Illinois Gambling Guide

Illinois Online Gambling 2024 Overview, Casino Apps and TOP Sites

Want to know what types of online gambling are allowed in Illinois? What are the best sites for sports and casino betting? Here you go!

While Illinois hasn’t legalized real-money online casinos yet, residents can engage in social casinos like Chumba Casino and LuckyLand Slots for a range of sweepstakes slots and table games. This summary looks ahead to possible changes in Illinois’s gambling laws, anticipating the potential introduction of major online casino operators like BetMGM and Caesars Casino in the future.

Is it legal to gamble in Illinois?

The history of legal gambling in the state of Illinois actually dates back to the days when gangster Al Capone ruled over Chicago in the 1920s. Back then, the only legal form of gambling that the people of Illinois could wager on was horse racing.

Today, that landscape is populated with many more opportunities for wagering. There are 10 options in the state for land-based casino gambling, which were originally legalized in 1990. Video slot machines are also legally operated in liquor establishments and truck stops throughout Illinois. The Illinois lottery began operating in 2012.

In 2019, the Illinois state government voted to legalize sports betting, both at retail brick and mortar sites and via online and mobile app options. 

The only popular gambling option still unavailable in Illinois is online casino gambling. 

Illinois’ Best Gambling Sites

You’ll find all of the major online sports betting sites in the USA are located in Illinois. The first sports betting sites launched in June of 2020. They must be partnered with a racetrack or land-based casino in order to be licensed. Along with retail sports betting, Illinois also offers online and mobile sports betting options.

These are some of the top sites operating in Illinois. 

BetMGM Illinois

Offering a massive list of bet types and betting markets, one of the unique features of the BetMGM sports betting app is the ability to edit your bet. They offer a stellar welcome bonus of up to $1500 in bonus bets back if your first bet with BetMGM doesn’t cash as a winner.

BetRivers Illinois

If you like to bet with home-grown talent, then BetRivers is the sportsbook for you. They are owned and operated by Rush Street Interactive, which is situated in Chicago. And they are partners with the NFL’s Chicago Bears. BetRivers is known in the industry for their quick payouts of withdrawals and their always minimal 1x playthrough wagering requirement on any bonus funds. They were the first to launch both retail (March 9, 2020) and online (June 19, 2020) sports betting sites in Illinois.

Caesars Sportsbook Illinois

One of the legends on the US gambling landscape, Caesars has proven capable of combining that traditional excellence with state of the art technology. They’ve earned a sterling reputation for their industry-leading rewards program. As well, you won’t find a sportsbook offering a greater list of betting markets than Caesars, and they offer more odds boosts than any site.

DraftKings Illinois Online

The ease of use of the DraftKings site is a great starting point. You’ll find plenty of selection in terms of betting markets and bet types. And it’s all explained in simple terminology, because DraftKings aims to gain favor with the recreational player. They offer an early cash out option on bets and deliver it all to you on a sleek, easy to navigate site.

A leader in the field of US gambling, both online and offline sports betting is widely available in Illinois. The scheme’s need for in-person registration has now ended, with bettors able to register online for their app of choice.

    BetMGM Sportsbook Bonus: get $1,500
    5.0 rating based on 1 rating
    BetMGM online sportsbook excels in offering a comprehensive live betting odds, complete with real-time updates and a wide array of fast banking options.
    USDOTBET
    BetRivers Sportsbook Bonus: Claim a 2d chance bet of up to $500
    5.0 rating based on 1 rating
    BetRivers Sportsbook distinguishes itself with “House Specials” (their version of odds boosts), ongoing promotions, and a loyalty program known as iRush Rewards.
    USBTRV

TOP Illinois Sports Gambling Sites/Apps

Illinois Online Casinos

There are currently 10 brick and mortar casinos in Illinois, along with thousands of VLTs situated in bars and truck stops across the state. What there isn’t access to anywhere in Illinois is online casino gambling.

Since 2021, the state government has sought to carve out a path toward legalization of online casino gambling in the state of Illinois, but to date, all attempts have come up short of reaching that destination. 

As recently as February of 2024, the Illinois State Senate sent a bill seeking legalization of online casino gambling and online poker to the Illinois House Gaming Committee. It never even generated any discussion prior to the conclusion of the state’s legislative session on May 24. 

With more stability in the state budget in recent years, there’s no pressure on Illinois lawmakers to find new revenue streams such as the type of tax windfall that online casino gambling could create.

You can’t play online casino games in Illinois at this time. The best online casinos that are permitted to operate in other states have hundreds, even thousands of games available to their players. The most popular tend to be the big-hit slot games, but several innovative table games also command a vast American audience. However, while Illinois gambling still excludes online casinos, you can’t play the best games as a state resident.

Based on the current laws in Illinois, BetMGM, Caesars, Betrivers, and DraftKings are among the first casinos expected to go live in the state.

Illinois Online Casino Sites/Apps Expected in 2024

  • BetMGM Casino Illinois
  • Betrivers Casino
  • Caesars Casino
  • DraftKings Casino
  • FanDuel Casino
  • Fanatics Casino IL

Illinois Sweepstakes Casinos

If you want to do some casino-style gambling in the comfort of your own home and you live in Illinois, then social casinos are your only solution at the moment.

While they offer the same type of slots, table games and even live dealer options of a traditional online casino, you can’t win real money or gamble with real money inside a social casino. You either play for fun with gold coins, or use sweepstakes coins to pursue prizes like gift cards.

