Legal Illinois online gambling at Bovada Casino

Illinois Online Gambling Laws

Online gambling is very popular in Illinois. Gambling laws in the State of Illinois specifically address the issue of online gambling. Under Illinois gambling laws, it is illegal to operate, maintain or establish a website that allows a person to use the internet to play a game of skill or chance for money or any thing of value or to make a wager on the outcome of any contest, game, political nomination, election or appointment. While the law does deal with the issue of Illinois online gambling, it is silent on the issue of taking part in online gambling as a player. Just because the law is silent on taking part in online gambling, it does not mean that online gambling is legal in the State of Illinois. While IL state based online gambling may be questionable, there are no federal laws or state laws specifically prohibiting residents from participating in online gambling that is based, licensed, and regulated outside of the United States.

Where Do Illinois Gambling Laws Stand On Gambling In General?

Under Illinois gambling laws, playing a game of skill or chance for money or anything of value is gambling. Gambling is a class A misdemeanor offense in the State of Illinois, but not all gambling is illegal in Illinois. State approved forms of gambling are legal. Illinois gambling laws do not distinguish between a game of skill and a game of chance. It has been held by Illinois courts that Texas Hold em poker is gambling.

Are There Land Based Casinos In Illinois?

There are many licensed casinos across the state where people over the age of 21 can legally gamble. State law allows riverboat gambling on any navigable stream in Illinois except Lake Michigan. It must be noted that the age of majority in Illinois is 18 but to legally gamble in a casino, the person must be at least 21 years old. The state also has a state lottery as well as legal pari-mutuel wagering system. Illinois also has a wide slate of charitable gambling formats. However charitable gambling events can only offer blackjack, roulette, poker, craps, pull tabs, bear, bang, the dealer, gin rummy, big six, chuck a luck, five card stud poker, keno, merchandise wheel and hold-em poker. Anyone aged 18 or over can take part in such approved forms of gambling in Illinois (except casinos). The law does not exempt poker games played at home if the winner takes money or anything of value. With the state's favorable view of casino gambling, we anticipate that state based Illinois online casinos are likely to emerge in the near future.

In 2009, the Illinois legislature passed the Video Gambling Act. This Act allowed truck stops, fraternal organizations and bars to set up gambling machines offering payouts. The maximum number of such machines that could be set up at a location was limited to 5. Despite the Act being passed and signed into law, it took some time for such gambling machines to be set up across the State because of a lawsuit challenging certain provisions of the Act and problems with the bidding process. Today there are more than 2000 such gambling machines across the state.

Where Does Illinois Stand On Regulating State Based Online Gambling?

Illinois has been in the forefront of regulating online gambling. In fact, the state was the first state to introduce online lottery. It is still the only state with an online lottery. The Illinois Racing Board permits betting on horse races over the internet through approved sites.

In the past, the State of Illinois has on more than one occasion attempted to regularize online gambling. The first attempt came in 2012 when the members of the Illinois House and Senate attempted to pass a law that would regulate various forms of online gambling. The bills did not make it through the committee. In 2013, another attempt was made to regularize online gambling but this attempt too failed as it perished during negotiations on the issue of having more casinos in the state. The section on online gambling had to be removed from the bill as Governor Pat Quinn had previously spoken out against its inclusion.

There are reports that Illinois Senate President John J. Cullerton is planning to introduce a standalone bill aimed at bringing online casino and Illinois online poker games to the state. The bill seeks to permit a wide array of gambling options but would limit online betting to events where such bets are explicitly legal.

Are There Any Federal Laws That Make Online Gambling Illegal For Illinois Players?

There is no federal law that makes online poker or casino gambling illegal in Illinois. There is the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act of 2006 which deals with regulating the processing of online gambling related transactions. The Act does not make online gambling or poker illegal. The Federal Wire Act also does not apply to online poker. It applies only to sports betting. There is however some secure, legal and very legitimate Illinois online sports betting opportunities that are licensed and regulated outside of the USA.

Illinois Gambling Laws

If you would like to review the actual laws and statutes for the State of Illinois, you can view there on the official website for the Illinois State Legislature. If you are seeking professional legal interpretation of any law, or legal advice, we recommend that you visit a professional attorney, preferably one who specializes in online gambling. We are online gambling consultants and do not provide legal services of any kind, nor do we claim to possess or operate on the basis of any formal legal training, degrees, or certifications.