Is Poker legal in Illinois (il)? Online Poker Laws in Illinois Explained


Illinois Illinois

  • Live Poker is allowed
  • Online Casino is allowed
  • Online gambling in the state is strictly limited to horse racing and the Illinois Lottery.

  • Online Poker is forbidden
  • Sports Betting is forbidden

Can You Play Online Poker in Illinois?

Illinois is known as the "Land of Lincoln" and home to the Windy City. This gambling-friendly state provides tons of options for those who love to play. However, Illinois law does not permit casinos to stay open 24*7. This means the only way for the poker aficionados to find the best poker site 2021 is to enjoy online poker in IL.

Illinois has taken the necessary steps to become a gambling powerhouse. But failed many times. That means to date, the legislators of Illinois have not passed a law that would allow iGaming and poker site providers to operate within the state's limit. Illinois is on a list of states seriously taking into account the merits of real cash online poker and gambling.

In March 2021, Democratic state representatives Robert Rita and Jonathan Carroll introduced HB 3142, which seeks to launch online gaming by creating the Internet Gaming Act (IGA).

“Representative Bob Rita introduced the bill. I signed on because I’ve heard from several of my constituents on this issue and I agree it is time we do this as a state,” Rep. Carroll told PokerNews. “It will go through committee and hopefully come to the floor for a vote. I think it should get strong support. There’s been a lot of support from constituents and others. I feel very good about this bill.”

On March 9, 2020, Illinois took its first legal sports bet, which is currently available in the state in both retail and online formats. The pandemic threw a big wrench in the launch and stymied growth given bettors we required to create an account in person, a requirement waived by Governor J.B. Pritzker on several occasions.

The new bill highlights something most other states do not – speed. While many states take months or even years to go from legislation passing to an actual launch, HB 3142 would require the Illinois Gaming Board to establish regulations within 90 days.

To expedite the process, the bill encourages the governing entity to follow any blueprints already laid out by other states. Also, in the name of expediency, any company that already has a sports betting license and applies for a casino and/or poker license must be granted a one-year temporary license within 30 days.

The bill allows for 13 licenses, one each for the state’s trio of racetracks and 10 brick-and-mortar casinos. Each licensee, which would cost a practical $500,000 with a $250,000 four-year renewal fee, would be allowed to operate three skins. The tax rate established by the bill is 12 percent of adjusted gross gaming revenue.

Finally, the cherry on top of HB 3142 is that the Internet Gaming Act would approve for interstate gaming compacts, meaning the sixth-largest state with a population of more than 12.6 million, could potentially link up with Nevada, New Jersey, and Delaware, which already benefit from such a compact. Michigan is expected to enter such compacts at the end of March, and while Pennsylvania is legally allowed to be a part of interstate gaming compacts, they have yet to dive in.

The bill will now be considered by a committee that will determine whether or not it should be considered for a floor vote.

For the poker fanatics within the Illinois borders who can’t wait for online poker to become a reality, they can choose from our advised offshore gambling sites. Whether you are a poker pro or completely new to casino games, you will get an incredible experience by trying our poker rooms - typically for online poker free play.

However, the Illinois citizens looking to get in on the real money poker action will likely need to wait a little bit longer. To understand the background of online poker, you need to dive into online gambling and online poker laws in Illinois.

Summary of Illinois Gambling & Poker Laws

Illinois makes it a crime to operate a game of chance over the web. The only exception to this is the Illinois Lottery and horse racing. The state of Illinois is one of the few states that use the phrase “online poker” in state law. You can check Item 12 of Article 28, Section 1. This says:

"It is illegal for any Illinois resident to operate an Internet website that allows a person to play a game of skill or chance for money or other things using the internet.”

This means that the lovers of online poker in IL can be charged for playing poker online if found gambling illegally. However, no user has been persecuted yet for playing games online with an offshore gambling company.

We advise you to take expert legal advice in case you have any queries regarding Illinois’ gambling statutes . Let’s go in-depth with Illinois Gambling & Poker Law 2021.

