Illinois has always been a hotspot for gambling, from Chicago to Carbondale and other cities in between. The city features a lot of land-based gambling institutions. Players can engage in different casino games as well as horse racing. The addition of sports betting to the mix has evidently improved how popular betting is in the state.
Undoubtedly, it’s easy to find land-based gambling institutions anywhere in the state. However, regardless of this, online casinos remain illegal. To date, no online casino providers are operating in the state. This has led to players falling victims to unregulated offshore casino sites.
The chance of playing conveniently and winning real money appeals to all players. Thus, it’s unsurprising that more players are looking for an online casino in Illinois. As such, we review gambling legality in the city of Illinois. We also assess how close the city is to legalizing online casinos.
Playing Online Casino In Illinois
Illinois has always been very popular for gambling following the legalization of the first casinos in 1991. With this, all casino games were legalized too. However, not all casinos host all games.
Today, Illinois has 11 different casinos, all of which follow strict gambling regulations. For instance, casinos in Illinois are only allowed on the water. They must close for at least two hours every 24 hours.
In 2008, Illinois banned smoking inside casinos. While this led to a 20% drop in revenue, the state still makes significant revenue from gambling.
Unfortunately, online casinos have failed to see the same level of progress. Although, this has not been for lack of trying. Attempts to legalize online casinos have been frustrated by land-based casino operators. They continue to raise concerns that its legalization might affect their customer base.
Legalized Gambling In Illinois
Illinois has a long and complex history with gambling. The state is one of the most popular states in the US for online gambling. Aside from in-person casinos, the state also allows horse racing and online lotteries. Recently, online sports betting was also legalized in the state. Here is an overview of some legal gambling options in Illinois.
Online Sports Betting
Illinois currently has seven fully regulated online sports betting operators. These sportsbooks include BetRivers, Barstool, and DraftKings, among others. Players can take advantage of these sites and bet on their favorite sporting events.
While online sports betting is currently legal in Illinois, it is important to note that the state does have some pretty strict regulations in place. For example, players must be 21 years of age or older in order to bet on sports. Additionally, all online sports betting sites must be licensed by the Illinois Gaming Board.
Illinois allows periodic in-state lottery and big country-wide draws such as Mega Millions. Other instant-play games are also legalized at the Illinois Lottery. Players can purchase lottery tickets online or at retail locations. The Illinois lottery also has a mobile application where players can check results.
As we highlighted earlier, there are 11 different in-person casinos in Illinois. These casinos offer slots, blackjack, poker, roulette, and baccarat, among other games. In-person casinos are the only establishments where real-money games are permitted.
How Can Players Play Casino Games Online?
The only alternative to playing online casino games in Illinois is sweepstakes casinos. These sites are completely legal in Illinois as in other US states. One of the most popular sweepstake casinos is the Chumba online casino. This site has a large variety of the most popular casino games, including blackjack, poker, and slots. Sweepstake casinos allow players to gamble with gold coins. On most occasions, new players don’t have to make any deposit before playing.
A player with gold coins can engage in tourneys and win different prices, including money. This, however, begs the question of why they are allowed and not online casinos.
Typically, these casinos are not viewed as gambling as they follow a sweepstake model. They are heavily regulated and solve the issue of “problem gambling.” Players can engage in their favorite casino games without risk.
We advise players in Illinois to continue with sweepstake casinos rather than offshore ones. Foreign casinos are unregulated and come with a lot of risk factors. There’s no guarantee that these sites are secure, and games could also be rigged. Hence, it’s wise to stick with sweepstake casinos, at least until online casinos are legalized.
When Will Illinois Legalize Online Casinos
Over time, Illinois has fostered a strong gambling industry. This continues to have an impact on the legalization of online casinos. On the one hand, so many casino enthusiasts in the state are looking to gamble online. This could put more pressure on the state legislature to permit online casinos.
On the other hand, in-person casino operators continue to stand against the idea. They claim legalizing online casinos will impact their customer base.
No one can predict when Illinois will legalize online casinos. However, following sports betting legalization, gambling enthusiasts now have renewed hope. Poker is viewed by most people as a sport. Thus, online poker might be the next to be legalized.
There have been different previous attempts to legalize online casinos. The most recent effort was the Internet Gaming Act. This would have regulated different online casino games; however, the bill remains stalled.
As mentioned earlier, it’s still too early to tell when online casinos will be legalized in Illinois. However, with more and more states legalizing the activity, it seems only a matter of time before Illinois follows suit.
When it comes to gambling, Illinois is a Midwestern state that offers its residents a variety of gaming options. There are riverboat casinos, racinos, and even video gaming terminals at various locations throughout the state.
While some people may prefer the traditional brick-and-mortar casino experience, others may enjoy the convenience of playing from home on their computer or mobile device.
For now, online casinos remain restricted, but there is hope. Casino enthusiasts can stay optimistic that their favorite games will be available online soon.