Here is our Illinois Betting guide, including information on why choosing offshore sportsbooks like is the right choice.

Illinois became a dream destination for gamblers who prefer electronic gaming in 2012, when the legislature approved the installation of video poker machines and slot machines throughout the state. Riverboat gambling also provides possibilities for bettors who love other forms of gambling such as table games and poker.

Of course, not everything is ideal for Illinois bettors. Laws banning internet bookmaking make players wary of online gaming, which is the sole choice for citizens who wish to gamble on sporting events because no legal options are available anyplace in the state.

Illinois Gaming Regulations

The Video Gaming Act, which legalized video gambling in pubs, truck stops, and restaurants across the state, marked a significant shift in gaming in Illinois in 2012. Electronic games such as video poker and slot machines are examples of video gambling devices.

Video gambling has grown rapidly in recent years, beginning with a small 65 locations and 280 machines in 2012. Only two years after the law was passed, Illinois had around 4500 venues statewide that offered video gaming, with over 18,000 video poker and slot machines in operation. These devices have increased revenue for cities as well as bar and restaurant owners around the state.

Riverboat Betting

The Riverboat Gambling Act was passed in Illinois in 1990. This gave riverboats in the state ten licenses to operate as full-fledged casinos. To assist maintain Chicago’s horse-racing sector popular, the law did ban the authorization of any riverboat gambling casino within a county with a population of more than three million, such as Cook County.

The original law required these riverboats to cruise in order for these games to be permitted. However, the law was altered in 1999 to allow vessels to moor permanently without cruising.

Illinois Sports Betting

When it comes to sports betting rules, Illinois is one of the harshest in the country. According to Section 28-1 of the Illinois Compiled Statutes, “gambling” occurs when a person “knowingly makes a wager on the outcome of any game, contest, or any political nomination, appointment, or selection.” “Gambling” outside of permitted venues is a Class A misdemeanor.

Online Sportsbooks

Most states have laws against gambling and betting, but Illinois is unique in that it is one of just eight states that specifically includes online gambling in its legislation. The text of the law is ambiguous, and it explicitly refers to the illegality of operating a bookmaking operation or pool online rather than participating in one.

To yet, no charges have been made against any online betting players, indicating that this is not a law that is actively enforced. Before engaging into online betting, bettors need still educate themselves with specific regulations in their country, and make sure to select an offshore book that will take gamblers from Illinois, since some will not owing to these rules being in place. Although Illinois has no control over overseas sports betting websites, some people want to avoid the risk.

Illinois Poker and Casino

Illinois is one of only 20 states in the country with no tribal gaming casinos. Fortunately, the state has 10 riverboat casinos where players may enjoy all of their favorite casino games such as slot machines, table games, and poker. These casinos are no longer compelled to move, so gamblers can come and go as they please rather than planning vacations around when the riverboat will dock.

Online Poker

Internet gambling, as indicated in the sports section, is mentioned by law in that it is illegal for institutions to offer online gambling in the state of Illinois. Poker is defined as a form of illicit gambling away from authorized riverboats when a participant “knowingly plays a game of chance or skill for money or other thing of value.”

This hasn’t stopped players from playing poker at online poker venues that still welcome American players, and no one has been punished or jailed as a result. Illinois Senate President John Cullerton has been negotiating to allow online poker in the state of Illinois, but this process has a long way to go before it becomes law.

Other Illinois Gaming Options

A court verdict against the state’s harness racetrack in 2014 had a significant impact on horse racing in Illinois. Only 150 live racing days were scheduled for 2015, down from 189 in 2014.


The Illinois Lottery was established on July 1, 1974, when lotteries in the United States were only available in the Northeast and Midwest. The state offers both local and interstate lotteries such as Powerball and Mega Millions. Illinois approved the Internet Pilot Program in 2009 and became the first state to launch internet lottery sales for adults within state borders in 2012.

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