regulated by different authorities.
    The Illinois Racing Board (IRC) regulates all forms of horse race betting. The IRC is made up out of 11 members appointed by the Governor with advice and consent of the Senate.

    The Illinois Gaming Board (IGB) is in charge of regulating all riverboat and casino gambling operations, video gaming operations and sports wagering operations within the state. The IGB will conduct audits, investigative and financial analysis to ensure all gambling operations are legit and legal. The IGB is made up out of five board members that have been appointed by the Governor based on advice and consent from the Senate.

    The Illinois Department of Revenue (IDOR) licenses and regulates all bingo game activities as well as all games of chance including cards, dice, wheels and random selection of numbers or gambling tickets at charitable events.

    Then there is the Illinois Lottery Control Board (ILCB) and the Department of Lottery who have been put in charge of the regulation of the State Lottery. When it comes to raffles the governing body of any county or municipality has the authority to establish a specific system for licensing of raffle organizations. This is all made possible through the Raffles and Poker Runs Act.

    All sweepstakes and promotions are controlled by the Attorney General or State’s Attorney under the Prizes and Gifts Act.With the new Gambling Act 2019 in place, online gambling and daily fantasy sports have been legalised. With the new bill in place, an Internet Gaming Act will be created which will result in an internet gaming division being opened on the Illinois Gaming Board. This board will be responsible for the licensing and regulation of all online gaming and daily fantasy sports licenses and regulations.

    For each different form of gambling available in Illinois, there is a board that license, permits, authorizes and approves it. Illinois is said to become a Midwest gambling Mecca embracing all forms of gambling entertainment. If all goes well the majority of gambling activities should be legal, licensed and regulated by the end of 2020. 

    FAQ

    Is online gambling legal in Illinois?
    At this time no, there is a law in the works that could soon change the legal status of online gambling.

    Can I get in trouble for online gambling in this state?

    While there is no law focusing on illegal gambling there have been instances where players have been prosecuted.

    Are Daily Fantasy Sports Legal in Illinois?

    Daily Fantasy Sports is among the many forms of gaming activities that can be played throughout the state of Illinois.

    Is it safe to play at offshore gambling sites?

    If you play at a site licensed in another region, with a good reputation and player feedback. Always opt for a reputable offshore gambling site and do your research before playing with real money.

    What is the minimum gambling age in Illinois?

    You need to be 18 or older to partake in racing, lottery or bingo activities and 21 or older for all casino and video lottery activities.

    Is there horse racing in Illinois?

    Yes, horse racing was among the first activities to be legalised within the state.

    Is poker legal in Illinois?

    Yes, Poker is highly popular in the state with plenty of poker rooms hosting tournaments and games for residents.

    Are sports betting legal in Illinois?

    Limited sports betting is currently legal, a new bill was signed into law in June 2019 to legalise sports betting as a whole. There is still work done so it has not been fully implemented yet.

    What forms of gambling is legal in the state?

    Pari-mutuel betting, charitable games, state lottery, bingo, poker, casinos and riverboat casinos and Daily Fantasy Sports.

    What are riverboat casinos?

    The original casinos that were first available in the state of Illinois, these run on the water and can be found on docks across the state.

     

    Casinos and Gambling Facilities in Illinois

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