Illinois Casinos and Gambling. Short Summary: Illinois is fairly liberal when it comes to gambling laws. The charitable gambling regulations are mostly reasonable, the state has a lottery and the casinos can offer whatever they like provided they are located in the water and close for at least two of every 24 hours. Many players who are living in the new usa casinos 2020 are looking for a online casino websites and they wonder about the where is online poker for real money legal in USA. Online poker is very easy to be strained about the real side of the US legal side, but really no need. Illinois is one of those states where, when it comes to playing on poker sites online, things could be smoother. There are certain online poker rooms that accept Illinois players and others that don’t but the good news is that if you don’t want to spend hours searching for the ones that are safe, regulated and legal to play on, there are always play money options that are perfectly legal. Yes, Illinois players can legally play online poker. But no, there are no online poker sites regulated by the state which residents can sign up and join. So in that respect, Illinois residents are out of luck. Having said that, there are tons of offshore online poker rooms that welcome USA players like those from the state of Illinois.
Online Poker Real Money Usa Legal Illinois State
The law in the State of Illinois as it relates to gambling is quite clear. In some states, whether or not the present law applies to playing poker, or in particular, playing poker online may be subject to at least some interpretation, however the law of Illinois speaks very plainly on the subject:
“Section 28-1. Gambling.
(a) A person commits gambling when he or she:
(1) knowingly plays a game of chance or skill for money or other thing of value, unless excepted in subsection (b) of this section;
(2) knowingly makes a wager upon the result of any game, contest, or any political nomination, appointment, or election” (1)
Advantages of Playing Online Poker in Illinois. You will now be able to play online Poker not only on your computer or laptop, but thanks to lots of the above named and listed Illinois Poker sites now offering mobile Poker sites you can log on from anywhere in the US State or Illinois and play Poker for free or for real money on your cell phone or any type of mobile device!
So subsection (1) would be the one that applies to poker, including online poker, as if you reside in Illinois and you are playing online poker for money then you are clearly playing a game for money.
What about the exceptions contained in subsection (b)? Well the list is a rather long one, but none of it includes playing poker unless it is at a charitable event or is specifically sanctioned by the state, which would exclude all forms of online poker since online poker is not currently sanctioned and regulated.
So basically, if the State of Illinois does not approve it specifically, it is illegal under state law, which applies to all forms of unauthorized gambling, not just poker.
I have read some people say that while state law does prohibit the setting up of gambling sites on the internet, it doesn’t specifically address whether playing on such internet gambling sites would be illegal. However, given that any gambling in Illinois that is not officially sanctioned is illegal, and gambling online surely consists of gambling, and this is definitely not state sanctioned, then it is very clearly not legal at all.
As is the case in other states though, just because playing online poker is against the law, this does not stop a lot of people from doing it, and they don’t worry about this as long as the law isn’t being enforced, and it’s not being enforced in any state right now, including in Illinois.
Illinois Online Poker Prospects
Illinois is the fifth most populous state in the United States, with a population of almost 13 million people. So this represents a very large potential market and could expand tax revenue in the state at a level that exceeds states like New Jersey and Nevada.
So with this money on the table, and given the fairly progressive attitude that the state has toward gambling, in 2013 a bill was presented that not only expanded the allowable number of casinos in the state, but also contained provisions to allow online gambling , including poker, to be legalized as well. (2)
The online gambling part of the bill ended up being stripped away during the debate that ensued, and eventually the entire bill became scrapped.
So there are two main issues here, expansion of casino gambling and expanding into regulating online gambling, and while the two may occur together, there may be more resistance to online gambling and that may take longer. There also may be more resistance to online gambling in general than there may be to just offering online poker as some states have done, although so far the focus has been on online gambling, and it’s true that this would provide more of the needed tax revenue that is being sought.
It may be a year or two before we see online gambling being regulated here, but there seems to be a strong enough will to see it happen to make Illinois one of the leading prospects in getting a bill passed in the foreseeable future.
Live Poker in Illinois
Fortunately, for those who crave live poker, there is a fair bit of action in and around the State of Illinois as far as live table action goes. A lot of this is centered around the Chicago area, but live poker rooms exist in other parts of the state as well, in addition to a good amount not far away in neighboring states such as Indiana, Iowa and Missouri.
