Illinois

Illinois gambling laws are quite open and various forms of gaming are perfectly legal give the state’s long history with legal gambling. The state has legalized sports betting and recently made special provisions to make signing up for an online sports book account easier (see below). The state is also home to racetracks, an online lottery and both traditional casinos and riverboat casinos. Other forms of online betting are also permitted, namely horse racing betting and Daily Fantasy Sports (DFS). State legislators in the Land of Lincoln have recently gone on record as stating that an expansion of online wagering in Illinois is “inevitable, meaning online casinos may too soon be up for debate.

Legality of Sports Betting VS Gambling

Illinois legal gambling options are rich and varied with DFS, Traditional & Riverboat Casinos, online horse racing betting and online lottery options, and live poker all major parts of a healthy legal gambling collage.

Gambling Type
Legal Land-Based
Legal Online
Sports Betting
Yes
Yes
Casinos
Yes
No
Fantasy Sports (DFS)
N/A
Yes
eSports
No
No
Poker
Yes
No
Horse Racing
Yes
Yes
Lottery
Yes
Yes
Charitable Gambling
Yes
No

Illinois Sports Betting Tax Rates

Illinois has a 7.8 % state tax on gambling winnings.

Large gambling wins in Illinois over $600 may be subject to an additional Federal Tax.

We fully recommend contacting your tax attorney for complete details if you have a big win.

Sports betting Age VS Gambling Age in Illinois

Like many of the most liberal gambling states, Illinois has set the minimum gambling age for casinos and sports betting at 21 with all other gaming set at 18 years-of-age including Daily Fantasy Sports (DFS), the State Lottery, Charitable Gambling, casinos and Horse Racing.

Gambling Type
Age
Sports Betting2
21
DFS
18
Casinos
19
Horse Racing
18
Lottery
18
Charitable Gambling
18

Betting on Sports in Illinois

In addition to a range of land-based sportsbook opportunities for residents and visitors to the state of Illinois, online sports wagering is now up-and-running at;

  • BetRivers Online Sportsbook
  • DraftKings Sportsbook
  • PointsBet Sportsbook
  • FanDuel Sportsbook
  • William Hill Sportsbook
  • Barstool Sportsbook (coming before the end of 2021)

Additional online sportsbook operators are expected to be added to the Illinois selection over time.

Illinois Online Sports Betting Laws

Initially, provisions were built into the June 2019 Illinois state laws on online sports wagering that required (Under SB 690) online sportsbook patrons to sign up at a land-based casino partner first for the first 18 months of sports betting operation in the Land of Lincoln.

However, when the global pandemic hit in 2020, the Illinois State Governor, J.B. Pritzker signed an executive order waiving the in-person registration requirement for online sports betting. Under this innovation sports wagering fans in Illinois may now register for online betting from anywhere in the state without having to visit a casino in person. It’s a sign of the fluidity of the law in response to the unprecedented time of crisis.

As further evidence of this, both DraftKings and FanDuel are looking to buy into the Illinois ahead of the 18-month waiting period for online only operators (Individual online-only operators are prohibited from entering the Illinois market for the first 18 months unless they partner with a local casino). FanDuel and DraftKings are looking to partner to with a local casino to circumvent that law.

Other sports betting laws in Illinois include;

  • That you are over 21 years-of-age, inside state lines, and not on a self-exclusion list.
  • There is no requirement to be a permanent resident of Illinois.
  • Bets can only be taken on sports, not on non-sporting competitions such as elections and the Oscars.
  • Staff and personnel involved in sports leagues (officials, coaches etc.) can’t bet on their own sports.
  • Wagering with illegal offshore sportsbooks is expressly prohibited under Illinois law.
  • Wagers are not allowed on Illinois-based collegiate teams.
  • The Master Illinois sports wagering license is the top tier with a fee of 5% on gross gaming revenue from the previous year, up to a maximum of $10 million per sportsbook operator.
  • Bettors monies must be held in an independent account to the operator’s funds.

In addition, Horse Racing, DFS sites and the state lottery all offer their services online in Illinois after receiving a license and an approval from the state gaming board.

Online Fantasy Sports in Illinois

Daily Fantasy Sports betting has long been exempted from US federal legislation as it is widely considered to be a contest of skill, rather than one of random chance.
Daily fantasy sports (DFS) are permitted in Illinois even though the legal status of the games has never been affirmed in the positive by legislation.

There appears to be no problem for DFS players who want to take part in contests in Illinois, despite the state attorney general saying it is illegal gambling under state law. The big major operators both accept players from Illinois.

eSports Online Betting Laws

Given the legalization of sports wagering in Illinois, the potential favorable law for eSports betting has not yet transformed into available eSports betting for fans in the Land of Lincoln. Illinois lawmakers decided against legalizing eSports betting for now when they voted the definition of a sport (excluding eSports) into state law:

“A professional sport or athletic event, a collegiate sport or athletic event, a motor race event, or any other event or competition of relative skill authorized by the Board under this Act.”

However, like most matters pertaining to sports betting in Illinois, debate is not off the table and there is plenty of scope for eSports wagering in the future.

What are eSports?

eSports has effectively transformed highest-level of video game play into a full-time professional sport. The very best players are signing multi-million-dollar contracts with big budget professional teams. eSports are mostly played in the team format in tournament play.

The electronic games themselves are roughly equivalent to different sports types. For example, in eSports, the games CS:GO, Dota 2 and Overwatch are equivalent to, say, NHL, NFL and MLB. eSports is the overarching concept, while the different electronic game types are equivalent to the different types of sports.

Betting on eSports is now huge. International sportsbooks offer a range of betting markets across all major eSports tournaments and formats, and the global amounts bet on eSports are growing exponentially each year.

With the Global $100 billion revenue threshold mark in 2018 about to be crossed, eSports is the highest-level competition in gaming today, with millions of fanatical fans across the globe, and the best players in the world taking part.

Horse Racing in Illinois

Horse Racing Betting is legal (course/track side, off-track betting and online betting) for all residents of the state of Illinois (over the age of 18).

Tracksides

Illinois is home to 6 live racing venues that accept wagers on horse races. Horse racing in the state is regulated by Illinois Racing Board and is administered under the Illinois Department of Agriculture.

Off Track Betting (OTB) in Illinois

There are an excellent 37 OTB parlors in Illinois for the state’s residents to gamble on horse racing widespread throughout the state.

Online Horse Racing in Illinois

All major horse racing online betting sites all accept customers over the age of 18 from Illinois and offer wagering on races in Illinois, elsewhere throughout the U.S.A, and horse race betting on a global scale on races all around the world are all currently available.

Check out our Gambling in Illinois page for the best online casino reviews for players in Illinois

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