Casinos in Illinois have not changed all that much from the 19th century. Gamblers can still expect to play blackjack aboard some of the best riverboats in the US. A movement to legalize brick and mortar casinos in the state has been ongoing over the last couple of years. The state currently sees no need to add more casinos and a bill expand riverboat gambling was barred in 2014. As it stands, the state has a wide variety of casinos offering all the gambling favorites.
Nicknamed the Prairie State, Illinois is known for its outdoor adventures, wineries, historic sites and one of the coolest cities in America, Chicago. Trips to Illinois without a stop in Chicago are impossible. Visitors can spend time at the Magnificent mile or millennium park. However, there are no casinos in Chicago. Not to worry, there are plenty of gambling establishments close by. The closest gambling casino is less than an hour away and offers amazing slots, a poker room and your much-loved table games. Before you pack your bag; read our guide on all the gambling casinos in Illinois, the gambling laws in the state and where you can find the finest poker tables.
Casinos in Illinois do not open 24 hours a day, and the laws have limited its gaming licenses to only ten. The gambling age in the state is 21 and over. The law states that lottery players can be 18 and over. Gaming regulations in the state do not allow gambling establishments to offer free alcohol. Illinois casinos all operate under the Riverboat Gambling Act which passed in 1990. Players or operators found gambling in an unlicensed establishment face being charged as the act is seen as an offence in the state.
Internet Gambling in the state is illegal as it is addressed as an unlawful gambling offence in the state’s criminal code articles. The law also states that casino gambling for real money is illegal. Players can gamble at offshore sites but reminded to play at safe and regulated sites
Gambling Legislation Timeline
Gambling in the 1900s
Pari-mutuel horse betting is allowed in Illinois, and a couple of years later, the horse racing act was put in place to regulate and promote the racing industry. In 1974 lawmakers in the state approve the state lottery. 1990 saw Illinois become one of the first states to have riverboat casinos and permit gambling in the boat as long as it is in motion. Almost ten years later, riverboats no longer have to be in motion for gambling to take place.
Gambling in the 2000s
The video gaming act is approved by lawmakers, which expands the gambling options in Illinois. 2019 saw Illinois approve sports betting in casinos and online.
Regulatory Bodies in Illinois
The Illinois gaming board regulates riverboat casino gambling in the state and the tax collection system for the casinos. The commission aims to ensure that there is integrity in gaming as well as gambling in the state. The board oversees both casino gambling, sports betting, video gaming and riverboat gambling.
Separate boards regulate the lottery and racing in the state. The Illinois racing board regulates horse racing in Illinois through enforcing the Illinois horse Racing Act of 1975 along with its rules and regulations. The state lottery has to adhere to the provisions of the Lottery Control Board, which regulates the lottery. Players who have a problem with gambling can reach out to the national council on problem gambling or the Illinois Council on Problem gambling.
Top Illinois Land Based Casinos
All the casinos in Illinois are riverboat except for three establishments which are land-based casinos. The casinos are also regarded as riverboats as they are located a few inches from the water. It can get quite overwhelming trying to find the perfect gambling casinos in Illinois. So, our team of experts has narrowed down the search down to the top five casinos in Illinois. Here are our top five casinos in Illinois with hotels
Hollywood Casino Joliet is the largest casino in Illinois with over 1000 gaming machines, table games and poker tables. The casino has a gorgeous hotel, a poker room and four eateries. Unfortunately, you won’t be bumping into George Clooney, but you will definitely have a great time at the 50 000 square feet casino floor and dine like at a star. Address: 777 Hollywood Blvd., Joliet, Illinois
Par-A-Dice Hotel Casino is located at the centre of the state. Similarly, to Hollywood casino, there are just over 1000 gaming machines, table games and poker tables. Poker can be enjoyed in the poker room, and if you are staying the night, the hotel-casino is on the property, and there are five restaurants to choose from. Address: 21 Blackjack Boulevard, East Peoria, Illinois
Rivers Casino Des Plaines is the first casino in the world to be LEED Gold Certified. The casino has an environmentally friendly design. Gamblers can enjoy over 1000 gaming machines and table games. The casino doesn’t have any poker tables, but the restaurants and hotels make up for it. Address: 3000 S. River Road, Des Plaines, Illinois
Grand Victoria Casino Elgin is an old-style riverboat casino that offers over 1000 gaming machines, table games and poker tables. The casino has four restaurants, a themed poker room and a hotel. Address: 250 South Grove Avenue, Elgin, Illinois
Harrah’s Joliet Casino overlooks the Des Plaines River and offers players 1000 and more gaming machines, table games and a couple of poker tables. The casino has a hotel on the property and four eateries that visitors can dine at. Address: 151 North Joliet Street, Joliet, Illinois.
State Casino Stats
There are a number of casinos in IL with the horse tracks and brick and mortar casinos being spread across 15 cities and with some casinos overlooking lake Michigan.