From Bloomington to Chicago, Illinois, with its riverboat casinos, has always been a popular haven for gamblers – but is gambling legal in Illinois? Yes, Illinois is a gambling-friendly state with good choice of both land and river-based casinos and an ever growing number of online casino sites and betting apps.
However it is important to remember that Illinois gambling regulations stipulate that bettors wanting to play at legal online casinos or sportsbooks via mobile devices must register in-person at the partnered retail casino or racetrack.
Therefore, many are now using offshore online casinos to gamble online in Illinois. In this guide, we present these, with a list of best online casinos in Illinois ranked by bonus, variety of games, software providers, customer service and safety.
The Best Illinois Online Casinos List 2021
We’ve looked at dozens of online Illinois Casinos to bring you the 10 top online casinos in Illinois for 2021. Keep scrolling as we will review our top 5 Illinois online casinos in more detail further below…
- Wild Casino – Best overall online casino for blackjack
- Ignition Casino -Best Illinois live dealer casino
- BetUS – Best online crypto casino in Illinois
- BetOnline – The best virtual casino experience
- Bovada – Best choice of new customer bonuses
- Intertops – Best online casino in Illinois for poker tournaments
- MyB Casino – Best casino for progressive jackpot slots
- Big Spin Casino – Clean design with best user interface
- Las Atlantis – Overall best casino for slot lovers
- Red Dog – Good selection of ViG slots
Best Illinois Online Casinos Reviewed
Now that you’ve seen our list of the 10 best online casinos in Illinois, let’s dig in with reviews of our top 5 picks and their advantages.
1. Wild Casino – Best Online Casino for Blackjack in Illinois
Wild Casino has a jungle theme and is a relatively new online casino owned by the same company behind the major BetOnline and SportsBetting.ag sites. These brands have a long history in the online gambling industry and can be relied upon to provide a safe and secure casino environment. Bettors must be at least 18 years old to play.
Wild Casino majors in blackjack offering 11 different blackjack tables with all the variants. You can also play roulette, keno, craps, baccarat and video poker here too. The selection of live dealer games, with the software provided by Betsoft & Nucleus Gaming, is particularly impressive. It’s split into two live casino lobbies called Red and Black. The red section has 6 live games running 24/7 and the black section has over ten tables for poker, roulette and baccarat.
There is a fantastic welcome bonus available up to a maximum of $5,000 based on your first 5 deposits. The first is a 250% deposit bonus up to $1,000 so you only need to deposit $400 to claim the full bonus. This can be followed by a further 4 deposit bonuses of 100% up to $1,000. These bonuses come with a 35x wagering requirement so you’ll have to be prepared to play for some time if you go large.
There are 15 different deposit methods ranging from Visa & Mastercard to cryptocurrencies and money order. The minimum deposit is $20 and you will need to use the promo code WILD250 when depositing to claim the first bonus and WILD100 for any subsequent bonuses.
As for withdrawals and payout limits, these vary depending on the withdrawal method. It’s $7,500 max for Money Order and $100,000 for Bitcoin ($50 min). The payout limit for Bank Wire is $24,900 USD ($500 min) and for E-Check it is $1,000 USD ($100 min).
Bitcoin is the overall best method to use as there are no fees at all but there is a 7.5% fee for depositing with credit or debit cards.
- Great selection of blackjack variants
- Big welcome bonus package
- Fast withdrawal times
- Multiple cryptocurrencies accepted
- First deposit bonus limited to $1,000
- Customer service could be improved
2. Ignition Casino – Best Live Dealer Casino in Illinois
Online since 2016, Ignition is operated by the Bovada brand so although officially unlicensed in Illinois, they do welcome players from the Prairie State. They are fully certified and regulated by the Kahnawake Gaming Commission, which is located in the Mohawk Territory of Kahnawake, Canada.
What stood out for us at Ignition Casino was their blackjack games and live casino offering – they offer 36 live dealer games – that’s more than any other online casino in Illinois. Ignition has 24 live blackjack tables with minimum stakes ranging from $5 to $100 and a maximum bet of $2,500 per hand.
