Betting + Gambling Laws In IL

Illinois has regulated several forms of land gambling, but not online gambling. While players will find several legal land-based gambling options in Illinois, they will not find a single online gambling site licensed and regulated by the state. However, the state has not made it illegal for residents to gamble at online gambling sites.

This page aims at familiarizing residents with various aspects of Illinois gambling and online gambling laws. We have also shared expert views on the legalities of gambling online in Illinois. Besides, we have also researched and presented a list of safe and legal gambling sites that take Illinois residents.

What Does The Illinois’ Gambling Laws Say?

Illinois has regulated several forms of gambling, which it guards with a few strict, though vague and outdated, gambling laws. A section of Illinois’ law even addresses the issue of online gambling, though it is directed at operators, not players. A unique aspect of Illinois’ gambling laws is that they refuse to accept any distinction between luck-based games and skill-based games.

Section 28-1 clearly defines gambling as wagering anything of value on the outcomes of games based on luck as well as skill. Such gambling, however, becomes legal in facilities approved and licensed by the state. Wagering real money, even on skill-based games such as poker, is illegal in Illinois despite arguments that poker is not a game of chance.

Illinois also has a set of strict penalties for players as well as operators although it tends to be lenient with individual players. Individuals caught taking part in illegal games stand guilty of misdemeanor in Illinois, but operators of illegal, unlicensed gambling outfits can face a series of charges, ranging from misdemeanors to felonies.

Online gamblers would be most interested in that section of Illinois law, which deals with online gambling. Section 28-1(12) clearly states that it is illegal for anybody to knowingly establish, operate, and maintain online gambling sites permitting residents to wager anything of value on games of skill and chance, political events, sports events, contests, and others. No law, however, makes it illegal for players to gamble online, which leaves them free to gamble online at offshore online gambling sites accepting Illinois residents. In other words, the state cannot penalize any of its residents for gambling at online gambling sites based in offshore countries

So, Is It Legal To Gamble Online In The State of Illinois?

Illinois has legalized and regulated several forms of gambling. Residents and visitors are free to play state-operated lottery games. They can also visit the state’s licensed race tracks for a spot of pari-mutuel betting or head over to the state’s licensed riverboats to play casino games such as blackjack, poker, roulette, and slots. Since Illinois laws are vague when it comes to social gambling, running or taking part in home games is legally risky. However, the state has a booming charity gaming industry as it permits licensed charitable organizations to organize games such as poker, bingo, pull tabs, big six, blackjack, roulette, gin rummy, raffles, and others to raise funds for charity.

Illinois does not license or approve any online gambling business in its jurisdiction, but this does not prevent offshore gambling companies from accepting Illinois residents. The lack of clear player-directed online gaming laws in Illinois makes it legal for residents to gamble online at Illinois friendly offshore online gambling sites.

Legal Gambling In Illnois

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