Illinois is home to numerous legal, regulated gaming options both online and on site. In the physical world, you will discover riverboat casinos, racetracks and a lottery. Online betting is also regulated with an assortment of horse racing betting websites and fantasy sports websites.
Sports gambling can be on its way to Illinois after a significant gaming reform bill was approved by the legislature and signed into law by Governor J.B. Pritzker in mid-2019. Under that law, in-person and cellular sportsbooks are licensed to accept a complete range of sports wagers from anyone 21 or older and physically situated in state lines.
As it stands now, Illinois is on its way to becoming a gaming powerhouse between its big population and wide variety of legal gaming options. The accession of online sports gambling is particularly noteworthy as that will fans across the state easy access to safe and legal wagering.
Online Betting Sites in Illinois
Online sports betting is now legal in Illinois, but it will be a while before the initial apps are accepted to take wagers from the public. Meanwhile, horse racing and fantasy sports websites and the online lottery are already legal and supply a similar experience.
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Horse racing, fantasy sports sites and the nation 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.
1 online sports betting operator has reserved its location in the Illinois market so far. Only days after the IL sports gambling law has been approved, Australian firm announced a partnership with Hawthorne Race Course to build a retail sportsbook at the track, offer gambling through numerous off-track gaming places and also to launch a mobile program.
FanDuel and DraftKings are very likely to join the fray at Illinois at some point a nicely, but has detailed any plans it has for your nation. As further operators disclose their strategies, we’ll update this page with all key information.
Horse Racing
The Illinois Racing Board maintains a current list of gambling websites which are permitted to accept wagers on the internet from residents. The current list consists of TVG, BetAmerica, TwinSpires and a couple of others.
My personal recommendation would be to go with TVG or BetAmerica. These are the greatest and most well-known websites on the list and have the maximum racing gambling options.
Illinois also licenses off-track betting (OTB) at particular locations throughout the state. As the name suggests, OTB facilities allow you to place wagers on horse races at locations aside from the actual racetrack. Each monitor may authorize a particular number of OTB places for a total of 43 possible facilities. Presently, 27 OTB facilities are active. You may see the complete list .
Legal Illinois Sports Betting
Illinois legalized in-persona and mobile 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 to the law of this land.
Under SB 690 (beginning on page 227), Illinois will issue permits to casinos, racetracks and professional sports stadiums to operate mobile sportsbooks to take wagers in person as well as mobile gaming programs to take wagers online.
Online operators like FanDuel, DraftKings and PointsBet may partner with a local land-based sportsbook operator or apply for one of those three online-only licenses which will be issued under the new law.
Now, it’s just a matter of time as state regulators draw up rules governing the industry, review applications from curious sports gambling providers and problem the go-ahead for accredited operators to begin accepting wagers.
The pending IL sports betting law will have its troublesome areas such as high licensing fees and requiring in-person registration for the first 18 months, but complete it can be regarded as a win for sports lovers. It is always welcome news when a state eventually gets around to controlling and taxing an action that was taking place underground through local bookies and overseas betting sites.
Mobile Sports Betting at Illinois
Casinos, racetracks and stadiums that obtain sports gambling licenses are going to have the ability to launch mobile programs under their own brand names. Casinos and racetracks will be able to accept clients from throughout the state while stadiums are going to have 5-block radius in which they may accept wagers through mobile programs.
There are two important provisions related to cellular betting in IL that will inconvenience a few bettors, but these issues 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 means you’ll need to see a nearby casino or racetrack to register for an account and verify your identity. Once you get that from the way, you’re going to have the ability to wager at your convenience from a certified mobile app.
Secondly, individual online-only operators will be banned from entering the market for the initial 18 months unless they partner with an area casino. If an online operator chooses to go that route, it is required by law to operate under the name of the casino that is online.
Online operators may also choose to wait 18 months then apply for one of three cellular betting licenses. Operators that choose to go that route will be permitted to operate 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 months. At some point, you’ll have the ability to enroll online from any place in the state and also place wagers through sites such as FanDuel and DraftKings when they haven’t already partnered with a local casino or racetrack.
