The Loosest Slots in Illinois in 2024 (Best Payout Casinos and Games)

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Unlocking the Secrets to Illinois’ Loosest Slots in 2024

Explore the heart of Illinois’ slot scene in 2024, where top spots like Argosy Casino Alton and Hollywood Casino & Hotel Joliet lead with the state’s loosest slots.

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Key Takeaways:

  • Top Locations for Loose Slots: Find the loosest slots at Argosy Casino Alton, Hollywood Casino & Hotel Joliet, and select parlors in Springfield.
  • Popular Games: Seek out games like Geisha, Wheel of Fortune, Lightning Link, and Buffalo Grand for better chances of winning.
  • Online Alternatives: For convenience and variety, explore the online slot options available on, offering an immersive gaming experience with high payouts from the comfort of your home.
  • Insider Tips: Navigate Illinois’ diverse slot scene, from riverboat casinos to local parlors, for the best gaming experiences.
  • Understanding Payouts: Learn how Illinois’ unique slot machine market operates and how to find games with the highest return percentages.

Responsible Gambling Resources in Illinois

Illinois offers many responsible gaming resources to help and support persons who suffer from problem gambling. Resources include helplines, counseling services, and even self-exclusion programs to facilitate responsible gaming by offering support to whoever might be in need. Let’s explore some of the key support services available to ensure a safe and enjoyable gaming environment for all.

  1. Illinois Council on Problem Gambling (ICPG):

    • Website:
    • Helpline: 1-800-GAMBLER (1-800-426-2537)
    • The ICPG offers resources and support for individuals affected by problem gambling, including helplines, counseling services, self-exclusion programs, and educational materials. They also provide referrals to local treatment providers and support groups.
  2. Illinois Department of Human Services – Division of Substance Use Prevention and Recovery:

    • Website:
    • Helpline: 1-800-588-2300
    • The Division of Substance Use Prevention and Recovery offers addiction treatment and recovery services, including support for individuals struggling with gambling addiction. They provide assessments, counseling, and referrals to treatment programs.
  3. National Council on Problem Gambling (NCPG):

    • Website:
    • Helpline: 1-800-522-4700
    • The NCPG offers national resources and support for individuals affected by problem gambling, including helplines, live chat support, self-help tools, and information on responsible gaming practices.
  4. Gamblers Anonymous (GA):

    • Website:
    • Gamblers Anonymous provides support groups and meetings for individuals recovering from gambling addiction. They offer a 12-step recovery program, peer support, and a network of individuals who understand the challenges of overcoming compulsive gambling behavior.
  5. Illinois Gaming Board (IGB) – Self-Exclusion Program:

    • Website:
    • The Illinois Gaming Board offers a self-exclusion program for individuals who wish to voluntarily exclude themselves from Illinois casinos and gaming establishments. Participants can sign up for a period of one or five years and are prohibited from entering participating gaming venues during that time.
  6. Educational Resources and Awareness Campaigns:

    • The Illinois Gaming Board, along with local government agencies and nonprofit organizations, frequently conducts educational campaigns and initiatives to raise awareness about responsible gaming practices and problem gambling prevention. These campaigns often include informational materials, public service announcements, and outreach efforts to promote responsible gambling behaviors and access to support services.

Historical Context of Gambling in Illinois

The history of gambling in Illinois is actually quite rich and complex. It is strongly linked with the influence of organized crime figures like Al Capone and the Torrio-Capone Organization, especially in Chicago.

Challenges of Illegal Operations

In the 20th century, illegal gambling operations bloomed under their control, greatly challenging the forces of law, and dramatically brought home to the public the social cost of unregulated gambling.

Regulatory Beginnings

However, it had been in 1974 when the legalization of gambling regulation had commenced with the advent of the state lottery, which provided an outlet for various kinds of gambling. But their influence somehow still persisted, and some really hard regulatory actions were needed so as to suppress illegal gambling operations.

Rise of Riverboat Casinos

But this twist with the riverboat casinos in the early 1990s was viewed as something important in the history of Illinois gambling. Indeed, the change from illicit to licit gambling has added push to the state’s economic vigor, as proceeds from taxes levied on gambling are being siphoned into programs and activities aplenty. Specific figures on the revenues from the riverboat casinos, state lottery, video gaming terminals (VGTs), and other forms of gambling bring to the limelight the economic benefits derived from gambling to Illinois and its populace.

Technological Advancements in Gambling

Further shaping and proliferation of technology in the gambling industry, such as online lottery sales and video gaming terminals, possibly legalizing sport betting to reshape the modes in the gambling landscape.

