You can best describe the legal status of Ilinois online casinos as “murky” but hopeful. Under current laws, it is not legal to operate an online casino in-state, although recent rumors are circulating that Illinois could legalize and launch real money online casinos.
It is not legal to operate an online casino in-state. But state law does not explicitly say it is illegal to play at an offshore one. However, the law states that playing at an online casino not authorized by the state is illegal. Regardless of this murkiness, Midwest Sports Fans doesn’t recommend using offshore casinos. It’s just worth it.
What’s of most interest to Illinois gamblers is the Illinois Internet Gaming Act, House Bill 3142), which if passed could legalize online real money casinos in Illinois.
But no one has ever been arrested or prosecuted for that, and the law could soon change if the Internet Gaming Act (HB 3142) gets passed.
When the law changes and online casinos become legal, there will undoubtedly be several familiar companies ready to move in.
Illinois Online Casino Legalization
Illinois legalized and launched online sports betting just last year. Its Midwest neighbor Michigan launched online sports betting and online casino apps in January 2021. Perhaps Illinois saw the initial Michigan success and wanted a little of the casino gaming action for itself.
The Illinois State Legislature introduced HB 3142. If passed, the bill would permit any retail casinos or racetracks in Illinois to launch up to three online casino skins, or operators, within the state.
Legal Online Casinos Coming Soon
Although the timing is unclear as to if or when the online casino bill will pass, we anticipate a handful of online casino operators could launch in Illinois. Based on who is operating the online sportsbook apps in the state and who launched in nearby Michigan, we anticipate these online casino apps could be the first to launch:
- William Hill
Each of these gambling apps launched an online sportsbook in Illinois, which means that they could be first in line if Illinois legalizes online casinos.
List Of Online Casino Sites In Illinois
Until legal online casinos launch in Illinois, Illinois players have access to a selection of online casino sites. These casino sites, also known as sweepstakes casinos, allow players to play slots and casino games online for cash prizes.
Because real money online casinos are not legal in-state, this is a list of the social casinos operating in Illinois. Also known as sweepstakes casinos, users can play for fun at all of them. But there are a few where users can earn cash prizes.
The Chumba Casino gives people the chance to play various casino games for fun and cash prizes. Among the games offered are 42 slot titles (a few classic three-reel machines but most are modern five-reel), blackjack (the only table game available), and video poker.
Gold Coins are used to play games, but users cannot redeem them for anything. Sweeps Coins can be redeemed for cash prizes once you play through them once.
LuckyLand is a slots-only casino with several familiar titles, including Mayan Gold – Aztec’s Treasure, King of the Jungle – Jungle Wild. Games can be used to play games but are not redeemable for prizes. Sweeps coins, which can be redeemed for cash prizes, cannot be purchased directly but as part of Gold Coin packages.
Like its sister-site, Chumba Casino, users must play through Sweeps Coins once before redeeming them for cash prizes.
The site’s focus is on poker games, and it has several variations, including Texas Hold ’em, Omaha, Bounty Poker, Caribbean Poker, and Crazy Pineapple. But it also carries a few casino games, blackjack (classic and premium), and three slots (Diamond Panther, Lightning Nudge, and Lucky Show).
Users can perfect their strategy while playing with Gold Coins. But when you play with Sweeps Coins, users can trade those in for real cash prizes.
All of the casino games at Funzpoints are slots with one exception, a keno game named Paintball. The site tries to keep the selection of slots fresh by issuing new ones every few weeks to give users a reason to keep coming back.
Users can play games in one of two modes—standard or premium. In standard, everything is free, but you can only play on a handful of different slots and the keno game. Your selection is wide open in premium, and users can earn points they can redeem later for cash prizes.
This online casino is limited to blackjack, stud poker, hold ’em poker, and roulette. But the site also has pick ’em contests, horse racing, and traditional sports betting (but not for money, of course). Contest winners do get prizes.
A Five-Minute Guide To Legal Illinois Online Casino Sites
It is important to remember that real money casinos are currently not legal in Illinois. But the only legal ones in-state are social casinos where you play for fun but in some cases for prizes.
Bonuses At Illinois’’s Online Casinos
Because the idea is to get people playing, most social casinos will offer new users generous welcome packages just for signing up. How generous seems to depend on whether the site offers a way for users to win prizes (usually cash) or the value of those prizes.
At Chumba Casino, where you can play for cash prizes, you get two million gold coins (which you need to play games) and only two sweeps coins (which users can redeem for cash prizes). However, not all social casinos have generous welcome offers.
Online Blackjack In Illinois
Many social casinos seem to carry one variant of blackjack, which is commonly known as classic blackjack. If you are not familiar with it, the idea is to get as close as you can to 21 without going over while still beating the dealer.
