Illinois has been familiar with gambling almost since the beginning of gambling as a whole. Illinois started their history with gambling with racetracks which were introduced in the 1930′s and have held their place since that time. From there the state lottery began selling it’s first tickets in 1972. Bingo has always been very popular among the urban areas as well as throughout the state of Illinois. A neighboring state, Iowa legalized riverboat casinos in 1991, Illinois saw this as a threat to not only gambling revenue lost but also projected that their citizens would leave the state to travel across the river to place bets vs. remaining in the state and gambling there. Illinois was then able to pass a law to allow riverboat gambling where each person who obtained a license could have a maximum of two boats which could hold a capacity of up to 1,200 passengers. The location of the boats could not be within Cook County and must be on navigational waters the reason for this portion of the law was to prevent competition between the racetracks near Chicago. Later on, in 1998 this restriction portion of the law was removed.
Land Based Casinos
In Illinois players are able to gamble in many different ways, players can gamble online, with the lottery, scratchers, bingo & other charity events, within casinos and of course with parimutuel horse race betting. To play the lottery a player must be 18 or over, for horse race betting the law is the same. To enter a casino, players must be 21 and for charity events and scratchers players must be 18 as well. Illinois also has land based casinos where the player must be 21 or over to enter as well.
Currently in Illinois, there are no laws against playing casino games online for money. Players must be 18 and over to participate. Online casinos have been under some fire since the passing of the UIGEA which was a law implemented by the United States government which prohibits banking institutions and credit card companies from making any transactions that deal with an online casino. Since the passing of this law in 2006, more deposit and withdrawal methods have come about like e wallets & other money transfer methods. There are many different online casinos to choose from that offer all kinds of games from tables, card games, keno, slots & more.