Social and Ethical Concerns

On the basis of economic benefits, the expansion of gambling has exaggerated a number of social and ethical problems. The problems, like addiction to gambling, financial risk, and social inequality, were the over which responsible gaming practices and measures were to be adopted. The legislators then had to balance the economic opportunity with the more social welfare issue of ensuring there was safe and responsible gambling for everyone.

Where are the loosest slots in Illinois in 2024, and which casinos offer the best payouts?

The loosest slots in Illinois in 2024 can be found at Argosy Casino Alton, Hollywood Casino & Hotel Joliet, and select parlors in Springfield, with Argosy Casino Alton boasting a leading payout rate of 92.3%. For a broader gaming selection and the convenience of playing from home, offers a rich array of online slots mirroring Illinois’ top casino experiences.

Here’s a brief overview of each gaming location in Springfield, Illinois:

  1. Argosy Casino Alton: Located at 1 Piasa St, Alton, IL 62002, this riverboat casino offers an array of slot machines, table games, and poker rooms, complemented by dining options. Ideal for those seeking entertainment and a chance to win big along the scenic Mississippi River. More info: Argosy Casino Alton​​​​.
  2. Hollywood Casino & Hotel Joliet: Positioned at 777 Hollywood Blvd, Joliet, IL 60436, this casino boasts a variety of slots, table games, and live entertainment. The attached hotel and multiple dining venues provide a full-service experience for a memorable stay. More info: Hollywood Casino Joliet​​​​.
  3. Ashley’s Gaming Parlor: Situated at 4132 N Peoria Rd, Springfield, IL 62702, Ashley’s offers a cozy and welcoming environment for video slot and poker enthusiasts. Known for friendly staff and complimentary snacks, it’s a great local spot for casual gaming. More info: Ashley’s Gaming Parlor​​​​.
  4. Pennies Place Video Slots & Poker: Located at 1337 Wabash Ave, Springfield, IL 62704, this venue offers a wide selection of video slots and poker games. Known for its pleasant atmosphere, Pennies Place provides an enjoyable gaming experience for all. More info: Maxamillions​​​​.
  5. Daisy’s Lucky Slots: Found at 1826 Stevenson Dr, Springfield, Illinois 62703, Daisy’s Lucky Slots is a welcoming venue for trying your luck on various gaming machines. With a friendly environment, it’s a perfect place for a fun gaming session. More info: Daisy’s Lucky Slots​​​​​​.

Each of these locations offers unique experiences for gamers and visitors, from full-service casinos with hotels and dining options to local gaming parlors providing a more intimate atmosphere.

Of all the state’s best payout slot games, those at Argosy Casino Alton give the best theoretical return percentage. They’re at 92.3%, compared to a state average of closer to 90%.

The loosest slot machine games to play at these Illinois casinos and slot parlors are Geisha, Wheel of Fortune, Lightning Link, and Buffalo Grand.

loosest slots in Illinois

Gambling in Illinois is a mess. Slots and other machine games are available at the state’s 10 commercial riverboat casinos. But you can find  more of these games at thousands of small retail settings across the Prairie State. In fact, there are more slots and video poker terminals in bars, restaurants, and gas stations than in the state’s official commercial gambling venues.

This post is a guide to the loosest slots to play in Illinois. I’ve also written about other states in the midwest with slots and casinos, like Wisconsin, for example.

A Note on Slot Machine Gambling in Illinois

Unlike Florida’s or Oklahoma’s, Illinois’ slot machine market is untidy. I’m a writer who thinks categorically. So, it’s easier to write about  slots in Detroit, because there are only 3 places to play slots in Detroit. That makes for a tidier blog post.

You can find slots in hundreds of little cities up and down the state. This is amazing. Consider the size of the state. It’s about the size of Maine stapled to West Virginia. And there’s a vast difference in culture that exists between Chicago and Belleville. Slots and video poker terminals are something that people in Illinois can agree on.

All traditional commercial casino operations in Illinois must take place on a riverboat. This is a vestige of the old gambling industry on steamboats along the Mississippi River. You’ll find those Illinois slot and video poker games in other retail stores, from bait shops to barbershops. But you won’t find any table games or any of the other trappings of traditional casino gambling at these places.

Illinois Slot Machine Payback Percentages

Let’s talk about slot payback percentage figures in Illinois. They aren’t easy to find. And what data exist require some assembly at home before they look anything like a traditional RTP.

Illinois law only requires that the state be presented with annual data about the amount paid into and amount paid out from machine games. That means the figures that are publicly available about payback percentages aren’t even accurate from a purely slots perspective. The state’s in-out data combines both slot and video poker numbers.

