If you’re looking for casinos in Illinois, land-based or online, you’re in luck (pun intended). The prairie state is a huge construction ground with five casinos currently in development, one that just opened in Rockford, 10 more scattered across the state, and three more technically in Indiana but catering to Illinois players.
To add to that, the online casino gambling landscape isn’t regulated, which means you aren’t down to two or three Illinois online casinos like most regulated states are, but can instead turn to dozens or hundreds of offshore online casinos.
Illinois is probably one of the best states for gambling because of the combination of these two things. On top of that, since 2019 Illinois has also become a huge sports betting market.
On this page you’ll learn what your options are if you want to gamble in Illinois, in land-based casinos or online, what casinos are in development, and what are the gambling laws. In short, you’ll know exactly where to go to gamble.
These are the key points of this article:
The state of Illinois is very gambling-friendly but doesn’t yet regulate online casinos, which is probably a thing you’re most concerned about, since you’re visiting a website about USA-friendly online slots!
Sports betting is available online or retail since 2019, a year after the US Supreme Court struck down PASPA. At the moment, the Illinois sports betting market is the third largest in the country, behind New York and New Jersey, and recently cleared the $1bn lifetime sports betting revenue mark.
You can also play the online lottery, bet on horse races and participate in daily fantasy sports online from Illinois.
However, there is no mention whatsoever of online casino gambling so it remains unregulated. No local operator can legally launch a casino website that would accept Illinois players as there is no legal framework to do that.
Fortunately, you don’t have to use a local operator, you are free to sign up with an offshore casino that accepts Illinois players and you won’t get in trouble in any way. Illegal gambling is a class A misdemeanor but the state authorities aren’t prosecuting players for this.
Way back in 1920s the state legalized betting on horse races. In 1990, the Riverboat Gambling Act made it possible to run commercial casinos on boats outside Lake Michigan and counties with population of over 3 million. Initially the riverboat casinos had to be moving on the water while gambling was taking place, but in 1999 the law allowed the casinos to be docked. As a result, all riverboat casinos became docked casinos.
In 2009 there was a somewhat significant piece of legislation that allowed local bars and other similar venues to host lottery terminals operated by the Illinois Lottery.
Finally, in 2019, the state opened up to sports betting. The market really snowballed from there and Illinois became home to a huge sports betting scene.
It remains to be seen how and when will Illinois regulate online casino gambling, but for now you have access to offshore online casinos and can play there without any issues.
Chicago players are eagerly anticipating the grand opening of the Bally’s in River West that will have 3,400 slot machines, and will have a temporary location in 2023 where they can already start playing.
In 2025, the American Place Waukegan will be completed, and in 2026 the Bally’s River West will be completed.
Until then, Joliet is nearby, and so are a few Indiana casinos.
Joliet is a city in the greater Chicago area, about 40 miles southwest, that hosts several notable casinos and is developing more rapidly than the other similar cities because of the gambling revenue. We will include Joliet on this list of Chicago casinos, as Joliet is easily accessible by car.
The Ameristar Casino Hotel is in East Chicago, Indiana, and is just about 22 miles away from downtown Chicago. This means the largest and most convenient casino for Chicago players is actually in – Indiana. Though it’s still on Lake Michigan so it counts. It’s a riverboat casino that opened in 1997 and is docked since 1999. It is a part of a large Ameristar chain.
Address: 777 Ameristar Blvd, East Chicago, IN 46312
Gaming space: 56,000 sqft
Games: 1,700 slots, 72 table games, High Limit Room, sportsbook
Hotel rooms: 288
Bally’s Chicago is an upcoming casino resort that will be built on 777 W. Chicago Ave in 2026. There will be 500 hotel rooms and 4,000 gaming seats, but the casino will first open at a temporary location in mid-2023 at 600 N. Wabash Ave and then relocate to the permanent location when that one is completed. This will be the largest casino in the greater Chicago area.
Bally’s will be preceeded by American Place in Waukegan, 35 miles north of downtown Chicago, as the construction is expected to be completed in 2025. The facility is expected to have 1,640 slots, 100 table games, a sportsbook, and a boutique hotel with 20 villa rooms. The location will be at Fountain Square, the site of the former Lakehurst Mall that closed in 2004.
Located just outside the O’Hare International Airport, Rivers Casino is a relatively small casino that is planning an $87m expansion to increase the size to 2,000 gaming positions, which would mean it would be the first in the state to achieve the maximum number allowed by law. The two-story expansion would cover 78,000 square feet. There is a 4,840 sqft BetRivers SportsBar too.
Address: 151 N Joliet St, Joliet, IL 60432
Gaming space: 147,000 sqft
Games: 1,400 slots, 67 table games, 22 poker tables
The Harrah’s Joliet Casino and the hotel are less than fifty miles from the Chicago Loop in Joliet, Illinois. It is situated along the Des Plaines River. You’ll find nearly 1,200 games, 200 hotel rooms, food and beverage, so it’s a full-fledged casino resort.
Address: 151 N Joliet St, Joliet, IL 60432
Gaming space: 40,000 sqft
Games: 1138 slot machines, 31 table games
Hotel rooms: 204
Hollywood Casino Joliet has very affordable rooms for under $100, over 50,000 sqft of gaming area with over 1,200 slots as well as table games and poker tables. Many of the slots are penny slots, too. The venue has restaurants and bars such as Final Cut Steak & Seafood, The Hollywood Stadium Sports Bar, The Epic Buffet, and the Take-Two Deli. There are plenty of things to do here besides gambling, and it’s all wrapped up in a very affordable package.