As a new customer, you can get off to good start by claiming a welcome bonus of up to $2,000 if you deposit by card and up to $3,000 if you use Bitcoin. This comes in the form of a 100% matched first deposit bonus (150% for Bitcoin) and there is a 25x wagering requirements before you are allowed to make any withdrawals.
Ignition can also claim further reload bonuses of up to $100 available every week. And if you’re into crypto there’s also Bitcoin bonuses on offer every time you deposit. You can also use Ethereum, Litecoin, Bitcoin Cash and Bitcoin SV to deposit.
- Lots of deposit & reload bonuses
- 200+ slot games
- 24/7 customer service
- Several cryptocurrencies welcomed
- No e-wallet payment methods other than Zelle
- Less games on mobile
3. Bet US Casino – Best online casino in Illinois for game variety
The BetUS online casino is another offshore betting company which is licensed and regulated by the government of Curacao. Trusted by millions, BetUS has been around in one form or another since 1994 so these guys know their stuff when it comes to online casinos. The BetUS Casino comes with a gaming library of well over 300 games including 34 different versions of blackjack.
BetUS is a good choice for IL gamblers who enjoy bonus offers as they offer a different promotion every day of the week. For example, on Wednesdays you can get 10% cash back bonus on video poker net losses or on ‘Roulette Thursdays’ you get the chance to grab $500 bonus just for playing roulette.
The other daily bonus offers include reload bonuses, and free spins on ‘Slots Saturdays’. All of these promotions can add up to a lot of free play time which is useful if you want to try all the different games that BetUS offers.
They pride themselves on security, speed and reliability with fast, secure banking options available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, as is customer service. Deposit options are credit card, cryptocurrency, cash transfer and bank wire. The daily limit for withdrawing your winnings is $5,000. There are no fees for using crypto.
- Download and on-site games
- Long history of happy players
- Fast withdrawal times
- 24/7 customer support
- Live casino table limits start at $5
- Low deposit limits for new accounts
4. BetOnline Casino – Best for Virtual Casino Experience
BetOnline’s brand new, cutting-edge live virtual casino, which offers a wide range of table and card games such as Hold ‘Em, Keno, and Blackjack.
This online casino, which accepts all players of legal age from Illinois, is the first of its type, with cutting-edge visuals, regular Blackjack tournaments, and also offers cashback on gambling losses.
Every single month at the BetOnline casino there are $1,000,000 in Daily Tournaments prizes are up for grabs, including $35,000 every day! Everyone has a chance to win a piece of the pie with two daily free entry tournaments.
The BetOnline welcome bonus is pretty hefty too, coming in as a 100% matched deposit bonus up to a massive $3,000 based on your first three deposits. Just remember to use the promo code BOLCASINO in the cashier to get the bonus. This bonus comes with a 30x wagering requirement which needs to be met within 30 days.
A 100% match Poker Welcome Bonus is also available on your first deposit using code NEWBOL. The maximum amount they will match dollar-for-dollar is $1,000 and the minimum deposit is $50. BetOnline will distribute $5 every time you make $50 in rake until all of your bonus money has been released.
- Good promotions
- State-of-the art technology
- Excellent payment options
- 24/7 customer support
- Hidden fees for some payout methods
- No independent poker network
5. Bovada Casino – Best Online Casino for Bonuses & Promotions
Bovada is one of the top dogs when it comes to reputable offshore betting companies and is available to bettors in many states including Illinois. It is also one of the best online casinos in Arizona.
They are one of the best gambling sites in Illinois when it comes to player bonuses with very generous welcome offers. During our Bovada online casino review we noticed there was a new customer deposit bonus of up to $1,000 with 25x wagering, allowing you to try out some of their 300+ slots and classic casino games. Use code CAWELCOME100 when depositing to claim.
The good news is you can claim this welcome bonus offer up to three times! Therefore, with your initial three deposits, you can get up to $3,000 in new player bonuses.
You can claim even more deposit bonuses for using Bitcoin, with up to a maximum bonus of $3,750 available over your first three deposits. Use code BTCCWB1250 to claim your first Bovada Bitcoin welcome bonus of $1,250 today and use the Bovada code BTC2NDCWB for the second and third deposits for 2 further $1,250 bonuses.
