Legal Illinois Online Poker

If you want to know where Illinois residents go to play online poker, you're in luck! exists for that very reason plus it functions to educate residents about the legality of playing online in their state. With Illinois being in the top-5 most populated states, there is a big market out there, and chances are that many of them do, or have thought about playing poker on the Internet.

Ready to get started? So are we, and we're going to lead out with the question that is on everybody's mind... Is it legal? But before we go jumping into that, know that this site is a complete resource which provides many details about the industry, and we're not just talking about poker strategy either. There is going to be a lot of things you might not have otherwise picked up on unless you were to experience it for yourself.

Things like depositing, getting money out, and other factors will be discussed. And if you like us, please let us know! We want to serve you better and we'll continue to grow our site as our following increases.

Is Online Poker Legal in Illinois?

Now that the Federal government has moved away from using the Wire Act to prevent Illinois citizens from playing online poker, online poker is safe, if not legal, in Illinois. Having said that, the UIGEA (Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act) gives the government the right to control how Illinois residents add money to their online poker accounts.

The UIGEA's main function is to put restrictions in place to keep American banks from sending money to any foreign online gambling operator. This means there can be issues when depositing into your account but the poker sites listed here on have ways of getting around this. In most cases, Illinois residents are able to use credit cards, debit cards or even go purchase a prepaid gift card to make their deposit. Beyong that, there are methods of sending cash, and of course, there is always the ole trusty money order that can be mailed. With that out of the way, the only thing left to consider is what the Illinois online poker laws say.

We'll detail all that and more such as the latest news about the push to regulate online poker in Illinois on this page. First, let's start by showing you where Illinois residents currently go to play when they want to play online.

Legal Online Poker Sites For Illinois Residents

Finding online poker rooms that are legal for residents of Illinois is not tough. We have a list of legal poker rooms that accept wagers from Illinois, offer a wide variety of poker variants, and offer games at stakes that work for players of all skill levels.

Bovada Poker - $150,000 Guaranteed Tournament Every Sundays + Daily Satellites

Online poker for players in the state of Illinois doesn't get any better than at Bovada. This poker site specializes in a quality of service specifically catering to the American player. Bovada allows players in Illinois to sign up and enjoy the available poker games to play here.

There are a variety of different poker games that can be played at Bovada, whether at cash tables or in tournaments. There are even satellite tournaments that can be played for World Series of Poker events. Illinois poker players will love to play online poker at Bovada, knowing that it is one of the best sites to do so.

BetOnline Poker - Deposit Using Prepaid, Debit + Credit Cards... AmEx Included

If you are an online poker player who enjoys getting in a bunch of different tournaments, we recommend that you check out BetOnline. If you want to use the poker room at BetOnline, know that it serves American players from all 50 states which would therefore include Illinois. This is a legal online poker room option for players in Illinois, so long as the gambling age on site and in the state are met.

BetOnline is one of the fastest growing poker rooms around, and Illinois players will get a ton of great features by choosing to go with them. To access BetOnline, an account is needed, plus the downloading of the poker room software which is compatible for a Mac or a PC. It takes just a couple of minutes to complete the process.

SportsBetting Poker - Minimum Of 8K Players At Any Time; Illinois Accepted

Just five easy steps stands between Illinois poker players and a chance to play at's poker room. Creating a login and downloading the software is that initial step. Rest assured that this is legal for players in Illinois to do.

From there, players can launch the downloaded software, which will then lead them into creating a screen name to join the poker room. After selecting the poker table, they can choose the seat that want, and play for real cash to win real money! It's that easy, and the online poker section found at SportsBetting is one of the best around.

Illinois Online Poker Laws

According to state law, Illinois defines gambling as "playing a game of chance or skill for money or other thing of value." A strict interpretation of this definition would hold that yes, poker is illegal in Illinois. Because Illinois makes no distinction between games of chance and games of skill, poker gets a bad rap, considered a game similar to craps, or bingo. Since Illinois also has a recently added piece of legislation aimed at online gambling, the easiest answer is to say that playing online poker in Illinois is technically illegal.

