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Gambling in Illinois

Illinois PokerIllinois, like many other states, has experienced a poker boom in recent years and has many options for gamblers. Harrahs Metropolis Casino and Hollywood Casino offer the most prominent options for poker players. In addition to casinos, racetracks, and poker games, there is a state lottery and bingo games held throughout the state. The riverboat casino industry is thriving in Illinois and the addition of Resorts East in East Chicago, just over the state border in Indiana, has greatly upped the ante for Illinois casinos.

Poker is currently thriving in Illinois and the games offered in the casinos of the Chicago area are among the most profitable games to be found anywhere. The action is loose and if you find yourself in the Chicago area it is definitely worth your while to check out these fantastic games.

Illinois Gambling Laws

The Illinois Gaming Board regulates all casino gambling in the state. The board oversees the casino operations and also licenses the employees of all gambling operations. The Illinois Racing Board ensures the integrity of all aspects of horse races that are held in Illinois. Poker rooms fall under the umbrella of the Illinois Gaming Board since they are located in the casinos. Home games are legal as long as no house cut, or rake is taken from the game.

Notable Illinois Poker Players

Illinois, often called �The Prairie State�, has produced a number of top tier professional poker players.

Brent Carter. Many poker fans are no doubt familiar with the name of Illinois native and long time professional Brent Carter. Brent made his living at the tables long before the poker boom made celebrities of poker players, and has too many wins and high finishes to list them all. Some highlights include winning two World Series of Poker bracelets, along with many final table appearances. He finished third in the 1995 World Series main event that Dan Harrington won. Brent is known as a tremendous all around player and has also received the award for best all around player at multiple tournaments. A quick glance at his resume shows this versatility as many of his wins have occurred in a variety of different games. Brent Carter may lack some of the flash that has made some lesser players famous, but when it comes to consistent performers he should be at the top of anyone�s best player list.

Gavin Griffin. Griffin, from Darien Illinois, burst upon the poker scene in 2004 by becoming the youngest player ever to win a World Series of Poker bracelet. Although this feat was recently bettered by an even younger player, the $270,000 he won at this event identified him as one of the games youngest stars.

Jim McManus. Perhaps the most famous Illinois poker player is not really famous for his poker playing. Jim McManus�s book, Positively 5th Street, was a best seller that helped to thrust poker into the national spotlight. His tale of competing in the 2000 Main Event at the World Series of Poker is a must read for any poker enthusiast. He went on to finish 5th in that event and came home with a story that became an instant poker classic. Since then he has made multiple final tables, in both Hold em as well as Omaha, and proved that his finish in the 2000 main event was no fluke.

Steve Rassi. Rassi from Morton, Illinois finished 5th in the 2004 World Poker Tour Championship at the Five Diamond Classic held at Bellagio. This earned him over $200,000. He followed that up with two prestigious final tables in 2005, with an 8th place finish in the $1,500 No-Limit Hold �em event at the World Series of Poker, and a 5th place finish at a World Series Circuit Event.

Illinois Casino Poker Cardrooms

Illinois casinos are generally located on riverboats. The term riverboat is somewhat misleading as these large barges offer all of the comfort of traditional land-based casinos. There are a number of options to choose from and wherever you happen to be in Illinois you are likely to be relatively close to one of the Illinois casinos. There are currently over 10 casinos in Illinois to choose from, though there are only two offering poker.

Illinois casinos offer a full range of gambling options including slot and video poker machines, table games, and race books. Players must be 21 years of age to enter Illinois casinos.

Harrahs Metropolis Casino
100 East Front Street, Metropolis, Illinois 62960
1-800-929-5905

Hollywood Casino Aurora II
49 West Galena Boulevard, Aurora, Illinois 60506-4129
1-630-801-1234, 1-800-888-7777

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