Illinois Sportsbooks
Under the new sports betting law, Illinois casinos and racetracks will be allowed to apply for sports gambling licenses. These permits will authorize the construction of in-person sportsbooks and the launching of mobile betting apps.
Licensing fees for casinos and racetracks are set to be priced according to 5% of every operator adjusted gross receipts but max out at $10 million. Expensive or not, many if not all of the state’s casinos are very likely to apply for licenses. Pennsylvania established a likewise expensive licensing scheme and even though PA casinos initially balked at paying that much to provide what is essentially a low-revenue kind of gaming, they ended up applying for permits one by one.
Sportsbooks at Stadiums
Among the more unique aspects of the IL sports gambling law is a provision allowing up to seven sports stadiums to apply for permits to operate sportsbooks. Stadiums that acquire these licenses will be allowed to take wagers in-person 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 business to a limited degree. Under the new law, the IL Lottery may place up to 2,500 sports betting kiosks throughout the state over the initial year of the law being in effect. After that, the lottery could place an additional 2,500 kiosks within the course of the following year to bring the total to 5,000 machines.
IL Lottery betting kiosks won’t be allowed to provide full-fledged sports betting; they might only offer parlay-style wagers. The details of exactly those wagers would work still need to get worked out, but the basic gist with parlays is gamers must pick the outcomes of two matches in return for getting better payout odds than wagering on just a single match.
Essential 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 legislation itself also includes a number of important rules which we know will be in place once the first sportsbooks and betting websites go live.
In-person sportsbooks accredited? Yes
Online and mobile sports betting authorized? Yes
Where will betting occur? Casinos, racetracks and sports stadiums may apply for permits to operate on site sportsbooks and to offer online betting
Sports betting kiosks: Illinois Lottery may operate around 5,000 kiosks which will accept parlay-style wagers just Minimum age to wager on sports in IL: 21
Restricted Events: No wagers allowed on Illinois school teams, minor league occasions and K-12 occasions Restricted Wagers: Pro sports teams may ask the Illinois Gaming Board to prohibit certain types of wagers if they are concerned such wagers can impact the integrity of the matches Data Mandate: Licensed operators must buy official data from the leagues such as settling in-play wagers
Tax rate: 15 percent on adjusted gross sports wagering receipts
Added community taxation: An additional 2% tax will be collected from operators situated in counties with a population in excess of 3 million. Money collected from this tax will go to support which county’s criminal justice system.
Self-exclusion: The Illinois Gaming Board and also Department of the Lottery will set up a voluntary self-exclusion program for people who wish to confine themselves from wagering
Past Efforts to Legalize Sports Betting at IL
Illinois’ latest move to legalize sports betting is not the nation’s first attempt — lawmakers and industry stakeholders have been contemplating the problem for quite a while.
The two bills were introduced 2018 seeking to legalize sports betting in the event the Supreme Court overturned the federal prohibition (which it did). HB 4214 was a simple placeholder bill while SB 2478 could have created the Sports Betting Consumer Protection Act.
SB 2478 lacked information about regulations, licensing conditions and tax rates and passed the forming of regulations to a state agency. Which bureau that would have been left unsaid in the bill, but that too was to be decided at a subsequent point. The aim in the short term was to only end the state-level prohibition of sports betting and then figure out the rest later.
A reading of the full text of the bill reveals the authors also envisioned online sports betting being legalized. The bill referred to”digital” sports gambling no fewer than 29 times as a possible form of gambling that would be regulated by the state agency finally delegated to regulate the business.
The support of neighborhood casinos helped improve the chances of sports gambling coming to Illinois, but casinos have been somewhat slower to speak on the situation. However, Arlington Racecourse sounded receptive to this idea as it advised 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 table and slots games,” Arlington GM Tony Petrillo said,”then we’ve sports gambling, that is a venture that would be very plausible for this property.”
