Online gambling in Illinois is currently legal with sportsbooks, but not with online casinos or online poker rooms. There has been some discussion about making online casino gambling a reality in the state, but it appears to still be a few years away.
Despite the limited amount of online gambling that is available right now in the state, Illinois is set to become a leader in this industry. In this guide we’ll bring you up to speed with Illinois gambling law, tell you what’s already legal and what might become legal in the future.
Illinois supports and promotes responsible gambling.
Casino gambling in Illinois began in 1990, when riverboats were allowed to offer casino gambling when on the water. Almost a decade later, a new law allowed for those boats to be docked and still offer gambling.
Video gaming terminals were legalized in Illinois in 2009, and that provided another huge boost to the gambling industry.
The gambling industry in Illinois has grown and expanded nicely in the past decade. A recent bill in 2019 empowered a new gambling expansion. There are now close to 20 different retail gambling locations in the state of Illinois, with more on the way.
The real big break for the state came in 2019, when sports betting was legalized. It became a reality in March 2020. Sports betting is now legal in the state, and there are five mobile sportsbook apps currently available.
The city of Chicago will be getting a commercial casino built in the coming years. This will provide a huge boost to this industry.
The United States Supreme Court lifted the federal ban on sports betting in 2018. And that allowed states to legalize the industry. Some states moved quickly to get something in place, but that wasn't exactly the case in Illinois.
There were some attempts in 2018, but it took a new governor and another year to really get things going. Governor JB Pritzker included sports betting in his 2019 budget proposal. This forced lawmakers to come up with rules and regulations for the industry.
Senate Bill 690 was eventually presented and was able to make its way to the governor's desk. This $41 billion revenue plan expanded the entire gaming industry in the state. It also included the legalization of sports betting.
Thanks to this bill, retail casinos were allowed to apply for a sports betting license. One condition was that they must be partnered with a sports betting operator. Online-only operators were not allowed to apply for a license for at least 18 months after the first bet was placed.
The bill was signed into law by Governor Pritzker on June 28, 2019. The sports betting industry then officially launched in Illinois on March 9, 2020.
All of the retail casinos in Illinois are eligible to apply for a sports betting licence. Applications are reviewed by the Illinois Gaming Board. Professional sports stadiums can also apply for a sports betting license, but none have done so up to this point.
The legal sportsbooks in Illinois right now are:
|DraftKings at Casino Queen|
|Par-A-Dice Hotel and Casino|
It is important to note that not all of these venues have launched sports betting. However, all should be up and running at some point in 2021.
Illinois does not currently allow online casino or online poker gambling in any form. Obviously, if the state's lawmakers are able to approve this industry, that would change. In that case, we would expect a majority of the commercial casinos to open online casinos as soon as possible.
The expanded gaming bill was passed in May 2019. This required players to create a sports betting account in person. Governor Pritzker has waived that requirement several times, but it is unclear when that will go away.
This means you will have to visit a retail sportsbook in person to officially open your sports betting account. Fortunately, you can begin the process on your mobile device.
The registration process for online gambling in Illinois is quick and easy, and there isn't a ton of information that is required.
Information that you will need to provide includes your full name, date of birth, home address and email address. This is pretty standard throughout the online gaming industry, and enables the sportsbooks to verify your identity.
You will also have to provide your social security number. Most of the time, you only need to provide the last four digits. The online site will then also ask for your cell phone number.
When you have provided all of this information, it will be time to set up your log-in details. You will be asked to choose a username and password for logging in to your online account. Hint: Make sure you choose a password that you will remember!
Some online gambling sites will allow you to create a two-step log-in process. This will add an extra layer of security to your account. Others will allow you to choose a PIN that can be used the next time you log in.
Once all of this is done, you will be ready to make your first deposit. You will find a list of acceptable deposit methods on the site. Simply choose the one that works the best for you. Also, if you have a promotional code, this is the time to enter it and secure your bonus.
With all of that done, you're ready to start betting!
Right now, there are just a handful of online sportsbook in Illinois for you to choose from. Others are expected to be launched at some point, but it likely won't be until some time in 2021.
Here is a brief rundown of the sportsbooks currently available:
BetRivers is the mobile app produced by Rivers Casino in Des Plaines. It was the first mobile app available in Illinois, launching in June 2020.
DraftKings is one of the biggest names in the sports betting industry. This operator has partnered with the Casino Queen in East St. Louis. DraftKings was the second mobile sports betting site to launch in the state.
FanDuel initially broke into the Illinois market by partnering with the Par-A-Dice Casino in East Peoria. This operator has now partnered with Fairmount Park as well.
PointsBet is an Australian-based operator, but it is now available in a handful of states. This venue has partnered with Hawthorne Park. It will launch retail betting at a handful of locations along with a mobile betting site.
William Hill is the most recent online betting site to launch in Illinois after partnering with Argosy Casino in Alton. This company is based in the UK and is one of the biggest sportsbooks in the world.
One of the biggest reasons that Illinois sought to launch sports betting was due to the great sports culture throughout the state. The city of Chicago is home to five extremely popular and successful professional sports teams.
The Chicago Bears, Chicago Blackhawks, Chicago Bulls, Chicago Cubs, and Chicago White Sox all have massive followings in the Windy City. However, they also have fans throughout the rest of the state. These five teams will therefore be a big help in driving the Illinois sports betting industry as a whole.
