Casino Gambling in Illinois

Illinois Casino Guide

Facts About Gambling & Online Casinos in Illinois

With a mix of brick and mortar casinos and riverboat casinos, the options for casinos in Illinois are great. In addition, players can head to online casinos in Illinois homes and businesses and play from the comfort of a home, hotel, or just about anywhere there’s Internet service.

History of Gambling in Illinois

Gambling has deep roots in the shaping of Illinois’ history. In fact, many feel it goes back to the early settlers who would set up their form of lotteries to help budget colonization within the area. By the 1830s, many states were starting to ban gambling, so riverboat gambling parlors popped up. During Prohibition, much of gambling was under the thumb of mobsters and not welcomed.

When the Depression hit, the need to increase revenue became great. By the 1930s, Chicago had built six racetracks. The Illinois Lottery followed in 1974. This seemed good enough until the 1990s when riverboat casinos were legalized in order to compete with Iowa. Through the 1990 Riverboat Gambling Act, 10 riverboat casinos were licensed, and the first opened its doors in 1991. At this point, the boats had to be cruising before players could begin to gamble, but that rule was eased in 1999 when Illinois allowed boats to dock and operate casinos.

Age Restrictions for Gambling in Illinois

Horse betting, online betting, and lottery tickets are restricted to players 18 or older. To enter a riverboat casino in Illinois, players must be 21.

Illinois’ Casino Gambling Outlook

There are two major battles that seem to be ongoing in Illinois. Chicago’s mayor is desperate to have a land-based casino in his city and the governor doesn’t seem to be against the idea. This is facing a couple of major hurdle in 2015, as racetrack owners feel they should get to add slot machines to their facilities before new ones are built. The second hurdle is that Chicago’s mayor wants to keep all of the revenue from a land-based Illinois casino in the city. He does not want to have to share any of the revenue with the state, except for standard tax payments. While this battle is still being debated, players still have choices both in riverboat casinos and online casinos for Illinois players.

Local Casinos

Argosy’s Alton Belle Casino – Located just over 20 miles from St. Louis, Missouri, this riverboat casino in Illinois is home to video slots and table games.
Casino Queen – Casino Queen is a riverboat casino attached to an RV park in East St. Louis. Players will find table games and video gambling machines here.
Grand Victoria Casino Elgin – This Illinois riverboat casino is west of Chicago. Games include more than 1,100 video slots and a range of table games. There’s even a high-limit room available.
Harrah’s Joliet – Part of the Caesar’s Entertainment Group, Harrah’s is located just outside of Chicago. This casino hosts a World Series of Poker Room, more than 1,300 video poker and slot machines, and many table games.
Harrah’s Metropolis – Harrah’s Metropolis is equidistance between Nashville and St. Louis. This casino has an expansive game room off the lobby. Players will find a World Series of Poker Room, more than 800 video slots, and 26 table games.
Hollywood Casino Aurora – This casino sits on Fox River, just west of Chicago, and is home to more than 1,100 slot games and a poker room.
Hollywood Casino Joliet – Also located outside of Chicago, there are more than 1,100 video slot machines and 20 table games. In addition, the casino is home to a poker room.
Jumer’s Casino and Hotel – Rock Island is about three hours from Chicago and home to Jumer’s Casino. The 42,000-square-foot casino houses 24 table games, a poker room, a high-limit room, and 1,000 slots.
Par-A-Dice Casino – On the southern end of the state, Peoria is north of Springfield and close to St. Louis. Games include slot machines and table games.
Rivers Casino – This Illinois casino houses 1,000 video slots and close to 50 table games. It’s also a short distance from Chicago.