The betting limits should meet the needs of the majority of IL players, with minimum bets as low as $1 and high-rollers able to wager up to $2,500.
- Generous welcome bonus & ongoing offers
- Regulated by a trusted Canadian gaming commission
- Huge Bitcoin welcome bonus
- 24/7 customer support
- No e-wallet options
- Not available in some states (but ok in Illinois & many others)
Top Illinois Online Casinos – Bonus & Games Comparison
Let’s take a closer look and compare the best Illinois online casinos in terms of bonus offers, games and more:
|Casino||Welcome Bonus||Promo Code||Wagering||Game Types||No of
|Wild Casino||250% deposit bonus up to $1,000||WILD250||35x||Slots, Blackjack, Table games, Video poker, Live casino||250+|
|Ignition||100% up to $1000||Not Required||25x||Slots, Blackjack, Table games, Video poker, Live dealer||200+|
|BetUS||150% up to $3000||CAS150||30x||Slots, Blackjack, Table games, Video poker, Live casino, Tournaments, Bingo, Keno||350|
|BetOnline||100% bonus up to $3000 based on first 3 deposits||BOLCASINO||30x||Slots, Blackjack, Table games, Video poker, Live casino, Speciality games||400+|
|Bovada||100% Match Bonus up to $1,000 (Can be done three times)||CAWELCOME100||25x||Slots, Blackjack, Table games, Video poker, Live dealer, Slot tournaments||300+|
Illinois Online Casinos Comparison – Payment Methods
Next we will examine the various payment methods available at each of our top 5 casinos along with information on payout times and any transaction fees.
|Casino||Payment Methods||Deposit/Withdrawal Fees||PayOut Time|
|Wild Casino||VISA, MasterCard, American Express, Discover, Person to Person, Bitcoin, Ethereum, Bitcoin Cash, Litecoin, Ripple, Stellar, USD Coin, money order, bank wire transfer, bank check||7.5% fee for credit or debit card deposits
Some payout methods come with a $50 charge.
|Up to 2 days
Instant for crypto
|Ignition||VISA, MasterCard, American Express, Bitcoin, Bitcoin Cash, Zelle, voucher, Other Cryptos||None||24 hours|
|Bovada||VISA, MasterCard, American Express, MatchPay, Bitcoin, Litecoin, Zelle, voucher||None||24 hours|
|BetUS||VISA, MasterCard, American Express, Bitcoin, Litecoin, Bitcoin Cash, Ethereum, cash transfer||None||Up to 3-4 business days|
|BetOnline||VISA, MasterCard, Person to Person, Bitcoin, Ethereum, Bitcoin Cash, Chainlink, Litecoin, Ripple, Stellar, Tether, USD Coin, Dogecoin, money order, wire transfer, cashier’s check||Some fees on certain payment methods||48 hours|
What Games Can You Play at Online Illinois Casinos?
Most modern online casinos in Illinois provide all the games you would expect to find at your local retail casino and a lot more besides! In this next section, we will look at the types of games available to Illinois gamblers and the best places to find them.
If you enjoy playing Blackjack then you will want a casino with plenty of variety and live dealer games for that real life casino experience. After checking out the best Illinois online casinos, Wild Casino came out on top for Blackjack. They have 11 different blackjack tables covering popular variants such as Pirate 21, Super 21, and Multi-Hand BlackJack. The are also several live dealer varieties available 24/7 which include Baltic Blackjack and Russian Blackjack.
Another long-running and popular casino came is Roulette. Nothing gets casino players more excited than the sound of a ball spinning around a roulette table. You will find roulette available at all online casinos but Ignition Casino really stands out for roulette fans. They offer 7 different varieties of roulette games including American and European versions. You can bet up to $1,000 on the table. On Inside Bets, you can wager up to $500, and on Outside Bets, you can also wager up to $500. The minimum bet is $1.
Many new players prefer to play online poker over other games and you’ll have no problem finding a real money poker game at Illinois online casinos. Most of the casinos we reviewed offer 3-card poker, Texas Hold’em and video poker but online casinos such as Ignition Casino and Intertops even offer live poker tournaments with cash prizes.
