Illinois is home to many legal, controlled gaming options both online and on site. In the physical realm, you will discover riverboat casinos, racetracks and a lottery. Online betting can be regulated with an assortment of horse racing betting websites and fantasy sports sites.
Sports gambling can be on its way to Illinois following a major gaming reform bill has been approved by the legislature and signed into law by Governor J.B. Pritzker at mid-2019. Under this law, in-person and cellular sportsbooks are authorized to accept a full assortment of sports wagers from anyone 21 or older and physically situated within state lines.
As it stands now, Illinois is on its way to becoming a gambling powerhouse between its large population and wide number of legal gaming options. The addition of online sports gambling is particularly notable as that will fans across the nation easy access to legal and safe wagering.
Online Betting Sites in Illinois
Online sports gambling is now legal in Illinois, but it will be some time before the first programs are accepted to accept wagers from the general public. Meanwhile, horse racing and fantasy sports sites and the online lottery are legal and supply a similar experience.
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Horse racing, fantasy sports websites and also the state lottery can offer their services in Illinois provided they have the right licensing to achieve that. Each would-be gaming website must receive special approval from the state gaming board before it may legally accept wagers from country residents.
One online sports gambling operator has reserved its location in the Illinois market so far. Only days following the IL sports gambling law was approved, Australian company announced a partnership with Hawthorne Race Course to construct a retail sportsbook at the track, offer gambling through multiple off-track betting locations and also to launch a mobile program.
FanDuel and DraftKings are likely to join the fray in Illinois at some point a nicely, but has detailed any plans it has for your nation. As additional operators reveal their plans, we’ll update this page together with key info.
Horse Racing
The Illinois Racing Board maintains a current list of gambling websites which are permitted to take wagers over the net from taxpayers. The current list consists of TVG, BetAmerica, TwinSpires and a few others.
My personal recommendation is to go with TVG or BetAmerica. These are the greatest and most well-known websites on the list and have the most racing gambling choices.
Illinois also licenses off-track betting (OTB) at specific locations across the state. As the name implies, OTB facilities allow you to place wagers on horse races in locations aside from the actual racetrack. Each track may authorize a particular number of OTB locations for a total of 43 possible facilities. Presently, 27 OTB centers are busy. You may see the complete list here.
Legal Illinois Sports Betting
Illinois legalized in-persona and cellular sports betting with a law passed in June 2019. After the House and Senate issued their stamps of approval, Governor J.B. Pritzker added his signature to turn the bill into the law of the land.
Under SB 690 (starting on page 227), Illinois will issue permits to casinos, racetracks and professional sports stadiums to operate retail sportsbooks to take wagers in person in addition to mobile gaming programs to take wagers online.
Online operators like FanDuel, DraftKings and PointsBet may either partner with a regional land-based sportsbook operator or apply for one of those 3 online-only licenses that will be issued under the new law.
Now, it’s merely a matter of time as state regulators draw up rules regulating the industry, review applications from interested sports gambling providers and problem the go-ahead for accredited operators to start accepting wagers.
The impending IL sports gambling law does have its troublesome areas like high licensing fees and requiring in-person registration for the first 18 months, but complete it could be considered a win for sports fans. It’s always welcome news if a country eventually gets around to regulating and taxing an activity that has been taking place underground through local bookies and overseas gambling sites.
Mobile Sports Betting in Illinois
Casinos, racetracks and stadiums that acquire sports gambling licenses will be able to launch mobile apps under their own brand names. Casinos and racetracks will have the ability to accept clients from across the state while stadiums are going to have 5-block radius where they may accept wagers in-person or through mobile apps.
There are two important provisions associated with cellular betting in IL which will inconvenience some bettors, but even these problems will likely be solved with the passage of time.
First, clients will be asked to register in-person with a licensed sportsbook before gambling online. This usually means you’ll need to visit a nearby casino or racetrack to register for an account and confirm your identity. As soon as you get that out of the way, you’re going to be able to bet at your advantage from a certified mobile program.
Secondly, person online-only operators will be banned from entering the marketplace for the initial 18 months till they partner with an area casino. When an online operator chooses to go that path, it is necessary by law to operate under the name of the casino that is online.
Online operators may also opt to wait 18 months then apply for one of three mobile betting licenses. Operators that decide to go that route will be allowed to run under their own brand names, but they will be playing catchup after sitting out for a year and a half.