In the southern part of Illinois, the St. Louis Blues and St. Louis Cardinals are also very popular. There are many casinos in that part of the state that will similarly look to capitalize on the popularity of these teams.
It is worth mentioning that there are a number of popular colleges in the state as well. Unfortunately, state gaming rules and regulations prohibit single-game betting on Illinois college teams.
The sports betting industry in Illinois has taken off in a hurry, and will certainly get bigger in the coming months. The entire country has seen a huge boom in this industry, and Illinois is on the verge of becoming one of its leaders.
Sports betting has expanded here fast thanks to the availablity of several popular betting options. Here is a quick list of some of the best-loved sports betting markets that are already available in Illinois.
Moneyline betting is the simplest form of sports betting, and it's the easiest to understand. With this type of bet, you are simply placing a wager on which team or individual you think will win a certain matchup. Odds are set for each team or individual according to their chances.
This type of bet is very popular in basketball and football. Here you are focusing on the spread of the final score rather than what team wins or loses a specific game. Interestingly, the losing team can actually win you some money as long as they keep the final spread within a certain number of points or runs. The spread is determined by the perceived probability that a certain outcome will occur.
A total bet, or an over/under, is extremely popular in both football and basketball. With this type of bet, you are simply focusing on the total number of points/goals/runs that will bescored in a game. Who wins is irrelevant. This type of bet is usually offered on each quarter of half of a game as well, and those options are also popular.
A parlay is a combination wager that comprises several individual bets. Typically, parlays containf at least three different bets.
These bets are popular because the reward can be great if all of the component bets pay off. The risk being taken is also bigger here because one losing bet will cause the whole parlay to lose. Even so, most bettors get a thrill out of this heightened risk-reward ratio.
Prop betting became popular during the NFL Super Bowl, but it has now spilled over into other sports as well. Now you can find prop betting options on almost every single game for each of the four major sports.
Prop betting focuses on an individual player or team statistics, such as how many corners will be awarded in a soccer match. Many people would say that prop betting is more fun than the other betting types, but you can reach your own conclusion on that.
Since you can't gamble without money, you need to know about the best payment methods for online gambling in Illinois. Payment methods differ slightly between operators, but most take a very similar general approach to deposits and withdrawals.
As you would expect, depositing money into your account is quick and painless. Sports betting operators want your business, so making it a hassle to deposit would be self-defeating for them.
Here are the most common deposit methods that you will find offered at an online gambling site:
PayPal: This has become a very popular deposit method. It is widely accepted by most online gambling sites.
Debit/Credit Card: Most online gambling sites accept both Visa and Mastercard. This has traditionally been the most common deposit method used.
ACH (e-Check): An electronic check may be accepted by some online gambling operators. However, there is usually a limit for this sort of transaction.
Online Bank Transfer: Customers can provide their banking information to the online gambling operator so that funds can be transferred directly.
Prepaid Card: Some operators offer a prepaid card that customers can load with money. The card can then be then use to deposit funds into their online gambling account.
Neteller: This is another popular e-money transfer service that is used by several online gambling sites. It allows linking of accounts to transfer money quickly.
In-person: A final option is visiting the retail location of your chosen operator and depositing money at the casino cage.
As stated previously, there typically aren't as many withdrawal methods available as there are deposit methods. Online gambling sites limit the available options and the withdrawal methods available to you will depend on how you have previously made deposits.
Sportsbooks also allow withdrawals only if they exceed a stated sum. Usually this is a modest minimum, and so it poses no barrier to getting your money.
The four most common withdrawal methods offered up by online gambling sites are:
PayPal: If you made a deposit through PayPal, then this is the best withdrawal method to use. Funds are transferred quickly through this process.
E-Check: Online gambling sites can also issue you an e-check, but this process could take a few days to complete.
Check By Mail: Another option is to request check to be sent to you by mail. This process could take up to 10 days. There is usually a higher minimum permitted for this form of withdrawal.
Cash at Casino/Sportsbook Cage: If you want to get some cash in your hand, then visiting the casino or sportsbook cage is the best and quickest way to make a withdrawal request.
Now that the state of Illinois has launched sports betting, legalizing online casino gambling is probably the next step that will be taken. There have only been a few states in the country that have gone this route, but it is likely that Illinois will at least consider it in the near future.
Given how much success the sports betting industry has had in Illinois, state lawmakers will be keen to piggyback off that and launch online casino gambling. There will of course be some opposition to this, not least from some of the top retail casinos in the state.
Speaking of the retail side of things, launching a commercial casino in Chicago's city limits will likely happen at some point in 2021 or 2022. No location has yet been selected because city and state officials can't agree on where they want to build it.
Illinois continues to lose business each year as bettors in Chicago travel east to the state of Indiana to place their bets. Launching mobile sports betting has cut down on some of that, but the city of Chicago still needs a commercial casino at some point.
As the state continues to look for new revenue sources, expect the gambling industry to continue providing some relief. Although it's not exactly clear what the next steps are, the future of gambling looks bright in the state of Illinois.
It is currently legal to bet with online sportsbooks in Illinois.
Online casinos and poker rooms in Illinois are not legal, but that may change at some point in the future.
No. Online poker rooms are not yet legal in the state of Illinois.
Sports betting was legalized in Illinois in 2019. Sportsbooks have been operating in the state since March 2020.
No. You must be aged 21 or older to gamble in Illinois.
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