Illinois is home to many legal, regulated gaming choices both online and on site. In the physical world, you’ll find riverboat casinos, racetracks and a lottery. Online betting can be regulated with an assortment of horse racing gambling websites and fantasy sports sites.
Sports betting is also on its way to Illinois following a significant gaming reform bill was approved by the legislature and signed into law by Governor J.B. Pritzker at mid-2019. Under that legislation, in-person and mobile sportsbooks are authorized to take 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 gambling powerhouse between its big population and broad number of legal gambling choices. 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 gambling is now legal in Illinois, but it’s going to be a while before the first programs are accepted to take wagers from the public. In the meantime, horse racing and fantasy sports sites and the internet lottery are already legal and offer a similar encounter.
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Horse racing, fantasy sports sites and also the nation lottery can offer their services in Illinois provided they possess the right licensing to do so. Each would-be gaming website must receive special approval from the state gaming board until it may legally accept wagers from state residents.
One online sports gambling operator has booked its place in the Illinois marketplace so far. Just days following the IL sports gambling law has been approved, Australian firm PointsBet.com announced a partnership with Hawthorne Race Course to build a retail sportsbook in the track, offer betting through numerous off-track gaming places and to launch a mobile app.
FanDuel and DraftKings are likely to join the fray in Illinois at some stage a nicely, but has detailed any plans it has for the state. As further operators reveal their strategies, we’ll update this page together with key information.
Horse Racing
The Illinois Racing Board maintains a current list of gambling websites that are permitted to accept wagers over the net from residents. The current list consists of TVG, BetAmerica, TwinSpires and also a few others.
My personal recommendation is to go with TVG or BetAmerica. These are the greatest and most well-known sites on the listing and have the most racing gambling options.
Illinois also licenses off-track betting (OTB) at specific locations throughout the state. As its name suggests, OTB facilities allow you to place wagers on horse races at places aside from the actual racetrack. Each track may authorize a particular number of OTB locations for a total of 43 potential facilities. Presently, 27 OTB facilities are active. You may see the full list .
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 his 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 run mobile sportsbooks to take wagers in person as well as mobile betting apps to accept wagers online.
Online operators like FanDuel, DraftKings and PointsBet may either partner with a local land-based sportsbook operator or apply for one of the three online-only licenses which 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 curious sports betting providers and problem the go-ahead for accredited operators to start accepting wagers.
The pending IL sports betting law will have its troublesome areas like high licensing fees and requiring in-person enrollment for the initial 18 weeks, but overall it could be considered a win for sports lovers. It is always welcome news if a state finally gets around to regulating and taxing an activity that was already taking place underground through local bookies and overseas gambling sites.
Mobile Sports Betting in Illinois
Casinos, racetracks and stadiums that acquire sports betting licenses will have the ability to launch mobile programs under their own brand names. Casinos and racetracks will be able to accept customers from throughout the country while stadiums are going to have 5-block radius in which they could accept wagers through mobile apps.
There are two important provisions related to cellular betting in IL that will inconvenience a few bettors, but these issues will be resolved with the passage of time.
First, clients will be required to enroll in-person with a licensed sportsbook before gambling online. This usually means you ought to visit a nearby casino or racetrack to register for an account and confirm your identity. Once you get that from the way, you’ll be able to bet at your convenience from a licensed mobile program.
Second, person online-only operators will be banned from entering the marketplace for the initial 18 months till they associate with an area casino. If an internet operator chooses to go that route, it’s necessary by law to run under the name of this land-based casino.
Online operators may also opt to wait 18 months and then apply for one of three mobile betting licenses. Operators that choose to go that path will be permitted to run under their own brand names, but they’ll be playing catchup after sitting outside for a year and a half.
The good news is both provisions are set to expire after 18 weeks. At some point, you are going to be able to register online from any place in the state and also place wagers through websites including FanDuel and DraftKings when they haven’t already partnered with a local casino or racetrack.
Illinois Sportsbooks
Under the new sports gambling law, Illinois casinos and racetracks will be allowed to apply for sports gambling licenses. These permits will authorize the building of in-person sportsbooks as well as the launching of cellular gambling apps.
Accreditation fees for casinos and racetracks are set to be priced according to 5% of each operator adjusted gross receipts but max out at $10 million. Expensive or not, many if not all the nation’s casinos are likely to apply for licenses. Pennsylvania established a similarly costly licensing scheme and though PA casinos initially balked at paying that much to provide what is basically a low-revenue kind of gaming, they ended up applying for licenses one .
Sportsbooks in Stadiums
One of the more unique areas of the IL sports gambling law is a provision allowing up to seven sports stadiums to apply for licenses to operate sportsbooks. Stadiums that obtain these licenses will be permitted to take wagers in-person too through mobile devices within a five-block radius.
