Illinois is home to many legal, regulated gaming choices both online and on site. In the physical realm, you will find riverboat casinos, racetracks and a lottery. Online betting can be regulated with a variety of horse racing betting websites and fantasy sports websites.
Sports betting is also on its way to Illinois after a major gambling reform bill has been approved by the legislature and signed into law by Governor J.B. Pritzker at mid-2019. Under that law, in-person and mobile sportsbooks are authorized to take a full range of sports wagers from anyone 21 or older and physically situated within state lines.
As it stands right now, Illinois is on its way to becoming a gambling powerhouse between its big population and broad variety of legal gambling options. The addition of online sports gambling is particularly notable as that will enthusiasts across the nation easy access to legal and safe wagering.
Online Betting Sites in Illinois
Online sports gambling is now legal in Illinois, but it’s going to be some time before the first apps are accepted to take wagers from the general public. Meanwhile, horse racing and fantasy sports sites and the online lottery are already legal and supply a similar experience.
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Horse racing, fantasy sports sites and the state lottery may offer their services in Illinois provided they possess the appropriate licensing to achieve that. Each would-be gaming website must receive specific approval from the state gaming board until it may lawfully accept wagers from country residents.
1 online sports betting operator has reserved its location in the Illinois market up to now. Just days after the IL sports betting law was approved, Australian firm PointsBet.com announced a partnership with Hawthorne Race Course to construct a retail sportsbook at the monitor, offer gambling through multiple off-track gaming places and to launch a mobile app.
FanDuel and DraftKings are likely to join the fray at Illinois at some stage a well, but has detailed any plans it has for the state. As further operators reveal their strategies, we’ll update this page with all crucial info.
The Illinois Racing Board maintains a current list of betting websites that are allowed to accept wagers over the internet from residents. The current list is made up of TVG, BetAmerica, TwinSpires and a couple of others.
My personal recommendation is to proceed with TVG or BetAmerica. These are the largest and most well-known websites on the list and have the most racing gambling choices.
Illinois also licenses off-track betting (OTB) at particular locations throughout the state. As the name implies, OTB facilities enable you to place wagers on horse races in locations aside from the actual racetrack. Each monitor may authorize a particular number of OTB locations for a total of 43 potential facilities. Presently, 27 OTB centers are busy. You may see the complete list .
Legal Illinois Sports Betting
Illinois legalized in-persona and cellular sports betting with a law passed in June 2019. Following 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 licenses to casinos, racetracks and specialist sports stadiums to run retail sportsbooks to take wagers in person as well as mobile gaming programs 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 that will be issued under the new law.
Now, it’s merely a matter of time as state regulators draw up rules governing the business, review applications from interested sports betting suppliers and issue the go-ahead for licensed operators to begin accepting wagers.
The impending IL sports betting law does have its own troublesome areas such as high licensing fees and requiring in-person enrollment for the first 18 months, but complete it could be considered a win for sports fans. It is always welcome news if a state finally gets around to controlling and taxing an activity that has been 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 are going to be able to launch mobile programs under their own brand names. Casinos and racetracks are going to be able to accept clients from across the country while stadiums are going to have 5-block radius in which they could accept wagers through mobile programs.
There are two key provisions related to cellular betting in IL which will inconvenience some bettors, but even these issues will likely be resolved with the passage of time.
First, customers will be asked to enroll in-person with a certified sportsbook before betting online. This means you ought to visit a nearby casino or racetrack to sign up for an account and verify your identity. Once you get that from the way, you’ll be able to wager at your advantage from a certified mobile app.
Secondly, person online-only operators will be prohibited from entering the market for the initial 18 months unless they partner with an area casino. If an internet operator chooses to go that route, it’s necessary by law to operate under the name of the casino that is online.
Online operators might also opt to wait 18 months then apply for one of three mobile betting licenses. Operators that choose to go that path will be allowed to operate under their own brand names, but they’ll be playing catchup after sitting outside for a year and a half.
