Illinois approved a huge gambling expansion that will bring slot machines to locations like Chicago’s O’Hare and Midway Airports but will not permit slot games online — at least for now.
Illinois lawmakers passed a bill in June 2019 that will expand gambling in the state, build six new casinos including a Chicago mega-casino, and expand gambling locations in existing venues and locations like airports. The bill also legalized in-person and online sports betting but unfortunately left players looking to play casino games like slot machines online in the cold.
Here is everything you need to know about Illinois’ gambling expansion and online slots.
Online Slots in Illinois
The Illinois gambling expansion bill will place slot terminals all throughout the state but unfortunately will not allow online slots for the time being.
Online slots are one of the most popular virtual casino games, largely thanks to their ease of use.
To play, you simply have to select the number of “paylines,” or number of combinations that pay out if they hit, which will determine how much each bet costs. Each payline will cost a certain additional amount based on the game, or you can simply press “bet max” to select all of the available paylines.
That’s it. Pull the lever or press the button and try your luck. Some slot terminals will award free plays or bonus rounds and others have their own unique features.
Some platforms even offer progressive slots, which combine multiple slot terminals into one large jackpot that can grow to the millions of dollars.
How to Play Slot Machines Online
Unfortunately Illinois lawmakers neglected to approve online casino games like slots in their massive bill. It may be some time before casinos are permitted to launch their games online though some “social” casinos have already found a workaround that lets you play slots online for real money.
These sweepstakes-based casinos do not let you bet real money. Instead, you can buy fake coins and the site will “gift” you cash-equivalent play money you can use to play dozens of slot titles, blackjack, or video poker. You can then redeem that play money for real money when you cash out. This legal loophole allows you to get your slot fix without running afoul of any laws.
Social casinos tend to have a small game selection so real slot enthusiasts will likely have to wait for the state to let physical casinos set up online platforms. With six new casinos on their way and online sports betting already approved, it appears that full-scale online gambling legalization is inevitable in Illinois. With online-only operators barred from being licensed until late 2020 or early 2021, lawmakers may use the approval to open the floodgates on online casino games.