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IL Online Casino Sites

Best Online Casino Sites for Illinois Players in February 2024

Located in the heart of the Midwest, Illinois is a state with a rich history and diverse culture. From the bustling metropolis of Chicago to the tranquil beauty of its rural landscapes, Illinois offers a unique blend of urban excitement and rural charm. And in addition to its vibrant culture and stunning scenery, Illinois is also known for its long-standing relationship with gambling.

From horse racing tracks to riverboat casinos, gambling has been a part of Illinois culture for decades. However, with the advent of online casinos, the gambling landscape in Illinois is evolving rapidly. Therefore, we decided to create this guide, where we will explore the legalities surrounding online casinos in Illinois, discuss the top-rated online casino platforms available to residents, and delve into the diverse gaming options that Illinoisans can enjoy from the comfort of their own homes.

So whether you’re a seasoned gambler who happens to be visiting the state for a few days or a novice Illinois resident looking to dip your toes into the world of online gaming, this guide will provide you with all the information you need to navigate the exciting world of online casinos in the Prairie State.

HOW WE CHOSE THE BEST ONLINE CASINOS IN ILLINOIS?

Since online casinos are not licensed in Illinois and their status remains somewhat complex, this website will focus on providing information about sweepstakes. We will also continuously update the site with the latest news and developments regarding online casinos in Illinois to ensure that you always have access to current and relevant information.

LICENSING OF ONLINE CASINOS

As of now early 2024, online casinos are not legal in Illinois. The state has yet to pass legislation explicitly allowing online casino gambling, which means that there are no licensed online casinos operating within its borders. The current legal framework in Illinois primarily focuses on traditional forms of gambling, such as land-based casinos, horse racing tracks, and the state lottery.

However, Illinois has taken steps towards expanding its gambling industry in recent years. In 2019, the state passed a bill legalizing sports betting, allowing both retail and online sportsbooks to operate within the state. While this legislation does not directly address online casino gambling, it demonstrates a willingness on the part of Illinois lawmakers to explore new avenues for gambling revenue.

And in terms of legal gambling options, residents of Illinois can currently enjoy a variety of activities, including casino gambling at licensed riverboat and land-based casinos, horse racing and off-track betting, state lottery games, and charitable gambling events such as raffles and bingo. While online casino gambling remains off the table for now, the legalization of sports betting suggests that Illinois may be open to expanding its online gambling options in the future.

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Game Variety

All the sweepstakes we promote must have a wide variety of different games and themes, so you can be sure that you will find a sweepstake that you like yourself.

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FREE FUN

It’s very important for us to only promote reputable providers of sweepstakes that are free and therefore legal for residents of Illinois. There is no need to deposit any money, and participation should be free for everyone.

User Experience

Apart from having quality content, a sweepstake site must also have a good design. We value those casinos that offer modern websites and apps, providing users with intuitive navigation and fast loading times and letting them find and play their favorite games with ease.

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Banking

While it is not necessary to deposit money to participate in sweepstakes, some participants may wish to make certain purchases that do not affect the likelihood of winning. In such cases, it’s crucial to have secure and fast payment methods for you as a consumer. This is something we at GambleUSA test and is a requirement we uphold

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Mobile Play

Since an increasing number of players prefer mobile devices for enjoying sweepstakes, a worthwhile sweepstakes site must be compatible with the latest iOS and Android smartphones and tablets. All top Illinois sweepstakes are excellent in this regard, offering mobile-friendly sites and free downloadable apps, allowing you to play wherever you are in Illinois.

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Customer Support

Last but not least, we rated Illinois sweepstakes platforms based on how quickly and accurately they respond to players seeking to contact them. Whether you have a question about the rules of a sweepstake or need information about your participation status, you can reach the support teams of these platforms any time of day using live chat, email, phone, or other contact methods, ensuring you’re well-informed and assisted in Illinois.

WHEN WILL ONLINE CASINOS BECOME LEGAL IN ILLINOIS?

As of now, there is no specific timeline for when online casinos may become legal in Illinois. While the state has taken steps to expand its gambling industry in recent years, particularly with the legalization of sports betting in 2019, online casino gambling has not yet been included in legislative discussions.

However, the issue of online casino gambling has been raised periodically in state legislative sessions, with proponents arguing that it could provide a significant source of revenue for the state and offer additional options for Illinois residents who enjoy gambling. However, concerns about potential negative social and economic impacts, as well as competition with existing land-based casinos, have also been raised.

