Gamblers in Illinois may still have to wait a while before they can comfortably play their favorite poker games online. Although live poker is available at different gambling halls in the state, it’s still illegal for operators to launch and manage online poker in Illinois. Several attempts have been made over the years to get this gaming option legalized. But none have been successful so far.
Several North American states have become more approving of online gambling options in the past few years. But Illinois is yet to join the fold. The closest state regulators got to passing a law was in 2017, when it got paired with a House bill for casino expansion. Although it passed the Senate by a 42-10 vote, it never made it past the House as committee hearings got canceled.
Since then, all attempts to get a bill that legalizes online poker have failed. So it remains unclear when this gambling option will become available to the state’s residents as there are no plans for more attempts to receive adequate backing from legislators.
Legal Online Poker Sites for Illinois Residents In 2022
Even though online poker is illegal in the state, you still have options available whenever you desire to play online. That’s thanks to gambling sites run by offshore operators. These are plenty and aren’t affected by the legislation currently in place for locally managed online poker platforms. So you can easily access any of them to play a round or more at your convenience.
More players in the state are also turning to these sites since there haven’t been any penalties so far for those who access them. So you can enjoy conveniences like 24/7 gaming, online transactions, and an expansive library of games from the comfort of your surroundings. You won’t need to look for land-based casinos to enjoy yourself.
To make your search easier, here’s a list of top-rated sites worth joining for some poker action while you’re in Illinois.
- Americas Cardroom – offers several tournaments and jackpot poker games, accepts USD, allows mobile gambling
- Black Chip – has a generous welcome bonus with fair terms, accepts US players, has a loyalty program open to all members
- BetOnline – offers 24/7 live chat customer support, accepts transactions in crypto, offers several cash games and tournaments
- Ignition – has weekly tournaments available, has a tiered rewards program for members, has a mobile-optimized site
- Bovada – the welcome bonus also awards loyalty points, has user forums for players to help each other, accepts USD and crypto transactions
How to Pick the Best Sites for US Players
Even though you can several sites accepting players in the region, you must choose carefully where you play. That way, you don’t run a risk of getting conned. So here are a few steps to help you always select the right casino sites for your poker gaming.
1. Check the Licenses and Security Parameters
Verifying gambling licenses is the first and most important step in this process. Never play on a site that doesn’t have a valid license since it means the site may not offer safe gambling options. Where you see that a license was issued, usually at the bottom of any page, you’ll also find a license number. Check it on the regulator’s site to be sure it’s valid.
In the process, you’ll get to see the regulatory body that issued it. For players in the US on offshore sites, some of the licenses you can trust come from bodies like:
- The United Kingdom Gambling Commission (UKGC)
- The Malta Gaming Authority (MGA)
- Curacao eGaming
- Gibraltar Regulatory Authority (GRA)
- Alderney Gambling Control Commission (AGCC)
- Kahnawake Gaming Commission
With these bodies backing your chosen casino, you’re guaranteed that the security is top-notch. All these regulators are known for only licensing sites using measures like firewalls and encryption software to safeguard their clients’ data.
2. Check the Gaming Variety
Since you’re looking for an online casino with poker offerings, this is the category to keep an eye on. Are there fair RNG games? Does the casino offer live varieties?
Do not sign up if you are unsure of the gaming assortment available. This is information you can get by browsing the site as a guest or contacting the support team. Though it may seem tedious, it’ll save you from joining and providing your personal details on a platform that doesn’t have what you need.
As you check the games, find out if the site works with an independent auditor. Finding names like eCOGRA and iTech Labs confirms that all offered games are fair and regularly checked to ensure they stay that way.
3. Check the Promotions and Support Channels
Every online player loves bonuses since they give you a bigger bankroll to play more. But depending on the terms offered, not all promotions may suit your gambling needs. As a poker fan, you need to keep an eye out for casinos with poker-centered promotions that apply to this game category.
Aside from what is offered, the terms have to be fair to ensure players also benefit from claiming them. So the easiest way to do this is by reading the T&Cs attached to any promotion. Check the:
- Claiming process – Are you being asked for a lot but only being awarded a small bonus?
- Games you can play – Does it apply to several poker titles or just a few variations?
- Validity period – Do you have a few days or an entire month to complete your bonus credits and fulfill the playthrough terms?
- Wagering terms – Is the wagering requirement to release your bonus winnings too steep, or is it fair?
In the process, check which support channels are offered. Focus more on platforms offering Live Chat or phone support 24/7. With these, you can always get assistance regardless of where the casino’s support team is based. The response is also prompt, enabling you to tackle and solve any issue you experience in a single sitting.