Sports Betting Kiosks
The Illinois Lottery has also been approved to enter the sports gambling company to a limited level. Under the law, the IL Lottery may place up to 2,500 sports betting kiosks throughout the country over the initial year of the law being in effect. After that, the lottery could put 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 permitted to provide full-fledged sports gambling; they may just offer parlay-style wagers. The specifics of exactly those wagers would work still need to get worked out, however, the basic gist with parlays is gamers must select the outcomes of at least two matches in return for receiving 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 range of key rules that we all know will be in place once the first sportsbooks and gambling websites go live.
In-person sportsbooks accredited? Yes
Mobile and online sports gambling authorized? Yes
Where will gambling occur? Casinos, racetracks and sports stadiums may apply for licenses to run in-person sportsbooks and to offer online betting
Sports gambling kiosks: Illinois Lottery may operate around 5,000 kiosks which can accept parlay-style wagers just Minimum age to bet on sports at IL: 21
Limited Events: No wagers allowed on Illinois school 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 concerned such wagers will impact the integrity of their games Information Mandate: Licensed operators need to buy official data in the leagues such as settling in-play wagers
Tax rate: 15 percent on adjusted gross sports wagering receipts
Additional community tax: 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 Department of the Lottery shall Establish a voluntary self-exclusion program for Men and Women who wish to confine themselves from wagering
Past Efforts to Legalize Sports Betting at IL
Illinois’ most up-to-date move to legalize sports gambling isn’t the nation’s first attempt — lawmakers and industry stakeholders have been considering the issue for quite a while.
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 very simple placeholder bill whilst SB 2478 could have created the Sports Betting Consumer Protection Act.
SB 2478 lacked information about regulations, licensing conditions and taxation prices and handed the forming of regulations on to some state agency. Which agency that would have been was left unsaid in the invoice, but that too was to be decided at a subsequent point. The aim in the brief term was to only end the state-level prohibition of sport gambling and then figure out the rest after.
A reading of the complete text of the bill reveals the authors also pictured online sports gambling being legalized. The bill referred to”electronic” sports gambling no fewer than 29 times as a potential form of betting that would be governed by the state agency eventually delegated to regulate the industry.
The support of local casinos helped enhance the odds of sports betting coming to Illinois, but casinos have been somewhat slower to talk on the situation. But, Arlington Racecourse sounded open to the thought when it told the Daily Herald it would Prefer a casino to go with sports gambling:
“If we’re treated equally with all the casinos and we’ve table and slots games,” Arlington GM Tony Petrillo said,”then we have sports betting, that is a venture that would be very plausible for this land.”
The 2018 efforts to legalize IL sports gambling failed to yield outcomes in the brief term, but new legislation enacted in 2019 built on these first attempts to turn that fantasy into a reality. Early disappointments have finally turned into actions with lawmakers eventually getting fully on board with lawful sports gambling.
Fantasy Sports
Actual money fantasy sports gambling is legal in the federal level as a result of an exemption from the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act (UIGEA) of 2006. The UIGEA determined fantasy sports to be a competition of skill instead of luck because betting outcomes do not depend on a single game or the performance of an individual player.
State legislation also welcome fantasy sports so all of the major US companies offering fantasy betting are readily available to residents. You’re welcome to sign up, deposit and win real money at any of these websites listed above.
If you are unfamiliar with daily fantasy betting, this is a sort of wagering where you pick from all the players in the league (it could be NFL, MLB, NBA, etc.) and draft a team of about 9 people depending on the game. A digital salary limit is enforced, which forces you to make hard decisions when determining how to fill your roster.
As soon as you have a team, all you have to do is wait patiently for this week’s matches to play out in the actual world. When the real players score points and collect stats in the actual world, your fantasy team earns points. In the end of it all, the individual whose fantasy team has the most points wins the contest.
You’re able to play in small contests in which you pit your team against a single opponent, moderate contests with 4, 3 or even 20 opponents or massive tournaments with hundreds or even thousands of different men and women. Your goal is to earn as many points with your staff as possible and win a real money payout.
Illinois has an intriguing bit of case law history concerning fantasy sports. In 2013, New York resident Chris Langone brought a lawsuit against FanDuel.com 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 an old bit of anti-gambling legislation which makes gambling losses recoverable by the loser if the losses amount to over $50. If half an hour pass and the sufferer does not claim the losses, anyone may recover those losses in court. Here is the applicable piece of the law:
(a) Any person who by gambling shall lose to some other person, any amount of money or item of value, amounting to the sum of $50 or more and shall pay or deliver the exact same or any part thereof, may sue for and recover the money or anything of value, so lost and paid or delivered, at a civil action against the winner , with costs, in the circuit court…
(b) If within 6 months, such person who under the terms of Subsection 28-8(a) is entitled to initiate actions to recover his losses does not actually pursue his treatment, any individual may initiate a civil action against the winner. The court or the jury, as the case may be, shall ascertain the total amount of the loss. Following such determination, the court will enter a decision of triple the amount so determined.
The lawsuit was finally thrown out because of Langone failing to satisfy the minimum threshold of recoverable cash and because FanDuel itself cannot be considered a”winner of gaming” since it only acts as a middleman between bettors.