Ultimately, the decision to legalize online casinos in Illinois will depend on various factors, including public opinion, legislative priorities, and the willingness of policymakers to navigate the complex regulatory and economic considerations involved. While there is no guarantee that online casinos will become legal in Illinois in the near future, the ongoing discussions suggest that the possibility remains on the table.

A BRIEF HISTORY OF GAMBLING IN ILLINOIS

Gambling has a long and storied history in Illinois, dating back to the early 19th century when riverboat gambling was prevalent along the state’s waterways. In the mid-1800s, gambling establishments were common in cities like Chicago, where saloons and betting parlors offered various games of chance. However, the rise of anti-gambling sentiment in the late 19th and early 20th centuries led to a crackdown on gambling activities, and many establishments were forced to close.

The legalization of the state lottery in 1974 marked a turning point for gambling in Illinois, providing a legal outlet for residents to participate in games of chance. Over the following decades, the state gradually expanded its gambling options, allowing for the introduction of horse racing, off-track betting, and charitable gambling. In 1991, Illinois authorized the operation of riverboat casinos, which quickly became popular destinations for gamblers from across the region.

And in more recent years, Illinois has continued to expand its gambling industry, with the legalization of video gambling terminals in bars and restaurants in 2009 and the authorization of sports betting in 2019. These developments have contributed to a significant increase in gambling revenue for the state and have helped to establish Illinois as one of the leading gambling markets in the United States.

TOP LAND-BASED CASINOS IN ILLINOIS

Despite not offering residents online casinos where they could play from the comfort of their home, Illinois is home to over a dozen casinos, both riverboat and land-based casinos, which offer a variety of gaming options such as slot machines, table games, and poker rooms. So it is safe to say that the options for gaming within the state are plenty.

Therefore, we decided to create this shortlist where we mention what we believe are the top-5 casinos in Illinois that certainly make a visit to the Prairie State worth it:

ARE SWEEPSTAKES AND SOCIAL CASINOS LEGAL IN ILLINOIS?

While Illinois has not explicitly legalized or regulated these platforms, they also haven’t been expressly deemed illegal. This ambiguity allows sweepstakes and social casinos like WOW Vegas and Sweepslots to function, providing Illinoisans with a way to enjoy casino-style games online without violating any specific laws. 

These platforms are not classified as gambling sites since users can access and use them for free. Upon registration with a social casino, players are instantly granted a specific quantity of tokens and “sweeps coins,” allowing them to engage in table games and online slot machines that closely resemble their counterparts in physical casinos, but without the risk of losing any money.

If you are an Illinois resident or visitor and are looking for some social casino fun, we encourage you to check the ones we tested and recommended at the beginning of this guide. These social casinos are the best alternatives due to their vast selection of games and very generous welcome bonuses and loyalty programs, so you should definitely check them out! 

WHICH GAMES COULD YOU PLAY ON ONLINE SOCIAL CASINOS IN ILLINOIS? 

As long as there isn’t any money involved (meaning you play on social casinos), you could very well play pretty much any popular casino game there is while being in Illinois. The beauty of online sweepstake casinos is that you can play the games that are available at real-money online casinos even from states where online gambling is not yet legal.

Some of the games that Illinoians can play on social casinos are: 

  • Slots: One of the most popular and entertaining casino games there is, slots offer immersive graphics and innovative features that can keep anyone hooked for hours. Besides, slots are extremely easy to play as they simply consist of clicking the “Spin” button, making them suitable for everyone. 
  • Blackjack: Another easy-to-play casino game, blackjack consists of beating the dealer to 21 without going bust, making it another very popular option for online players. Besides, it has the highest RTP percentage of any casino game, making it a must-play. 
  • Poker: A more complex yet equally popular card game you can play online, poker is an extremely fun way to spend your time at a social casino. Whether it is Omaha, Texas hold ’em, or any other poker variant, you’ll certainly find the opportunity to play at most Illinois Sweepstakes. 
  • Roulette: The classic game of roulette, considered the ultimate game of chance, is a popular offering at nearly every online casino in the United States, and of course, one you’ll find in every Illinois social casino. 
  • Live dealer games: These games are played through a live stream where you are able to see a professional dealer running the game in real time. Apart from all the standard table games like blackjack, roulette and poker, the live casino lobby also consists of game shows which combine the elements of gambling games and television shows, making it a very attractive option. 

GAMBLING AGE IN ILLINOIS

The legal gambling age in Illinois is 21 years old. This age requirement applies to all forms of gambling in the state, including casinos, horse racing, and sports betting. Individuals under the age of 21 are prohibited from participating in any form of gambling activity, and establishments are required to verify the age of patrons before allowing them to gamble. 

Failure to comply with these regulations can result in fines and other penalties for both the individual and the establishment involved. Additionally, underage gambling is considered a serious offense and can have long-term legal consequences for those involved, including criminal charges. 

THE FUTURE OF ILLINOIS ONLINE GAMBLING

The future of online casinos in Illinois appears promising but uncertain. While the state has made significant strides in expanding its gambling industry in recent years, including legalizing sports betting and approving land-based casinos in Chicago and other locations, the status of online casinos is still not actively being talked about. There have been discussions among lawmakers about the potential legalization of online casinos in Illinois, driven in part by the success of neighboring states that have already embraced online gambling.

However, the issue of online gambling legalization in Illinois is complex and contentious. Various stakeholders, including lawmakers, gaming operators, and advocacy groups, have differing opinions on the matter. Some argue that legalizing online casinos could generate significant revenue for the state, create jobs, and provide additional entertainment options for residents. While others express concerns about potential negative impacts, such as increased problem gambling, social costs, and competition with existing gambling establishments.

Ultimately, the future of online casinos in Illinois will likely depend on the outcome of ongoing legislative discussions and the willingness of policymakers to address the various challenges and considerations involved. However, online casino enthusiasts in Illinois have a lot to be optimistic about, as the legalization of online casinos seem to be on the horizon. 

ILLINOIS RESPONSIBLE GAMING

Responsible gaming and gambling initiatives in Illinois are overseen by multiple entities, each playing a crucial role in promoting safe and sustainable gambling practices. The Illinois Gaming Board (IGB) is the primary regulatory agency responsible for overseeing the state’s gambling industry. The IGB enforces strict regulations to ensure that gambling activities are conducted fairly, transparently, and in compliance with state laws.

Additionally, the Illinois Department of Human Services (IDHS) Division of Substance Use Prevention and Recovery is actively involved in promoting responsible gaming initiatives. The division collaborates with stakeholders across the state to raise awareness about problem gambling, provide support services for individuals struggling with addiction, and develop prevention strategies to mitigate the risks associated with excessive gambling.

Furthermore, many establishments offer resources and support services for patrons who may be experiencing gambling-related issues, such as access to counseling, helplines, and educational materials. Overall, responsible gaming is a collaborative effort involving government agencies, industry stakeholders, and community organizations working together to ensure the safety and well-being of individuals engaging in gambling activities in Illinois.

ILLINOIS ONLINE CASINOS

Is online gambling legal in Illinois?

Yes, but only when it comes to sports betting as as online casinos have not been legalized yet. 

Can I gamble at land-based casinos in Illinois?

Yes, Illinois has several land-based casinos that offer various gambling options, including slot machines, table games, and poker rooms.

What is the legal gambling age in Illinois?

The legal gambling age in Illinois is 21 for all forms of gambling, including casinos, racetracks, and lottery games.

Are there any restrictions on gambling hours in Illinois?

Yes, Illinois has regulations in place that dictate the operating hours for casinos and other gambling establishments. These hours may vary depending on the location and type of gambling activity.

Can I participate in online sports betting in Illinois?

Yes, online sports betting is legal in Illinois, and several licensed operators offer online betting platforms for residents.

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

Are social casinos legal in Illinois?

Yes, social casinos, which offer casino-style games for entertainment purposes without the opportunity to win real money, are legal in Illinois.

If online casinos are not legal in Illinois, how come they keep popping up on Google?

While online casinos may appear in search engine results for Illinois residents, it’s important to note that their presence does not indicate legality. The reason they continue to surface on platforms like Google is primarily due to the nature of online advertising and the global accessibility of the internet. Many online casinos operate internationally and target users worldwide, including regions where online gambling is prohibited. Besides, there’s the possibility that the casino sites you see popping up are social casinos, which are legal in Illinois.

Can I legally participate in online poker games in Illinois?

No, online poker is currently not legal in Illinois. However, there have been discussions about potential legislation to legalize online poker in the future.

Can online casinos potentially be legalized in the near future?

While it is not clear, the possibility of legalizing online casinos in Illinois in the future is certainly there. Therefore, feel free to come back to this page every so often to stay updated with the latest gambling news in Illinois.