Like many other states, Illinois has made major changes to its gambling laws. Citizens can now legally gamble online. This has allowed many popular sports betting operators to expand into Illinois.
The state’s gambling regulators have implemented various frameworks to ensure all new gambling sites are 100% legal and safe. Our site hosts many trustworthy reviews to help you find a legitimate online gaming site.
The recent launch of online gaming in Illinois means not everyone will be familiar with how gaming sites work. Read on for our complete rundown of the state’s new online industry and how to identify a secure and legal site.
Types of Legal Online Gambling in Illinois
Online sportsbooks and daily fantasy sports are the only forms of legal online gambling in Illinois.
Illinois legalized online sports betting in 2019. The first online sportsbooks were launched in June 2020. The Illinois Gaming Board was tasked with accepting applications and handing out licenses. Players registering at these sportsbooks must first visit a partnered land-based casino. This is to confirm you are 21 or older. The list of legal Illinois sportsbooks includes:
- Bally Bet
- Barstool Sportsbook
- BetRivers Sportsbook
- Caesars Sportsbook
- Circa Sports
- DraftKings Sportsbook
- FanDuel Sportsbook
- Hard Rock Sportsbook
- PointsBet Sportsbook (* future Fanatics Sportsbook)
- Player-friendly wagering
- Community competitions
- Great sports coverage
- Famous brand
- Quality mobile app
- Variety of betting options
Illinois lawmakers considered a pair of bills in 2023 that called for legalizing online casino gaming and poker, but neither bill made it out of committee. But you can still play traditional casino games like slots online through social sweepstakes casinos.
Daily Fantasy Sports
Daily fantasy sports were classed as skill-based games in an April 2020 ruling by the Supreme Court. This means Illinois players can legally play daily fantasy sports online. Operators active in the state include:
Online poker is illegal in Illinois. State lawmakers considered a bill to legalize online poker in 2023, but the bill did not make it out of committee. Players will have to wait and see if they decide to push for the legalization of online poker in the future.
Why Choose a Legal Illinois Online Gaming Site?
Licensed Illinois online gaming sites are regulated and held to strict standards by reputable authorities. The regulators ensure that these sites are safe and legal. Offshore sites are not always subject to these regulations.
Sportsbooks need to be thoroughly checked by regulators before receiving a license. Licensed sites must offer fair and accurate odds. They must also be held accountable if they become involved in unfair activities or policies.
This extends to bonus policies and loyalty programs. All these features should offer fair and valuable bonuses to players. Regulated sites also have their games and sports bets audited by the Illinois Gaming Board.
Other advantages of choosing legal Illinois gambling sites over unlicensed offshores ones include responsible gambling options. Regulated sportsbooks are committed to responsible gambling.
This ensures that players can access flexible settings and state-sponsored resources. By enforcing this, players can control their habits and keep online gambling enjoyable and safe.
Betting at licensed online sportsbooks also benefits the community. Licensed operators will pay taxes for their online gaming revenue. This can go towards social welfare programs and state-wide programs for improvements. By supporting local casinos and state gaming sites, you are also contributing to the Illinois economy.
How to Know If an Illinois Online Gambling Site Is Legal, Regulated, and Safe
Make sure to look for these signs of a legal and regulated site before choosing an online sportsbook in Illinois.
Gambling Regulator License
Scroll to the bottom of the site’s homepage to find the footer text. Here you will find out if the site is licensed and regulated by the Illinois Gaming Board.
Physical Casino Partner
The sportsbook will also mention its land-based casino partner in the footer text. Some will also display the casino’s logo. Sportsbooks can partner with casinos or Illinois sports teams. This ensures that a legitimate and recognizable company backs the site.
Regulated sites need to provide a list of legal states. This allows players to access their state’s version of the site and play within its laws. Remember to look for this list and select Illinois before registering. This also ensures any required geolocation plugins will function so you can access your account
Legal sports betting operators will be headquartered in the US as they need to be regulated by the Illinois Gaming Board. Sites based overseas are usually unlicensed and may be illegal.
Customer Service Options
Illinois-based sportsbooks are always looking to build trust with their players. Customer support options ensure that operators provide users with reliable and fast assistance.
The Illinois Gaming Board makes sure to only license reputable and trustworthy sportsbooks. Many of the top operators in the US have expanded into Illinois and should be recognizable. Make sure to check for reviews on sites that you do not recognize the brand name to determine their legitimacy.
Fair Terms and Conditions
Remember to check a site’s bonus terms and conditions and privacy policies, you can usually find those links on the site. The Illinois Gaming Board regulates its sites to ensure they offer fair and transparent policies.