Are fantasy sports legal in Illinois?
The significant fantasy sports sites all operate in Illinois and the country is home to several men and women who perform daily, but the legality of all DFS has yet to be fully, 100% settled with laws. Back in December of 2015, Attorney General Lisa Madigan issued an impression that daily dream sports violate Illinois law, but no additional action was taken and the significant DFS websites have continued to function openly since then.
Some lawmakers also have sought to push legislation that would either legalize and regulate daily fantasy sports or outlaw the activity 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 has been shelved in 2016 and eventually died altogether in ancient 2017.
A separate bill also introduced in 2016 sought to move things in the opposite direction and categorize the performance of a dream site for a crime. Luckily, that bill also died in early 2017.
As it stands now, daily fantasy sports are explicitly authorized nor illegal in Illinois. The present status quo works well for operators and players, but it will be wonderful to finally find the issue firmly settled one way or the other.
Several DFS legalization bills have been introduced in the intervening years, but none have made it into legislation. Early 2018 saw some action on a dream sports bill, but enthusiasm for this bill expired and there have been no significant changes since. Regardless of the AG’s 2015 view that DFS websites run afoul of Illinois gambling legislation, the significant daily fantasy sites do accept clients the nation.
Lottery
Illinois was the first nation to take its lottery into the net after a federal judge ruled that it would be lawful for states to do so. 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 register an account and purchase tickets or sign up for subscriptions for automatic buys. Winnings under $600 are credited right to your lottery account and may subsequently be withdrawn right to your bank account. Should you win more than $600, the state lottery claims department will contact you with instructions for maintaining your money.
Here’s something else interesting: the Illinois lottery is mainly accountable for states now having the authority to legalize online gambling and poker. In 2009, Illinois and New York asked the Department of Justice to explain its position on the Wire Act of 1961. Both nations 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 decades to respond but it was worth every minute of the wait. Not only did the DOJ approve of online lotteries, but it dominated the Wire Act applies only to sports betting. This choice is that which paved the way for states including New Jersey, Nevada and Delaware to legalize online casino poker and games.
Internet Poker and Casinos in Illinois
Illinois was flirting with the concept of internet gambling legalization for years now. One attempt came in 2013 when a significant rewrite of the state’s gaming laws contained a bit about playing, regulating and taxing online casino and poker games. Legislators yanked the part about online gaming before the bill was passed the following month.
For a period after the 2013 bill failed, there wasn’t any word or indication that online gaming would return to Illinois any time soon aside from Senate President John Cullerton after calling internet gambling inevitable. If the people of Illinois are going to be gambling and playing poker online , why should not the country get a cut? It would be better to regulate it, enact better safeguards for gamers and keep those tax dollars stateside. This was the basic argument anyways.
Cullerton’s attempt to add online gaming into the 2013 bill ultimately failed, however, he says he is not out yet. He will continue to push the thought and hopefully make something happen for the players of Illinois. He also said that online gaming probably will not come to Illinois until lawmakers finalize and enact legislation to permit the construction of new land-based casinos in the nation.
In the end, he stated, internet gaming represents a simple source of cash for governments in most countries. Lawmakers have the power to make a new industry overnight and generate a new source of revenue without raising taxes. The people want the freedom to spend their money how they and state lawmakers like the idea of additional revenue.
Online Gambling Bill Passes in the Illinois Senate
The upcoming big break for online gaming in Illinois came about suddenly in May of 2017. With little warning, language legalizing online gambling and internet poker was added to a daily dream sports bill at the behest of local riverboat casino interests.
According to local news reports, existing casinos in Illinois view daily fantasy sports as a competing company model and were originally opposed to laws regulating dream sports. However, those casinos had been interested in expanding to online gambling for quite a while. They were able to strike a deal with lawmakers and receive the online gaming language added to the fantasy sports invoice.
Along with generating consumer protection regulations for everyday fantasy sport, the altered bill attempts to legalize online gaming and issue licenses to operators. Present casinos, horse racing tracks and ADW operators will be authorized to apply for permits for an application fee of $250,000 and a licensing fee of $10 million. Operators will be permitted to offset the hefty licensing fee against potential 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 home.
Is it legal to play offshore casinos or poker sites?
Article 28 of the Illinois Criminal Code seems to prohibit the mere act of playing poker or wagering on matches. The code does not specifically mention the World Wide Web, but it could be interpreted to apply to betting on games everywhere with the following text:
(a) A Individual 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 this Section;
(2) intentionally makes a wager upon the result of any match, competition, or any political nomination, election or appointment;
However, Illinois has never prosecuted an individual for playing games online. The country 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 CardRunners.com. There probably is not much legal risk related to playing offshore poker rooms or rooms.
Even so, we do not advise our subscribers to perform for real cash at unlicensed poker sites. The legal threat may be small, but it is not zero. There is also a substantial financial risk associated with playing on sites that still accept Americans contrary to US gaming legislation. The Department of Justice has show

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