There are also other poker-inspired table games at Ignition including Caribbean Hold’Em, Caribbean Stud, Tri Card Poker, Let ‘Em Ride, and Pai Gow Poker; each game offers a unique spin on traditional table poker.
Baccarat is also well covered at most online casinos in Illinois. At some of the better gambling sites, you will be able to find different versions of the game, including live dealer options. One such option can be found at Las Atlantis which also happens to have the best bonus you’ll find at any Baccarat online casino. It consists of a deposit bonus of up to $14,000, capped at 280 percent.
Other Casino Games
In addition to the staple casino games such as blackjack, roulette and poker, there are many other kinds of online casino games that can be found on online casinos IL. These include:
- Roll the dice
- Spin the wheel
- Monopoly Live
Playing Live Dealer Games at Illinois Casinos Online
If you want to add a bit of realism into your online casino experience there are always plenty of live dealer games to choose from 24/7 with live dealers and croupiers happy to take your chips with a smile, available to play in the comfort of your own home.
Live dealer games are one of the most popular games to play amongst casino players in Illinois. Bettors can watch the croupier’s every move and avoid the traditional RNG (Random Number Generator) normally associated with these online casino games.
The following table lists the amount of live games, game types, and software providers for our top 5 list of online casinos in Illinois:
|Number of Live Games||28+||36||15+||23||31|
|Types of Games Offered||Slots, Table Games, and Poker||Table Games, Slots, Virtual Sports, and Video Poker||Slots, Table Games, and Video Poker||Slots, Table Games, and Video Poker||Video Poker, Table Games, and Slots|
|Software Providers||Betsoft, Nucleus Gaming||Real-Time Gaming, Rival, Visionary iGaming||Digital Gaming Solutions, Nucleus Gaming, and Visionary iGaming||Betsoft, Real-Time Gaming, Visionary iGaming, and Rival.||Real-Time Gaming, Visionary iGaming, and Rival|
- Blackjack VIP
- European Blackjack
- Casino Hold ‘em
- American Roulette
- European Roulette
- Baltic Blackjack
- Russian Blackjack
How to Play at an Illinois Casino
There are no special steps required to play casino games in Illinois. All players in Illinois must be at least the legal betting age which in the United States is usually 21 or older. To play at an online casino in Illinois, simply follow the simple instructions below. For our example we will Wild Casino:
Step 1: Register
To make a new online casino account, go to the Wild Casino homepage and select the “Join Now” option.
Step 2: Verify Your Account
Once you fill out out the online sign-up form with the following details you will need to verify the account:
- A valid email address
- Zip code
- Phone number
- Date of birth
Step 3: Make a Deposit
Make your first deposit using the available methods at Wild Casino. Here is a good opportunity for you to enter any promo codes you may have to qualify for a welcome bonus. In the case of Wild Casino the promo code to use is WILD1. Payment methods available at Wild Casino include:
- American Express
Step 4: Place a Bet
You can now place your bet on any game you want to play. Choose between table games like blackjack, roulette, slots and baccarat or video poker for example.
Is Gambling in Illinois Allowed? The Legality of Gambling in Illinois
Yes, gambling in Illinois is allowed in person at licensed land-based casinos, riverboat casinos and racetracks. Online sports betting in Illinois is now legal too, but online casino gambling without the need to visit an establishment in person remains a grey area that is still awaiting the green light from lawmakers.
It’s worth noting that, while certain Illinois gambling regulations mention internet gambling, there are no provisions prohibiting individual players from participating in unlicensed games, making it almost impossible to prosecute online casino players who stick to the offshore sites.
Is online gambling in Illinois legal?
Yes, there are some legal online gambling options provided by the Illinois Gaming Board (IGB) but if you want to play actual online casino games for real cash then you will have to use one of the state-licensed betting sites or apps which requires you to complete your online registration in person at the relevant casino or racetrack partner.
A hassle-free option is to consider using of the offshore online casinos we have presented that accept Illinois players such as Wild Casino or BetUS. With no in-person requirement once you register and deposit, you can be playing games from your desktop or smartphone within minutes.