Check it out for yourself at the Illinois Gaming Board Video Gaming Revenue Reports page.

What Can We Learn from this Report about the Loosest Slots in Illinois?

We don’t get to see data about specific game payback percentages. Nor do we get to see reports about the average returns for specific casinos in the state. Instead, the data are compiled by municipality, listed in the annual report by the name of the city where the slot is registered.

In some cases, you can identify a specific casino or slot parlor’s data in the report. That’s because it’s the only one in a small town identified in the data.

Here’s another assumption we should make:

Video poker paybacks are much higher than a typical casino slot machine’s. So, these figures are most likely higher than what you’ll really get with an Illinois slot machine. The average video poker payback percentage for full pay Jacks or Better video is 99.5%. The inclusion of video poker returns makes these numbers almost useless for slots players.

To get to the average return figures, I looked at the numbers for a given city and did some basic math. I divided the amount paid out by machines by the amount paid into them to get an average return percentage. Using this method, a machine that took in $5,000 but paid out $4,000 has an RTP of 80%.

All this means that determining which are the loosest slots in Illinois is tricky.

the loosest slots in Illinois

Best Cities in Illinois to Play Slots

I looked at Illinois’s most recent revenue reports broken down by municipality. Then I identified the 4 best cities in Illinois for slot and video poker players. I am only looking at average RTP as determined by this most recent data release for this list.

City Ranking in Illinois Average RTP Notable Features
Joliet 4th 91% 433 machines across 83 sites. Hollywood Casino & Hotel with a large gaming floor significantly influencing machine count.
Decatur 3rd 91.2% No large slot parlor or casino. Higher presence of video poker machines contributing to high RTP.
Rockford 2nd 91.2% Anticipation for Hard Rock Casino Rockford boosts rankings. Slot-heavy area with fewer video poker terminals.
Springfield 1st 91.8% No large casino or slot parlor. 688 games in 129 locations. High competition possibly driving high RTP.

Here’s a quick look at each of them in terms of their gambling options. They’re ranked in ascending order of average slot and video poker RTP:

Joliet – the 4th-best city in Illinois for Slots (91% average RTP)

Joliet is recognized as an attractive city for slot enthusiasts, ranking fourth in Illinois with an impressive average Return to Player (RTP) rate of 91%. The Illinois Gaming Board notes that there are numerous locations throughout the state offering slot and video poker games, with a significant concentration in Joliet. Despite an overall average of five machines per site statewide, this figure is somewhat distorted due to the large-scale operations at the Hollywood Casino & Hotel in Joliet. This venue, notable for being a riverboat casino, boasts a substantial 50,000-square-foot gaming floor, contributing to the city’s high placement for slot machine offerings.

Decatur – the 3rd-best city in Illinois for Slots (91.2% average RTP)

Unlike Joliet, Decatur’s gaming landscape lacks a singular, large gambling establishment but compensates with a variety of smaller slot parlors. Notably, these establishments tend to feature a higher proportion of video poker machines compared to similar venues in other regions, potentially influencing the city’s higher than average RTP of 91.2%. This rate not only exceeds the state average but also markedly surpasses the lowest-return games found in Illinois. The unique composition of gaming options in Decatur contributes to its status as an appealing destination for slot players.

Rockford – the 2nd-best city in Illinois for Slots (91.2% average RTP)

Rockford’s slot machine scene is buzzing with anticipation for the forthcoming Hard Rock Casino Rockford. In the interim, the temporary Rockford Casino serves as a precursor, generating excitement and business ahead of the official launch. This temporary setup, combined with a slot-centric approach differing from areas with a higher density of video poker machines, helps Rockford achieve an average RTP of 91.2%. This positions the city as a top destination for slot players, especially those located in or near the Chicagoland area, given its proximity.

Springfield – the best city in Illinois for Slots (91.8% average RTP)

Springfield distinguishes itself from other Illinois cities with its unique blend of local culture that feels more reminiscent of Missouri than metropolitan Chicago. The city’s gambling scene is notably decentralized, with slot and video poker machines distributed across numerous small venues, contributing to a highly competitive environment. This competition likely fuels the exceptional average RTP rate of 91.8%, the highest in the state. Springfield’s strategy to enhance its gaming appeal includes plans to introduce a commercial riverboat casino on Lake Springfield, which could further solidify its position as the leading city for slot machine gaming in Illinois.

Illinois’ Best Slot Machine Games

Illinois’ Best Slot Machine Games

The two games below are popular titles that also happen to be among the best odds slots in all of Illinois. I have a few words to say about each game. The next time you’re in Illinois playing slots, look for these two games to give yourself a good advantage against the house, whether it’s a big riverboat owned by Penn Gaming or a hole in the wall slot parlor on I-55.