Important Information When Choosing an Online Gambling Site in Illinois
Illinois gaming sites need to offer a wide range of betting options and provide an enjoyable online experience. The two most important factors to consider are the value of bonuses and the usability of the site. Here are the main areas to evaluate before picking your platform.
The top gambling sites aim to attract players with a valuable welcome offer. This provides users with bonus funds to use to explore the site and kick start their experience. Common bonus types include risk-free bets and deposit bonuses that let you start betting without using your own funds.
Aside from having excellent value, welcome offers should also have fair wagering requirements. Remember to read the terms and conditions to check if the requirements are reasonable.
A wide variety of promotions is another essential feature to have. This ensures existing players receive frequent rewards to use when wagering on the site. Before you choose a site, check the promotions page to evaluate the value of the bonuses you can claim.
The most common promotion types include leaderboards, cashback, and free bets. Limited-time promotions are also available during popular sporting seasons and for bigger events such as the World Series and Super Bowl. We make sure to review all the promotions a site has to offer to help you out in choosing the best gaming site for your online betting experience.
Reward programs are an excellent indicator of the value you can gain from a site. Sportsbooks tend to make their rewards program available to all registered users with no extra requirements.
Most programs grant points whenever you bet and the more points you have the higher level you will be in at. Remember to check if you can start earning rewards points instantly and what benefits are available at each level. Higher levels grant more perks, such as regular free bets, betting credits, bonus cash, or exclusive promotions.
Nearly all established operators that have expanded into Illinois offer mobile gaming. You can quickly and conveniently access all your account features on your mobile device.
The leading sportsbooks have optimized their apps to be smooth and easy to use. If the sportsbook does not have an app but offers mobile gaming you can play from your mobile browser.
Mobile gaming should let you make deposits, withdrawals, and enter promotions the same way as the desktop site. You can always visit the site beforehand to check if they have an app to download and what operating systems are available.
Another vital contributor to a site’s usability is its selection of sports offered and betting types. It is best to check the front page to see if they offer your favorite markets and sports.
It should also be easy to view the latest odds, find the betting types, and what you are looking for. Many of the top sportsbooks also have a live betting section, where you can bet on the action as it is happening and some even offer live streaming where you can watch the sporting event as well.
Gaming Regulator Information
The Illinois Gaming Board (IGB) is responsible for licensing and regulating the state’s online gambling sites. This is the only authority in Illinois that can legally license online gaming sites. It ensures that the site meets its regulations to keep players safe.
The role of the IGB is to review gambling operators and ensure the sites are fair and secure. They can then license the sites, allowing them to operate in Illinois. Licensed sites need to have features such as responsible gambling tools, customer support, and fair bonus terms. The IGB also protects players by ensuring the sites use industry-standard security technology.
Apart from regulating sites, the IGB also helps players settle disputes with online gaming operators. You can file a complaint via a contact form on the IGB site.
History of Online Gambling Legislation
Online gambling is a relatively new industry in Illinois. The state’s first advancement was in 2012, when online lottery ticket sales were legalized. Bill HB 3142 was later passed in 2019, legalizing online sports betting. However, it was not until March 2020 that the first sportsbooks were launched.
Gambling has been prevalent in Illinois as far back as 1927. Horse racing and state-sanctioned lotteries were the state’s largest forms of gambling until riverboat casinos were launched.
Daily fantasy sports were historically illegal until a 2020 ruling classified them as games of skill. Now, online fantasy sports are perfectly legal to enjoy. The same cannot be said for online casinos, which remain illegal.
Responsible Gaming Resources in Illinois
It is expected of licensed gambling sites in Illinois to offer adequate responsible gaming resources. Players can enjoy an entertaining experience knowing they have the tools and resources to get help whenever they need it. Regulated sites should:
- Ensure they only accept users aged 21 and over
- Let users set their own betting limits
- Provide flexible self-exclusion options so players can take breaks
- Never accept players who are on the Illinois Gaming Board self-exclusion list
- Give back to the community by funding local business
- Support the state’s official problem gambling services
- Utilize proper safety measures to protect user’s information
A big part of responsible gambling is giving back to the state’s communities. Physical casinos have already contributed significantly to tax income and employment and online sports betting will follow suit.
Gambling taxes have contributed significant amounts of tax money to Illinois. The state can use the funds for social welfare programs and improvements as well as helping to fund problem gambling programs.The recently-legalized sports betting industry will pay a 15% tax. This will give the state even more income.
Gambling Limit Tools
When you gamble online it should be a fun and entertaining venture. However, it can be addictive and there are various measures in place by the Illinois gaming sites to ensure this is the case. These are the tools available to help players avoid problem gambling:
- Deposit Limits: You can set a maximum amount you can deposit to your account.
