Illinois Online Casinos
Even though there are many riverboat casinos and land-based gambling venues located all over Illinois, the local gambling laws are rather strict and the authorities don’t hesitate to use them against illegal gambling operators. Regulated forms of gambling available in Illinois include slots and other casino games, horse race betting and a state-run lottery.
Illinois has no online casino sites operating on the intrastate market and unlike most other states, has specific regulations that target unlicensed businesses of this kind. The most popular Illinois brick-and-mortar casinos include Harrah’s Joliet, Harrah’s Metropolis, Grand Victoria Casino Elgin, and Rivers Casino in Des Plaines.
Illinois Gambling Laws
Gambling-related offenses are listed in the Article 28 of the Illinois Compiled Statutes. The penalties for taking part in illegal gambling are rather light for individual players and quite severe for gambling operators. In most cases, players can expect to be charged with a class A misdemeanor.
As mentioned above, Illinois has definite online gambling laws, which explicitly prohibit anyone from accepting a bet online. However, it is worth pointing out that the existing regulations don’t punish individual gamblers for placing the bets, which means that playing on offshore sites is arguably legal. Consequently, Illinois-based online casino enthusiasts are in a better situation than players living in states that haven’t regulated online gambling at all, as it’d be harder for the authorities to argue that playing at an online casino is already illegal under the existing regulations.
As you’ve probably already guessed, Illinois residents simply have no local, intrastate online casinos to play on. Fortunately, all the international, offshore casino sites that accept US-based players have absolutely no qualms about allowing Illinois casino enthusiasts to join the action on their networks. Consequently, Illinois residents can enjoy all the benefits of playing at a renowned online casino instead of a brick and mortar gambling venue, including the amazing bonuses and promotions, life-changing jackpots and the ability to join casino tournaments.
Offshore Casino Sites That Accept Illinois Players
It’s worth pointing out that while the list of Illinois-friendly offshore casinos is rather long, not all of those sites deserve your attention. The sites we’ve listed here are among some of the best Real Time Gaming-powered casinos, which give you access to all the latest casino games including slots, table games and virtual video poker machines. Furthermore, you should keep in mind that while all of the sites you’ll find below have been vetted by our experts, the web is full of scam sites that target players from Illinois and other states.
One of the biggest obstacles that Illinois residents have to overcome in order to join the action at one of the reliable offshore sites is the limited number of deposit options available to them. Popular e-wallet services like Neteller or Skrill aren’t available to American customers playing on offshore sites, which means that most Illinois-based gambling enthusiasts simply fund their accounts using credit card payments.
Keep in mind that not every credit card is going to allow for a successful deposit, which means that you might be forced to go through several card before you actually find the one that works. If you’d like to avoid all this hassle, you can always deposit via a Western Union/MoneyGram money order, but the number of sites that support this option is limited. On a brighter note, withdrawals are usually less troublesome – most casinos will send you your winnings using a traditional wire transfer or via a check by courier.
Developing Legal Scenarios
In 2009, Illinois redefined its list of gambling offences to target illegal online casino operators with more efficiency. In 2012, senate president John Cullerton tried to pass a bill that would regulate online gambling within the borders of the state, but his efforts were not successful. Nevertheless, regulated intrastate casino gambling remains a distinct possibility in the Illinois – in fact, the biggest problem is convincing the local gambling businesses that such regulations wouldn’t threaten their position on the local casino market.