  • Online Poker/Gambling Many attempts have been made to legalize online poker and online gaming in Illinois. But all failed thus far.
  • Live Poker Live poker is allowed in all physical existing and new casinos in Illinois. The poker rooms provide cash tournaments and games.
  • Casinos As per the Riverboat Gambling Act, just 10 fully-functional casinos are permitted to be established on riverboats. Lawmakers are planning to expand the number in the state.
  • Sports Betting Online sports betting is totally legal in Illinois as long as they are located within state lines. Governor J.B. Pritzker signed legislation in June 2019 that allows this activity in the state.
  • Fantasy Sports Although the legality of daily fantasy sports in Illinois is a bit of a grey area, top DFS websites like FanDuel, DraftKings, Fantasy Draft, and Yahoo operate in the state.
  • Esports A 2017 bill for DFS carried over into 2018 and stays open for consideration. Esports gambling is available at countless online sportsbooks and even dedicated esports bookies.
  • Other Gambling Options Pari-mutuel betting, lotteries, horse racing, charitable bingo, raffles, poker runs, video games, Native American gaming, jar games, and pull-tabs are all legal in Illinois.

History of Poker and Online Poker in Illinois

Illinois, mainly Chicago, has had a long colorful history of gambling. Betting activities in Illinois date way back to before Christopher Columbus crossed the Atlantic Ocean. Ruins from Cahokia signify that gambling was taking place as early as 600 A.D.

The state has been focusing on the legalization of Illinois online poker and other internet gaming forms since 2013. In that year, the state legislators debated on gambling expansion that permits land-based casinos outside of the riverboat requirements. They wanted to include online gambling in the bill to keep up with states considering the same concept.

However, worries from the governor and many lawmakers prompted those sections to be eliminated from the bill. In 2013, Senators Terry Link and Donne Trotter introduced an online gambling provision in SB1739.

An informal court hearing was held on online gambling in 2014, but just a little progress was made. On May 31st, 2017, the Illinois Senate passed a bill legalizing online poker. The Illinois House must now approve the bill of Representatives to be signed. The state is no closer to resolving the expansion of live casinos today as they were in 2014. Bills are filed yearly, but unfortunately, they continue to fail.

Illinois implemented online gambling as a whole in 2017. The live casino expansion issue finally gets resolved in 2018. Later, H.479 was introduced and failed again. But it rose back to life in 2018. Thanks to the Illinois House Representative Michael Zalewski, who pushed it again in 2018.

As mentioned above, in 2021 Democratic state representatives Robert Rita and Jonathan Carroll introduced HB 3142, which seeks to launch online gaming by creating the Internet Gaming Act (IGA). That bill is currently under consideration.

Online Poker in Illinois

At the federal level, all the laws, including the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act (2006), deal with those operating and managing the gambling sites.

Although Illinois does have serious anti-gambling statutes on the books, charges have never been imposed against anyone in the country caught for playing cards and other gaming online with an offshore firm.

If you desire to play online poker in Illinois, Choose from our online poker rooms list. They are not just safe but also offer the most protected experiences.

Is Online Poker Legal in Illinois?

Illinois State has no explicit mention if online poker rooms is a legal or illegal activity. Only legal activities in Illinois include horse racing, lotteries, charitable gambling, and pari-mutuel wagering.

Illinois law makes it illicit for a company to run online sites that let players bet on games of chance or skill. However, you will not face any legal persecution if you switch on your computer and play poker from the inside border of Illinois. The state presently criminalizes playing online poker in Illinois for real money outside its confines.

But there is one exception to the Illinois law. Games of chance or skill that do not require a player to put up a buy-in to take part are legal. Websites that provide freeroll online poker tournaments would be legit under Illinois law.

The state recently focused on expanding the number of places, types, and ways of gambling thanks to the 2019 2019 Illinois Gambling Act. The new law, 2019, legalized sports betting in online bookies and physical sportsbooks. However, it does not legalize online poker or other types of online casino games.

Start your poker-playing online journey today right from your home by picking a site from the list of top-rated gambling firms.