Geisha by Endorphina

A 5-reel slot with up to 25 pay lines. Geisha accepts bets between $0.01 and $10 per line, for a total betting range of $0.25-$250. Top prize is 800 coins, for a max payout of between $8 and $8,000. The theme is exactly what you’d expect – classical Japan, with an emphasis on the Geisha figure. The game includes a wild symbol, a scatter symbol that can lead to up to 10 free spins, a Risk Game gamble feature on every win, and win multipliers in the form of a special Geisha symbol. This slot machine offers a serene gaming environment with its enchanting Japanese theme. Known for its beautiful graphics and immersive soundtrack, Geisha provides players with a tranquil yet exciting gaming experience. It features a variety of bonuses, including free spins and multipliers, making it not only a feast for the eyes but also a potentially lucrative game.

Lightning Link by Aristocrat

Lightning Link is the first of a three-game series that includes two other popular titles with decent odds Dragon Link and Dollar Storm. And Lightning Link is a progressive game with four top jackpots. It has 5 reels and 25-pay lines stuffed with bonus rounds. Denominations are $0.01, $0.02, $0.05, and $0.10 per coin, with a bet-max of 250 coins. Free spins games like Lightning Link are always popular, doubly so in the small-town gambling parlors of Illinois, where this series is usually the most popular game. This game stands out for its linked progressive jackpot system, offering multiple levels of jackpots. Lightning Link slots are a collection of several games, each with unique themes ranging from magical pearls to sahara gold. They are known for their engaging gameplay, high-quality graphics, and the excitement of the Hold & Spin feature, which can lead to significant payouts.

Wheel of Fortune by IGT

This iconic slot features a standard 5-reel layout with up to 720 ways to win, thanks to the unique MultiWay Xtra pay feature. Bets can range from $0.50 to $500, catering to both casual players and high rollers. The top prize varies, often linked to progressive jackpots that can reach into the tens of thousands or more. The theme is rooted in the popular TV game show, featuring symbols and sound effects reminiscent of the original program. The Wheel of Fortune slots stand out for their immersive experience that captures the essence of the TV show, combined with the excitement of slot gaming. The integration of show-themed bonuses, progressive jackpots, and a wide betting range make it a versatile and engaging option for many players.

Buffalo Grand by Aristocrat

Buffalo Grand is an advanced version of the popular Buffalo slot series, presented on a larger-than-life curved screen for an immersive experience. It operates on the Reel Power system, providing 1,024 ways to win across 5 reels. Players can bet in increments aligning with the Reel Power system, with a minimum bet typically starting from around $0.75 to a maximum of around $375 per spin. The jackpot system in Buffalo Grand is progressive, with the potential to win one of several jackpots, the grandest often reaching into the high six or even seven figures. The theme celebrates North American wildlife, with symbols representing iconic animals like the buffalo, eagle, and wolf. The graphics are vibrant and detailed, pulling players into the wild settings, complemented by an evocative soundtrack that enhances the outdoor adventure atmosphere.

Player testimonials

  1. John, Regular at Argosy Casino Alton: “I’ve been playing slots at Argosy Casino Alton for years, and it’s always been my go-to spot for some excitement. The atmosphere is lively, and I’ve had some great wins here. My favorite game has to be Lightning Link – there’s just something about those progressive jackpots that keeps me coming back for more.”
  2. Sarah, Enthusiastic Visitor to Hollywood Casino & Hotel Joliet: “Hollywood Casino & Hotel Joliet is where I go to unwind and try my luck on the slots. The variety of games is impressive, but I always find myself gravitating towards Wheel of Fortune. There’s a thrill to spinning that iconic wheel, and I’ve had some memorable wins that keep me hooked.”
  3. Mike, Regular at Ashley’s Gaming Parlor in Springfield: “Ashley’s Gaming Parlor is my local spot for some casual gaming fun. The staff is friendly, and it’s a welcoming environment to spend an evening with friends. I enjoy playing Geisha – the tranquil theme and bonus features make it a relaxing experience after a long day.”
  4. Emily, Pennies Place Video Slots & Poker Patron: “Pennies Place is a hidden gem in Springfield for slot enthusiasts like myself. I love the variety of video slots available here, and I’ve had some decent wins on Buffalo Grand. It’s one of those games that keeps you on the edge of your seat with every spin.”
  5. Alex, Regular at Daisy’s Lucky Slots: “Daisy’s Lucky Slots has become my go-to spot for some entertainment in Springfield. The atmosphere is laid-back, and it’s a great place to unwind after work. I enjoy playing Lightning Link – the Hold & Spin feature adds an extra layer of excitement, and I’ve had some lucky streaks on this game.”


