Gambling in Illinois
Sport Legal Since: 2019
Daily Fantasy Legal Since: 2019
Casino Will Be Legal: TBD
Poker Will Be Legal: TBD
Lottery Legal Since: 2019

Guide to Online Gambling in Illinois: The Best Illinois Gambling Sites for 2019

Illinois Daily Fantasy

Like with many other states, there is currently no legislation governing daily fantasy games in Illinois. This doesn’t mean that players in the state can’t play DFS, rather that it’s an unregulated market and that things have the potential to change in coming years. For now, players can bet freely online.

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Gambling Laws in Illinois

Due to the state’s complete ban on online gambling you’d be forgiven for assuming that Illinois is pretty restrictive when it comes to betting. In reality, this couldn’t be further from the truth. As a matter of fact, the state is quite liberal when it comes to riverboat gambling, pari-mutuel race and bingo betting, and lotteries. While things aren’t looking great currently for players who prefer to get their thrills on the internet, the winds of change are certainly blowing. 2018 saw the repeal of the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act, which means all states in the US now have the right and ability to enact their own betting laws. Theoretically, this could allow for the legalization of online gambling in Illinois in the rear future.

With that in mind, be sure to check this page regularly to stay updated on any developments regarding the legality of online gambling in Illinois.

History of Gambling in Illinois

Gambling in the state has its roots as far back as the 19th century, and the industry has seen many changes in legislation come and go over the years. Though riverboat casinos started springing up in the 1880s, it wasn’t until the 1920s when horse race betting was legalized that the Illinois gambling industry was truly able to flourish.

Illinois Gambling History
1880s Despite their illegality, many riverboat casinos operated throughout Illinois, attracting gamblers from all over the nation.
1927 The first gambling laws introduced in the state legalized horse race betting.
1975 The introduction of the Illinois Horse Racing Act further regulates the races and transforms the industry into a major tourist attraction.
1990 Riverboat casinos are officially legalized, thanks to the Riverboat Gambling Act.
1999 Previous restrictions requiring riverboats to be in motion for gaming to commence are repealed, meaning players can enjoy table games and slots even on docked riverboat casinos.
2009 The Video Gaming Act is introduced, allowing liquor-pouring establishments to feature video gaming terminals for use by their patrons.
2018 The Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act is repealed, paving the way for more changes to legislation in the near future.

Illinois State Facts

Illinois officially became a state in 1818, and today is the sixth most populous state in the union. Its official state slogan is “Land of Lincoln”, referring to its status as the birthplace of Abraham Lincoln. Throughout its history the state has been known as a valuable industrial hub, as well as the home to jazz and blues music.

Facts About Illinois
Population 12,741,080
Min. Income $1,430.00
Biggest Offline Gambling Location Rivers casino Des Plaines
Gambling Commissioner
Spoken Languages English, Spanish
Biggest Local Sports Team
Illinois Tax Authority
Link to the State Law http://www.ilga.gov/legislation/ilcs/ilcs2.asp?ChapterID=25
Gambling Winning Tax 25%
State Website Link https://www2.illinois.gov/
Famous Local Gamblers Wyatt Earp

Gambling Age in Illinois

As with most states, the legal gambling age in Illinois depends on which game you plan on playing. For lotteries, pari-mutuel betting, bingo and pull-tab games, players need only be 18 years of age. When it comes to playing on any of the state’s many river cruise casinos, however, you’ll need to be 21 years of age.

  • Online Gambling Age:
    Online gambling is currently illegal in Illinois for all ages.
  • Alcohol Age
    You must be aged 21 or older to drink alcohol.
  • Weed Age
    Marijuana use is legally justified only due to medial reasons.

Responsible Gambling and Addiction Prevention

There are many resources available for problem gamblers in the state of Illinois. As of 2002, the Illinois Gaming Board operates a statewide riverboat casino voluntary self-exclusion program. In 2018 the board introduced a voluntary, confidential problem gambling registry. By entering into the registry, players in need of help can receive informative emails about treatment resources and addiction prevention. Those entered into the register can also remove themselves at any time.

Upcoming Regulation and Expected Changes

Though there is currently no planned changes to legislation on the horizon, that doesn’t mean that everything discussed on this page is set in stone. As previously mentioned, the 2018 repeal of the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act could pave the way for changes in legislation in many states across the US. Be sure to check back regularly for updates regarding gambling in Illinois.

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