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Is Blackjack Online Legal in Illinois?
Ever since introducing the federal law called the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act, online gambling has been banned in US states, including Illinois. While there have been some attempts to change the legislation locally, these efforts have been stalled.
Therefore, online blackjack has not been legalized in the Prairie State, but this pertains only to online casino operators. There is no IL law stating that players can’t legally play on casino websites regulated outside of the country. Thus, you can play 21 in many off-shore casinos catering to Illinoisan gamblers.
Illinois Blackjack Laws
The detailed legislative information concerning the current state of online blackjack is out of the scope of this article, but you can read more about it here:
- Illinois Gaming Board — Applicable Law and Standards
- Illinois General Assembly — The Illinois Gambling Act
Best Online Blackjack Real Money Casinos in Illinois
Blackjack fans residing in or visiting Illinois can currently play this table game only in ten commercial riverboat casinos. On the other hand, online gambling is currently possible only in social casinos and off-shore online casinos accepting players from Illinois.
While the state legislature has not been too inclined towards real-money blackjack, players can still take advantage of the above options.
In the following sections, we’ll get into more detail about the online and land-based blackjack offers within IL.
Online Blackjack in Illinois
Like other forms of online gambling, online blackjack still remains unregulated in Prairie State. The only way to play casino-style games online is via sweepstakes or social casinos. These websites don’t require that you deposit any money, and you can’t win any money directly from their games. However, you can win sweeps coins that you can later exchange for prizes.
However, if you’d like to play real money blackjack, you can legally do so in one of many online casinos licensed outside of the US. The law does forbid facilitating online blackjack for real money to operators within the state, but foreign operators are still allowed to offer their services to IL players.
What’s more, players can also feel free to play on these sites without fear of getting in trouble with the law. There are no legal prohibitions preventing them from doing so.
Land-Based Blackjack Casinos in Illinois
If playing blackjack in land-based casinos is your preferred way of engaging with this game, you’re in luck. The state of Illinois deems land-based real-money gambling legal, but only in venues licensed by the Illinois Gaming Board.
The law also states that land-based gambling can only be conducted on riverboats outside of Lake Michigan, excluding the areas with a population count exceeding three million. Ten facilities within the state can currently fulfill these conditions.
If you’re looking for variety, your best bet is Grand Victoria – Elgin Riverboat Resort, featuring 29 blackjack tables — the most out of any commercial riverboat casino in the state.
Legal Online Real Money Blackjack Casinos in Illinois
The Illinoisan law has yet to take any forms of commercial online gambling into account, so you won’t find any state-licensed gambling websites. Luckily, the Prairie State currently takes legal action only against the local operators who break this law and not against the players using internationally-licensed sites.
Therefore, you can play blackjack in numerous off-shore online casinos without worrying about breaking the law. To help you find the most reliable, secure, and high-quality casinos, we’ve thoroughly reviewed dozens of these websites and compiled a list of top-rated brands. Take a look at this list at the top of the page and pick the casino that suits you best.
How to Register for Online Blackjack in Illinois
You won’t have to jump through any hoops to begin your online blackjack adventure. The process is quick and straightforward, as outlined below:
Pick a gambling website — Scour the list of recommended casinos at the top of this page and select the casino that appeals to you most.
Register — Click on the Sign-Up or Register button and fill in the form with your basic personal details to create an account.
Deposit some money — Go to the Cashier section of your new casino account, click on Deposit, choose the banking option you would like to use, and make your first deposit.
Take advantage of the new-user promotion — If you want to, you can claim a generous welcome bonus on your first deposit in most of our recommended casinos.
Open the Games section — Click on the Games section, find Table Games, and then look for blackjack titles. Pick the one you like and start playing.
Illinois Real Money Blackjack Casinos
Although the state of Illinois doesn’t yet recognize facilitating online gambling as a legal activity, it doesn’t prevent its residents and visitors from playing blackjack on off-shore websites. As you may have already noticed, the choices are abundant, but not all sites are created equal.
To avoid stumbling upon and being scammed by unsafe and fraudulent online casinos, make sure to refer to our list of the best real-money off-shore blackjack casinos. We can recommend these operators because we’ve put them through a rigorous evaluation process and made sure they tick all the right boxes.
Illinois Blackjack Rules
The only gambling operators that can legally offer real-money blackjack games on the Prairie State territory are ten riverboat casinos. Other venues, such as racinos and bingo halls, don’t have permission to host these games.
A patron’s minimum age to enter the IL casino riverboat and play its games is 21.
If you’re interested in these gambling activities, you need to bring a valid government-issued ID document to show at the entrance of these facilities.
Regardless of the game variant you choose to play, the basic blackjack rules remain the same. The game’s main aim is to have a total of as close as possible to 21 to beat the dealer’s hand total. However, if you go ‘bust’ or exceed 21, you lose, even if your hand is stronger than the dealer’s.
If you’d like to know more about blackjack rules, you can check out our detailed guide here. It contains all of the information you need to start playing 21 right away, even if you’re a total rookie.
Live Dealer Online Blackjack in Illinois
The off-shore gambling websites catering to Illinoian players feature a wide range of blackjack titles you can choose from. Most of these casinos have both RNG and live dealer versions of the game, satisfying all needs and preferences.
If you’d like to have an authentic casino experience without leaving your home, you can do so by playing live casino blackjack. These games come from industry-leading live casino software providers, such as Evolution and Pragmatic Play Live.
These providers use professional dealers and stream these games from professional studios or well-known land-based casinos. These streams are usually HD, and you can participate in them in real-time. Thanks to this technology, playing live dealer blackjack in off-shore online casinos brings you the closest you can get to a real-life casino experience.
List of Popular Blackjack Casinos in Illinois
Illinois didn’t have any land-based casinos until The Rebuild Illinois law came into effect in 2019. This legislature marked a new era for Vegas-style gambling in the state and paved the way for casino operators.
There are ten riverboat casinos in Prairie State to date. Let’s take a look at the top five among them:
- Hollywood Casino Aurora — 1 W New York St, Aurora, Illinois
- Hollywood Casino Joliet — 777 Hollywood Blvd, Joliet, IL 60436
- Harrah’s Metropolis — 100 East Front St. Metropolis, Illinois 62960
- Harrah’s Joliet — 151 N Joliet St, Joliet, IL 60432
- Grand Victoria Casino Elgin — 250 S Grove Ave, Elgin, IL 60120
Useful Guides for Illinois Players
Illinois online casinos can be challenging to understand, especially with all the laws that govern their use, so here are some excellent, easy-to-read, in-depth guides to get you started.
As an Illinoian blackjack fan, you may be disappointed by the persisting illegal status the online version of this game has in the state. However, as we’ve shown, you can still legally and freely engage in your favorite pastime on internationally-licensed websites. Take a look at our list of top-rated gambling websites at the top of this page, choose the one you like, register, and you’re good to go!