Address: 777 Hollywood Blvd, Joliet, IL 60432
Gaming space: 50,000 sqft
Games: 1,200 slots, 20 table games, 5 poker tables
Hotel rooms: 100+
Rockford is all about the newly opened Hard Rock Casino Rockford. This makes Rockford the home to the largest casino at the moment, at least until the other ones that are under construction in the state get completed. Rockford isn’t a huge city but the location seems just right to attract players who want to go away for the weekend from Chicago and Milwaukee (an hour-and-a-half drive), and the entire state of Illinois for that matter.
Hard Rock Casino Rockford, also known as the Rockford Casino, just opened and it’s a brand new casino that has lots of slots, a variety of dining options and, of course, a Hard Rock Live entertainment venue.
Address: 610 N Bell School Rd, Rockford, IL 61107
Gaming space: 64,000 sqft
Games: 1,500 slots and 55 table games
Hotel rooms: 250
Aurora has a landmark casino that is known to all residents, and it seems that casino will relocate to a higher traffic area, with construction expected to begin in late 2023.
Hollywood Casino Aurora is a landmark in the Aurora downtown area. It’s a docked casino that was originally a riverboat casino in 1993 when it was opened. Two riverboats were first used, and were replaced by a 70,000 sqft floating moored structure. The casino is operated by Penn Entertainment. There are plans to expand and relocate the casino to a higher traffic area of town near I-88 and Farnsworth Avenue.
Address (temporary): 1 W New York St, Aurora, IL 60506
Gaming space: 53,000 sqft
Games: 1,000 slot machines and 26 table games
Amenities: Fairbanks Steakhouse
Hotel rooms: 200
Grand Victoria Casino Elgin is a Caesars casino on a riverboat, 40 miles west of Chicago but only 20 miles north of Aurora. So we might as well call it a Chicago casino, but since It’s a very small casino it doesn’t attract too much commuters from Chicago and instead caters to the Aurora area. It’s a very nice venue that’s well worth a visit despite not being very large. There is no hotel to stay at, this is a docked riverboat.
Address: 250 S Grove Ave, Elgin, EL 60120
Gaming space: 30,000 sqft
Games: 1,100 slots, 29 table games, 13 poker tables
Preoria is lucky to have a large riverboat casino that’s part of the city for almost 30 years now. It is a relatively small casino that will definitely be superceded by the casinos in construction in Illinois right now, but none of these are planned near Preoria anyway.
Par-A-Dice Hotel and Casino is a casino located on the Illinois River in East Preoria, just off the Illinois Route 116 / US Route 150. The facility opened in 1991 as a riverboat casino in Peoria, and moved across the river to East Peoria in 1993. The riverboat is docked since 1999 and is operated by Boyd Gaming.
Gaming space: 26,000 sqft
Games: 800 slot machines, 24 table games
Amenities: Boyd’s Steakhouse
There are many land-based casino options in Illinois – most states would be lucky to have so much choice – but when it comes to online gambling, the situation is a bit unclear. More precisely, it is not regulated. But there are dozens of quality online casinos to choose from if you’re playing from Illinois.
Online gambling isn’t specifically regulated by the Illinois state laws, which leaves it in the grey area. No local land-based casino operator can legally launch an online casino site and accept Illinois residents, but that isn’t stopping you from gambling at offshore casinos that do accept you as a player.
The best options are those casinos you see at PlaySlots4RealMoney.com as we carefully selected the best and most reputable casinos. Choose any casino you like, sign up, make a deposit and play for real money – there won’t be any issues whatsoever.
Here we’ll list all casinos that currently exist in the state of Illinois, with those under construction at the top of the list. At the bottom we’ll list the three Indiana casinos that are very close to Illinois.
Yes you can. Online gambling isn’t yet regulated by the Illinois Gaming Board but the state authorities aren’t concerned with players who gamble online. You can freely choose one of the offshore casinos that accept you as a player, and gamble away.
There are a total of 11 licenced land-based casinos in Illinois, with 5 more under construction, and there are 3 casinos located in Indiana that are actually catering to Illinois players, for a grand total of 19 casinos available to Illinois residents.
Yes – forms of land-based gambling are legal in the state of Illinois, except for real money poker. When it comes to gambling online, everything except online casinos is regulated and therefore allowed. You’re still able to gamble online at offshore casinos though.
Sports betting is explicitly allowed in the state of Illinois since 2019, both online and retail. Illinois is the third-largest sports betting market in the US. Horse race betting is historically allowed in Illinois and has been since the 1920s. There are 5 local racetracks and 37 off-track betting venues.
Illionis has 14 poker rooms, most of which are on riverboat casinos, while others operate as charitable gambling venues. At the moment no local venue is allowed to offer real money poker play, but this might change in the future.
Yes, there is Illinois state lottery and it’s available at a lot of venues, even bars, where terminals are placed.
At the moment, it’s Hard Rock Casino in Rockford with 1,500 slots. The two casinos in Joliet, Harrah’s and Hollywood, have around 1,200 each. Bally’s in River West, Chicago, will be the largest casino in Illinois when it opens in 2026; it will have over 3,400 slots.