The gambling landscape in Illinois is interesting. The state is dotted with 10 riverboat casinos, 2 commercial casino offerings, and video game terminals (VLTs) in locally approved small business locations across the state. With the fluctuating age of legal gambling (18 for bingo, lottery, and mutual gambling in Paris, 21 for poker rooms and track and field casinos), Illinois is fast becoming an alternative to Nevada for gamblers across the country.
A little background
The Illinois Riverboat Gambling Act was enacted in early 1990 to legalize riverboat gambling in open water outside of Cook County. The purpose was to create a protection zone around the city of Chicago. This zone was designed to protect mutual betting on horse races in the Windy City area from casino break-ins. Since horse racing gambling since 1927, the city has felt it is legal and needs protection from potential competition with Riverboat Casino. When riverboat casinos were first approved, they had to run underwater. Later, state law in 1999 allowed them to be permanently docked, allowing 1,200 game consoles and table play areas to be installed in those locations.
In 2005 state law set an entry tax of $ 2 or $ 3. This means that all riverboat casinos charge guests $ 2 or $ 3 as entry. In addition, these venues had to be closed for two hours a day and business hours restricted. It usually closes between 6 a.m. and 8 a.m. The Video Game Act, passed in 2009, allowed VLT in licensed retail stores, truck stops, veteran and sibling facilities. There are currently 7,710 licensed locations in the state where VLT is located. The total number of active VLTs in the state is 37,159, with each licensed riverboat only seating 1,200. Illinois Gambling Act became law in 2019, paving the way for the state’s two largest new commercial casinos.
Chicago slot machine
Because of the large number of VLTs scattered across the state, Illinois has more legitimate betting locations than Nevada. Think for a moment. We’re talking about more than a balance between Las Vegas, Reno, and Silver State. However, none of these slots are located within the Chicago boroughs. why is that? As mentioned earlier, the precedent was set in 1990 when the Riverboat Gambling Act was enacted. The main rule that Riverboat Casino allowed was that you weren’t allowed to enter Cook County. Cook County is the most populous county in Illinois and the second most populous county in the United States. Los Angeles County, California is number one. Cook County is home to 40% of the population of Illinois and the home of Chicago. With a population of 5,275,541 (2020), Cook County has a population of more than 28 states in the United States. Even so, the Chicago market is the destination of most casinos in the state as it is not legal within Cook County.
Slot machines near Chicago
Given its very large population, it makes sense that a legal casino in Illinois should be just a few minutes’ drive from Chicago. Below is a breakdown of the closet casinos to Windy City and their distances.
Grand Victoria Casino Elgin- 42 miles west of downtown Chicago
Hard Rock Casino Rockford (Recommended) – 89 miles northwest of downtown Chicago
Fara’s Joliet- 45 miles southwest of downtown Chicago
Hollywood Casino Aurora- 42 miles west of downtown Chicago
Hollywood Casino Joliet- 45 miles southwest of downtown Chicago
Rivers Casino Des Plaines – 20 miles northwest of downtown Chicago
Calmette City South Run Drive Casino (Suggestion) – 30 miles south of Downtown Chicago
As you can see, all but five state-approved (and proposed) casinos are located near Chicago. The rest of the casinos are:
Argosy Casino Alton (158 miles south of Peoria, across the Mississippi River from St. Louis, Missouri)
East St. Louis Casino Queen, 265 miles south of Peoria, across the Mississippi River from St. Louis, Missouri
Faras Metropolis – 167 miles southeast of St. Louis, Missouri
Rock Island Jumpers Casino and Hotel – 100 miles northwest of Peoria
Par-A-Dice Hotel Casino in East Peoria, 5 km northwest of Peoria
Chicago online slot machine
There are no legal slots in Windy City, but Cook County players looking for anything other than horse racing, sports betting, lottery, or bingo will find some when they need slots. You can save travel time. In addition, the alternatives provided by the new technology allow players to make corrections during their daily commute to work at home, in the office, or at an online casino. There are no restrictions on internet access to these gambling sites in and around Chicago. This means that Cook County residents only need to register online so they don’t have to worry about not walking to the nearest casino. Best slot machine available. While state regulators keep physical slot machines (and casinos) out of Chicago, the internet offers Chicago gamers a way to get their casino activities done with the click of a button.
Slot machine enthusiasts in and around Chicago may not have easy access to onshore casinos to encourage the need for slot machine activities other than getting in their car and driving to the nearest venue. But even in bad weather, players can experience the excitement of real slot machine action by visiting the online casino of their choice. It is available to everyone in the state, including those who live in Cook County. Therefore, the fact that physical slots are illegal in the Chicago area doesn’t mean that slot fans can’t play their favorite casino games. All you need is an internet connection and playback device and you will be spinning the reels fast.