The fantastic news is the two provisions are set to expire after 18 weeks. At some point, you’ll be able to enroll online from anywhere in the state and place wagers via sites including FanDuel and DraftKings if they haven’t already partnered with a local casino or racetrack.
Illinois Sportsbooks
Under the brand new sports betting law, Illinois casinos and racetracks will be permitted to use for sports gambling licenses. These licenses will authorize the construction of in-person sportsbooks as well as the launching of cellular betting apps.
Accreditation fees for casinos and racetracks are set to be priced based on 5 percent of every operator’s adjusted gross premiums but max out at $10 million. Expensive or not, most if not all the state’s casinos are very likely to apply for licenses. Pennsylvania established a likewise expensive licensing scheme and even though PA casinos originally balked at paying that much to provide what is essentially a low-revenue kind of gambling, they ended up applying for permits one by one.
Sportsbooks at Stadiums
Among the more unique aspects of the IL sports betting law would be a provision allowing up to seven sports stadiums to apply for permits to run sportsbooks. Stadiums that acquire these licenses will be allowed to take wagers on site too through mobile devices inside a five-block radius.
Sports Betting Kiosks
The Illinois Lottery has also been approved to go into the sports betting company to a limited level. Under the law, the IL Lottery could put around 2,500 sports betting kiosks throughout the state over the first year of the law being in effect. After that, the lottery could put an additional 2,500 kiosks over the course of the next year to bring the total to 5,000 machines.
IL Lottery betting kiosks will not be allowed to provide full-fledged sports betting; they might just offer you parlay-style wagers. The specifics of precisely those wagers would work still have to be worked out, however, the basic gist with parlays is gamers need to select the results of two games in return for receiving better payout odds than wagering on just a single game.
Key Illinois Sports Betting Rules
The Illinois Gaming Board and Department of Lottery have been tasked with drawing up regulations as needed to enforce the new sports gambling law, but the law itself also includes a range of key rules which we know will be in place once the first sportsbooks and betting sites go live.
In-person sportsbooks accredited? Yes
Mobile and online sports gambling authorized? Yes
Where will betting occur? Casinos, racetracks and sports stadiums may apply for licenses to run in-person sportsbooks and also to Provide online betting
Sports gambling kiosks: Illinois Lottery may operate up to 5,000 kiosks which will accept parlay-style wagers only Minimum age to bet on sports in IL: 21
Restricted Events: No wagers allowed on Illinois college teams, minor league occasions and K-12 events Restricted Wagers: Professional sports teams may ask the Illinois Gaming Board to prohibit certain Kinds of wagers if they are worried such wagers can impact the integrity of the matches Information Mandate: Licensed operators need to buy official information from the leagues for settling in-play wagers
Tax rate: 15% on adjusted gross sports wagering receipts
Additional community taxation: An additional 2% tax will be collected from operators located in counties with a population in excess of 3 million. Money collected from this tax will go to support that county’s criminal justice system.
Self-exclusion: The Illinois Gaming Board and also Department of the Lottery shall Establish a voluntary self-exclusion program for people who wish to confine themselves from wagering
Past Efforts to Legalize Sports Betting in IL
Illinois’ latest move to legalize sports gambling isn’t the nation’s first effort — lawmakers and industry stakeholders have been considering the problem for quite some time.
Two bills were introduced 2018 trying to legalize sports betting in case the Supreme Court overturned the national prohibition (which it did). HB 4214 was a simple placeholder bill while SB 2478 would have created the Sports Betting Consumer Protection Act.
SB 2478 lacked information about regulations, licensing conditions and taxation rates and handed the forming of regulations on to a state agency. Which bureau that would have been was left in the invoice, but that also was to be decided at a subsequent point. The purpose in the short term was to only end the state-level prohibition of sports gambling and then figure out the rest later.
A reading of the complete text of this bill reveals the writers also pictured online sports betting being legalized. The invoice referred to”digital” sports betting no fewer than 29 times as a possible form of betting that would be regulated by the state agency eventually assigned to regulate the industry.
The support of local casinos helped improve the chances of sports gambling coming to Illinois, however, casinos have been a bit slower to talk on the situation. But, Arlington Racecourse sounded open to this idea when it told the Daily Herald it would Prefer a casino to proceed with sports betting:
“If we’re treated equally with all the casinos and we have slots and table games,” Arlington GM Tony Petrillo explained,”and then we’ve sports gambling, that is a venture which would be very plausible for this property.”
