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Guide to Illinois Online Gambling in 2020

The best Illinois gambling sites understand the needs and preferences of players from America’s heartland. But where do you find the top sites?

Right here is where! This page is all about real money online gambling in Illinois, and it includes a list of safe and trusted sites.

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Every IL gambling site that we recommend passed our (very strict) litmus test. You can wager with real money at any of them and feel confident that they’re legit sites offering a great experience.

Our process for ranking these Illinois gambling sites is extensive. We explain about it further down this page. We also look at some of the advantages of gambling online from Illinois and explore the various betting and gaming options.

Lastly, we touch on the legal situation regarding Illinois online gambling, so there’s plenty here to read!

Best Illinois Gambling Sites

Illinois Gambling Sites

We’ve been involved in the online gambling industry since its inception. And many members of our team had been gambling for years before the internet was even a thing.

This means we’re well qualified to assess what today’s online betting and gaming operators have to offer their customers. We know what we want from sites, and we expect it’s very similar to what you want.

That’s why you can trust that our list of the best Illinois online gambling sites is exactly what you need. Sign up with any one of our recommendations for IL and we’re certain you won’t be disappointed.

Point-By-Point Analysis of IL Gambling Sites

GamblingSites.com has built a reputation for the accuracy of our rankings. Our research professionals conduct in-depth analyses using an advanced and highly-refined point-by-point evaluation process. In order to make our list, a site must get high scores across the board.

There are many, many factors that we look at when it comes to ranking real money online gambling sites. Here’s a little bit of insight into what we consider when ranking the best gambling sites for Illinois.

Investment and Qualifications

The best Illinois gambling sites carry licenses from jurisdictions that charge very significant application and licensing fees. During the process, they are required to submit proof of sufficient working capital, and they must invest in sound infrastructures that protect sensitive information.

When a company has to put out this kind of money to get these licenses, they’re making a profound statement. They have every intention of doing things correctly so they can get out of the red and into the black and continue to be profitable for a very long time.

Jurisdictions that are well regarded conduct extensive background checks on the applicants. The resumes of the people that will be running the company are examined, and the licensing entities put business plans under the microscope.

Gambling sites that hold licenses from territories and countries that have stringent requirements like these are very diligent and fully cognizant of their responsibilities to their players.

Our recommended IL gambling sites are all properly licensed to offer online gambling by an appropriate organization.

Deposit and Withdrawal Methods

If you’re interested in gambling online in Illinois, it is important to identify a site that is designed to suit the needs of players in the United States. This is key, because gambling on the web is huge all around the world, and currency and deposit methods vary depending on the region that is targeted.

Even if a site is in the English language, this does not necessarily mean that it caters to American players. There may be a different form of currency utilized, and the games that are emphasized would be custom crafted to suit gambling enthusiasts from the country of focus.

We take this into account when we are comparing the IL gambling sites that are competing for your business.

All the sites that have made our list make it easy to deposit and withdraw funds in the US greenback.

Several of the leading sites are accepting Bitcoin, and many would say that this is the ideal form of currency for internet gambling.

Though the sites that we have approved emphasize rapid transfers, there is some processing time, but it is accelerated when Bitcoin is utilized. Funds are available in short order, and since there’s no third party looking for a slice of the pie, processing charges are limited or completely nonexistent.

Attentive and Effective Service

All of the top Illinois online gambling sites understand the value of world-class customer service. Even though there is no physical facade that you can access, there are real human beings sitting in an office with a license on the wall ready to answer your questions and address your concerns.

They provide wide windows of availability, and some of them have phone representatives available 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year. Email customer service is another option, and you will usually see real-time chat functions at the leading online casinos.

Reputational Factors and Longevity

The intention to withstand the test of time is a key factor as we have touched upon previously. This being stated, actually achieving this goal is the ultimate barometer, so we take longevity very seriously when we establish our rankings.

Since information can be widely disseminated so quickly through the internet, these sites can’t run and hide. Our research team members visit relevant forums and message boards to see what people are saying about IL gambling sites on an ongoing basis, both positive and negative. This complements our own experiences and opinions.

Our top-rated online gambling sites for Illinois have all earned themselves excellent reputations with players and industry insiders alike.

Advantages of Betting and Gaming Online

We have a comprehensive understanding of gambling laws in all of the states, and comparatively speaking, Illinois is rather progressive. It started with the licensing of riverboat-based gambling operations in 1990, but players had to go on cruises to comply with existing laws.

This changed in 1999 when the Riverboat Gambling Act was signed into law by then-Governor George Ryan. Since then, the riverboat-themed facilities are no longer required to leave the docks, so there are now elaborate nearby structures that help to create the gambling resort ambiance.

Since the ‘90s, there have been some near-misses with regard to the expansion of legalized casino gambling to include some commercial properties in and around Chicago. This phase came to an end in 2019, when sweeping legislation included provisions for land-based casinos in the Windy City.

