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Illinois Online Casinos and Gambling (updated May, 2024) Discover legal online gambling in Illinois State and get the latest updates on Illinois gambling bills


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Online Gambling and Casinos in Illinois

Illinois has a long history of legal in-person gambling, and in this state, you’ll find horse racing tracks, casinos, lotteries, online sportsbooks, and fantasy sports. However, real money online casino games are not yet legal in Illinois. Like all other US states, you can only gamble in the Prairie State if you are over 21. The Illinois Gaming Board (IGB) controls all gambling regulations.

Fully Regulated
  • Online casinos
  • Online and retail sports betting 
  • Online poker
  • DFS 
  • In-person casino gambling 
  • Lottery 
  • Pari-mutuel horse racing 
  • Racinos 
  • Bingo 
  • Social and sweepstakes casino
sports betting in illinois - what are the rules?

Sports Betting in Illinois - What are the Rules?

In June 2019, Governor Pritzker signed the new Illinois Gambling Act (SB 690) into law. The law was a general gambling expansion package that legalized sports betting online and at land-based sportsbooks, allowed several new gaming stations, and made way for a new mega-casino near Chicago. It implemented a tax rate of 15% for online sports betting gross gambling revenue.

The first operators went live in March 2020, with more sports betting apps launching later in June and September. When the market first launched, there was a requirement for Illinois online gambling registration, which had to be in-person; this has now been removed, meaning online sports betting is open to everyone across the state who is of legal age.

Since the market went live, it has shown consistent growth, reporting the highest revenue during the first complete month without the in-person registration requirement and taking a whopping $679.4 million in bets in February 2022.

IL Licensed Sportsbooks

These are the active sports books in IL. You can join any now and claim a welcome bonus. To get the best deals, compare offers, including the significant terms and conditions.

Illinois online gambling platformsWelcome BonusOnline Since
BetMGM$10-1,000 risk-free first betMarch 2020
DraftKings 20% up to $1,000 (terms apply)March 2020
Fanduel$1,000 risk-free first bet (terms apply)August 2020
BetRivers100% cash match up to $250 (terms apply)June 2020
CaesarsUp to $1,100 first bet insurance (terms apply)September 2020
PointsBetUp to $2,000 in risk-free bets (terms apply)September 2020
BarstoolUp to $1000 cashback and exclusive no deposit deals are offered sporadically (terms apply)March 2021

Once you've registered and bet through your welcome bonuses, there are plenty of real money bonus available for repeat depositors including loyalty clubs, free bets, profit and odd boosts, happy hours and more.

Top 3 Illinois Gambling sites for Sports Bettors

1. Best Welcome Bonus


BetRiver provides 1x wagering requirements and a bonus to use as you like. This is one cash match bonus that you won’t want to miss out on and the only match bonus on the market. 
2. Best Risk-Free Bet


This is a big welcome bonus that lets you try the site risk-free, and the deal doesn’t have odds conditions or wagering requirements, as seen at competitor sites.
3. Biggest Welcome Bonus


This site offers the biggest welcome bonus in IL, and you’ll get to use the risk-free bets to experience the innovative points betting system at this site (the terms specify how you must bet).

Unlike other states (like New York) that are actively pursuing online casino reform with bills in the works, there’s no timeline or discussion regarding an Illinois online casino bill or legalizing online casinos.

However, the general line of thought goes that after legalizing sports betting, states like Illinois will benefit from the increased tax revenues and therefore seek further regulation of gambling activities.

While the lack of new gambling bills or even discussion might not be the news you were hoping to hear, keep in mind that sportsbooks only launched in 2020, and it’s not the end of the road; you still have access to casino games, but you cannot play for real money.

how can i play casino games in illinois?

How Can I Play Casino Games in Illinois?

So you can’t play for real money, but did you know that you can still enjoy all of the action of a casino under a free-play model? Sweepstakes casinos are legal across the US, and they offer casino games like slots and table games for free. You’ll play for and win virtual coins and, in some cases, level up through the site, competing to unlock new titles and awards. 

Some Sweepstakes offer independent games and titles that you won’t find at real casinos, while others, like BetRivers.Net, offer the full casino suite, meaning you can dive in and start playing the top real money casino slots without spending a cent

The games lobby at BetRivers.Net is one of the best as it includes progressive jackpots, Evolution Gaming live dealers, hundreds of NetEnt, Habanero, Pariplay, and Red Tiger slots (over 20 world-class providers are featured), and even a sportsbook.