Within Illinois itself, there are a total of seven poker rooms: The Grand Victoria Casino in Elgin (12 tables), Harrah’s Metropolis Casino in Metropolis (4 tables), the Hollywood Casino Joliet in Joliet (5 tables), the Par A Dice Casino in East Peoria (5 tables), Harrah’s Joliet in Joliet (8 tables), the Hollywood Casino Aurora in Aurora (15 tables), and Jumer’s Casino in Rock Island (6 tables). (3)
So in spite of these poker rooms all being on the smaller side with most being very small, with five of the seven containing a half a dozen tables or less, there still are opportunities out there, although nothing really beats the convenience of playing poker right in the comfort of your own home, and fortunately, no online poker room that offers play to residents of the United States has a problem accepting players from Illinois.
Online Poker In Illinois
Given that people in Illinois can choose to play at any site accepting Americans, here is our two top picks for you if you live in Illinois and are up for some online poker, which you can start enjoying right now in fact if you wish:
- Ignition Poker is an excellent place to play these days, especially with a great mix of real money traffic and bonuses. In fact, they offer a massive welcome bonus of 100% of your first deposit up to $1,000. They also give you a free $5 chip to use at their casino, which features hundreds of slots, table games and more.
- America’s Cardroom is another of our top picks who warmly welcome residents of Illinois, and they also feature some great poker action at any time of the day or night, whenever you are ready they are, as well as all of their players who are just waiting for you to join in on the fun. New depositors receive a match of their first deposit in bonus cash, to the tune of up to $1000 in free money.
(1) Illinois Compiled Statutes, 720-5 Article 28-1
(2) Illinois Online Poker Laws
(3) All Live And Online Poker Rooms In Illinois
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Is Poker Legal in the Illinois?
Illinois is pretty strict about poker, but there legal ways to get into the game. To start with, gambling in general is made illegal, barring only a few specific exceptions, and most people will find it difficult or inconvenient to stay within the laws. Want to make sure that your next game is legal in Illinois? Read on for all of the messy details.
Find out which online poker sites accept players from the state of Illinois by reading our US online poker guide.
Are Home Poker Games Legal in the State of Illinois?
Assuming you are actually playing poker with real money, then no, home games are completely illegal. According to Article 28 Section 1 of the Illinois’ Penal Code: “A person commits gambling when he plays a game of chance or skill for money or other things of value.”
That’s right, both games of chance and skill are forbidden so poker isn’t even questionable. It is also a further offense to operate (host) a game of poker in your home. If you don’t think there’s any risk in hosting a game of poker in the state of Illinois, think again.
In the past, undercover police officers in Chicago have actually infiltrated friendly home games, confiscated the money as evidence, and then legally charged the players as criminals! This isn’t likely to happen to you, but why take the chance.
Do Casinos in Illinois Have Poker?
The casinos in Illinois earn revenue for the state government, and because of this, gambling is legal. While poker is included, only three of the casinos in Illinois even offer poker. One of these casinos even closes its poker tables on the weekends for some reason.
So where can you go to get a game? Try Crowning Victoria (22.5 hours a day, 7 days a week) and Hollywood Casino for Texas Hold ‘em. Obviously you don’t need to worry about the law while playing in one of these authorized establishments.
Is it Legal To Play Poker Online?
Illinois does specifically mention online poker, but not online poker players. Item 12 of Article 28 Section 1 specifically forbids anyone in Illinois from “operating an internet site that permits a person to play a game of chance or skill for money of other things of value by means of the internet”. Technically, playing poker online violates the same law that stops you from playing home games, but there are currently no enforcement measures to stop online poker players.
At the federal level, poker players are completely left out of the discussion, but your bank accounts aren’t so lucky. Whenever you try to make a deposit with a credit/debit card, your bank isn’t supposed to complete the transaction. On the flip side, they are also not allowed to cash your checks from online poker sites.
These laws aren’t airtight at the moment though, and online poker rooms have successfully circumvented the banking controls. Poker players successfully complete poker-related banking transactions every single day in Illinois as well as the rest of The United States.
Indiana - Indiana Poker Laws
Iowa - Iowa Poker Laws
Kansas - Kansas Poker Laws
Kentucky - Kentucky Poker Laws