The 2018 attempts to legalize IL sports gambling failed to yield outcomes in the brief term, but new laws enacted in 2019 constructed on these initial attempts to turn that dream into a reality. Early disappointments have finally turned into action with lawmakers eventually getting fully on board with legal sports gambling.
Fantasy Sports
Real money fantasy sports betting is legal in the federal level as a result of an exemption by the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act (UIGEA) of 2006. The UIGEA determined fantasy sports to be a competition of skill rather than luck since gambling outcomes do not depend on a single game or the operation of an individual player.
State legislation also welcome dream sports so all of the major US companies offering fantasy betting are available to residents. You are welcome to sign up, deposit and win real money at any of the websites listed above.
If you are not familiar with daily fantasy betting, this is a form of wagering where you pick from all the players in the league (it might be NFL, MLB, NBA, etc.) and draft a group of about 9 people depending on the sport. A virtual salary cap is enforced, which compels you to make tough decisions when determining how to meet your roster.
As soon as you have a group, all you have to do is wait patiently for that week’s games to play out in the real world. When the actual players score points and also collect stats in the actual world, your fantasy team earns points. In the end of this all, the individual whose dream team gets the most points wins the competition.
You’re able to play in tiny contests in which you pit your team against one opponent, moderate contests with 3, 4 or even 20 opponents or massive tournaments with hundreds or thousands of other men and women. Your goal is to make as many points with your team as possible and win a real cash payout.
Illinois has an intriguing bit of case law background regarding fantasy sports. In 2013, New York resident Chris Langone brought a suit against in Illinois court. He sought to claim over $500,000 in earnings from FanDuel and among its customers under an old Illinois law known as the Illinois Loss Act.
The Reduction Act is a classic piece of anti-gambling legislation which makes gambling losses recoverable from the loser if the losses amount to more than $50. If six months pass and the victim doesn’t assert the losses, anyone can recover those losses . Here’s the important Part of law:
(a) Any person who by betting shall lose to any other person, any sum of money or item of value, amounting to the sum of $50 or more and shall pay or deliver the same or any part thereof, may sue for and recover the money or anything of value, therefore lost and paid or delivered, in a civil action against the winner , together with costs, in the circuit court…
(b) If within 6 months, such person who under the conditions of Subsection 28-8(a) is eligible to initiate actions to recoup his losses does not actually pursue his treatment, any individual may commence a civil action against the winner. The court or the jury, as the case may be, will determine the total amount of the reduction. After such determination, the court will enter a decision of triple the amount determined.
The suit was eventually thrown out due to Langone failing to satisfy the minimal brink of depositing cash and since FanDuel itself may not be regarded as a”winner of gaming” because it simply functions as a middleman between bettors.
Are dream sports legal in Illinois?
The significant fantasy sports sites all function in Illinois and the country is home to several people who perform daily, but the legality of all DFS has yet to be fully, 100% settled with legislation. Back in December of 2015, Attorney General Lisa Madigan issued an opinion that daily fantasy sports violate Illinois law, but no further action was taken along with the major DFS sites have continued to operate publicly since then.
Some lawmakers also have sought to push legislation that would either legalize and regulate daily fantasy sports or outlaw the action altogether. House Bill 4323 introduced in 2015 and debated in 2016 would have officially legalized fantasy sports with the invention of this Fantasy Sports Contest Act, but that bill was shelved in 2016 and finally died altogether in early 2017.
Another bill additionally introduced 2016 hunted to move things from the opposite direction and categorize the performance of a fantasy website for a crime. Fortunately, that charge also died in early 2017.
As it stands now, daily fantasy sports are explicitly legal nor illegal in Illinois. The current status quo works well for operators and players, but it’ll be nice to finally find the matter firmly settled one way or the other.
Several DFS legalization bills are introduced in the intervening years, but none have made it into legislation. Early 2018 saw some action on a fantasy sports bill, but enthusiasm for this bill died and there have been no major changes since. Regardless of the AG’s 2015 opinion that DFS websites run afoul of Illinois gambling law, the significant daily fantasy sites do accept clients the nation.