The fantastic news is the two terms are set to expire after 18 months. Eventually, you’ll have the ability to register online from anywhere in the state and place wagers through sites including FanDuel and DraftKings if they have not already partnered with a local casino or racetrack.
Under the brand new sports betting law, Illinois casinos and racetracks will be allowed to use for sports betting licenses. These licenses will authorize the building of in-person sportsbooks as well as the launch of mobile betting apps.
Licensing fees for casinos and racetracks are set to be priced according to 5% of every operator adjusted gross receipts but max out at $10 million. Expensive or not, many if not all of the state’s casinos are likely to apply for licenses. Pennsylvania established a similarly expensive licensing strategy and though PA casinos initially balked at paying that much to provide what is essentially a low-revenue kind of gaming, they ended up applying for permits one by one.
Sportsbooks in Stadiums
One of the more unique aspects of the IL sports gambling law would be a provision allowing up to seven sports stadiums to apply for licenses to operate sportsbooks. Stadiums that obtain these permits will be allowed to take wagers on site too through mobile devices inside a five-block radius.
Sports Betting Kiosks
The Illinois Lottery has also been approved to go into the sports betting business to a limited level. Under the new law, the IL Lottery could put up to 2,500 sports gambling kiosks throughout the state over the initial year of this law being in effect. After that, the lottery could put an additional 2,500 kiosks over the course of the next year to bring the total to 5,000 machines.
IL Lottery betting kiosks will not be permitted to offer full-fledged sports betting; they might only offer you parlay-style wagers. The details of exactly those wagers would do the job still need to be exercised, but the basic gist with parlays is players must pick the results of at least two matches in return for receiving better payout odds than wagering on just a single game.
Key Illinois Sports Betting Rules
The Illinois Gaming Board and Department of Lottery are tasked with drawing up regulations as needed to enforce the brand new sports gambling law, but the law itself also comprises a number of important rules that we know will be in place once the first sportsbooks and gambling websites go live.
In-person sportsbooks authorized? Yes
Online and mobile sports betting authorized? Yes
Where will betting take place? Casinos, racetracks and sports stadiums may apply for licenses to run in-person sportsbooks and also to offer online betting
Sports gambling kiosks: Illinois Lottery may operate around 5,000 kiosks which will accept parlay-style wagers only Minimum age to wager on sports at IL: 21
Restricted Events: No wagers allowed on Illinois school teams, minor league occasions and K-12 occasions Restricted Wagers: Professional sports teams may ask the Illinois Gaming Board to prohibit certain Kinds of wagers If They’re worried such wagers will impact the integrity of their games Information Mandate: Licensed operators need to purchase official data in the leagues for settling in-play wagers
Tax rate: 15 percent on adjusted gross sports wagering receipts
Additional community taxation: An additional 2% tax will be collected from operators located in counties with a population in excess of 3 million. Money collected from this tax will go to support that county’s criminal justice system.
Self-exclusion: The Illinois Gaming Board and also Department of the Lottery shall set up a voluntary self-exclusion program for Men and Women who wish to restrict themselves from wagering
Past Efforts to Legalize Sports Betting in IL
Illinois’ latest move to legalize sports betting isn’t the nation’s first attempt — lawmakers and business stakeholders have been contemplating the problem for quite some time.
The two bills were introduced 2018 seeking to legalize sports gambling in case the Supreme Court overturned the national prohibition (which it did). HB 4214 was a simple placeholder bill while SB 2478 would have generated the Sports Betting Consumer Protection Act.
SB 2478 lacked information regarding regulations, licensing requirements and tax prices and handed the forming of regulations on to a state agency. Which agency that could have been left in the invoice, but that also was to be decided at a subsequent point. The purpose in the brief term was to simply end the state-level prohibition of sport betting and then figure out the rest later.
A reading of the complete text of the bill reveals the writers also pictured online sports betting being legalized. The invoice referred to”electronic” sports gambling no more than 29 times as a possible form of betting that would be regulated by the state agency finally delegated to regulate the industry.
