Illinois comes sixth in terms of population size in the United States. It has a huge gambling market with around ten riverboats casinos. What’s more, the state is among those that have discussed online gambling several times over the years. Still, no bill has passed to accommodate online casino gambling. However, you can bet on sports or buy the state lottery online.
The History of Poker in the State of Illinois
Illinois has a long-established gambling history. The first step the state took was back in 1927, when it legalized horse racing. This was the beginning of Illinois residents ability to wager on sports and the development of six racetracks. In 1971, Illinois legalize bingo while 1974 saw the introduction of the state lottery. The revenue collected from the lotteries boosts the education fund for the government even today.
In 1986, charities for non-profit organizations were introduced. Things became more interesting when the state accepted riverboats casinos in 1991. Playing on these casinos was to occur during a sail. But this changed in 1999 when the Riverboat Gambling Act was signed. This meant that riverboats casinos could operate on the dock contrary to previous law.
In May 2017, the Illinois Senate passed legislation allowing online casinos. But, the House of Representatives has yet to legalize the bill.
The Legality of Poker in Illinois
The legalization of casinos in 1991 saw the introduction of poker games in various riverboats casinos. This means poker enthusiasts could walk into a brick-and-mortar casino and enjoy variations of poker. This, however, doesn’t mean gambling in Illinois is completely legal. According to Article 28 of the Illinois Criminal Code, the law comprehensively states what is gambling, and playing poker falls under the definition of what the state considers gambling.
Players can be charged with a class A misdemeanor except when they play in regulated casinos. Another exception is when players enter a game without having to purchase a stake. Thus, it is legally convenient to play poker in state-regulated and licensed poker rooms.
Poker Rooms in the State of Illinois
Illinois is the second state that has legalized riverboats casinos. The government has also loosened the rules, which means boats don’t have to be sailing for players to engage in gambling. Today, these riverboats can be moored continuously and have hotels and events attached to them. Some of the casinos where you can play poker include:
• Hollywood Joliet
• Hollywood Aurora
• Casino Queen
• Grand Victoria
• Harrah’s Joliet
• Harrah’s Metropolis
• Rivers Casino
These are licensed by the Illinois Gaming Board, making them ideal spots to play poker.
Top Online Poker Sites in Illinois
Although Illinois has several land-based casinos where you can play poker, there will be a time you want to play online. However, the state doesn’t have online casinos and has yet to legalize any. But, this hasn’t stopped players from joining online platforms based overseas. The only downside is few casinos accept Illinois players – those that do come with several restrictions. For example, you won’t find many banking methods. Some sites restrict Illinois players from participating in live tournaments. The following are the best online poker sites in the state of Illinois:
1. True Poker
True poker accepts US players from every state. The room stands out because it offers its players with debit cards to withdraw money at an ATM. Alternatively, players can use another option, receiving your money as a check once a month. Players can also choose to bank using bitcoin, Neteller, Skrill, MasterCard, and Visa.
True poker has several poker variants, including Omaha, No-limit Hold’em, and more poker tournaments. Joining the platform comes with several benefits, which include a welcome bonus of up to $1,000. The other benefit is 24/7 customer service.
2. Party Poker
Party poker is one of the best exclusive poker sites out there. The room offers its unique poker software, which tells you you’re up for outstanding animation, games, and experience. Here, you can play poker for real money or for fun.
New players joining party poker get a 100 percent bonus, which is not subject to a wagering requirement, unlike a casino room. Instead, you have to play several games with real money, and your bonus is released in the form of cash you can withdraw. To deposit or withdraw, consider using bank transfer if your bank allows, Neteller, Skrill, PayPal, and credit cards.
Party poker gives you the option of playing sit-go games, multi-table tournaments, or cash games. If you need help regarding any of these games or have any issue, you can use the customer support system. What’s more, you can play on the go by downloading an app for your phone.
Bovada is widespread in most states, including Illinois. It is highly preferred for its extensive library of games, payment options, and availability in most states. The poker room at Bovada is one of the biggest in the USA.
Once you load up the page, it impresses you with professional and outstanding graphics. Bovada uses PaiWangLuo Poker Network for its poker software. The network is reputable – you can expect high-end gaming, graphics, and custom themes for every table and lobby. The poker room allows players to customize various things, including card detailing and background, making your stay on the platform even better.
New players get a $500 or 100 percent welcome bonus that is subject to a wagering requirement. Payment options acceptable at the Bovada poker room are Bitcoin, MasterCard, Visa, and Wire transfers. Customer service is available 24/7.