Where Can I Play Online Poker Legal in Illinois?

Illinois has stringent laws regarding gambling. In comparison to other states, they actually include provisions mentioning real money gaming over the web. You will be able to play poker for free online if you reside in Illinois.

There are tons of desktop and mobile poker sites online that accept Illinois players. With a mobile poker website, you can just login from anywhere in the US state and enjoy online poker in Illinois for real money or free. However, not all are created equal. Few of them are untrustworthy, and your money is also at a big risk.

It’s worth choosing the best online poker sites that offer incredible gaming action, speedy payouts, excellent bonuses, and a trustworthy experience. Major online poker brands that you can choose to play poker include:

These firms have earned a good reputation for honesty and integrity. Regardless of the poker rooms, you choose to partner with a brand that offers fair poker games, prompt payment methods, and robust customer support.

Where Does Illinois Offer Legal Online Gambling?

Today, gamblers have access to numerous poker sites online regulated in the Caribbean, Central, and South America. Few of them accept players from the United States.

Remember, all of the sites that are based offshore in other jurisdictions do have any online gaming regulatory system in place. Thus, make sure the online gambling site has obtained the necessary license and good reputation.

The best poker sites for money also incentivize new players and lure loyal customers using rewarding poker bonuses.

Will Illinois Regulate Online Poker

Illinois is a main candidate to legalize and regulate poker due to the big-budget problems and a huge population. There have been regular attempts to pass legislation that would allow a licensed internet poker in the State. The latest effort was the gambling expansion in 2019.

Maybe the lawmakers understand the perks of online gambling and poker sites. It seems that Illinois seems to be gaining momentum on an internet gambling bill.

Illinois is one of the states considering the regulation of real money online poker and other online gaming in the upcoming years. That means the idea of state-regulated online gambling and legit Internet poker websites in IL in 2021 may become a reality.

US Poker Laws 2021 - Illinois FAQ

Below are the top five commonly asked questions and their answers regarding online poker in IL:

Can I Play Online Poker in Illinois for Money?

Can I play online poker in Illinois is the most common question in the mind of poker players across the state. The answer is a little bit cloudy. That means the legality of playing Internet poker for real money remains in the gray area for IL residents.

The state has stringent gambling laws and banned users from creating a new account. If you are able to, you will only be able to just play free money games.

If you desire to play real money online poker, you might face many problems in creating a new online poker account.

What is the Minimum Age for Gambling in Illinois?

The minimum age to gamble in Illinois is eighteen. If you are 18 or older, you can freely buy lottery tickets, bet on races, and engage in gambling. However, you need to be 21 years old for casino betting.

In Illinois, it also includes Poker. These same rules apply to online gambling and online poker in Illinois. Ensure you stay in compliance with the regulations in your local area.

Can I Play Online Poker On a Mobile in Illinois?

Nowadays, poker fanatics are looking to play a wide variety of poker games everywhere they head out. There are tons of real money mobile poker sites and best poker apps. They allow you access and play poker on a wide variety of mobiles on the go.

Users can even receive real money bonuses along their way. Mobile poker apps built by expert developers offer an incredible experience at your fingertips. Download mobile poker apps 2020 and start playing internet poker anytime and anywhere.

Can I Play PokerStars in Illinois Using Real Money?

Playing online poker in Illinois for real money is illegal. You cannot access the real money games on PokerStars if you reside within the state borders. However, if you want to taste the PokerStars software from Illinois, you can use the PokerStars Play free platform.

How Does an Online Poker Site Know Where the User is Playing from?

Online poker sites use tons of methods to verify that users are currently accessing the site from a place that legally permits internet poker play.

The majority of them consider your IP address. Few of them blend that IP address with other techniques such as triangulation via cell phone towers. This helps them determine that your cell phone is currently in your control and in a legal state.

Where is poker legal in the US? Which States can I play online poker in?

Choose a state to find out more about state legislation:

  • Regulation is currently under discussion
  • Regulation has been discussed but no recent movement
  • No legislation