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Illinois is likely one of the new states to expand online gambling to include real money online casinos. On Feb. 7, 2024, the State Senate sent a bill to legalize online casinos to the Gaming Subcomittee. Even if everything goes smoothly from here (despite the same bill going nowhere last year), real-money sites won’t be available for several months if not over a year. In the meantime, Illinois players aged 18 and up can win cash prizes playing slots and more right now at sweepstakes and social casinos. We offer the best signup bonuses in Illinois to get players started for free.

Online Casino Gaming for Cash Prizes in Illinois

Right now, the best online casino option in Illinois comes in the form of sweepstakes casinos. These sites are legal, legitimate options for winning cash prizes by playing games like slots, blackjack, roulette, and more.

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Gambling is for entertainment purposes only. Stay safe and ensure success when you gamble responsibly. Gambling problem? Call or text 1-800-GAMBLER for confidential support. Visit SAMHSA’s National Helpline website for resources that include treatment center locator, anonymous chat, and more.

About Sweepstakes Casino Gaming in Illinois

Sweepstakes and social casinos are available to all players with no restrictions in the state of Illinois. This means that players can claim sweepstakes casino no deposit bonuses and play casino-style games to redeem cash prizes.

Essentially, sweepstakes and social casinos operate using two main currencies, most frequently called GC or Gold Coins and SC or Sweeps Coins. Gold Coins may be purchased and are used to play for fun, while Sweeps Coins are always FREE and can be redeemed for cash prizes. Sweeps Coins can be obtained through Gold Coin purchase packages, giveaways, daily login bonuses, and a variety of other means. Once you’ve obtained SC, you can then use it to play casino-style games for a chance to earn more.

Expected Real-Money Online Casinos Coming to Illinois

If Illinois legalizes real-money online casinos, players can expect many of the apps offering online sports betting to simply add casino games to their offerings as well as launch a separate casino app to feature all available games. Here are the Illinois online casinos we expect, plus the bonuses they typically offer new signups.

Online CasinoSignup OfferSign Up
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MI, PA, NJ - Sign up & get $25 on the House + 100% deposit match bonus up to $1,000

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Illinois Online Casino Timeline

Now that we’ve reviewed the best sweepstakes casinos available and the expected real-money online casinos to launch in the state, let’s look at legalization progress over time.

  • Feb. 2024: Five days after the House bill was sent to the body’s Gaming Committee, the Senate equivalent bill, SB1656 was sent to gaming subcommittee. The movement on both bills is a promising start to 2024. However, Rep. Edgar Gonzalez Jr. stated that he does not believe the measure would see a vote this year.
  • Feb. 2023: The next movement happened with the introduction of HB2239, two years later. Although this bill moved faster than HB3142 and contained favorable changes in comparison to the 2021 bill, it ended up not passing the Illinois General Assembly in 2023. This bill has since been carried over into 2024.
  • Feb. 2021: The first attempt at legislation happened in 2021, with the introduction of HB3142, which aimed to create the Internet Gaming Act. This bill moved slowly between committees and eventually died out.

How to Find the Best Illinois Online Casinos


Select a Legitimate App

Basically, make sure you’re playing on a legal, regulated app or Illinois online casino website. Once online casino gambling is legalized in the state, these apps will offer a safe, secure, and fair way to play. They are run by established operators who utilize the same encryption online banks use to protect your personal and financial information. In addition to that, they will be regularly monitored by the state government to ensure that game outcomes are determined via a random number generator (in other words, no rigged games). 

Illegal or offshore apps and casinos offer none of these protections, so you could stand to have your personal and financial information sold, all to play games that could be rigged.


Know Your Favorite Content

Every Illinois online casino will have a different game catalog. Some may be heavy on the slots, while others may focus on table games. Even better, some online casinos may have a large selection of both. You should pick an online casino that offers the widest variety of the type of games you enjoy. In addition to that, you could also look for Illinois online casinos that offer popular land-based games or some of your existing favorite games.


Consider the Navigation

Navigating a poorly-designed website isn’t fun, and online casinos are here to provide fun. For that reason, make sure you’re not only looking at the legitimacy of the online casino and the games they offer, but also the quality and intuitiveness of their navigation. The app or online casino you choose should have easy navigation that gets you to where you want to go quickly and easily. Bonus points if they offer features such as searching and filtering.


Find the Best Offers

Online casinos are well-known for their generous bonus offers. This includes not only the welcome bonuses for new players listed above, but also promotions for existing players. The online casino industry is crowded, and many operators are vying for your attention. For this reason, they often offer more plentiful and rewarding bonuses for existing players than their land-based counterparts.

