Born in 1975 in a town in the midwest, Edward is a seasoned veteran in the world of gambling writing. Getting a taste for the scene by getting involved in local poker tournaments, he soon turned his passion into a job by securing a role writing about gaming on a freelance basis. After building up his portfolio, he joined us in 2013 and has since progressed to become our all-knowing editor-in-chief for anything poker or casinos.
Welcome to our guide to online gambling in Illinois. We’ve seen the Illinois online gambling laws incorporate some momentous changes recently. Keep reading to see what they mean for wagering in the Prairie State!
So can I gamble online in Illinois? Simply put, online sports betting is perfectly legal in Illinois, while online casino gaming and poker gaming are not. However, we think that things could change soon. So stick with us to see the best Illinois online gambling sites right now, and learn what to expect from Prairie State betting in the future!
NOT VALID FOR ANY PARTICIPANT OF THE ILLINOIS GAMING BOARD STATEWIDE VOLUNTARY SELF-EXCLUSION PROGRAM • MUST BE 21 YEARS OF AGE OR OLDER • IF YOU OR SOMEONE YOU KNOW HAS A GAMBLING PROBLEM, CRISIS COUNSELING AND REFERRAL SERVICES CAN BE ACCESSED BY CALLING 1-800-GAMBLER (1-800-426-2537) PLAYABLE ONLY IN IL
An awesome guide to online gambling in Illinois for everyone
We’ve made sure that this page caters to all of the many different kinds of gamblers in the Prairie State. From hardcore sports fans of teams like the Bulls, Blackhawks, Bears, and White Sox, to casual gamers who like to play slots, roulette, blackjack, and baccarat, we’ll make sure that you find out what you can and can’t do in the online domain.
This means that you’ll find an Illinois gambling site that’s perfect for your level of expertise. After all, while many people have wagered on the games at one of Illinois’ famous riverboat casinos, it’s something quite different in the online realm. So whether you’re in Chicago, Peoria, Aurora, or Naperville, stick with us and we’ll guide you towards your perfect online gambling site.
The good news is that online sports betting has been completely legal in Illinois since the summer of 2020. The bad news is that online casino gaming and poker gaming are still outlawed. Plus Illinois used to have some fairly strange laws that meant that you had to sign up to an online sportsbook at a physical location such as a casino somewhere in the Prairie State.
As it stands, there are around a dozen different online sportsbooks currently operating in Illinois. These have all teamed up with one of the state’s tribal casinos who have been issued an online gambling license by the Illinois Gaming Board. There are a couple of exceptions to this, such as DraftKings who have a retail outlet as part of the Chicago Cubs Wrigley Field stadium complex. You have to be at least 21-years old to play at an online sportsbook in Illinois.
By receiving full licensing and regulation from the Illinois Gaming Board, these sportsbooks have to provide a completely responsible, secure, and fair sports betting service, otherwise, they would get their licenses withdrawn.
The lack of legal casino gaming in Illinois might tempt some people to sign up to some ‘offshore’ casino sites. But doing so would be a bad move as these offshore casino sites are acting illegally, and you would get absolutely nothing in the way of customer protection should something go wrong.
While online casino gaming in Illinois is not yet a reality, there’s every reason to believe it could be soon. After all, nearby states such as Michigan have successfully introduced legal online casino gaming, plus Illinois already has a famous heritage of riverboat casinos.
Illinois is currently the largest US state to have legalized online sports betting, if it takes the steps to legalize online casino gaming, it would become a true online gambling powerhouse in the USA.
The best site for online gambling in Illinois right now
If you’re looking for a great introduction to online sports betting in the Prairie State, you may as well just sign up to DraftKings. This legendary operator has been leading the way when it comes to sports betting all across the US, and it’s only right that it was one of the first online sportsbooks to legally open its doors in Illinois.
DraftKings was able to set up in Illinois after signing a partnership deal with the Casino Queen brand. This means that you used to have to travel out to the physical casino in East St Louis if you wanted to register and verify your DraftKings sports betting account.
