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Illinois State Lotteries Laws

Each state treats gambling differently, and subsequently, each of the 50 states has different laws prohibiting and allowing various forms of gambling. The most common forms of gambling in the United States are: horseracing, commercial casinos, Indian casinos, charitable gambling, and state lotteries.

Illinois allows legal forms of charitable gambling (a form of gambling in which revenues go to charities), horseracing, commercial gambling, and the state lottery. The Illinois state lottery, referred to as “Illinois Lottery,” began operating on July 1, 1974. It offers several games, including: Pick 3, Pick 4, scratchers, Mega Millions, and Powerball.

Generally, official state lotteries designate certain public recipients of lottery revenues, usually public schools. In Illinois, state lottery laws specifically direct an unspecified portion of all revenue to the state's Common School Fund, which helps to find Illinois public schools. The lottery also features specialty games that direct revenue to various charitable causes directed towards helping Illinois veterans and HIV/AIDS patients, as well as funding the treatment and research of breast cancer and multiple sclerosis.

The main provisions of Illinois state lottery laws are listed in the following table.

Code Section

20 ILCS 1605-1 et seq.

Distribution of Lottery Revenue

Set by department; all revenue to go to "State Lottery Fund"

Additional Purpose of Lottery

To support the state's Common School Fund

Lottery Prize Subject to Garnishment

Withheld for past due support

Time Limit to Claim Prize/Disposition

Set by department/added to prize pool for special drawings

Prohibited Related Activities

At greater price; to charge a fee to redeem a prize; from unlicensed sales agent; altering ticket; sale to minors

Note: State laws are constantly changing -- contact an Illinois gaming attorney or conduct your own legal research to verify the state law(s) you are researching.

More Information

For more general information on lottery laws, browse FindLaw's Details on State Lottery Laws article. If you’d like more information on the laws relating specifically to Illinois, check out our article on Illinois Gambling Laws or the links to the resources listed below. Finally, if you have more specific questions regarding the Illinois state lottery, you may want to think about hiring a local gaming attorney.

Research the Law

Illinois State Lotteries Laws: Related Resources

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