The 2018 efforts to legalize IL sports betting failed to yield results in the brief term, but new laws enacted in 2019 built on these first efforts to turn that fantasy into a reality. Early disappointments have turned into action with lawmakers eventually getting fully on board with legal sports betting.
Fantasy Sports
Real money fantasy sports gambling is legal at 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 instead of luck since betting outcomes do not depend on a single game or the operation of an individual player.
State laws also welcome fantasy sports so all the major US firms offering fantasy betting are readily available to residents. You’re welcome to sign up, deposit and win real cash at any of the websites listed above.
If you are not familiar with daily fantasy gambling, this is a form of wagering in which you pick from all of the players in the league (it might be NFL, MLB, NBA, etc.) and draft a team of about 9 people based on the sport. A virtual salary cap is enforced, which forces you to make tough decisions when deciding how to meet your roster.
As soon as you have a group, all you need to do is wait patiently for this week’s matches to play out in the real world. When the actual players score points and also amass stats from the real world, your dream team earns points. At the end of this all, the person whose fantasy team gets the most points wins the contest.
You can play in small contests where you pit your team against a single opponent, moderate contests with 3, 4 or even 20 competitions or massive tournaments with hundreds or even thousands of other men and women. Your purpose is to make as many points with your staff as possible and acquire a real cash payout.
Illinois has an interesting bit of case law history concerning fantasy sports. In 2013, New York resident Chris Langone brought a suit against in Illinois court. He sought to claim more than $500,000 in earnings from FanDuel and one of its clients under an old Illinois law known as the Illinois reduction Act.
The Loss Act is a classic bit of anti-gambling legislation that makes gambling losses recoverable from the loser if the losses amount to over $50. If half an hour pass and the victim doesn’t assert the losses, anyone may recover those losses in court. Here is the applicable piece of the law:
(a) Any person who by betting will lose to some other person, any amount of money or thing of value, amounting to the sum of $50 or more and will pay or deliver the same or any part thereof, may sue for and recover the money or other thing of value, therefore lost and paid or delivered, at a civil action against the winner thereof, with costs, at the circuit court…
(b) If within 6 months, such individual who under the conditions of Subsection 28-8(a) is entitled to initiate action to recoup his losses does not actually pursue his remedy, any person may initiate a civil action against the winner. The court or the jury, as the case may be, shall ascertain the amount of the reduction. Following such determination, the court will enter a judgment of triple the amount so determined.
The lawsuit was eventually thrown out due to Langone failing to meet the minimal brink of depositing money and because FanDuel itself cannot be regarded as a”winner of gaming” since it simply acts as a middleman between bettors.
Are dream sports legal in Illinois?
The significant fantasy sports sites all operate in Illinois and the state is home to many men and women who play every day, however the legality of all DFS has not yet been fully, 100% settled with laws. Back in December of 2015, Attorney General Lisa Madigan issued an opinion that daily fantasy sports violate Illinois law, but no additional action was taken along with the significant DFS sites have continued to function publicly since then.
Some lawmakers also have sought to push legislation which would legalize and regulate daily fantasy sports or outlaw the activity altogether. House Bill 4323 introduced 2015 and debated in 2016 would have formally legalized dream sports with the invention of this Fantasy Sports Contest Act, but that bill was shelved in 2016 and eventually died altogether in ancient 2017.
Another bill additionally introduced in 2016 hunted to move things in the opposite direction and classify the performance of a dream website for a crime. Fortunately, that charge also died in early 2017.
As it stands today, daily fantasy sports are neither explicitly legal nor illegal in Illinois. The current status quo works nicely for players and operators, but it’ll be wonderful to eventually 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 dream sports invoice, but excitement for that bill died and there have been no significant changes since. Despite the AG’s 2015 view that DFS websites run afoul of Illinois gambling law, the significant daily fantasy sites do accept clients the state.
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 do so. The IL Online Lottery went reside in 2012 and the web site enables residents to create an account and buy individual tickets for Powerball, Mega Millions and Lotto.