- Time Alerts: These notify you of how long you have spent playing, so you do not lose track of time and overspend.
- Bet Limits: You can also set bet limits that prevent you from wagering too much on one wager.
- Time Limits: Time limits prevent you from accessing your account during specific periods of the day.
- Self-Exclusions: Exclusion options let you lock your account for weeks, months, or years. You can also add yourself to the Illinois Gaming Board self-exclusion list to lock yourself out of all licensed sportsbooks for weeks, months, or even years.
Responsible Gambling Resources
Gambling addiction is a potential problem for all online players. The Illinois Gaming Board makes sure to regulate sites and check that they give players options to connect with the state’s responsible gambling resources when it comes to problem gambling.
This involves listing contact details for various support organizations. Some of the problem gambling support organizations include:
- Illinois Gaming Board (IGB): The IGB provides a host of support options to Illinois citizens. The main resource is the Problem Gambling Registry. You can enroll in this to receive regular information about gambling problems and support resources via email. Their phone number is 1-877-968-7848.
- WeKnowTheFeeling.org: This site gives problem gamblers a platform to talk about their issues. The service is available 24/7, and you can contact them on 1-800-GAMBLER.
- State-Wide Self-Exclusion: You can also add yourself to the IGB’s voluntary self-exclusion list. All licensed casinos and online sportsbooks will not allow you to bet as long as you are part of this program.
- National Problem Gambling Helpline (NPGH): The NPGH helpline is 1-800-522-4700. You can find extra support resources on their site.
- Gamblers Anonymous: There are over 60 Gamblers Anonymous meeting centers in Illinois. You can find a meeting near you by visiting the GA website.
Land-based Gambling Available in Illinois
Illinois has six riverboat casinos and four commercial casinos. A handful of casinos have partnered with leading sportsbook operators to bring online sports betting to the state.
The legalization of sports betting also allowed land-based casinos to open retail sportsbooks. Brands like DraftKings opened up their physical sportsbook on the same day their Illinois site went live.
These casinos offer loads of popular games, and the addition of retail sportsbooks brings even more variety to the table. Here is the complete list of land-based casinos in Illinois.
- Rivers Casino: 3000 S River Rd, Des Plaines, IL 60018 / (888) 307-0777
- Harrah’s Joliet: 151 N Joliet St, Joliet, IL 60432 / (815) 740-7800
- Argosy Casino Alton: 1 Piasa St, Alton, IL 62002 / (800) 711-4263
- Harrah’s Metropolis: 100 E Front St, Metropolis, IL 62960 / (618) 524-2628
- Casino Queen: 200 S Front St, East St Louis, IL 62201 / (618) 874-5000
- Bally’s Quad Cities: 777 Bally Blvd, Rock Island, IL 61201 / (309) 756-4600
- Hollywood Casino Joliet: 777 Hollywood Blvd, Joliet, IL 60436 / (888) 436-7737
- Grand Victoria Casino Elgin: 250 S Grove Ave, Elgin, IL 60120 / (847) 468-7000
- Hollywood Casino Aurora: 1 W New York St, Aurora, IL 60506 / (630) 801-1234
- Par-A-Dice Casino: 21 Blackjack Blvd, East Peoria, IL 61611 / (309) 699-7711
Is online gambling legal in Illinois?
Yes, online sports betting and daily fantasy sports are legal in Illinois. While the points were good and rather straight to the issue the language needed to be reworded in several places.
What types of online gambling are legal in Illinois?
Only online sportsbooks and daily fantasy sports are legal, although online poker and online casinos are not.
Can I use my Illinois online gaming accounts in other states?
While you can access your Illinois gaming accounts in other states, you will not be able to make wagers unless you are within the Illinois state lines.
Usually, you can still make deposits and withdrawals and check odds, but you cannot place bets.
I’m traveling to Illinois. Can I set up my account before I arrive?
No, In Illinois there is in-person registration required to join an online sportsbook. However, that may end soon, where you can register online.
Can I Play on Illinois Online Gambling Sites if I am Just Visiting the State?
Yes, anyone can create an account for an online betting site in Illinois. If you are not a resident of the state, remember that you will need to return to Illinois to continue playing using your account and you need to register for an account in person at a land based casino or sportsbook
What is the Minimum age to Gamble Online in Illinois?
You need to be at least 21 to gamble online in Illinois. You need to visit a land-based casino to verify your age if you want to register for an online sportsbook. When registering online, the site will also ask for your date of birth and the last four digits of your SSN.