Illinois Online Casinos: Top Casino Apps Projected

Illinois Online Casinos

Illinois hasn’t always had a liberal outlook towards gambling. However, with a long stretch of shoreline bordering on the Mississippi River, riverboat casinos have a storied place in the state’s history.

However, until horse racing became popular in the early 1920s, nearly every other form of gambling in the state was strictly prohibited. Let’s venture into how Illinois’ casinos materialized and then what the outlook is for the future potential of online casinos in the state.

Illinois Online Casino 2021 Update: New Bill

A new bill has been introduced to the House. The bill, H 3142, would legalize online casinos. It establishes a licensing fee of $500,000 for each operator. Each casino will be given three skins or three licensees to handout to operators. If this bill were to pass both the State House and Senate it would legalize online casinos for the entire state. However, it may take some time for operators to get their licenses and launch their online casino platforms.

Illinois Online Casino Requirements and Regulations

Illinois 1The Illinois Gaming Board regulates gambling operations in Illinois. A key development that has online casino advocates hopeful of a sooner-than-later approval is the 2019 Illinois Gambling Act – SB 690.

This legislation has been in place now for just over a year, but the Illinois Gaming Board is still working through the details of how regulations would apply to online casinos. The board coordinates all gaming operations in Illinois, including riverboat and commercial casinos, plus sports betting.

Online Casinos Impact on Illinois

One Illinois law that directly affected the casino revenue was the casino smoking ban. When enacted, the ban essentially carved 20 percent off the casino business’s profits. However, video gaming terminals have stayed consistently profitable.

This phenomenon will assuredly attract support for online casino approval. Most envision the legal changes to be pushed through with the next few months, as opposed to what was estimated to take years.

A launch of online casino games would also cement Illinois’ spot as the leader in gambling options across the Midwestern states. The impact would erase the need for casino players to drift across state lines to play at smoking casinos or online in states that allow online casino games.

Top Illinois Online Casino Games

There will be a number of online casino providers eager to gain access to the Illinois online casino market. Those with current attachments to casinos or sportsbooks will have the upper hand. Let’s take a look at four online casinos prime to make an impact in Illinois.
BetMGM Casino PA Games

Betfair Online Casino

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Betfair online casino games have been very successful in New Jersey‘s online casino market. The online casino website allows free and actual money payout games. Betfair’s online casino platform has over 300 casino-style games.

In addition, you can get a bonus just for registering with making a deposit.

Betfair will also match the first deposit 100 percent. The amount of the online casino deposit bonus is one of the largest in the industry.

You can get your account credited for up to $2,500 with that first online casino deposit. Betfair has an excellent refer-a-friend program. You and your friend get bonus cash when your friend registers for a new Betfair online casino account.

Betfair has a super loyalty rewards program. The program earns you points the more games you play. Your points upgraded your tier levels, plus generate free games. Betfair will bring a solid reputation to Illinois’ online casino market.
betfair Mobile App

Caesars Online Casino

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Caesars is ready to bring its stellar reputation into the Illinois online casino market. They have an established presence at Harrah’s Metropolis on the banks of the Ohio River. Caesars online casino offers one of the most extensive game boards in the industry.

Caesars’ reputation and existing operation in Illinois will be huge factors in gaining access to the online casino market. Their online casino record is strong. Caesars online casino offers more than 400 slot games, 10 Blackjack games, plus 21 poker choices.

Caesars online also has virtual sports betting games. Caesars has a tremendous rewards program to show their devotion to their players. Online casino players can also transfer winnings to any of Caesar’s 40 physical casino locations.

New Illinois Caesar online casino accounts should expect the same outstanding bonuses. New accounts get $10 just for registering. Once you make your first deposit, Caesars will match it 100 percent up to $300. Caesar’s $2,500 Bonus Play Giveaway is a regular promotion that every online casino player should take advantage of.
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FanDuel Online Casino

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FanDuel began making an online impact across the country as a daily fantasy sports platform. They have used a massive customer base to build success in sports betting. The recent launch of the FanDuel sportsbook app is encouraging for its online casino outlook.

One key reason is the attachment to the Pair-A-Dice Casino in East Peoria. Handling the sportsbook at Pair-A-Dice and gaining access to the online sports betting market doesn’t guarantee FanDuel will be one of the online casino approvals, but it helps.

However, another event for FanDuel may have an even greater impact on their online casino potential. FanDuel has the association with longstanding London-based betting icon Paddy Power Betfair.

An agreement merged Betfair and FanDuel’s U.S. operations. The FanDuel Group is now the instrumental arm of both the sportsbook and online casino games. This partnership gives the FanDuel online casino inroads into online gambling.

FanDuel is ready to welcome new Illinois online casino players. They do not require a bonus code to get up to a $1,000 risk-free first bet. All that’s required is an initial deposit of at least $10.

There aren’t any additional FanDuel online casino bonuses currently, but we expect that could change as they enter more states where online casino games are launched.

FanDuel is offering weekly promotions to earn bonuses. FanDuel is ready to launch when Illinois announces online casino games.
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DraftKings Online Casino

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DraftKings opened their pathway into sportsbooks and online games, becoming one of the most successful daily fantasy sports platforms. They will bring a massive customer base to the online casino games market in Illinois.

The DraftKings online casino app provides its trademark user-friendly visuals with a smooth game platform. DraftKings will offer new Illinois online casino accounts a welcome diverse bonus package.

New accounts will receive up to $500 in a matching deposit bonus. DraftKings matches these first deposits at 50 percent value. DraftKings is also extending a $100 credit on the first game of Blackjack if it’s not a winner.