Before you even get there though, it should go without saying to make sure you’re taking advantage of those generous welcome bonuses to get yourself started. You can use the welcome bonus on every casino upon signup, so don’t miss out.


Register for an Account

Once you’ve vetted your options, the final step in the process of finding the best Illinois online casinos is to register your account. As we stated just above, make 100% sure that you’re taking advantage of the welcome bonus and promo codes we’ve listed above. These will kickstart your gameplay and give you an opportunity to bolster your bank with less of your own money deposited.

Some personal information will be collected upon registration to verify your identity and keep you safe from others attempting to play on your account. This is standard practice, and you can trust any legal and regulated Illinois online casino with this information due to their strong encryption and strict government oversight.

Illinois Online Casino Games


The widest variety of an online casino game catalog is almost always found in the slots section, both at real-money online casinos and sweepstakes casinos. Slots offer the opportunity to hop into games with many different themes, features, bonuses, and formats. Video slots, three-reel steppers, jackpot and progressive jackpot slots, and more are all expected to be available at IL online casinos and can currently be found on sweepstakes casinos. You can learn more about the different types of slots on our real-money slots page, but below, we’ve listed some of the most popular and recognizable games you can expect to see once online casinos launch in The Prairie State. While not all of these games are available at sweepstakes casinos, players can find some, as well as similar options.

  • 88 Fortunes: 88 Fortunes is the king of Asian-themed slots, one of the most popular subcategories available. You may recognize it from land-based casino floors. This game features free games, four tiers of jackpots, and more.
  • Cleopatra: Cleopatra is an iconic name in the world of slots, and for good reason. The original Cleopatra slot has cemented itself as a fan favorite, and multiple variations have been released since then, including Cleopatra II, Cleopatra Gold, and more. While all of the Cleopatra slots offer different features, they all play off the same Ancient Egyptian theme that’ll have you enjoying every spin.
  • Divine Fortune: We’d be remiss not to mention one of the most popular progressive jackpot slots available at online casinos. The progressive jackpot in Divine Fortune often reaches into six figures, setting up the potential for a massive win on any spin. Other bonus features are found here as well, such as free spins, which always have the chance to sweeten the pot.

Table Games

At sweepstakes casinos, as well as at real-money Illinois online casinos once launched, you can expect to find all of the classic table games that you’d find at a land-based or retail casino, but that’s not all. The benefit of online play is that you’ll also find unique variations of each game that you won’t find anywhere else. In addition to that, most online casinos offer lower minimum bets, so you can hop on the (virtual) tables for less than you’d expect. And, table games often feature the most player-friendly odds in the casino. Some games you can currently find at sweepstakes and social casinos, and expect in the IL online casino world once legalized, include:

Live Dealer Games

Live dealer games offer a unique online experience geared towards players who enjoy playing at land-based casinos. This category features table games and prize wheels run by real in-person dealers. That means your game is played on a real table, by a real person, and live-streamed directly to you. They also often feature chat, so you can interact with other players and the dealers themselves. While live dealer games are available at most real-money online casinos, they may be harder to find at sweepstakes casinos. However, as their popularity continues to grow, more and more sweepstakes casinos are also adding them as an option.

Some of the most popular live dealer games include:

  • Live Dealer Blackjack
  • Live Dealer Roulette
  • Live Dealer Baccarat
  • Live Dealer Casino Poker (three-card poker, hold ‘em, etc.)
  • Live Dealer Prize Wheel Games (spin the wheel for a chance at a prize. One example of this is Dream Catcher)

Other Games

There’s no limit to the variety of games an online casino can offer. Apps and websites aren’t limited by floor space, so players can find an incredible selection at both real money and sweepstakes casinos. Some of the more niche games you can find include:

Payment Methods at Illinois Online Casinos

Online casino payment methods are similar across the board in all states where they are currently legal, so we can expect to see the same options at Illinois online casinos. Understanding these deposit and withdrawal options will help you to have a positive experience while playing online, with the quickest, easiest, and most successful methods rising to the top. We’ve listed some options you can expect to see below.

