Illinois Poker - Poker Laws in Illinois - Home Poker Games

Illinois Poker Laws

Is Poker Legal in the Illinois?

Illinois is pretty strict about poker, but there legal ways to get into the game. To start with, gambling in general is made illegal, barring only a few specific exceptions, and most people will find it difficult or inconvenient to stay within the laws. Want to make sure that your next game is legal in Illinois? Read on for all of the messy details.

Find out which online poker sites accept players from the state of Illinois by reading our US online poker guide.


Are Home Poker Games Legal in the State of Illinois?

Assuming you are actually playing poker with real money, then no, home games are completely illegal. According to Article 28 Section 1 of the Illinois’ Penal Code: “A person commits gambling when he plays a game of chance or skill for money or other things of value.”

That’s right, both games of chance and skill are forbidden so poker isn’t even questionable. It is also a further offense to operate (host) a game of poker in your home. If you don’t think there’s any risk in hosting a game of poker in the state of Illinois, think again.

In the past, undercover police officers in Chicago have actually infiltrated friendly home games, confiscated the money as evidence, and then legally charged the players as criminals! This isn’t likely to happen to you, but why take the chance.

Do Casinos in Illinois Have Poker?

The casinos in Illinois earn revenue for the state government, and because of this, gambling is legal. While poker is included, only three of the casinos in Illinois even offer poker. One of these casinos even closes its poker tables on the weekends for some reason.

So where can you go to get a game? Try Crowning Victoria (22.5 hours a day, 7 days a week) and Hollywood Casino for Texas Hold ‘em. Obviously you don’t need to worry about the law while playing in one of these authorized establishments.

Is it Legal To Play Poker Online?

Illinois does specifically mention online poker, but not online poker players. Item 12 of Article 28 Section 1 specifically forbids anyone in Illinois from “operating an internet site that permits a person to play a game of chance or skill for money of other things of value by means of the internet”. Technically, playing poker online violates the same law that stops you from playing home games, but there are currently no enforcement measures to stop online poker players.

At the federal level, poker players are completely left out of the discussion, but your bank accounts aren’t so lucky. Whenever you try to make a deposit with a credit/debit card, your bank isn’t supposed to complete the transaction. On the flip side, they are also not allowed to cash your checks from online poker sites.

These laws aren’t airtight at the moment though, and online poker rooms have successfully circumvented the banking controls. Poker players successfully complete poker-related banking transactions every single day in Illinois as well as the rest of The United States.

View More USA Poker / Gambling Laws by State

Indiana - Indiana Poker Laws

Iowa - Iowa Poker Laws

Kansas - Kansas Poker Laws

Kentucky - Kentucky Poker Laws

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