It might sound like a drag, but it’s well worth doing as signing up to DraftKings IL will get you a massive matched deposit welcome bonus. This would mean that you could start betting on all of the sportsbook’s amazing odds with lots of extra wagering credit. Just so you know, DraftKings has a massive amount of bets for each game that the Bears, Bulls, Blackhawks, and White Sox play.
DraftKings has all of the required regulations from the Illinois Gaming Board, otherwise, we wouldn’t be recommending it to you. Plus it provides a great example of what kinds of customer support and payment methods you should expect from a legit IL sportsbook. So sign up to DraftKings and enjoy legal sports betting in Illinois!
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Five ways to stay safe when gambling in Illinois
Online sports betting is still pretty new in the Prairie State. This means that you’ll have to be twice as on-guard to make sure that you don’t get duped by any rogue operators. Here are some things to check for when using any online sportsbook in Illinois:
Regulation and licensing
Only play at those betting sites that are regulated by the Illinois Gaming Board. You can usually see evidence of such licensing in the betting site footer. Such regulation essentially means that the sportsbook will be abiding by the online gambling laws of the state. As such, you’ll get paid whatever you win, and you’ll be given a secure and honest betting environment. This is the opposite of what happens when you play at so-called ‘offshore’ betting sites that simply cannot be trusted with your money.
Encryption and security
We always check to see how each online sportsbook looks after your data. This is important as you have to provide the betting site with a wealth of personal information when you sign up for its services. Not only will you have to prove that you are a resident of Illinois, but you’ll probably have to provide your social security number too. As such, you’d expect that all good online sportsbooks will have the latest SSL encryption technology on their sites and apps to keep your data safe.
Safe payment methods
Betting with real money in Illinois means having to pick a safe way to make your deposits. Thankfully, each of our recommended Illinois sportsbooks will give you a variety of trusted options for putting money into your account. This means making deposits with secure payment providers such as Visa, MasterCard, PayPal, and ACH rather than using the kinds of cryptocurrencies that tend to be used by offshore betting sites. You should be able to make deposits and withdrawals in a free, secure, and efficient manner.
It’s always a good idea to do some online research into each sportsbook that you’re thinking of using. Not only should you consult our leaderboard of the best Illinois gambling sites, but see what other sports fans think too. After all, people are more than happy to share their views online if they feel let down by a particular betting site. Some customer reviews might not be quite as balanced and fair as our sportsbook reviews, but they can build up a good picture of what it’s like to use a gambling site.
You’ll probably notice that most good Illinois gambling sites will set aside an area on their website for ‘player protection’. This is where you get the tools you need to identify if your gambling could be getting out of hand. Plus you should also be given the option to put limits on deposits, session time, losses, and wagering. All of which shows that the operator is being responsible in making sure that you keep your gambling under control. You probably won’t find such player protection at an offshore betting site.
Key features of the best gambling sites in Illinois
We’re loving the explosion in legal online gambling in the Prairie State. It gives us the perfect excuse to visit each betting site and app to make sure that it’s good enough for your needs. While there’s always a fair amount of variation in how each online sportsbook works, we’ve found that they all tend to share the same essential features. Here’s a look at what makes for a great Illinois gambling site:
Awesome bonuses: There’s nothing like a good bonus for getting started at a new gambling site. These will often give you extra wagering funds to play with which can be useful for when there is a big Bears NFL game just around the corner.
Great app design: Nobody wants to have to battle with a badly designed sports betting site or app. So we’ll point you towards those operators who understand that everyone in Illinois just wants a betting app that’s easy to navigate and fun to use.
Professional customer support: You never know when you might need to get some help with your wagering. This is why we’re careful to only recommend those Illinois gambling sites that have quality customer service. This means that you should always be able to get in touch via live chat, email, telephone, or even social media.
IGB regulation: This is a must for all gambling fans in the Prairie State as it means that the betting app is operating under the online gambling laws of Illinois. Remember that we’ll be checking all other security aspects of the operator so you can relax in the knowledge that your data is being kept safe.
Top reward programs: Lots of gambling sites have reward programs that give you perks and benefits for all of the wagering that you’ve been doing. You might have to put in some effort to get anything back from these deals, but they can be good value in the long run.