The support of local casinos helped improve the odds of sports betting coming to Illinois, but casinos have been a bit slower to speak on the matter. But, Arlington Racecourse sounded open to the thought as it advised the Daily Herald it’d Prefer a casino to go with sports betting:
“If we are treated both with all the casinos and we’ve table and slots games,” Arlington GM Tony Petrillo explained,”then we’ve sports betting, that is a venture which would be very plausible for this property.”
The 2018 efforts to legalize IL sports gambling failed to yield results in the short term, but new laws enacted in 2019 constructed on these initial attempts to turn that dream into a reality. Early disappointments have finally turned into action with lawmakers finally getting fully on board with lawful sports gambling.
Real money fantasy sports gambling is legal at 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 gambling outcomes do not depend on a single game or the operation of an individual participant.
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 register, deposit and win real money at any of these sites listed above.
If you’re not familiar with daily fantasy betting, this is a form of wagering in which you pick from all the players in the league (it might be NFL, MLB, NBA, etc.) and draft a group of about 9 individuals depending on the game. A virtual salary cap is enforced, which forces you to make tough decisions when deciding how to fill your roster.
As soon as you have a group, all you have to do is wait patiently for that week’s matches to play in the actual world. When the real players score points and also collect stats from the real world, your fantasy team earns points. At the end of this all, the individual whose fantasy team has the most points wins the contest.
You can play in small contests where you pit your team against one opponent, medium contests with 3, 4 or even 20 opponents or massive tournaments with hundreds or thousands of different people. Your purpose is to earn as many points with your staff as possible and win a real cash payout.
Illinois has an interesting bit of case law history concerning fantasy sports. In 2013, New York resident Chris Langone introduced a suit against FanDuel.com in Illinois court. He sought to assert more than $500,000 in earnings from FanDuel and one of its customers under an old Illinois law called the Illinois Loss Act.
The Loss Act is a classic bit of anti-gambling legislation that makes gambling losses recoverable from the failure 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 important piece of law:
(a) Any person who by betting will lose to some other person, any sum of money or item of value, amounting to the sum of $50 or more and will pay or deliver the exact same or any part thereof, may sue for and recover the money or anything of value, therefore lost and paid or delivered, in a civil action against the winner thereof, with costs, at 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 recoup his losses doesn’t in fact pursue his treatment, any person may commence a civil action against the winner. The court or the jury, as the case may be, shall determine the amount of the reduction. After such determination, the court will enter a decision of triple the amount so determined.
The suit was eventually thrown out because of Langone failing to satisfy the minimal threshold of recoverable cash and since FanDuel itself may not be considered a”winner of gambling” because it only functions as a middleman between bettors.
Are fantasy sports legal in Illinois?
The significant fantasy sports websites all function in Illinois and the country is home to several people who play every day, but the legality of all DFS has not yet been fully, 100% settled with legislation. Back in December of 2015, Attorney General Lisa Madigan issued an impression that daily fantasy sports violate Illinois law, but no additional action was taken along with the major DFS websites have continued to function publicly since then.
Some lawmakers also have sought to push legislation that could either legalize and regulate daily fantasy sports or outlaw the action altogether. House Bill 4323 introduced in 2015 and debated in 2016 would have formally legalized fantasy sports with the creation of this Fantasy Sports Contest Act, but that bill was shelved in 2016 and eventually died altogether in early 2017.
Another bill also introduced in 2016 hunted to move things from the opposite direction and classify the operation of a fantasy website for a crime. Fortunately, that bill also died in early 2017.
As it stands today, daily fantasy sports are neither explicitly authorized nor illegal in Illinois. The present status quo works nicely for players and operators, but it will be nice to finally see the issue firmly settled one way or the other.
Many DFS legalization bills are introduced in the intervening years, but none have made it into law. Early 2018 watched some actions on a dream sports invoice, but enthusiasm for that bill expired and there have been no significant changes since. Despite the AG’s 2015 opinion that DFS websites run afoul of Illinois gambling law, the significant daily fantasy sites do accept clients the state.
