The Prairie State is home to a prolific number of riverboat casinos, horse racetracks, and Illinois 18+ casino gambling venues. Since the beginning of the 1800’s before its statehood, the Prairie State was abundant with riverboat casinos tugging along the Illinois river as many early settlers and immigrants from Europe brought the knowledge and tools to gamble with them.
Eastern ocean states began cracking down on gaming stating that it was just another vice, which sent game enthusiasts toward the west. Horse racing became another Prairie State favorite as racetracks began opening in Chicago during the early 1830s.
Misconceptions on the types of individuals who gambled caused the gaming industry to turn south nearing the turn of the century. Prohibition was the last nail in the coffin and permanently sent all legal forms of gambling out the door, leaving gamblers to seek gaming underground.
Mob figures and families flourished, and it wasn’t until 1927 that Illinois finally began legalizing minor forms of gaming, starting with pari-mutuel sports wagering on horse races. Today available forms of gambling within the Land of Lincoln are as follows: riverboat casino gambling, lottery, and scratch-off sales, charitable gambling in the form of bingo, raffles, pull-tabs, jar games, and casino nights, and pooled sports betting wagers on horse races.
To further explain available gaming options within the Land of Lincoln, we created this in-depth IL gambling guide to cover information on state-specific minimum gambling ages, historic gambling and gaming legislation, and legal online entertainment for IL players 18+.
Residents may be aware of available gaming, but few may know the history behind Illinois’ gaming industry and the laws that have affected today’s gaming availability. Many states within the US contain casinos and permit various forms of gambling, however, residents who choose to visit neighboring states or out of state visitors to IL should be aware of the differing laws pertaining to 18+ casinos within America.
Can You Gamble At 18 In Illinois?
Young gamblers aged between eighteen to twenty are restricted from casino gambling aboard riverboats until they reach twenty-one. This usually drives young gamers to seek states that permit 18+ casinos.
However, there are legal forms of gambling for players at least eighteen to be found within the Prairie State which include purchasing lotteries and scratch-offs, the ability to bet against other players on horse races, and various charitable gambling which allows young players to enjoy bingo, pull-tabs, jar games, raffles, and sometimes casino nights.
For those young players interested in playing real money casino games outside of pro bono charitable casino nights, we provide a list of legal 18+ online casinos in which they can enjoy various table games and their variations.
Is It Legal To Gamble Online In Illinois?
The Federal government does not restrict Illinois players from gambling through offshore online casinos. Instead, Federal gambling laws state that individual states can determine their own stance on offshore online gaming. Most, thankfully, have not taken a position on this and remain unspecified. Meaning, players can participate in legal offshore internet casinos without violating any laws.
Most Reputable 18+ Online Casinos For Illinois Players
Here we gladly present legally verified online casinos for IL players 18+. These online brands were verified as legal and safe destinations by our team of gaming industry analysts after they reviewed them for licensing, fairness, and security criteria.
They noted that these online brands have reliable payouts, high-level security profiles, long reputations for high-quality and support, and excellent gaming interfaces. Prairie State players eighteen-years or older can gamble on real-money table games, keno, craps, roulette, poker, and sports.
|Site Name||Bonus||USA||Visit Site|
|1||100% Max $3,000||Play Now Full Review|
|2||200% Max $5,000||Play Now Full Review|
|3||500% Max $5,000||Play Now Full Review|
What Illinois Casinos Are 18 and Up?
Illinois does not allow eighteen-year-olds to gamble within land-based or riverboat casinos. However, offshore online 18+ casinos accept young adult players. In addition, IL offers 18-year-olds access to other forms of gambling
Available Land-Based Casino Entertainment Options
- Rivers Casino Des Plaines
- Grand Victoria Casino
- Casino Queen & Hotel
- Harrah’s Metropolis
- Harrah’s Joliet
- Hollywood Casino in Aurora & Joliet
- Argosy Casino Alton
- Jumer’s Casino & Hotel
- Horseshoe Hammond
- Par-a-Dice Hotel & Casino
- Lacey’s Place Slots and Video Poker
- Flamingo Slots
- Arlington International Racecourse
- Balmoral Park Racetrack
- Du Quoin State Fair Harness Racing
- Fairmount Park Racetrack
- Hawthorne Race Course
- Springfield Horse Racing
- Maywood Park Racetrack
- Majestic Hall
- Firemen’s Hall
- Catholic Knights & Ladies
- Lancaster Hall
- Big Money Bingo
Brief History Of Illinois’s Gambling Laws
Unlicensed riverboat gambling was popularized in the 1800s as casino boats filled the local rivers and lakes. These were unregulated due to unestablished oversight boards and thus privately-owned boats did not have to share revenues or pay taxes. This was later tamed by the creation of gaming restrictions, early 1900’s prohibition, and gaming boards within IL nearly two centuries later.
