Online Gambling in Illinois


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Online Casino Gambling in Illinois
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Illinois casino gambling is unrivaled anywhere in the Midwest and by few places around the world. Officials have championed casinos across the state, and riverboat casinos along state borders are easy to find. Elected officials have also authorized thousands of video lottery terminals.

That expansive network is about to get much bigger. Lawmakers approved a sweeping expansion measure for casino gambling in Illinois in 2019. The number of set gambling positions will double in the coming years, and the state’s venerable horse tracks will be able to add to their casino gaming options. The legislation allows a so-called “monster” Chicago casino, opening up one of the nation’s largest metropolitan areas to an unprecedented array of in-person gaming options.

Online casino gambling is not as plentiful. Real-money online casino gambling is illegal and will remain so until lawmakers approve the games. Illinois online casino players are reminded only to use trusted, legal sites and to turn to resources such as to know what offerings are approved in their state.

The sweeping land-based casino gaming bill provides more hope than ever that lawmakers may soon do the same for internet gaming. In the meantime, gamblers will need to turn to one of the growing number of brick-and-mortar options to place a bet.

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Daily Fantasy Sports In Illinois
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Illinois daily fantasy hasn’t come as easily as one might expect in a state with such a wide range of gambling options. Top DFS sites operate in Illinois, including popular options such as FanDuel and DraftKings. But they had previously done so without authorization, which strained relations between daily fantasy sites and state regulators.

That’s part of the reason why the DFS sites were deemed “bad actors” and prohibited from entering the online sports betting market for more than a year after the state takes its first sports bet. Illinois DFS players don’t have to worry about breaking any laws now, as these games are now regulated and approved. But it’s worth noting the complex history these offerings have in the state.

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Online Sports Betting in Illinois
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Illinois sports betting has been seen as one of the biggest opportunities for American gambling. Home to the nation’s sixth-largest population, third-largest city by population and some of the most beloved sports teams in the land, sports betting in Illinois is poised to flourish.

Its expansive lineup of sports betting options positions the state to become one of the biggest markets in the US.

Legal sports betting in Illinois was approved in 2019, and eligible players will soon be able to place a bet at a growing number of casinos or a wide range of online options. Opportunities could begin as soon as Fall 2019. is keeping close tabs on the impending opening date for sports wagering.

Though a timeline hasn’t been determined, Illinois sports bettors will soon be able to place a wager on the Chicago Bears, Chicago Bulls and Chicago Blackhawks among a wide variety of other teams in other sports and leagues. The 2019 Illinois sports betting law even allows some of the state’s largest stadiums to operate sportsbooks.

Online access for all eligible players located within the state should arrive by the end of 2019.

Online Poker in Illinois
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Illinois poker tables are becoming easier to find, but the same doesn’t hold true for online poker.

Real-money online poker in Illinois is still illegal. The proliferation of other gaming has not pushed Illinois lawmakers to allow online poker. The sweeping 2019 bill focused mostly on sports betting and in-person options, leaving internet-based poker unresolved.

That doesn’t mean online poker won’t come. Illinois lawmakers are clearly open to most forms of gambling, and online poker players in the state should be optimistic this will extend to their favorite game in the not-too-distant future.

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Gambling in Illinois

Illinois gambling is matched by few other locales. Though it may not have an iconic, central gambling district like Las Vegas or Atlantic City, few American states can match the spread and accessibility of nearly every form of legal gambling.

With state coffers decimated in the wake of the Great Recession, elected officials increasingly turned to gambling as a means to boost tax revenues. This meant support for the state’s horse tracks, continued growth for its riverboat casinos and the proliferation of thousands of video lottery terminals at bars and restaurants.

The massive 2019 gambling bill only adds fuel to Illinois gambling. It will also bring a world-class gaming destination to the state’s population center, Chicago, further expanding gambling opportunities.

2019 was a landmark year for Illinois gambling, and this should only further the industry as lawmakers look to the future – which very well may include online poker and casino options.

Timeline of Gambling Legislation in Illinois

1 of 8

Sports betting at casinos and via the internet are approved by lawmakers. The moves are part of a massive gambling expansion bill that allows an unprecedented number of new gaming stations and permits a new mega-casino near Chicago. The bill is one of the most expansive measures in the country, and furthers Illinois’ reputation as one of the most well-rounded gaming states in the nation.

2 of 8

The state begins its foray into lottery ticket sales online. Run by the state government, the site offers Mega Millions and Lotto tickets. The site has grown, selling millions of dollars in tickets annually.

3 of 8

Lawmakers approve the Video Gaming Act, which greatly expands the number of gambling options in the state. Nightclubs, truck stops and bars with liquor licenses are allowed to install video gaming terminals.

4 of 8

Riverboats are no longer required by law to be in motion, allowing licensed casinos to dock in place. Not surprisingly, this makes them easier for customers to access and helps increase revenue.

5 of 8

Illinois becomes one of the first states with modern riverboat casinos after lawmakers approve a measure to permit gambling on these boats, so long as they are in motion. Along with Iowa, Illinois helps jump start the riverboat casino boom of the early 1990’s, and the overall expansion of casino gambling across the country.

6 of 8

Illinois strengthens its most venerable gaming operation with the Horse Racing Act of 1975. The bill further regulates and promotes the industry.

7 of 8

Lawmakers approve a state-sanctioned lottery, putting Illinois near the forefront of early adopters of the games.

8 of 8

Pari-mutuel horse race betting is approved. It would develop as one of the larger, more lucrative horse racing markets in the nation in the ensuing decades.

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