Under the newest laws, the state’s riverboat facilities are now permitted to operate on land with the right approval. Without question, it can be a lot of fun to visit one of the riverboat gambling facilities. However, regardless of the brick and mortar landscape, the best IL gambling sites will always offer certain advantages.

  • Bet and play whenever you want
  • No crowds to deal with
  • Don’t need to handle cash
  • Bonuses and promotions for extra value
  • Wider range of gambling options

These advantages, and more, are available at all of our recommended online gambling sites accepting Illinois customers.

We’ve written about the advantages of online gambling in much more detail if you’d like to explore these benefits further. For now, let’s expand on the range of real money gaming and betting options available online.

Real Money Online Gambling Options in Illinois

You do not have to settle for a culture of limitation when you embrace the Illinois online gambling experience.

Regardless of your game or games of choice, and what you prefer to bet on, you will be able to get your fix at the IL gambling sites that have earned our seal of approval.

Liberal Slots

If you like to have multiple options when you play slots, you will feel like you hit the motherlode when you visit any of the top gambling websites. It’s not uncommon to see over a hundred themes, so you will never be sick and tired of the same old same old.

They have minimum and maximum betting limits to suit all players, and there are progressive slots if you’re looking for a big score. The jackpots go up as people continue to participate, and they grow until someone hits, and it could be a life-changing amount of money.

Video Poker

The best Illinois gambling sites go the extra mile when it comes to the online video poker experience. They offer all the games that you would see in a major casino in Las Vegas, including Joker Poker, Deuces Wild, Bonus Poker, Jacks or Better, and more.

There are virtual machines that accept all different denominations, and progressive poker jackpots are always up for grabs. Of course, when it comes to video poker, the natural royal flush will provide a robust payday even if you’re not playing a progressive game.

Authentic Table Games

Traditional casino floors are dominated by the table games, and many would say that this is the heart of an authentic gaming hall.

The top-rated Illinois gambling sites offer all of the games that have captured the imaginations of players for generations, including craps, roulette, baccarat, and blackjack.

Sports Betting

You can bet on all the major US sports online from IL. If football betting is your thing, you’ll have options for the NFL, college football, and even the CFL.

Baseball, basketball, and hockey are well covered, too. And it doesn’t stop there. There are plenty of other sports, from the mainstream to the obscure, that you can also bet on.

Horse Racing Betting

Yes, you can bet on horses online. And it’s much easier than going to the track. The big US horse races are all available to bet on, as well as races from all around the world.

You’ll also find online poker at some of our recommended Illinois gambling sites, and some of them have additional gambling options.

It should be noted that certain sites focus on just a single form of gambling or particularly excel in one area. That’s why we’ve also ranked the best Illinois gambling sites in the following categories.

Legal Sports Betting and Online Gambling in IL

We have seen a huge shift in the federal stance on one form of gambling recently, and it will have far-reaching implications as time goes on. This movement was originally set in motion by voters in the state of New Jersey when they were asked to vote on a constitutional amendment in November of 2011.

The question revolved around the legalization and regulation of sports gambling in the Garden State. Casinos in Atlantic City and existing horse racing tracks would be the venues, so it would be easy to place sportsbooks within these existing state-licensed gambling facilities.

New Jersey lawmakers decided to test the waters with regard to the legitimacy of the federal prohibition on sports betting when they put the question on the ballot.

Voters in the state of New Jersey overwhelmingly approved of the legalization of sports gambling, and the governor signed the measure. All systems were go, except for the fact that the major sports leagues in the United States along with the NCAA were unwilling to go along with the program.

They sanctimoniously contended that the integrity of their games would be tarnished by the legalization of sports betting in New Jersey or any other state.

New Jersey appealed rulings that were handed down against them, and the Supreme Court decided to accept the case in 2017. They made their decision in May of the following year.

The justices struck down the federal law against sports gambling by a 6-3 majority, and since then, the matter is a decision that is in the hands of each individual state. There are no federal impediments anymore, and the state of Illinois is ready to take advantage of the opening.

On June 2nd, 2019, the legislature passed a bill that would legalize sports gambling in Illinois. It was signed into law by the governor at the end of the month, and it includes betting at physical sites like Wrigley Field along with online sports gambling. Other forms of online gambling may follow.

Please refer to our guide to gambling laws in Illinois to stay up to date with developments. In the meantime, the best IL gambling sites as per our recommendations are always available to you.

Summary

You can place your absolute trust to the real money gambling sites that have made our rankings. They have been carefully vetted by our team of industry experts, and every site on the list checks all the boxes. The sites are licensed, they focus on the needs of US players, and they provide a fantastic customer experience.

Every casino game that you would see at a full-scale brick and mortar casino is offered at these online gambling websites. There are sports betting options to suit everyone, and you’re rewarded with a handsome welcome bonus when you make your first deposit.

Gambling online is an exciting way to spend some of your spare time, and you can potentially win a lot of money doing it. There is no reason to sit on the sidelines when you can dive into the action whenever you want to at the best Illinois gambling sites.