Any state resident 18 or older may enroll an account there and purchase tickets or subscribe to subscriptions for automatic purchases. Winnings under $600 are credited right to your lottery account and may then be pulled straight to your bank account. Should you win more than $600, the nation lottery claims department will contact you with instructions for maintaining your cash.
Here is something else interesting: the Illinois lottery is mainly responsible for nations now having the authority to legalize online poker and gambling. In 2009, Illinois and New York asked the Department of Justice to explain its position on the Wire Act of 1961. Both states had plans to sell tickets on line but were uncertain if this strategy will run afoul of federal law.
It required the Dept. of Justice two years to respond but it was worth every minute of the wait. Not merely did the DOJ approve of online lotteries, but it dominated the Wire Act applies only to sports betting. This choice is what paved the way for states like New Jersey, Nevada and Delaware to legalize online casino games and poker.
Online Poker and Casinos in Illinois
Illinois has been flirting with the idea of internet gaming legalization for years now. 1 attempt came in 2013 when a major rewrite of the nation’s gambling laws included a little about playing, regulating and taxing online poker and casino games. Legislators yanked the role concerning online gaming before the bill was passed the subsequent month.
For a period after the 2013 announcement failed, there was no word or sign that online gaming would return to Illinois any time shortly aside from Senate President John Cullerton once calling internet gambling inescapable. If the people of Illinois are going to be gambling and playing poker online anyways, why should not the country get a cut? It’d be better to regulate it, enact much better safeguards for gamers and keep those tax dollars stateside. This was the simple argument anyways.
Cullerton’s attempt to incorporate online gambling to the 2013 bill ultimately failed, but he says he’s not out yet. He will continue to push the idea and hopefully make something happen for the players of Illinois. He also stated that internet gaming probably will not come to Illinois until lawmakers finalize and enact legislation to permit the building of fresh land-based casinos in the state.
In the long run, he stated, internet gaming represents an easy source of money for authorities in all countries. Lawmakers have the power to create a new business overnight and generate a new source of revenue without raising taxes. The people today want the freedom to spend their money how they and state lawmakers like the idea of further revenue.
Online Gambling Bill Passes in the Illinois Senate
The upcoming major break for online gaming in Illinois came about unexpectedly in May of 2017. With little warning, language legalizing online gambling and online poker was added to a daily dream sports invoice at the behest of local riverboat casino interests.
According to local news reports, present casinos in Illinois view daily dream sports as a competing company model and were originally opposed to legislation regulating fantasy sports. However, those casinos had been interested in expanding to online gaming for quite a while. They were able to strike a bargain with lawmakers and receive the internet gaming speech added to the dream sports bill.
In addition to generating consumer protection regulations for daily fantasy sports, the modified bill seeks to legalize online gambling and issue permits to operators. Present casinos, horse racing tracks and ADW operators will be licensed to apply for permits to get an application fee of $250,000 plus a licensing fee of $10 million. Operators will be permitted to offset the hefty licensing fee against future taxes collected on gaming revenue.
The bill had been put to a vote in the Illinois Senate in May and passed by a vote of 42-10, but stalled at the house.
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 does not specifically mention that the internet, but it could be interpreted to apply to gambling on games anywhere using the following text:
(a) A person commits gambling when he or she:
(1) knowingly plays a game of chance or skill for money or other thing of value, unless excepted in subsection (b) of the Section;
(2) intentionally makes a wager on the result of almost any game, competition, or any political nomination, appointment or election;
However, Illinois hasn’t prosecuted a person for playing games on the internet. The country is home to a 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 isn’t much legal risk related to playing offshore poker rooms or casinos.
Even so, we don’t advise our subscribers to perform for real money at unlicensed poker websites. The legal threat may be small, but it’s not zero. There’s also a substantial financial risk related to playing on sites that nevertheless accept Americans contrary to US gaming legislation. The Department of Justice has show

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