Way back in the 19th century, riverboat casinos were all over the rivers in Illinois. These casinos offered stud poker games and were unregulated. With the 20th century came the state-sanctioned Horse race betting. This regulation was also the first time that the state generated income from the gambling sector. The state, having sampled a piece of the revenue pie, did not look back. Instead, it went on to establish premier state lotteries in 1974 and pari-mutuel gambling. Presently, interstate and intrastate lotteries fetch millions of tax dollars in revenue for the state.
In 1991, the passing of regulations paved the way for the provision of legal gambling. This provision saw riverboat casinos make a comeback with the restriction that they stayed confined to the rivers. The state disallowed riverboat casinos on any lakes. However, matters were more liberalized in 2011, with the state assembly’s passing a new law which provided for casinos housed in physical buildings. The 2011 law also increased the number of games offered on the race tracks.
Further legislation saw the introduction of even more gambling units at bars and truck stops, which became the new trend in the state. This development was, however, not without hurdles, as the new legislation often faced legal battles and constant amendments. Nonetheless, a new dawn has emerged for gambling in the prairie state. Even though it took a while for issues to be smoothened out and for the gambling machines to secure their legitimacy.
As with other states, online Illinois sports betting only became a viable concept in May 2018, following the repeal of the 1992 PASPA by the SCOTUS. The state, having gained momentum in that field through the sale of online lottery tickets, now branching into and pursuing internet gaming and sports betting as well.
Luckily for the Illinois residents, the state is a liberal one, meaning its occupants are always at liberty to generally enjoy gambling as a pastime. All the same, pundits predict the firm and permanent establishment of the Illinois sports betting sector by early 2020.