Legal mobile betting apps in Illinois
Here are the current legal online casino apps in Illinois and their affiliated casino and racetrack partners shown in brackets…
- BetRivers (Rivers Casino)
- DraftKings (Casino Queen)
- FanDuel Sportsbook & Horse Racing (Fairmount Park)
- Caesars, formerly William Hill (Grand Victoria)
- PointsBet (Hawthorne Racecourse)
- Barstool Sportsbook (Hollywood Casino Joliet)
And here are our recommended online casino apps which are offshore but available to players in Illinois and offering even better bonuses and promotions.
- Wild Casino – Best app for blackjack
- Ignition Casino -Best online casino app for live play
- BetUS – Best app for crypto deposits
History of gambling in Illinois
Illinois gambling rules and regulations dates back to the 1920s when they were first developed to allow for the legalization of horse racing.
Multiple lotteries have since been permitted along with the Riverboat Gambling Act of 1990. This act made it permissible to operate commercial casinos on boats outside of Lake Michigan and in counties with populations of more than three million people. Illinois was the second state to legalize riverboat gambling and the first boats became operational in 1991. The first riverboat casino in Illinois was named the Alton Belle which was opened in Alton in September 1991.
Illinois’ riverboat casinos were initially legally required to move along the river when any gambling was taking place, but the law was changed in 1999 when riverboat casinos were allowed to be docked. All riverboats stopped cruising almost immediately and became permanent dockside casinos.
Players in Illinois are also permitted use lottery terminals which are similar to slots games. These terminals can be found in over 5000 bars, restaurants and other establishments all over Illinois.
- 1927: Illinois gambling legislation created. The Illinois General Assembly allows pari-mutuel wagering on horse racing
- 1971: Bingo games legalized
- 1974: Illinois becomes first to legislate a state lottery
- 1975: Illinois formally authorises pari-mutuel wagering on horse racing. The Illinois Racing Board was established as a result of the action, which came with a complete set of regulations.
- 1990: Riverboat Gambling Act passed to allow casinos while cruising
- 1991: First riverboat opens for business in Alton
- 1999: The Riverboat Gambling Act removes requirements for boats to cruise the river when gambling takes place.
- 2009: Local bars and venues allowed to host Illinois Lottery terminals
- 2019: Online sports betting becomes legal
- 2020: The first legal sports bets are taken at Rivers Casino
- 2020: First mobile betting apps launched
Illinois gambling revenues
Gambling in Illinois is big business. Illinois came third in handling for the month of July 2021, behind only New Jersey and Nevada, and is second in total revenue, trailing only the Garden State. With over $3.6 billion wagered and $292.6 million in revenue, the Prairie State ranks third and second respectively in both categories for the year.
Land casinos in Illinois : Illinois Casino Locations
Are you interested in gambling in land-casinos in Illinois instead? In the next section, we present the top land-based casinos in Illinois, their address and their advantages.
Hollywood Casino & Hotel Joliet
Address: 777 Hollywood Blvd, Joliet, IL 60436
The Hollywood Casino Joliet is one of the most modern and well-known casinos in the Chicago area.
Overlooking the Des Plaines River, the Hollywood Casino Joliet is a stunning art deco structure with cutting-edge slot machines and 18 gaming tables, 1,100 video slots as well as a retail sportsbook operated by Barstool Sports. It also boasts 100 luxurious hotel rooms and 80 RV sites.
Par-A-Dice Hotel Casino
Address: 21 Blackjack Blvd, East Peoria, IL 61611
The Par-A-Dice Casino is one of the best casinos in Illinois and has around 200 luxury rooms and a five-star restaurant.
With 1000 slot machines, 25 poker tables, baccarat, roulette, and blackjack, there is also a friendly bar with live music for patrons to enjoy.
The FanDuel IL sportsbook is available if you want to place a sports wager within the casino.
Rivers Casino Des Plaines
Address: 3000 S River Rd, Des Plaines, IL 60018
The hottest gaming activity in Chicago can probably be found at Rivers Casino. The most jackpot slots and the highest table game payouts can be found at Rivers Casino.
You won’t find a better gaming option in Illinois no matter what your game is.
If you’re a sports fan then the in-house BetRivers Sportsbook will cater to your every need with it comes to sports betting.
Harrah’s Casino Joliet
Address: 151 N. Joliet St., Joliet, IL 60432
The Harrah’s Joliet Casino is a riverboat casino on the Des Plaines River east bank and is one of Illinois’ most popular gaming facilities.