Payment MethodDeposit MinimumDeposit TimeWithdrawal Method?
Apple Pay Casinos$10InstantYes
Bitcoin CasinosNo MinimumInstantYes
Cash App Casinos$10InstantYes
Credit Card Casinos$10InstantNo
Debit Card Casinos$10InstantYes (at select casinos)
eCheck/ACH Casinos$5-$10InstantYes
Mastercard Casinos$10InstantDebit Only (at select casinos)
Neteller CasinosNot at US casinosN/AN/A
PayPal Casinos$5-$10InstantYes
PayNearMe Casinos$10~15 MinutesNo
Play+ Casinos$5-$10InstantYes
Skrill Casinos$10InstantYes
Venmo Casinos$10InstantYes
Visa Casinos$10InstantDebit Only (at select casinos)
Wire Transfer Casinos$100 - $2,5005 - 7 Business DaysYes ($1,000+ minimum)

Withdrawing at Illinois Online Casinos

While depositing at an Illinois online casino can be an easy choice, there are some things you must keep in mind while depositing in order to set yourself up for successful and easy withdrawals. When you first make a deposit, for example, it would be ideal to choose an option that you would like to withdraw back to. The reason for this is because Illinois online casinos will usually only let you use certain withdrawal methods if you’ve already used the same method to make a deposit. This is in order to protect your funds and prevent them from being withdrawn into an unauthorized bank account or PayPal account, for example.

You should also always make sure to check that the chosen method’s withdrawal time is acceptable to you. Generally, ACH/eCheck and PayPal will be the fastest.

History of Illinois Gambling

We are still in the early stages of Illinois online casinos, and the historical timeline is being added to and molded every day. You can read the latest news in our news feed above, as well as in the Illinois Online Casino Timeline section earlier on this page. Here, we’ll take a look at the overall history of gambling in Illinois to see what’s happened so far in the state on a broader scale.

  • 1990: Riverboat casinos are legalized in Illinois.
  • 1999: Riverboat casinos, previously required to be in motion, can now be docked while still allowing play. This introduces casino gambling to the state in a new light.
  • 2009: The Video Gaming Act legalizes Video Gaming Terminals (VGT) in truck stops and liquor-pouring venues such as bars and nightclubs.
  • 2012: The online gambling industry in the state begins as the state permits lottery ticket sales online.
  • 2019: Sports betting, both in-person and online, is legalized. The first sportsbooks subsequently opened in 2020.

Are IL Online Casinos Safe?

Much like other states that currently offer legal online casino gambling (CT, MI, NJ, PA, and WV), the Illinois online casino industry will be regulated by the state government. This affords a vast amount of protections, including but not limited to the safe and secure transfer and storage of personal and financial information, as well as fair play determined by a random number generator. So, the bottom line is yes, IL online casinos will be safe and legal to play.

The Illinois Gaming Board is charged with multiple responsibilities, including but not limited to:

  • Ensuring that online casinos use strong encryption to protect personal and financial information.
  • Ensuring that game outcomes are fair and determined by a random number generator.

In addition, Illinois online casinos will be run by established and trusted operators who have much experience in the industry. You can trust IL online casinos with the personal information required to open an account, the financial information required to deposit and withdraw, and the ability to play online casino games that are safe and fair.

As for sweepstakes and social casinos that are currently available in Illinois, you can rest assured that any of our recommended options at the top of this page have been thoroughly vetted by our casino experts and are absolutely safe. They are run by trusted operators who have a history of excelling in the sweepstakes casino world and abide by strict safety and security standards.

Online Casinos in Neighboring States

Illinois Online Casinos FAQ

No. However, the state government is currently progressing through potentially passing a bill to legalize Illinois online casinos.

21 or older. For riverboat casinos, players must be 21 or older. However, players 18 or older can take part in the lottery, horse racing, and charitable gaming such as bingo and raffles. Like the legal gambling age in many states, Illinois has different age minimums for different types of gambling.

Yes. It is currently legal to gamble at online sportsbooks, pari-mutuel horse racing, and online lottery in IL. Online casino gambling could become legal pending the passage of the bill.

No. As long as you are currently located within Illinois state lines, it will be legal to gamble online.

Yes. All online gambling in Illinois is or will be licensed and regulated by a government agency to ensure safe, secure, and fair play. Here at, we will never recommend an illegal or unregulated gambling site.

Yes. As of 2019, online sports betting was legalized by the same bill that legalized retail sports betting in the state of Illinois.

Yes. Your information is protected by the same strong encryption standards that online banks use. In addition, legal Illinois online casinos will be fully licensed and regulated by the state government.

About the Author

Craig Corbeels

Craig Corbeels

Craig Corbeels is a lead writer and gambling expert for He has been involved in the online gambling industry since 2013. Previously, he worked for Gamesys and Bally's Interactive as a copywriter and social media strategist for multiple North American online casinos.
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