Illinois State Flag IconOnline casino gambling has been a great tax revenue supplier for the states that have legalized and regulated their online casino markets. Although Illinois is not one of those states yet, they are rapidly moving toward the legalization of online gambling for IL residents through various measures. They have tried twice in recent history and there are rumors of a third attempt which is aimed at online poker specifically, in the near future. The idea that Illinois is one of the vast majority of the states that have not yet legalized online gambling is a confusing one based on the financial struggles the state is going through.

This guide exists to show you the legal grey area that online gambling exists in. Online gambling in the United States is regulated by both the federal and state governments. The federal laws that impact online gambling only regulate the owning and operating of such business and are not directed towards individuals participating in licensed online casino entertainment.  Below we will dive into the details that surround the complicated legal nomenclature of online gambling within the United States and provide some examples of regulated online casinos that are legally available for residents of Illinois.

Are Online Casinos Legal In Illinois?

Legal Icon - GavelYes. There are 3 primary US federal laws that impact online gambling and aside from those, it’s up to the state to regulate and legalize gambling entertainment. Those federal laws are the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act which doesn’t apply to online casino games, The Federal Wire Act, which also only applies to sports betting, and the Unlawful Internet Gaming Enforcement Act which only applies to the banking institutions that are inevitably involved with online gambling.

The 2011 DOJ Legal Opinion clarifying the application of the Federal Wire Act removed all questions regarding the legality of state-licensed online casino gambling.  As the DOJ declared that the Wire Act only applies to online sports betting, the option for individual states to allow or prohibit online casinos would be completely up to them. Although Illinois has yet to legalize online gambling and thus establish the proper regulation for these businesses to exist, there are still a number of legally sanctioned online casinos that are located outside of the American federal jurisdiction. One thing must be made clear, there are no laws in the federal government of America or the state government of Illinois that deem it illegal to place bets online with legally regulated online casino websites.

Legal Illinois Online Casinos

These online casino websites that we have endorsed here meet all the requirements that make them 100% legal to use for citizens of Illinois. Over the past 20 years we have been individually scrutinizing websites like these for legality and playability. Our team of technical specialists have come from being typical customers to industry insiders over the course of our time in the industry and have taken their backdoor access to specifically approve of the sites that are in this list.

Site NameBonusRatingTypeUSAVisit Site
Bovada Sportsbook And Casino$30005 Star RatingCasinoVisit Site
Cafe Casino$50005 Star RatingCasinoVisit Site
Slotslv Casino$10005 Star RatingCasinoVisit Site
Ignition Casino$10004 Star RatingCasinoVisit Site
Wild Casino$50004 Star RatingCasinoVisit Site
Betonline Sportsbook And Casino$30004 Star RatingCasinoVisit Site

Other Illinois Gambling Pages

IL Online Casino FAQs

What Games Can I Play At Illinois Online Casinos?

Online casino websites that are available for residents of Illinois normally have their games sectioned off into their own categories. You will find slots and 3d slots in their own section that features literally hundreds of slots with interesting theme and graphic variants and different reel selections as well. “Table Games” is where you will find American and European Roulette games, Craps, Baccarat, Blackjack and much more. Video Poker is also usually its own category and you typically find a handful of variations of the game. Then there are the specialty games which have versions of Bingo, keno and scratch cards and other games that differ from site to site.  More recently, live dealer games have been added to US friendly online casinos, providing an altogether new experience by combining live dealer interaction with online access.  This is achieved through advanced web streaming technology.

The games available at the online casinos we recommend are all powered by industry leading casino software solutions.  Technological advancements have reduced the need for downloading casino games and more often than not you will be offered a flash, instant play environment.  These recommended brands also offer a web based, mobile optimized mobile version of their website that utilizes responsive technology to ensure compatibility across a variety of networks, operating systems and devices.

Can I Play For Free At Online Casinos?

Yes. The free play option has served as an invaluable key in learning the software interfaces of the games. As a new player, it pays off to learn the workings of the game before placing any real money bets. For veteran players, this serves as a possible testing ground for new strategies. Even players that have years of experience will have to teach themselves where to click to place bets and get the desired effect.

Are There Casino Bonuses For Illinois Players?

There are quite a few bonuses for Illinois players. Nearly all casinos offer a “Welcome Bonus”. This will be the first bonus that you redeem and probably the most influential on your choice of online gambling website. This welcome bonus usually takes the form of a match bonus that is attached to some percentage listed. That is the percentage of your first deposit that they will match to add to your account and give you more leeway in gambling on their website. Some websites will do lower welcome bonuses and more lucrative member bonuses thereafter so we recommend you look through a site’s promotions before deciding which desetination you will be gambling at.

What Are The Banking Options?

The options for deposit and withdrawal vary between the prominent brands, but there are a few options that seem to stay an industry standard throughout the realm of online casino websites. You will undoubtedly find options for the major credit cards such as Visa, American Express, and MasterCard.  You will also see an option for cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin, Litecoin, Dash, Ethereum or Bitcoin Cash.  Cryptocurrencies are the easiest method to use when gambling online and often come with special promotions associated with them.

You may see options for bank-to-bank and person-to-person wire transfers from popular organizations like Western Union and MoneyGram. Some websites will even allow you to mail them a check or transfer funds from a sister site as well. For withdrawals, the list is a little different.  Credit cards are not an option. Most of the time, Bitcoin and other digital currencies have minimal processing times and no fees associated with payouts, so they are a great option.  Money transfers, wire transfers and check by courier are all viable options, however, there will be fees associated with these payout methods.

Will Illinois Move To Legalize Online Casinos Anytime Soon?

Illinois stands a pretty high likelihood of seeing a legalized future of online gambling. They have tried twice before to regulate and legalize the industry within the state but failed for various reasons. Since then there have been mutterings of a new bill being pushed by the Senate President to specifically mention online poker. These developments came after the DOJ’s formal opinion in 2011 that reclarified the Federal Wire Act to only impact online sports betting, which opened the door for casino, poker, lottery and other online gambling ventures.

Can I Play Real Money Casino Games From My Mobile Phone?

The online casinos listed in this guide all offer a mobile application for access from your smartphone or tablet. This technology emerged well before HTML5 was created but the new development in programming methods has facilitated an innovative era of mobile online gambling. Now, instead of having to download and install a new app for each game, you can simply plug and play right from the homepage of the site. HTML5 allows the programmers to make web apps that are web based, mobile optimized applications, so they do not take up valuable storage on your device.  These applications utilize responsive technology, so they are compatible across a wide range of devices, operating systems, and mobile networks.

Illinois‘ Views on Casino Gambling From The Beginning

Like most states, Illinois started off its statehood with widely accepted gambling throughout the state. In the 1830’s horse tracks started to pop up around Chicago and riverboat gambling started just a short time after that. By the 1930’s horse racing had expanded to 6 major tracks in the state which was more than any other single state. The Illinois state lottery was established in the 1970’s and has risen to reach above 2 billion dollars in 2010. Today there are several casinos and horse racing tracks that are still open and prospering in the Land of Lincoln.