Casinos in Illinois are aplenty, with one of the oldest horse racing betting industries. It was also the first state in the Midwest to introduce a state lottery. Furthermore, they were the first state in the US to allow the sale of lottery tickets online.
The Prairie State has a rich history of riverboat gambling, horse racing, and there are several high-end casinos. Casinos in Illinois bring in an estimated US$3.8 billion a year to the state, which translates to US$1.1 billion in tax revenue. However, Illinois’ gambling industry was severely impacted by the Great Recession of 2008, which coincided with the state passing a smoking ban. Casinos in Illinois experienced a 20% reduction in revenue as smokers moved to bordering states where they could smoke in the casinos. The state lottery was also affected, and in 2015, Illinois had to cut the size of the lottery due to a budget impasse in the state legislature. This had an obvious effect on ticket sales.
However, there are still great casinos in Illinois for you to enjoy. Take a look at our guide to gambling in Illinois.
Best Online Casinos for Illinoisans
Casinos in Illinois Guide Contents
- Illinois Gambling Laws
- Online Casinos in Illinois
- Casinos in Illinois
- History of Casinos in Illinois
- Illinois Gambling FAQs
Firstly, let’s take a look at Illinois gambling laws and how they define gambling. US players gambling in an unlicensed establishment will be charged with a misdemeanor. Any further convictions and they’ll be convicted with a Class 4 felony. The minimum age where you can bet at casinos in Illinois is 21. While playing the lottery and betting on racing has a minimum age of 18 years old.
Each state in America has its own interpretation of what constitutes legal and illegal gambling, so that’s also another aspect that we’ll explore.
Find out about gambling in the USA.
Casinos in Illinois are monitored and regulated by the Illinois Gaming Board (IGB). Under Illinois state law, gambling is defined as: playing games of chance or skill for money or other things of value; wagering upon games, contests, or elections; owning or operating gambling devices. Additionally, they also include compensation agreements; bona fide contests of skill, speed, strength, or endurance; manufacturing of gambling devices; bingo; raffles; possession of antique slot machines; pull tab and jar games; and charitable games.
The types of gambling that are legal in Illinois are:
- Pari-mutuel betting
- Charitable bingo: operators require a license. The maximum prize in a game is US$500 while the largest prize pool per day is US$2,250.
- State lottery
- Casino gaming
- Horse racing betting
The state made daily fantasy sports (DFS) illegal in 2015. However, DFS sites like FanDuel and DraftKings have not left the state yet. But it’s recommended that Illinoisans avoid DFS. When it comes to racing, it’s not specified whether dog racing is illegal.
The legal online casinos in Illinois offerings are horse betting and lottery ticket sales.
For those looking to bet on horse races, bettors can wager at sites like BetAmerica, TVG, and TwinSpires.
Additionally, the Illinois Lottery sells tickets online. US players from Illinois can buy tickets for the Powerball, Mega Millions, Pick 3, and Pick 4 games. Furthermore, you can buy subscriptions for 13, 26, or 52 weeks.
If you’re looking for online casino games, then visit anyone of our recommended offshore USA casino sites.
Casinos in Illinois have a variety of casino games. Fans of casinos in Illinois can play the following games at live gambling venues:
- Horse racing
These types of games are legal in Illinois casinos and finding a riverboat casino in the state isn’t difficult at all.
Illinois video poker law allows establishments like bars, restaurants, gas stations, and charitable organizations to have video poker machines. Furthermore, slot machines can be found there as well. In Illinois, there are about 4,500 video gaming establishments and 18,000 machines. This means that there is no shortage of illinois slot machines in bars.
|Agrosy Casino – Alton||1,100 slot machines, blackjack, craps, poker, roulette, poker variations||1 Piasa Street, IL|
|Casino Queen – East St. Louis||1,100 slot machines||200 South Front Street, IL|
|Grand Victoria Casino – Elgin||1,100 slot machines, blackjack, craps, roulette, poker, baccarat, poker variations||250 S. Grove Ave., IL|
|Harrah’s Casino – Joilet||1,188 slot machines, video poker, poker, blackjack, poker variations, roulette, craps||151 N. Joilet Street, IL|
|Harrah’s Metropolis Casino||1,145 slot machines, poker, poker variations, blackjack, poker, craps, roulette, baccarat||100 East Front Street, IL|
|Hollywood Casino – Aurora||1,160 slot machines, poker, blackjack, craps, roulette, poker variations||49 W. Galena Blvd., IL|
|Jumer’s Casino – Rock Island||1,000 slot machines, blackjack, craps, roulette, poker, poker variations||777 Jumer Drive, IL|
|Par-A-Dice Casino – East Peoria||1,100 slot machines||21 Blackjack Blvd., IL|
|Rivers Casino – Des Plaines||1,050 slot machines, blackjack, roulette, craps, pai gow poker, baccarat, Spanish 21, poker variations||3000 S. River Road, IL|
Gambling in Illinois first began with horse racing betting in 1830. Then, in the 1840s, riverboat casinos in Illinois began appearing. However, when the Civil War happened, this temporarily ended gambling in the state.
Then in 1927, the revival of the horse racing industry in the state persuaded regulators to legalize it. Then in 1974, the Illinois state lottery was launched. About 20 years later, the Riverboat Casino Act was created, and in 1990, ten licenses were approved. The act stipulated that casinos must be on the water and that no casino could be established in Cook County. This was done to protect the horse racing industry in Chicago. The clause where they have to go into the water every two hours was repealed in 1999.
In 2008, casinos in Illinois experienced an instant 20% drop in revenue after the state enacted the first-ever casino smoking ban. The industry is still struggling to gain its foothold.
In 2012, Illinois video poker law was approved, allowing both video poker and slots.
Is gambling legal in Illinois?
Yes, gambling is legal in Illinois. You’ll find all games at casinos in Illinois except dog racing.
Do casinos in Illinois have to be on water?
While they no longer have to go out to water every two hours, they have to be near a body of water. Interestingly, some casinos have translated this as building a casino over a shallow pit filled with a few inches of water.
When did gambling at casinos in Illinois become legal?
The first type of gambling became legalized in 1927. Illinoisans could place pari-mutuel bets on horse races.
What is the legal age of gambling at casinos in Illinois?
The minimum legal age is 21 years for casino and bar video poker. To play the lottery and races, you can be 18 years old.
How are winnings taxed in Illinois?
They are generally taxed at a flat rate of 30%. Furthermore, they must be reported to the IRS.
Why are there no casinos in the city of Chicago?
There aren’t any casinos in Chicago, Illinois because the state wants to protect its horse racing industry.
Other state casinos guides: