The best Illinois online casinos provide a service that could change your entire real money gambling experience. But how do you find the casinos that accept customer from Illinois AND provide an excellent service?
There are lots of casinos online these days, so choosing the right one can be tough. But, on this page, we’ve got you covered. We’ve assessed the IL casino sites that are competing for your business and listed the top-ranked ones here.
Our list of the best online casinos for Illinois has been carefully compiled. We put in a lot of time and effort to make sure that every site recommend is not only safe and reputable, but also worthy of your patronage.
We talk more later about how our team selects IL online casinos. We also explain some of the advantages of gambling online, and look at the current situation regarding legalized and regulated online gambling in Illinois.
But if you’re raring to go, just go ahead and join any one our recommended options right now.
We’re very detailed when it comes to establishing our rankings of real money gambling sites. We like to put them under a microscope and dig into every detail which will affect a customer’s experience.
You can be sure that every one of the best Illinois online casinos on our list has passed a very demanding test. Here are a few details on some of the things we look at, and why.
Are They Subject to Oversight?
Legal online casinos must have a proper gambling license, and these licenses can come from countries and territories all over the world.
Our team has a thorough understanding of licensing requirements for jurisdictions across the globe, and we use this knowledge to evaluate gambling sites when assessing them. Some licensing bodies have stringent standards, while others don’t.
The gold-standard gambling license providers are extremely demanding. And they don’t issue permits to sketchy, unqualified, or underfunded applicants.
The reputable licensing authorities conduct thorough background examinations that include criminal checks and credit probes. And, on the financial side of the equation, investigators look for red flags like heavy personal debt, liens, foreclosures, and the like.
Operators of licensees are required to prove they have sufficient working capital. And player safety is a crucial consideration. There needs to be a plan to protect players’ sensitive financial information, and there need to be problem gambling warnings and pathways to resources on the site.
Online casinos also have to make significant investments on top of their standard operating costs. First of all, there are robust application and licensing fees. When you add in the taxes, you can see there’s a lot of money on the line for these businesses.
The simple fact that they’re willing to make this type of investment is valuable information to take into account. Simply put, the best Illinois online casinos are subject to intense scrutiny and continual oversight, so they have little to no margin for error.
Commercials for investment management firms and insurance companies tend to emphasize their longevity. The ad execs recommend this because they know people want to be sure the companies will be around when it comes time to collect.
This dynamic certainly enters the picture when it comes to online casinos.
If you’re going to have real money on the line, you have to be absolutely certain the site will be in business when you want to cash in. This is one of the reasons why we look for gambling websites that have been firmly established over an extended period of time when we’re ranking the best of the best.
There are exceptions, because some operators come out of the gate running. The test of time is not an exclusive barometer, but it’s one element that we include when we go through our checklist.
You can find out what people are saying about any business if you do some research online. There are relevant forums and message boards that people use to share information about most online gambling sites. When compiling our list of the best IL online casinos, we visit these websites.
It’s important to reserve judgment when you read a post on one of these boards, because a single bad or good experience does not tell the entire story. However, if there is sufficient corroborating information about a site, either positive or negative, we take this into account.
We have people we have people right here in house that have played on some of the sites in their own time. We also carry out “official” tests at casinos, to see how they perform in different areas. These direct experiences are helpful, of course. Combined with our additional research, and feedback from other industry insiders, we get a very clear picture of each online casino we look at.
Only operators that have proved to be reputable make our list of the top online casinos for Illinois.
Are There Real People Behind the Facade?
When you’re dealing with a company that doesn’t have a physical location you can visit, there are some concerns about the availability of customer service personnel. If you have any questions or if you experience issues, will you be able to get in touch with someone helpful?
This is a great question, and we certainly sought to find the answer when we were putting these online casinos under the microscope. All of the Illinois casino sites that earned a place on our list set themselves apart by the quality of their customer service.
You can get in touch with them by phone, and the agents are communicative, empowered, and more than willing to provide assistance. Email communication is an option if you prefer to go this route, and chat functions are available at many of the top sites.
Deposit and Withdrawal Methods
Our suggested online casinos make it easy for players from the United States to make deposits. Credit cards like Visa and Mastercard are typically accepted, including gift cards and prepaid accounts, and some sites accept American Express as well.
Bank wires, ACH, and Person2Person transfers are common, along with checks by mail and eChecks. Withdrawals can also be facilitated through these avenues, and everything is done in the United States dollar at the casino we recommend for Illinois players.
Our top-rated IL online casinos all make it as easy as possible for US customers to deposit and withdraw.
There’s nothing wrong with the good old greenback, but there’s an emerging alternative that may be a better choice for online gaming. Bitcoin is a deposit and withdrawal option at many gambling websites these days, and the cryptocurrency can be transferred safely, efficiently, and effectively in a timely manner.
The Advantages of Online Casino Gambling
Though there are some land-based gaming options in IL, the best Illinois online casinos offer benefits that you simply cannot find at brick and mortar facilities.
When you understand all of the advantages, you will undoubtedly see why anyone that enjoys gaming should embrace the online casino options. Let’s take a look at some of them.
A lot of people in Illinois would have to endure a long drive to get to the closest physical casino. Yes, you can get fired up to take a road trip, but how often are you going to do that? If you enjoy gambling, it shouldn’t be a once or twice a year activity; it’s a form of recreation that should always be available whenever you want.
Even if you live relatively close to one of the riverboats or the city of Chicago, you’re not going to be especially excited to get in the car and make the trek. This is amplified when the weather isn’t very inviting, which is a very common phenomenon in this state during the winter months.
Geography and transportation issues are completely irrelevant when you embrace the online gambling environment. The best IL s online casinos can be easily accessed from anywhere, at any time, so you never have to venture out to a brick and mortar facility to indulge your passion for gaming.
Hassle-Free Casino Action
Getting yourself to an IL casino is just one of the negatives that can enter the picture. Most people have weekends and evenings off, and if you’re one of them, this is the window of opportunity for getting out of the house to gamble. As a result, since there are so few casinos in Illinois, there can be big crowds.
The “high-energy” casino vibe is not all it’s cracked up to be when you’re actually immersed in it. Parking can be hard to find on crowded days, and it can be challenging to get from point A to point B when you’re behind a rubbernecking group of people that are aimlessly sauntering about.
There are limited spaces at the tables, so you may not be able to find a seat. Most people don’t go to casinos alone, and if you are with a companion, finding two spaces together can be like the proverbial search for a needle in a haystack.
If you’re able to overcome these obstacles and find a spot at a table, you’re going to want to hold onto it like something precious. You may be fortunate enough to be sitting among some nice people that know how to play properly, but there are no guarantees.
It’s also not uncommon for people to drink too much when they’re gambling, and some losers don’t take the beating very gracefully. Rude, obnoxious individuals can ruin your time.
But, because you made the time commitment to take the trip to the casino, you’re probably not looking to go home shortly after arriving. This might even compel you to go over your budget.
These are only a handful of the pitfalls that you could run into at land-based casinos. But when you choose to play at Illinois online casinos, the hassles vanish. You decide when to log in, when to leave, and where you will be playing, and that’s what personal freedom is all about.
The leading websites that have made our rankings want you to know they appreciate your business. To make a good impression right away, they offer sign-up bonuses for new players that bolster your bankroll.
Each site has different promotions at any given time, but your bonus amount will typically be based on the size of your initial deposit.
It’s not uncommon to see deposit matches up to several hundred or even $1000 or more, so we’re talking about a pretty nice chunk of change.
You simply don’t find generous bonuses like these at traditional casinos, and you’re not limited to a single bonus. There’s no reason why you can’t open more than one account to take advantage of multiple welcome bonus offers.
If you would prefer to stick to the casino that you chose first because you’re happy with the experience, you are not turning your back on additional monetary rewards. Many highly-rated sites have loyalty programs that give you something back for your play, and there are referral bonuses as well.
Casino Games Galore
You have virtually limitless options when you play at the top online casinos for Illinois. In fact, you may be able to explore possibilities you have never considered before. At these sites, if you get bored because you’re playing the same game over and over again, you have no one to blame but yourself.