Some variants you may see at social casinos include the following:
- European Blackjack: Overall, it is just like the classic version but with a few tweaks: it is played with two decks, the dealer stands on soft 17, and you can only double down when you are showing 9, 10, or 11 to name a few.
- Face Up 21: The cards are face up in this version, but that is not the only difference. The dealer can hit on a soft 17, the dealer’s blackjack beats a player’s, and blackjack only pays even money. Like the European version, you can only double down when you have 9, 10, or 11 showing.
- Perfect Pairs Blackjack: Since the twist on this version involves an additional bet, it may not be common at social casinos. If you find it at one, players can make a side bet on whether their two cards will have the same number at the start of each hand.
- Spanish 21: This sounds like one of the more intriguing variations on the classic game. The main twist is simple— the deck has no ten cards. While this may sound like the house has a serious edge, many of the rules are player-friendly and balance things out (i.e., dealer stands on soft 17, player’s blackjack beats a dealer’s, re-splitting is allowed— including aces, etc.).
Illinois Live Dealer Games
People tend to trust a live dealer over a digital one, making live dealers a popular option at real-money online casinos. But because social casino users are playing for fun more often than not, there is not as much of a need for live dealers.
Social casino sites rarely offer live dealer games.
It is likely that real money online casinos that launch in Illinois could also offer live dealer games.
What Online Casinos Are Coming Soon In Illinois?
At the moment, no new online casinos are coming soon since they are not legal yet. But suppose the Internet Gaming Act becomes law making it legal to operate an online casino in-state. In that case, most if not all the major players (i.e., FanDuel, DraftKings, Caesars, etc.) will probably look into entering the Illinois online casino market.
Legal Illinois Online Casinos Versus Illegal Online Casinos
When online casinos do become legal in Illinois, users will have a decision to make. Do they continue to play for money at their favorite offshore online casino, or do they switch over to an in-state online casino?
You make the switch for two reasons—you no longer have to break the law to play online casino games for real money, and you gain some consumer protection because the in-state online casino industry will be regulated.
We don’t recommend playing casino games at offshore sites. First, because it is illegal to do so. Second, because it is not safe.
When online casinos do become legal, the state will regulate the industry. Operators will have to obtain licenses, and users can be confident the site will meet specific operational and quality standards. This includes keeping your information and your money safe as well as ensuring fair play.
If issues arise with a legal online casino, the law will be on your side and can help make things right. But if you have problems with an offshore casino, you are out of luck.
When online casinos become legal, how will you tell the difference between the two? There will probably be a badge or logo representing the regulating authority on the online casino’s home page. In this case, that would be the Illinois Gaming Board.
How Do I Know That Legal Online Casinos In Illinois Are Fair?
There is probably not as much concern over social casinos, but even the perception of unfairness could be enough to turn people away. When it comes to real money online casinos, it is hard to say for offshore ones since they are unregulated. But regulated ones are under a tremendous amount of scrutiny by government entities and third parties.
So, if there is any reason to think that an online casino is not being fair, it will not be a secret for long.
Who Regulates Legal Online Casinos In Illinois?
The Illinois Gaming Board is a government agency that regulates all gaming in Illinois. This includes Illinois sportsbooks, both online and at retail sportsbooks. This agency will also regulate any legal online casino app that launches in Illinois.
Why Should I Trust Legal Illinois Gambling Sites?
Engaging in a transactional relationship of any kind online requires an element of trust. Many people do not gamble online because they do not feel like they can trust online gaming sites. So—why should you?
Legal online gambling sites have to go through a rigorous approval process. It is in their best interest to be above board and to conduct business in a trustworthy fashion. You can trust them since it is in their best interest not to cheat you– from a business perspective and a legal one.
How Do I Get Paid If I Win?
There are a variety of ways to deposit at online casino sites, and most of those deposit options are available to withdraw any winnings. Each online casino app, like DraftKings or FanDuel, will set up a list of available banking options. This normally includes bank transfer, PayPal, or by placing a check in the mail
Legal Online Casinos In Illinois: Common Questions
Social online casino games are the only ones currently legal in Illinois.
To take part in online sports betting, users must be at least 21 years old. Social casino sites like Chumba Casino allow players 18 and older.
No. Currently, Illinois bettors can access the DraftKings Sportsbook App as well as the DFS app. If Illinois launches online casinos, we anticipate DraftKings will launch an online casino app as well.
No. Like DraftKings, FanDuel offers Illinois bettors its FanDuel Illinois Sportsbook app as well as its DFS app. We anticipate FanDuel will offer casino games if Illinois approves online casino gaming.