Promo codes are available for a free $5 sportsbook bet when you participate in a $20 game of Blackjack. The partnership with the Casino Queen in East St. Louis will help boost DraftKings’ potential as an early approval for online casino games.
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Illinois Brick-and-Mortar Casino and Online Casino History

Illinois flagIllinois casino history dates back to the 1880s when the traffic of unlicensed riverboat casinos began to boom. For the next half-century, while illegal, these venues for gambling were deemed socially acceptable and, therefore, rarely prosecuted.

The first step towards legal gambling in the state began in the 1920s. After multiple attempts by legislators, Illinois legalized horse track betting in 1927. Like many other states, Illinois envisioned the revenue that state-run lotteries could generate.

They launched the Illinois lottery in 1974, one of the first states in the Midwest to do so. However, there was a big gap in the Land of Lincoln between legal horse tracks, a lottery, and legislation that would open up a wider array of gambling options.

Oddly enough, the shift brought with it the longstanding tradition of riverboat gambling. The Riverboat Gambling Act passed in 1990, and the state opened the first legal operation the following year.

For eight years, the boats had to be moving for the gambling to be legal. However, in 1999, that restriction was lifted, and casino activities could take place while the boats were still at the dock. This got minimal attention, but it opened the door to a few land-based brick-and-mortar facilities.

Today, there are 10 licensed casinos operating in Illinois. A key event that helped boost the chances of online casinos was the 2009 Video Gaming Act. This law permitted video gaming terminals to be legal at certain types of licensed locations.

The profits were proof that Illinois had made a lucrative decision. By 2017, the more than 6,000 video gaming terminals had built over $110 million in profits. The similarities between the video terminals and online casino games are striking.

It also helped to establish a financial incentive for allowing online casino games. One interesting thing missing from the legislation is the failure to include the state’s horse racing venues as part of the deal. Horse tracks in Illinois are still pressing to be permitted to allow gaming machines.

One piece of legislation that damaged the Illinois casino industry was the 2008 ban on smoking inside these facilities. It created a wave of Illinois residents who chose to cross state lines to neighboring states that permitted smoking in their casinos.

However, the ban on smoking at brick-and-mortar casinos could have a silver lining for the state’s efforts to open up online casino games. You can bet on horse races online in Illinois, so that adds another precedent to support opening up online casinos.

There is some pushback against allowing online casino games. Some feel it will detract from the viability of the physical locations, especially those with video gaming terminals. Others believe that including an online casino option will have multiple positive effects that will offset any issues.

Illinois Casino FAQ

Are online casinos legal in Illinois?

No, currently, online casinos are not legal in the state of Illinois. There is no law, regulation, or licensing currently available for online casinos in the state. This means that you cannot gamble on slots, table games, and other casino games from your computer or mobile device in the state.

Is any kind of online wagering legal in Illinois?

Yes, Illinois has allowed for online sports betting within the state. You can bet on online sportsbooks anywhere in Illinois from your computer or mobile device with geolocation turned on. There are a number of licensed sportsbooks within the state at this moment.

Can I bet on DraftKings in Illinois?

You can bet on the daily fantasy platform or online sportsbook with DraftKings in Illinois. However, the DraftKings Online Casino is not currently licensed in Illinois, as Illinois has yet to legalize online or mobile casinos. DraftKings will most likely launch its online casino whenever Illinois decides to legalize such activities.

When will Illinois online casinos launch?

There is no current timeline for online casinos in Illinois. There have been previous attempts, but no current piece of law or bill being worked on will legalize online gaming in the state. However, due to the loss of revenue from the pandemic, there is a chance that lawmakers revisit online casinos in 2021.

Are there physical casinos in Illinois?

Yes, there are several brick and mortar casinos in the state of Illinois that offer a full range of casino games, from tables to slots. These casinos are completely legal due to them being regulated and licensed by the state of Illinois.

Can I bet on racing in Illinois?

Yes, Illinois has had legal wagering on horse racing for a very long time. You can bet on horse racing both online and at the physical casinos within the state. These wagers are all completely legal under the current law in Illinois.

What is the closest state to Illinois that has online casinos?

Currently, Michigan is scheduled to allow online casinos to open in January of 2021, making it the closest state to wager on casino games online. It will be completely legal to visit Michigan and use the online casino games there as there is no law prohibiting non-residents from betting and playing online.

Are online casinos legal under Federal law?

Yes, Federal law does not prohibit states from legalizing online casinos. This means that each state has the right to legalize or ban online casino gaming from its state. Therefore, it is possible that Illinois decides to legalize online casino games in the future.

What online sportsbooks are available in Illinois?

Illinois has several online sportsbooks within the state, including major companies DraftKings, FanDuel, and BetRivers, the three current market leaders. There are also up and coming sportsbooks like PointsBet available in the Prairie State. These sportsbooks are all licensed and regulated within the state.

Is online poker available in Illinois?

Yes and no, there are certain poker sites online that are technically allowed in Illinois; however, these are not regulated by the state like the sportsbooks. Therefore, if you want a completely safe and regulated environment, there are no options for online poker in Illinois.

Sam Shefrin is the founder of Lineups.com, Inc. Before Lineups, he started Daily Fantasy Cafe, Inc. in 2014. Armed with a passion for sports and every Atlanta team, his journey continues with the goal of making Lineups a premier sports analytics destination. He has been quoted on Forbes.com for industry insight and his websites featured on NBATV, Yahoo! Sports, Fantasy Pros, Bleacher Report and SB Nation.