Introduction to Illinois Slot Machine Casino Gambling
Illinois slot machine casino gambling consists of ten riverboat casinos, one casino resort, and one proposed commercial casino as well as video gaming terminals (VLTs) in small businesses approved by their local municipalities.
I’ve dedicated this series to slot enthusiasts such as yourself by using my State-By-State Online Resource for U.S. Casino Slots Enthusiasts to improve your slots gambling performance by reviewing your state’s slots gaming industry.
Relevant Legal Statutes on Gambling in Illinois
The minimum legal gambling age in Illinois depends upon the gambling activity:
- Land-Based Casinos: 21
- Poker Rooms: 21
- Bingo: 18
- Lottery: 18
- Pari-Mutuel Wagering: 18
The Illinois Riverboat Gambling Act enacted in February 1990 legalized riverboat gambling on open water outside of Cook County. This restriction protected wagering on horse racing in the Chicago area, approved in 1927.
Since 1990, Illinois has offered only ten gaming licenses for riverboat casinos. Originally, riverboat casinos in Illinois had to cruise, but a new state law in 1999 allowed permanent docking and authorized them to have 1,200 gaming machines including positions available at table games.
In 2005, the Illinois state legislature established an admissions tax of $2 or $3. Admission is $2 at Jumer’s Casino Rock Island and $3 at other riverboat casinos. Illinois riverboat casinos also has restricted hours of operation, closing for two hours each day, usually around 6 a.m. to 8 a.m.
In 2009, the Illinois state legislature passed the Video Gaming Act, allowing video gaming terminals in “Licensed Retail Establishments, Truck Stops, Veteran and Fraternal Establishments” with approval by their local municipalities. There are well over seven thousand such licensed establishments with a total of nearly 42,000 VLTs.
On June 28, 2019, Governor Pritzker signed the Illinois Gambling Act into law, making significant changes to gaming regulations in Illinois. These changes included two casinos, the Hard Rock Casino Rockford (now open) and Southland Live Casino in Calumet City (not yet open).
The Illinois Gaming Board hosts a website with extensive and thoroughly detailed descriptions of its state gambling laws for Casino Gambling and Video Gaming.
Slot Machine Private Ownership in Illinois
In Illinois, it is legal to own a slot machine privately if manufactured 25 or more years ago.
Gaming Control Board in Illinois
The Illinois Gaming Board (IGB) provides gaming regulations and tax collection for slot machine gambling activities in Illinois. It also has gaming control commissions for other forms of gambling including the Illinois Lottery and the Illinois Racing Board.
Further, the Illinois Casino Gaming Association (ICGA) represents nine of Illinois’ ten riverboat casinos. The ICGA provides statistics on charitable giving by the riverboat casinos as well as supporting responsible gaming.
Casinos in Illinois
Illinois has twelve commercial casinos, including a proposed casino not yet open.
The largest casino in Illinois is Hard Rock Casino Rockford.
The second-largest casino is Hollywood Casino Joliet.
Commercial Casinos in Illinois
The twelve commercial casinos in Illinois are:
- Argosy Casino Alton, 158 miles south of Peoria and across the Mississippi River from St. Louis, Missouri.
- Draft Kings at Casino Queen in East St. Louis, 165 miles south of Peoria and across the Mississippi River from St. Louis, Missouri.
- Grand Victoria Casino Elgin, 42 miles west of downtown Chicago.
- Hard Rock Casino Rockford, 89 miles northwest of downtown Chicago – proposed casino.
- Harrah’s Joliet, 45 miles southwest of downtown Chicago.
- Harrah’s Metropolis in the southernmost tip of Illinois or 167 miles southeast of St. Louis, Missouri.
- Hollywood Casino Aurora, 42 miles west of downtown Chicago.
- Hollywood Casino Joliet, 45 miles southwest of downtown Chicago.
- Bally’s Quad Cities in Rock Island, 101 miles northwest of Peoria on the Mississippi River border to Iowa.
- Par-A-Dice Hotel Casino in East Peoria, 3 miles northwest of Peoria.
- Rivers Casino Des Plaines, 20 miles northwest of downtown Chicago.
- Southland Live Casino in Calumet City, 30 miles south of downtown Chicago – proposed casino.
Retail locations in Illinois offer video lottery terminal gaming machines controlled by the Illinois Gaming Board (IGB). Given Illinois’ ten riverboat casinos each have 1,200 slot machines at most, VLTs at local businesses equate to over 34 casinos of a similar size. Retailers getting VLTs continues to grow quickly.
Tribal Casinos in Illinois
Illinois has no federally recognized American Indian tribes. Therefore, there are no tribal casinos in Illinois.
Other Gambling Establishments
As an alternative to enjoying Illinois slot machine casino gambling, consider exploring casino options in a nearby state. Bordering Illinois is:
Each of the links above will take you to my blog for that neighboring U.S. state to Illinois.
Our Illinois Slots Facebook Community
Are you interested in sharing and learning with other slots enthusiasts in Illinois? If so, join our Illinois slots community on Facebook. All you’ll need is a Facebook profile to freely join this closed Facebook Group community.
There, you can meet online and privately share your slots experiences with local slots enthusiasts about playing slot machines in Illinois. Join us!
Theoretical Payouts and Return Statistics in Illinois
In January 2022, the statewide average player win percentage was 91.7% for all VLT at retailers. Use the Video Gaming Review Reports search tool under Monthly Reports to find the player win percentage (i.e., amount won divided by amount played) for a specific licensed retailer offering video gaming.
Summary of Illinois Slot Machine Casino Gambling
Illinois slot machine casino gambling consists of ten commercial casinos, one casino resort, one proposed casino, and 41,000+ VLT electronic gaming machines at 7,000+ local businesses such as bars, restaurants, and other licensed non-casino locations.
Other States from Professor Slots
- State-By-State Online Resource for U.S. Casino Slots Enthusiasts
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