There are a number of social casino options accessible in Illinois and what follows is a look at some of the most popular sites.

BetRivers.net: Operated by Illinois-based Rush Street Interactive, the same company that owns the Rivers casino and BetRivers sportsbook, they are the hometown option when it comes to social casinos. You can also engage in virtual sports betting on the BetRivers.net site.

Chumba Casino: Billing itself as America’s No. 1 social casino experience, Chumba Casino will start you off with 3 million gold coins, along with 30 free sweepstakes coins. You’ll find over 100 slots to play, including jackpot slots and table games such as blackjack, roulette and video poker. Chumba Casino also offers bingo, slingo and solitaire.

McLuck Casino: Top game providers such as NetEnt, Pragmatic Play and Playson deliver the more than 400 games to play inside the McLuck Casino. You’ll only find slots to play on their site, but they include Megaways and cascading reels games. New players can earn up to 107,500 gold coins along with 35 free sweeps coins when joining the McLuck Casino.

Illinois Online Gambling Overview 2024

Gambling OptionLegal Status
Online BettingLegal
Online CasinosPending Legalization (2024)
Online PokerIllegal
Horse Racing BettingLegal
LotteryLegal
Daily Fantasy SportsGrey Area

Sports Betting in Illinois

Sports betting is a legal and thriving sector in Illinois. Since the in-person registration requirement for sports betting ended in March 2022, the activity has become more accessible. Legal online sports betting sites like BetMGM and BetRivers offer a wide range of betting options, from major league sports to more niche events.

Horse Racing Betting

Illinois offers limited options for horse racing enthusiasts. With the closure of Arlington Park, only two racetracks remain for live horse racing. Horse racing betting, however, is more accessible, with options for both online and on-site wagering. Residents can place bets on horse races through online platforms or directly at the racetracks, making horse racing betting a versatile option in the state’s gambling portfolio.

IL Online Casinos

Online casinos remain illegal in Illinois, but legislation aims to change this status by 2024. In the meantime, gambling enthusiasts can enjoy various games at land-based casinos throughout the state. These establishments offer various gaming options, from roulette to live dealer games, catering to different preferences. Riverboat casinos, a unique feature of Illinois, also offer similar games.

Online Poker

Similar to online casinos, online poker is not legally available in Illinois. However, the state boasts a number of brick-and-mortar casinos that feature dedicated poker rooms and a variety of poker games. These land-based venues provide poker players with the opportunity to engage in live play in a regulated environment.

Lottery

The Illinois Lottery is a notable aspect of the state’s gambling landscape, being the first in the US to offer online lottery ticket sales starting in 2012. Residents aged 18 and over can purchase tickets for a variety of lottery games online, making it a convenient option for those interested in lottery play.

Daily Fantasy Sports (DFS)

The legality of DFS in Illinois falls into a grey area. Despite the legal ambiguity, popular platforms such as FanDuel and DraftKings are operational in the state, offering DFS options to residents.

Best Online Casino Games in Illinois

You can’t play casino games via apps in Illinois at this time. Anyone hoping the state’s standing ban on online casinos doesn’t extend to mobile ones will be disappointed. That said, should the state open up to the idea of an Illinois online casino, it will likely introduce casino apps, too. This is based on the fact that the region permits the release of mobile sports betting apps.

Top Land-based Casinos in Illinois

You can play at several land and water-based casinos in Illinois right now. Governed by the Illinois Gaming Board, riverboat gambling is big business in the Prairie State. While there aren’t any tribal casinos to speak of, the top-rated land and water-based casinos currently stand as Rivers Casino Des Plaines, Harrah’s Joliet Casino, Jumer’s Casino Rock Island, and Harrah’s Metropolis. Each offers an extensive range of high-quality games and a great atmosphere.

You can’t claim online casino bonuses in Illinois at this time. As there isn’t an Illinois online casino, there aren’t any online casino promotions or bonuses to claim. Should this change, Illinois gambling fans could claim matched deposit bonuses and even some free spins.

IL Gambling Online FAQs

What tax rates are my gambling winnings subject to?

Your income tax reports will show that the IRS charges flat rates of 24 percent and 4.95 percent at the state level.

Are mobile casino apps available in Illinois?

Illinois hasn’t legalized mobile casino apps yet, but that may change under an introduced bill.

What is the Legal Gambling Age in Illinois?

You must be 21 years old for casino gaming, betting, and poker in Illinois. The state’s legal age for gambling varies based on the activity. To partake in casino games, poker, and betting, you have to be at least 21 years old. For horse racing, bingo, and the lottery, you need to be 18 years old.

Tax When Gambling in Illinois?

Your gambling winnings are subject to state and federal taxation in Illinois. As the standard across the United States, the IRS considers all your gambling winnings taxable income at 24 percent. The state will also tax your winnings at a flat rate of 4.95 percent.

Is online sports betting legal in Illinois?

Yes, with sites like BetMGM and BetRivers offering a range of betting options.

Where can I get help with problem gambling in Illinois?

While gambling can be enjoyable for many, for some it can be real problem affecting their lives every day. If you, or a friend or relative, is struggling to cope with their gambling, help is available. Illinois – National Council on Problem Gambling (ncpgambling.org). Both Illinois and out-of-state residents can enroll in the problem gambling registry. Contact the IGB at 1-877-YOU-QUIT (1-877-968-7848) for Illinois residents or (312) 814-8832 for Non-Illinois residents.

TOP Recommended Gambling Sites in Illinois