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Illinois Gaming Board

The Illinois Gaming Board (IGB) plays a crucial role in the regulation and oversight of the gambling industry in Illinois. This page delves into the various aspects of the IGB, providing a detailed analysis of its functions, regulations, and impact on the state.

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What is the Illinois Gaming Board?

The Illinois Gaming Board (IGB) is a governmental agency responsible for regulating the gambling industry in Illinois. Its primary functions include licensing, monitoring, and enforcing state laws related to gambling. The IGB ensures that gambling activities are conducted fairly and legally, protecting the interests of the public and the state.

What forms of gambling does the Illinois Gaming Board regulate?

The Illinois Gaming Board regulates several forms of gambling to ensure they operate within the legal and ethical frameworks established by the state. The key forms of gambling regulated by the IGB include:

  • Land-based casinos: The IGB oversees land-based casinos in Illinois. This includes traditional casino games like slot machines, poker, blackjack, roulette, and other table games.
  • Video Gaming Terminals (VGTs): The Board regulates the operation of video gaming terminals, which are similar to slot machines, and are found in various licensed establishments such as bars, restaurants, truck stops, and fraternal organizations.
  • Riverboat gambling: Illinois was one of the first states to legalize riverboat gambling. The IGB regulates these floating casinos, ensuring compliance with state gambling laws and regulations.
  • Sports betting: Illinois sports betting was legalized through the Illinois Sports Wagering Act, which was signed into law by Governor J.B. Pritzker on June 28, 2019. Following this legalization, the Illinois Gaming Board (IGB) was assigned the responsibility of regulating the sector.
  • Horse racing and parimutuel wagering: The IGB is responsible for regulating horse racing and horse race betting in Illinois which takes place at racetracks, online, and at off-track betting facilities.
  • Lottery: While the Illinois Lottery Control Board primarily oversees the Illinois Lottery, the IGB also plays a role in ensuring the integrity and fairness of lottery games within the state.
  • Charitable gaming: This includes bingo, raffles, and other games typically conducted for fundraising purposes by charitable organizations. The IGB ensures that these activities are conducted by state laws.

Does the Illinois Gaming Board regulate online casino gaming?

No, the Illinois Gaming Board does not regulate online casinos in Illinois because online casinos are not legal in the state. Any online casino that is currently accepting Illinois players is often referred to as an offshore casino and is not subject to the same level of regulation and oversight as legal, state-sanctioned online casinos.

How can one apply for a gambling license in Illinois?

To apply for a gaming license in Illinois, applicants must submit a detailed application to the IGB, which includes background checks, financial disclosures, and compliance with regulatory requirements. The process is comprehensive, ensuring that only qualified and responsible entities operate in the gaming industry.

The criteria for obtaining a gaming license include financial stability, integrity, good character, and a demonstrated commitment to responsible gaming.

How does the Illinois Gaming Board ensure responsible gambling practices?

The Illinois Gaming Board employs a multifaceted approach to ensure responsible gambling practices within the state's gambling industry. This approach is designed to protect consumers, prevent problem gambling, and maintain the integrity of gaming operations. Here's an evaluation of the key strategies used by the IGB to promote responsible gambling in Illinois:

  • Comprehensive licensing process: The IGB conducts thorough background checks and financial assessments of potential licensees to ensure only reputable and responsible operators are allowed to offer gaming services.
  • Regular audits and compliance checks: These ensure that gaming establishments adhere to state laws and regulations, including responsible gaming practices.
  • Game fairness and integrity: The IGB sets standards for gaming equipment and operations to ensure games are fair and not misleading.
  • Advertising guidelines: Regulations are in place to govern the marketing and advertising of gambling, preventing misleading promotions and ensuring that advertisements do not target vulnerable populations.
  • Public awareness campaigns: The IGB supports initiatives that educate the public about the risks associated with gambling, how to gamble responsibly, and where to seek help if needed.
  • Training for gaming employees: Employees are trained to recognize signs of problem gambling and how to offer assistance or information to patrons.
  • Self-exclusion programs: The Illinois self-exclusion program allows individuals to voluntarily exclude themselves from gambling activities for a set period or permanently.
  • Support and referral services: The IGB provides information and access to resources for individuals struggling with gambling addiction, including helplines and counseling services.
  • Working with operators: The IGB collaborates with casino operators and other gaming entities to promote responsible gaming practices within their establishments.
  • Partnerships with treatment providers: The Board partners with health professionals and organizations specializing in the treatment of gambling addiction.
  • Enforcement of underage gambling laws: The IGB strictly enforces laws prohibiting underage gambling, including regular checks and severe penalties for violations.
  • Addressing problematic behavior: The Board takes action against licensees who fail to comply with responsible gaming practices or contribute to problem gambling.

What are the penalties for violating gaming regulations in Illinois?

Violating gaming regulations in Illinois can result in severe penalties, including fines, suspension or revocation of licenses, and legal action. The IGB enforces these regulations strictly to maintain the integrity of the gaming industry.

How does the Illinois Gaming Board contribute to the state's economy?

The Illinois Gaming Board plays a significant role in contributing to the state's economy through its regulation and oversight of the gaming industry. The economic impact of the IGB's activities is multifaceted, encompassing revenue generation, job creation, and broader economic stimulation. Here's an elaboration on these aspects:

Revenue generation through taxation and licensing fees

One of the most direct contributions of the IGB to the state's economy is through the collection of taxes on gaming revenues. Casinos, video gaming terminals, sports betting, and other regulated gaming activities are subject to state taxes, which can be a substantial source of revenue for Illinois.

The process of obtaining a gaming license involves fees that contribute to state revenues. These fees vary depending on the type and scale of the gaming operation.

Job creation and employment opportunities

The gaming industry, regulated by the IGB, directly employs a significant number of people in casinos, racetracks, betting establishments, and other gaming-related businesses.

Beyond direct employment in gaming establishments, the industry also supports jobs in related sectors such as hospitality, tourism, and service industries.

Economic stimulation and development

Gaming establishments often act as anchors for economic development in their areas, attracting additional businesses like hotels, restaurants, and entertainment venues.

Casinos and other gaming venues can be significant tourist attractions, drawing visitors from outside the state and contributing to the overall tourism economy.

Support for public programs and infrastructure

The revenues generated from gaming activities are often allocated to specific public programs, such as education, infrastructure development, and social services.

In some cases, gaming revenues are used for infrastructure improvements in and around gaming facilities, which can benefit local communities.

Promoting responsible gaming

By regulating the industry and promoting responsible gaming, the IGB helps to mitigate potential social costs associated with problem gambling, which can have economic implications.

Community contributions and charitable initiatives

The regulation of charitable gaming, such as bingo and raffles, supports various non-profit and community initiatives.

Some gaming establishments enter into agreements with local communities to provide financial support for community projects and initiatives.


Does the Illinois Gaming Board publish reports on the state's gambling revenue?

The IGB releases updates on gambling revenues every month on their official website. These reports provide detailed information on various aspects of the gaming industry in Illinois, including revenue generated from different forms of gambling, such as casinos, video gaming terminals, and sports betting.

How do I file a complaint to the Illinois Gaming Board?

To file a complaint with the Illinois Gaming Board, you can either visit their official website and fill out the complaint form provided there, or you can call the Illinois Gaming Board Hotline at (855) 494-0237.

How does the Illinois Gaming Board collaborate with law enforcement?

The IGB collaborates with law enforcement agencies to combat illegal gaming activities and enforce gaming laws. This collaboration includes sharing information, conducting joint investigations, and supporting enforcement actions.