Real Money Poker in Illinois

Online poker for real money in Illinois is not regulated, but that doesn’t mean poker games are out of reach.

Last Updated on February 15, 2024 by Avatar Author Adrian Sterne
Fact checked by Dusan Jovanovic

Illinois hasn’t always been well-disposed to the idea of legalized gambling. Nevertheless, its lawmakers seem more open to creating a gambling-friendly environment for its residents and visitors recently. The gambling regulations that the Prairie State passed in the past couple of years especially helped expand IL’s gambling scene.

This article will further explore the current IL online and land-based gambling sector. It’ll reveal whether and, if so, how recent IL legislation changes affect the offer of online poker for real money in Illinois.

Illinois law’s gambling definition used to be very general, leaving a lot of room for interpretation. However, that changed with the latest IL Gambling Act from 2019. The act legalized all real money gambling activities, including poker, as long as they happen in state-licensed and regulated venues.

Thanks to this legislation, Illinois poker fans have several options when looking to play this casino classic for real money in the Prairie State today. These options include riverboat casinos, land-based casinos, racinos, and licensed locations with VGTs.

Illinois hasn’t passed any online gambling-related legislation yet. So, the state doesn’t offer any real money online casinos or poker rooms. However, poker aficionados open to playing modified poker games can still gamble in IL sweepstakes and social online casinos that don’t take rake.

Poker Laws

Illinois residents and visitors who plan on playing real money poker or engaging in gambling activities in this state should review all its laws beforehand.

You can find all relevant IL gambling legislation below:

Best Real Money Online Poker Sites in Illinois

As mentioned, Illinois boasts quite a few land-based gambling establishments with real money poker games.

IL riverboat casinos were the first to offer poker games. They have been legal since 1990. The Riverboat Gaming Act obliged these venues to leave the dock to operate gambling activities legally. However, that’s no longer the case. There are ten currently in Illinois, and they all function like land-based gambling properties.

In 2009, Illinois passed the Video Gaming Act that allowed retail locations, truck stops, bars, restaurants, and other similar locations to place VGTs on their premises. VGTs are video gaming terminals similar to slot machines. They feature diverse games, including video poker.

The Illinois Gambling Act of 2019 authorized the construction of six additional land-based casinos in the state and allowed the racetracks to include slots and table games like poker in their offer, too.

Illinois currently has no state-licensed online casinos or real money poker games sites. Nevertheless, IL players can still play these games in US-friendly offshore online rooms. These gambling platforms offer many poker variants and often host tournaments. You can find the best one featured in the table at the top of this page.
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How to Register at a Real Money Poker Site

If any offshore online poker rooms from our list has intrigued you, you’ll be pleased to hear you can join it in no more than a couple of steps. Here’s what you should do:

Choose A Poker Room

Open your chosen poker sites homepage


Select the Register or Join button

Enter the information the registration form requires and submit your account request.

Verify your email address and log into your casino account.

Deposit & Play

Make a deposit and claim the welcome bonuses the casino has on offer.

Browse the gaming section and find the poker variant you like.

Start gaming.

Real Money Mobile Poker Apps

The increased interest in mobile gambling has recently prompted many gambling operators to create standalone mobile apps. These apps are typically compatible with both iOS and Android devices and are available for download in their respective stores. Some sites even offer direct download links on their official websites to help their users start gaming immediately.

We go into more detail on mobile poker apps and how they work on another page. Click here if you’re interested in learning about the ones available to Illinoisan players.

Other Resources

Final Thoughts

Illinois has become one of the states with the most extensive offer of gambling venues in the country in the last couple of years.

Players interested in real money poker can find this game in numerous land-based casinos and gambling establishments. They can also play it for real money in many offshore online casinos that cater to them.


Is real money poker legal in Illinois?

It is. Illinois legislation doesn’t include rules that would outlaw real money poker games as long as they’re played in state-authorized and licensed establishments.

Where can I play real money poker games online in Illinois?

Illinois doesn’t regulate online poker yet, so offshore online casinos are the only places IL players can test their poker skills for real money on the internet. We’ve attached our top offshore online casino list at the top of this page. Have a look.

What poker variants can I play in offshore online casinos in Illinois?

Offshore online casinos have rich gaming portfolios and offer numerous poker variants. The exact offer will depend on the casino you choose, but you can likely access Texas Hold’em, Pot-Limit Omaha, Stud Poker, Draw Poker, and many more.

Do casinos in Illinois host poker tournaments?

Yes. Illinois has numerous land-based poker rooms that organize regular poker tournaments. You can also participate in poker tournaments on IL sweepstakes and social online casinos and in US-friendly offshore online casinos.

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