All the tried-and-true table games that have always been staples of the brick and mortar casinos have been adapted to the virtual environment. If you like to play blackjack, they have you covered, and they also offer baccarat, craps, and roulette, but that’s not all.
There are even different variations of the traditional games, like Caribbean Stud, Texas hold‘em, and Three-Card Rummy, just to name a few.
At some of the online casinos, there are eye-popping jackpots that can be won when you play certain premium table games.
If video poker is your game of choice, you’ll surely enjoy yourself at Illinois online casinos. Offerings typically include Bonus Poker, Bonus Poker Deluxe, Double Bonus and Double Double Bonus Poker, Jacks or Better, and Deuces Wild. There are also multi-hand games that are a lot of fun to play.
Slots players will find countless different themes and variations at the online casino sites on our list. We’re talking about over 100 different variants at some IL casinos, and there are huge jackpots that reach six and seven figures. That’s right, you can win a life-changing sum of money playing slots online.
In addition to all the casino games available, many of our recommended Illinois online casinos offer poker and sports betting, too.
Gambling Laws and Regulation in Illinois
Looking back at the history of the state of Illinois, gambling has traditionally been woven into the fabric of certain communities. The prohibition period opened the door for underground gambling halls that sold liquor, but gaming in the region actually dates back to the riverboat days of the 19th century.
Though the roots have always been there, there were no legalized casinos in the Land of Lincoln for many decades until 1990, when a law was passed (the Riverboat Gaming Act) that revived the concept of riverboat gaming.
State-licensed riverboats were allowed to offer roulette, blackjack, baccarat, and craps, and they could have slot machines along with live poker games.
There were some limitations included in Illinois gambling laws. For example, boats were required to be offshore to allow people to place bets. They also had to be based in metro areas with less than 3 million residents, and just 10 licenses were made available.
The first two riverboats to open for business in 1991 were centered in Peoria and Alton, respectively. Other licenses were snatched up in short order, and the industry was quite successful. So much so that the cruising mandate was presenting a serious problem for the operators and their customers.
Extremely long lines would develop because of strict departure and return times, so consumers were frustrated. Many stayed away, and money was going down the drain. Pressure was placed on lawmakers to allow the riverboats to take bets without going anywhere, and the law was changed to allow this in 1999.
Since then, riverboat casinos have been up and running, and in 2019, the legislature approved the licensing of a commercial casino in Chicago with more to come. This is good news for people in and around the Windy City that like to gamble.
Legal Sports Betting in Illinois
On Monday, May 14th, 2018, the Supreme Court of the United States struck down the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act of 1992. This statute placed a federal prohibition on sports gambling, and it is the reason why sportsbooks were traditionally confined to the state of Nevada.
Since that fateful day, there is nothing standing in the way of any state that decides to license and regulate sports gaming. Illinois lawmakers voted in favor of the legalization and regulation of sports gambling in 2019.
Legal Online Gambling in Illinois
State-sanctioned online betting is included along with physical sportsbooks in the proposed legalization. This could ultimately lead to online casinos also being legalized and regulated within the state. Federal US gambling laws now allow states to go this route if they so choose.
That’s the good news, but the bad news is that it will be a while before the kinks are worked out. Fortunately, the best Illinois online casinos that we have listed are available in the meantime.
Summing It Up
You’re probably experiencing information overload by now, so we’ll leave you with a few concise points to draw from going forward. It’s completely natural to have some concerns about real money online gaming sites, but there are a number of legitimate operators that do everything right on a consistent basis.
We have conducted a great deal of research to identify the best Illinois online casinos, and we didn’t cut corners when we were conducting our analysis. You can rest assured that you will enjoy a world-class gaming experience at any of the websites that have earned our seal of approval.
These IL casino sites don’t just offer a variety of casino games. You can also play live poker against other players at some of them, and some also have sports betting So you essentially have access to a full-service casino at all times when you open an account at one of our recommendations.
Best of all, you get free money as a reward for making your first deposit, and it doesn’t get any better than that.