Illinois was the first state to take its lottery into the net after a federal judge ruled that it could be lawful for states to do so. The IL Online Lottery went live in 2012 and the website allows residents to make an account and buy individual tickets for Powerball, Mega Millions and Lotto.
Any condition resident 18 or older may enroll an account there and purchase tickets or subscribe to subscriptions for automatic purchases. Winnings under $600 are credited right to your lottery accounts and might then be pulled right to your bank account. If you win more than $600, the state lottery claims department will contact you with instructions for claiming your cash.
Here is something else interesting: that the Illinois lottery is largely responsible for states now having the authority to legalize online poker and gambling. 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 online but were unsure whether this strategy will run afoul of federal law.
It took the Dept. of Justice two decades to respond but it was worth every second of the wait. Not only did the DOJ approve of online lotteries, but it dominated the Wire Act applies only to sports gambling. This decision 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 idea of online gambling legalization for years now. 1 attempt came in 2013 when a major rewrite of the state’s gaming laws contained a bit about legalizing, regulating and taxing online casino and poker games. Legislators yanked the role concerning online gambling before the bill was passed the subsequent month.
For a time after the 2013 announcement failed, there was no word or indication that online gambling would come to Illinois any time soon aside from Senate President John Cullerton after calling online gambling inevitable. If the people of Illinois are going to be gambling and playing poker online anyways, why shouldn’t the country get a cut? It’d be better to regulate it, enact much better safeguards for players and maintain those tax dollars stateside. That was the basic argument anyways.
Cullerton’s effort to add online gambling into the 2013 bill ultimately failed, however, he says he is not out yet. He’ll continue to push the idea and make something happen for the players of Illinois. He also stated that internet gaming probably will not come to Illinois until lawmakers finalize and enact legislation to allow the building of new land-based casinos in the nation.
In the end, he stated, online gaming represents an easy source of cash for authorities in most states. Lawmakers have the capability to create a new business overnight and create a new source of revenue without increasing taxes. The people want the freedom to spend their money how they please and state lawmakers like the notion of additional earnings.
Online Gambling Bill Passes in the Illinois Senate
The upcoming big break for online gaming in Illinois came about unexpectedly in May of 2017. With very little warning, language legalizing online gambling and online poker was added to a daily dream sports invoice at the behest of local riverboat casino pursuits.
According to local news reports, present casinos in Illinois view daily fantasy sports as a rival company model and were initially opposed to laws regulating dream sports. However, those casinos’d been considering expanding to online gaming for quite some time. They were able to strike a deal with lawmakers and get the internet gaming speech added to the dream sports invoice.
In addition to generating customer protection regulations for everyday fantasy sport, the altered bill seeks to legalize online gambling and issue permits to operators. Existing casinos, horse racing tracks and ADW operators will be authorized to apply for permits for a program fee of $250,000 and a licensing fee of $10 million. Operators will be permitted to offset the hefty licensing fee against future taxes accumulated on gambling 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 in the house.
Is it legal to play offshore casinos or poker sites?
Article 28 of the Illinois Criminal Code appears to prohibit the mere act of playing with poker or wagering on matches. The code doesn’t specifically mention the World Wide Web, but it could be interpreted to apply to betting on games anywhere using the following text:
(a) A person commits gambling when he or she:
(1) knowingly plays a game of chance or skill for money or other thing of value, unless excepted in subsection (b) of this Section;
(2) knowingly makes a wager upon the result of any game, contest, or any political nomination, appointment or election;
However, Illinois hasn’t once prosecuted a person for playing games online. The state is home to a very high-profile poker players such as the likes of Taylor Caby, who has made millions of dollars playing online poker and running the poker coaching site CardRunners.com. There probably isn’t much legal risk related to playing at offshore poker rooms or casinos.
Even so, we do not advise our subscribers to perform for real money at unlicensed poker sites. The legal threat may be small, but it’s not zero. There’s also a substantial financial risk associated with playing sites that still accept Americans against US gaming legislation. The Department of Justice has show