The casino has a total gaming area of 40,000 square feet and boasts over 600 video slots and 31 tables where you can play blackjack, baccarat, roulette, craps, and more interesting games are available.
You can stay in one of the 200 rooms at the hotel and dine in one of the casino’s many bars and restaurants. You must be at least 21 years old and have a valid ID.
Jumer’s Casino & Hotel Rock Island
Address: 777 Jumer Drive, Rock Island, Illinois 61264
Owned by Bally’s this award-winning Illinois casino has one giant gaming floor providing over 42,000 square feet of gaming space with over 1,000 slot and video poker machines, 24 table games, live action poker, and a high limit slot room.
It is one of Illinois’ most populated land-based casinos. In a poll conducted by the Quad City Times, Jumer’s was rated the best casino in the Quad Cities.
Jumer’s has four restaurants, one bar, and a 205-room hotel on the grounds. It’s open seven days a week from 7am to 5am. To enter the casino area, visitors must be at least 21 years old.
List of land based casinos in Illinois
|Hollywood Casino & Hotel||777 Hollywood Blvd, Joliet, IL 60436|
|Par-A-Dice Hotel Casino (Riverboat casino)||21 Blackjack Blvd, East Peoria, IL 61611|
|Rivers Casino||3000 S River Rd, Des Plaines, IL 60018|
|Harrah’s Casino Joliet (Riverboat)||151 N. Joliet St., Joliet, IL 60432|
|Bally’s Quad City (formerly Jumer’s Casino)||777 Jumer Drive, Rock Island, Illinois 61264|
|Casino Queen (Riverboat)||200 S Front St, East St Louis, IL 62201|
|Grand Victoria Casino (Riverboat)||250 S Grove Ave, Elgin, IL 60120|
|Argosy Casino Alton (Riverboat)||1 Piasa St, Alton, IL 62002|
|Harrah’s Metropolis (Riverboat)||100 E Front St, Metropolis, IL 62960,|
|Hollywood Casino Aurora (Riverboat)||1 W New York St, Aurora, IL 60506|
Land Based Casinos vs Online Casinos in Illinois: Which one to choose?
Until fairly recently, if you wanted to legally gamble in Illinois it would usually involve a visit to one of its many riverboat and land-based casinos. But in the modern age of smartphones and Wifi, online casinos are now a very viable and enjoyable option in the Prairie State.
In Illinois, the majority of top land-based casinos are situated around the Chicago Bay area, so if you don’t want to travel or it’s simply too far away, using an online casino is the obvious and often better alternative. If you are a regular player, you can easily utilize multiple casinos to unlock more casino bonuses.
While you can never recreate the glamour of an actual visit to an Illinois casino or riverboat, online casinos are becoming more immersive with realistic smooth graphics, live dealers and chat rooms. Some online casinos such as BetOnline go even further providing full virtual casino experiences. Using an online casinos in Illinois will also give you access to a lot more games than you will find at any regular, land-based casino in Illinois.
Illinois has yet to fully regulate all types of internet gambling but casino players from Illinois can still safely deposit and play for real money at offshore internet casinos. Internet gamblers playing at these sites are not prosecuted by law authorities though operating an online casino would be illegal.
Illinois Gambling Tax Rate
Illinois is one of nine states that has a flat tax on all gambling winnings / income – 4.95 percent in this case.
Conclusion: Gambling in Illinois
Casino gambling in Illinois mainly revolves around the traditional riverboat casinos such as a the Hollywood Casino Aurora and the Casino Queen. There are some legal online casino options in Illinois but you will have to use one of the state-licensed operators and complete your registration in-person before you can start playing.
A much more convenient option is to use an online casino which accepts players from Illinois. In many ways, online casinos are much better than their land based counterparts as they offer tons more games which can be played immediately at home or on the move, as well as generous welcome bonuses.
Our best overall pick is the jungle themed Wild Casino which offers a very generous 250% welcome bonus on your first deposit up to $1,000 max. Simply enter the special Wild Casino promo code ‘WILD1′ when making your deposit to claim. The wagering requirement is 35x.