Now, how does this affect players? It is technically possible, I suppose, that you could be arrested for playing online poker. I do think that Illinois has bigger fish to fry than trying to hunt down online poker players. There are many people who play online in Illinois, and have no problem cashing out, etc. As long as you pay your taxes, etc., you'll probably be fine.

Since the first online casino went live more than twenty years ago, not one individual has been prosecuted for making online bets. Now that the Wire Act cannot be applied to online poker play, and since the UIGEA is aimed at banks and not players, it seems there is nothing besides some vague Illinois statutes that makes online poker anything but a legitimate online business.

Online Poker Regulation In Illinois

There is good news and bad news for online poker advocates in the state of Illinois. The good news is that in early 2013, there was the introduction of some legislation that would lead to the legalization of the practice. The bad news though, is that as of the middle of 2013, there is no legislation that has been brought through any further to the State House of Illinois at this time.

The spring 2013 session in the Illinois legislative department came to a close with no resolution of the issue to be voted on as far as legal Internet gambling. There was a draft of a potential gambling bill for legal poker on the Internet that moved through Illinois lawmakers, but nothing has developed. Governor Pat Quinn appears to be the one responsible for the short falling of the bill. Quinn has said that he would not pass any such bill unless specific provisions of his were met. He had already twice featured a gambling bill for a new casino in Chicago.

For those residents in Illinois wondering if there will be state-regulated legal online poker, it certainly looks like that could be a possibility moving forward. Legislation would need to be altered slightly. With Nevada, Delaware, and New Jersey legalizing online poker, the interstate compacts would allow states where online poker is legal, to combine. It would certainly leave room for Illinois to join in on the action as well. Whether or not online gambling legislation gets to the floor for Illinois lawmakers in the near future remains to be seen.

Is it Legal to Play Land-Based Poker in Illinois?

Residents of Illinois unfortunately must contend with some of the most stringent sets of gambling laws in legislation in place in the country which outlaws all games of chance and skill. Much to the chagrin of many avid players throughout the land of Lincoln, this includes poker. Whether it be physical gambling sites such as casinos or cardrooms or even the privacy of one’s home, it is quite difficult to lawfully play a live game of Texas Hold ’Em, 7-Card Stud or Omaha if it is for money.

Locals are not entirely out of luck however. As is the case for many other states, it is legal to place a bet so long as it does not involve the business of gambling and generating profit off of challenges of risk and chance. It is therefore legal to partake in a game behind one’s own closed doors where business is not being conducted. State law does explicitly say that it is legal for, “Games of skill or chance where money or other things of value can be won but no payment or purchase is required to participate.” Players may interpret that as they wish when thinking about a poker night in at home with friends while considering if laws are investigated or enforced. Recently, the State has relaxed slightly in allowing a few casinos to lawfully operate within the state.

Where Can One Play Land-Based Poker in Illinois?

Where then, can residents of Illinois go to place bets in a live, action packed game of poker where the stakes are high and racing heartbeats are rampant? Despite all of Illinois’s rough gambling laws and view of poker, there are a few lucky spots where residents can get excited and join in on the nation’s fascination of the classic card game favorite. There are surprisingly a few state sanctioned casinos which provide poker in Illinois with permissions granted within the last 15 years.

Jumer’s Casino and Hotel offers a huge variety of Poker games and tournaments and is consistently rated the top card playing spot throughout the Midwest where players are able to find a small oasis among stringent laws.

Harrah’s is another popular destination for players where buy-ins are a mere $60 to be among World Series of Poker fame.

The Hollywood Casino in Aurora may be one of the more noted casinos speckled throughout Illinois as it is located outside of the enormous city of Chicago and bears 53,000 square feet of wagering excitement.

Although poker players in Illinois are kept down, they are not out of the game these safe card playing options nearby.

Note: The above article should not be read as legal advice for those looking to play legal online poker in Illinois. For questions about online poker laws in Illinois and online poker play, consult a lawyer familiar with Illinois state gambling law. We are not lawyers or experts in Illinois online poker and we do not claim to be.