Top 3 Online Casinos IL (Sweepstakes)


Wow Vegas

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✓  Prize redemption available
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Welcome Offer Register as a new player and claim 5,000 Wow Coins and 4.5 Sweepstake Coins for free
Get 1.5 million Wow Coins and 30 Sweepstakes Coins on first purchase, plus 4.5 Sweepstakes Coins free
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✓  Active player community
✓  Daily challenges, tournaments and prize giveaways Review
Welcome Offer Claim 10,000 Gold Coins and 1 Stake Cash every day (unlimited claims) Take Me There

Pulsz Casino

✓  Big prize giveways
✓  Simple and clear site design
Pulsz Casino Review
Welcome Offer Register as a new player and claim 2.3 Sweepstake coins and 5,000 gold coins for free
Purchase your first bundle for $19.99 and get up to 367,000 Gold Coins + 32.3 FREE Sweepstakes Coins
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Sweepstake Casino Bonuses

You’ll earn virtual coins at Sweeps sites that allow you to play. These come from winning spins or hands and bonuses, beginning with the welcome package and then moving onto regular coin bundles. Bundles are usually offered at daily or more frequent intervals. 

As you’re not always going to win when playing casino games, the bonuses will sustain you at a sweepstake casino in the long run, so it’s important to check sites and compare what you can get.

The magic of Sweepstake sites is that they deliver all of the excitement of real money casino games, but using a different competitive model, this makes them the perfect training ground while you’re waiting for online casino regulation in this state.

joining your first il gambling site and depositing

Joining Your First IL Gambling Site and Depositing

Whether you’re joining a legal Illinois sportsbook or online sweeps casino, the process is more or less the same:

  1. Head to the site you want to join, or use any links for that operator from this page.
  2. Click sign up and complete the registration form.
  3. Log into your account and follow the instructions to claim your welcome bonus

If you join a real money sportsbook, you will also need to deposit:

  1. Head to the cashier and select your payment method.
  2. Input your deposit amount and choose your welcome bonus (some sites automatically apply the deal, at others, you’ll need to select it or input an IL promo code).

Once your welcome bonus arrives, you can start playing casino games or betting on real money sports markets!

The Illinois Land-Based Casino Scene

In 1990, Illinois was one of the first states, along with Iowa, to create riverboat casinos after passing legislation making it legal to gamble on this type of boat, so long as it is in movement. This began an overall gambling expansion across the USA during the 90s. The following casinos are present in the state, most clustered around Chicago:

  • Casino Queen
  • Harrah’s Joliet and Harrah’s Metropolis
  • Hollywood Casino Aurora
  • Grand Victoria Casino Elgin
  • Argosy Casino Alton
  • Rivers Casino
  • Par-A-Dice Casino
  • Jumer’s Casino and Hotel

Responsible Gambling

The Illinois Gaming Board has several responsible gambling measures for Illinois players. These include a statewide riverboat voluntary self-exclusion program (SEP), which also expanded to online sportsbooks, and a voluntary registry for problem gambling, which provides players with information updates on support services and resources. Local support services include

Illinois Gambling News

Check out our weekly Casino Cabbie news digest if you want to stay up to date with all the latest gambling news and new games in the USA and Illinois.

casino cabbie weekly digest #122
February 16, 2023


Can you gamble legally in Illinois?

You can legally gamble in this state either using an online sportsbook or playing in-person at a land-based/riverboat casino.

What gambling is legal in Illinois?

You can enjoy land-based casinos, racetracks, in-person sportsbooks, lottery games, and online sports betting.

Can you play online casinos in IL?

Online casinos are currently not legal in this state. What’s more, there are no upcoming plans for this to change.

How can you play casino games if you can’t play at Illinois online casinos for real money?

If you’re reading this page, it’s likely because you’re looking for casino games. While it’s illegal to spend money on casino games in IL, you can join a sweepstakes casino and play for virtual coins. You’ll get the real casino experience, just without the withdrawable prizes. Check out our top 3 sweepstakes casinos above and pick one to play at now.

Is DraftKings Online Casino IL legal?

No, there are no online casinos available. However, DraftKings does operate a legal and licensed sportsbook in this state.

What’s the best way to stay updated with IL gambling news and legislation?

If you want to stay updated on all the latest gambling news in Illinois and beyond and new game releases, read our weekly Casino Cabbie news digest.

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