In 1927, horse betting in IL was legalized.
By 1974, IL became the first state to legislate a state-run lottery.
In 1989, charitable gambling was allowed.
In 1990, the Riverboat Gambling Act allowed riverboat casinos to operate so long as they were moving on a river and not sailing on Lake Michigan. This act led to the creation of the Illinois Gaming Board. IL became the second state to legalize riverboat casinos after passing this act. By 1991, the first riverboat casino in IL began operating.
By 1999, IL repealed the moving clause and allowed for riverboat casinos to remain docked.
In 2001, IL became the first state to allow for the online sale of lottery tickets.
In 2009, the Video Gaming Act passed in IL which would be followed by many years of legal court battles on the legality of these machines.
In 2011, a bill passed to allow for the expansion of casinos on land and gaming devices at racetracks. Slots or video gaming machines were made legal by a final court decision in which bars, restaurants, fraternity organizations, veterans groups, and truck stops could have 5 of these machines.
18+ Online Casinos For Illinois Residents
We thoroughly believe that our featured list of online casinos is a helpful resource for IL players 18 and older looking to participate in casino gambling. While the state of Illinois restricts its young gamblers from casino games, players can still legally access international 18+ casinos online which offer a wider variety of games than those found in the Prairie State.
Our team of professionals vetted each brand for safety and quality assurance so young gamblers from IL can rest easy knowing the online casinos they reach through this guide are secure and verified legal sources.
What Is The Minimum Legal Gambling Age In Illinois?
As discussed earlier, Illinoi’s minimum gambling age varies by available gambling offer. 18-year-olds can play the state’s lottery, scratchers, pari-mutuel wagering on horses, and charitable gambling games like bingo, pull tabs, jar games, raffles, and casino nights. Residents and visitors that are 21 can enjoy casino gambling on riverboats.
How Safe Is It For Illinois Residents To Gamble Online?
IL residents can gamble on legal internationally-based online gaming destinations without fear of law enforcement prosecuting them. Playing on legal online sources offers the added benefit of highly secure accounts and gameplay. Players from the US must be eighteen to legally participate at online gaming sites.
Legal online casinos provide their licensing and credentials for players to view in order to be completely transparent with their certifications. Illegal casinos will not be so transparent and are not safe destinations to gamble real dollars on.
Are Online Games Always Fair?
This answer is dependent on whether the hosting casino utilizes random number generators and complies with fair gaming policies. If so, then games are guaranteed to be fair; if not, then be wary because these are required of legal online casinos.
Only gamble at legal destinations that follow these industry required procedures. We provide a hefty of list of legal casinos that are proven to be fair and hold current audits that express functional RNGs and compliance with fair practices,
Does Every Casino On The Internet Accept Illinois Players 18 And Over?
No, certain online casinos do not accept IL players, especially those as young as eighteen. This is because some online brands do not serve the American market and others that do, do not accept such young players. However, our provided list is specifically designed for US players, specifically those in the Prairie State, as young as eighteen.
Players can access our portal of legally licensed offshore online gaming sites to play a variety of casino games, poker, and enjoy sports betting options.
Which Poker Or Sportsbook Wagering Sites Accept IL Players 18+?
Below we provide three sources of legal online poker and sports betting for Land of Lincoln players aged eighteen and older. Here they can enjoy real-money casino games as well, and enjoy generous promotional offers for first-time registration and certain games.
- Bovada Sportsbook – 50% Bonus Max $250
- Betonline Sportsbook – 50% Bonus Max $2,500
- Sportsbetting.ag – 75% Bonus Max $1,000