Illinois was the first state to carry its lottery into the internet after a federal judge ruled that it could be lawful for states to achieve that. The IL Online Lottery went reside in 2012 and the website enables residents to create an account and purchase individual tickets for Powerball, Mega Millions and Lotto.
Any condition resident 18 or older will enroll an account and purchase tickets or subscribe to subscriptions for automatic purchases. Winnings under $600 are credited directly to your lottery account and may then be withdrawn straight to your bank account. Should you win more than $600, the state lottery claims department will contact you with instructions for maintaining your cash.
Here is something else interesting: that the Illinois lottery is largely accountable for nations now being able to legalize online gambling and poker. In 2009, Illinois and New York requested the Department of Justice to clarify its stance on the Wire Act of 1961. Both nations had plans to sell tickets on line but were unsure if this strategy would run afoul of federal law.
It required the Dept. of Justice two decades to react but it had been worth every minute of the wait. Not only did the DOJ approve of online lotteries, but it ruled that the Wire Act applies only to sports gambling. This choice is that which paved the way for states including New Jersey, Nevada and Delaware to legalize online casino games and poker.
Online Poker and Casinos in Illinois
Illinois has been flirting with the concept of online gambling legalization for many years now. 1 effort came in 2013 when a major rewrite of the state’s gambling laws contained a little about legalizing, regulating and taxing online poker and casino games. Legislators yanked the part about online gaming before the bill was passed the subsequent month.
For a time after the 2013 announcement failed, there was no word or sign that online gambling would return to Illinois any time soon aside from Senate President John Cullerton after calling online gambling inevitable. If the people of Illinois will be playing and gambling poker online anyways, why shouldn’t the state get a cut? It would be better to control it, enact better safeguards for gamers and maintain those tax dollars stateside. This was the simple argument anyways.
Cullerton’s attempt to incorporate online gaming to the 2013 bill ultimately failed, but he says he’s not out yet. He’ll continue to push the idea and hopefully make something happen for the gamers of Illinois. He also stated that internet gaming probably will not come to Illinois before lawmakers finalize and enact legislation to permit the construction of new land-based casinos in the state.
In the end, he stated, online gaming represents an easy source of money for authorities in all countries. Lawmakers have the power to create a new industry overnight and generate a new source of revenue without increasing taxes. The people today want the freedom to spend their money how they and state lawmakers such as the notion of additional revenue.
Online Gambling Bill Passes in the Illinois Senate
The upcoming big break for internet gambling in Illinois came about suddenly in May of 2017. With very little warning, language legalizing online gambling and online poker has been inserted to a daily dream sports invoice at the behest of local riverboat casino interests.
According to local news reports, present casinos in Illinois see daily dream sports as a rival business model and were originally opposed to legislation regulating dream sports. But, those casinos’d also been interested in expanding to online gaming for quite a while. They could strike a deal with lawmakers and receive the internet gaming speech added to the dream sports bill.
Along with creating consumer protection regulations for daily fantasy sport, the modified bill seeks to legalize online gaming and issue licenses to operators. Present casinos, horse racing tracks and ADW operators will be authorized to apply for licenses to get an application fee of $250,000 plus a licensing fee of $10 million. Operators will be allowed to cancel the hefty licensing fee against future taxes accumulated on gaming revenue.
The bill was put to a vote in the Illinois Senate in May and passed by a vote of 42-10, but stalled at the home.
Is it legal to perform offshore casinos or poker websites?
Article 28 of the Illinois Criminal Code seems to prohibit the mere act of playing poker or wagering on games. The code doesn’t specifically mention that the World Wide Web, but it could be interpreted to apply to betting on games anywhere with the following text:
(a) A person commits gambling when he or she:
(1) knowingly plays a game of skill or chance for money or other thing of value, unless excepted in subsection (b) of the Section;
(2) knowingly makes a wager upon the result of any match, contest, or any political nomination, election or appointment;
However, Illinois hasn’t prosecuted a person for playing games on the internet. The state is home to some very high-profile poker players including the likes of Taylor Caby, that has made millions of dollars playing online poker and conducting the poker training website There probably is not much legal risk related to playing at offshore poker rooms or casinos.
Even so, we do not advise our readers to play for real cash at unlicensed poker websites. The legal risk may be small, but it is not zero. There’s also a significant financial risk associated with playing sites that still accept Americans against US gaming laws. The Department of Justice has show

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