Endless sports bets: No one wants to be restricted in how they gamble online. This is why we love those gambling sites that give you seemingly endless bets for each major sporting encounter. We’d expect well over 100 unique betting markets for every NFL, NBA, MLB, and NHL game.
Amazing betting odds: This is where it gets serious as you’ll want to make sure that you’re wagering with the best odds on the market. Check out our operator reviews and you’ll find an Illinois gambling app with relentlessly competitive sportsbook odds.
Fun live betting platform: Live betting offers a fun and fast way to get extra value from your bets. This is why it’s worth hunting down a gambling site with a responsive and user-friendly live betting platform. All of which should give you a seriously entertaining way to put down your sports bets.
Flexible betting limits: Most sportsbooks will set out their minimum and maximum bet limits for each sporting encounter. These limits should be fair and shouldn’t either push you out of your depth or make you feel restricted in how you bet on sport.
Finding the best site for gambling Illinois has to offer
We realize that all gambling fans in the Prairie State want something different, and so we’ll make sure that our operator reviews reflect this. After all, you might be a Bulls fan in Chicago who is looking for the best NBA odds, or you might be a roulette fan from Peoria who is looking for a legal online casino in Illinois. So we’ve made our gambling site reviews as in-depth as possible so that you can see how each operator works. Here are some things to consider when looking for your perfect gambling site:
We’ve seen a few online sportsbooks putting on free live streaming on their sites. This gives you a much more entertaining way to put down your live bets, and it’s easier than switching between your laptop and television.
All gambling sites will offer different kinds of customer support. You’ll want customer care that works for you. After all, there’s no point in being with a sportsbook that operates with limited hours in EST when your late-night bet goes wrong in Illinois.
We love those sportsbooks that let you cash your bets out early. This is a great way to gain control of your bets as you can cash out early and lock in a profit regardless of what happens later on. Don’t forget that some sportsbooks will even let you partially cash out.
Conclusion – Your starting point for online gambling in Illinois
The gambling scene in Illinois has changed quickly in a very short space of time, and this is something that will continue in the future. While online casinos are illegal right now, we’re fairly sure that the Illinois gambling laws will change sooner or later. This means that it could be just a matter of time before you can play casino games in Illinois just as easily as you would bet on sport.
Whatever happens, we’ll make sure that you always find your perfect site for wagering online. So make sure that you bookmark this page to stay up to date with all of the latest changes in the Illinois online gaming realm.
Read our guide to get the latest news about online gambling in Illinois. The Prairie State has recently seen some big upheavals in how things like sports betting are regulated. So make sure that you check out our guide to see if you can use the best U.S. online casinos in Illinois, or whether you have to keep your online wagering on sports for now.
🏀 Which is the best site for sports gambling Illinois has now?
Check out our guide that doesn’t just show you the top Illinois sportsbooks, but goes further than that to explain exactly why these sports betting sites are so good. From identifying what kinds of betting odds these Illinois online gambling sites provide to examining what kinds of bonuses they put on, you’ll have all you need to know which sportsbook to use for sports betting in the Prairie State.
🎰 What does the Illinois online casino legislation mean?
While many people enjoy online gambling Illinois has fairly complicated laws regarding online casino gaming. This means that you might not know where you stand regarding the law when you want to play slots and table games online. So read our guide to the current Illinois gambling laws to see whether there’s such a thing as the best online casino in Illinois or whether you’ll have to wait until this becomes a reality.
💵 Is real money online gambling legal in Illinois?
Read our guide to Illinois online gambling to see if this is something that you can do with real money or whether you have to play with a kind of virtual currency. This is important as there’s not much point in hunting around for the best sportsbook odds unless you know that you’ll be getting a return from your wagering. So check out our Illinois gambling guide to find out more.
🎁 Can I get an Illinois casino no deposit bonus?
Check out our guide to what’s currently on offer at the best Illinois online gambling sites. We’ve seen plenty of U.S. gambling apps that have put on some amazing deals for sports betting fans in Illinois. But you’ll need to read our guide to see whether there are any casino bonuses that people in the Prairie State can get without having to make any kind of qualifying deposit.