Things to do while you are in Illinois

Things to do while you are in Illinois

Explore Chicago

Just a short drive from many of Illinois’ casinos, Chicago offers a world-class array of attractions. Take a stroll along the iconic Navy Pier, featuring a variety of shops, restaurants, and entertainment options, including the Centennial Wheel, offering panoramic views of the city skyline. Marvel at the breathtaking views from the Willis Tower Skydeck, where you can step out onto the Ledge, a glass balcony extending four feet outside the 103rd floor. Immerse yourself in culture at the Art Institute of Chicago, home to an extensive collection of artworks, including famous pieces like American Gothic and Nighthawks. Don’t forget to indulge in the city’s famous deep-dish pizza at iconic pizzerias like Lou Malnati’s or Pizzeria Uno, and explore its vibrant neighborhoods like Wicker Park, Lincoln Park, and the Loop.

Discover Starved Rock State Park

Nature enthusiasts will delight in a visit to Starved Rock State Park, located along the Illinois River. There are great canyons to hike through, such as French Canyon and Wildcat Canyon; breathtaking waterfalls to gape at, part of which include St. Louis Canyon Waterfall and LaSalle Canyon Waterfall; and panoramic sites to see from atop the sandstone bluffs in the park. With 13 miles of trails, an outdoor getaway cannot get any better. Plan to take part in the guided hike or the trolley tour by park staff for added information on the history and natural features of the park.

Experience Historic Route 66

Take a ride along Historic Route 66, with time-honored quirky roadside attractions such as the Gemini Giant in Wilmington, standing 30-foot-tall fiberglass astronaut, and the Pontiac-OMU Automobile Museum showcasing vintage cars and memorabilia. Don’t forget the next stop at the Route 66 Hall of Fame & Museum in Pontiac, IL for further recognition and getting to know the history of the great route. While here, get an opportunity to visit the world-renowned Dixie Truckers Home, located in McLean, IL, for some great old-time comfort food in a classic diner atmosphere.

Indulge in Wine Tasting

The state, therefore, also hosts a number of scenic wineries and vineyards, giving wine lovers the chance to sample local vintages within beautiful countryside settings. You can find more than enough, including wineries on the Shawnee Hills Wine Trail in Southern Illinois, of which there are 12 wineries located amidst rolling hills, 23 lakes, and a beautiful landscape. In Galena, picturesque wineries like the Galena Cellars Vineyard & Winery and Massbach Ridge Winery abound. Many wineries offer tours, tastings, and events, making for a perfect day trip or weekend getaway.

Enjoy Outdoor Recreation

With shores on Lake Michigan for boating and fishing, the state also provides various hiking and biking opportunities along scenic trails. Feel free to explore the 61-mile Illinois and Michigan Canal State Trail for hiking, biking, and horseback riding, or paddle down the Chicago River on a guided kayak tour and see the city skyline from a totally different angle. Tee off at one of the state’s many championship golf courses, from the hallowed Medinah Country Club in Medinah, IL, to picturesque Cantigny Golf Course in Wheaton, IL. Whether you’re an adventure seeker or simply looking to relax in nature, Illinois has something for everyone.

Conclusion – Where Are the Loosest Slots in Illinois?

Guys like me don’t like writing about the loosest slots in Illinois or other states like Illinois. That’s because the slots aren’t all concentrated in big easy-to-review casino-resort properties. Instead, they’re tossed about here and there in tiny retail stores and gambling halls.

Illinois has a few big-name gambling venues, with some construction already underway and plans for several new casino properties in the near future.

For now, if you’re going to play slots in Illinois, and you want to stick to games that offer players the best odds, you’ll need to stick to Joliet, Decatur, Rockford, and Springfield.


1. Where can I find the loosest slots in Illinois in 2024?

The loosest slots in Illinois for 2024 are predominantly located at Argosy Casino Alton, Hollywood Casino & Hotel Joliet, and several slot parlors in Springfield, namely Ashley’s Gaming Parlor, Pennies Place Video Slots & Poker, and Daisy’s Lucky Slots.

2. What are the most popular slot machine games in Illinois for higher payouts?

Popular slot machine games offering higher payouts include Geisha, Wheel of Fortune, Lightning Link, and Buffalo Grand, which are known for their higher theoretical return percentages.

3. How do the payout percentages in Illinois compare to the state average?

The leading establishments, like Argosy Casino Alton, offer a 92.3% payout rate, which is above the state’s average of around 90%.

4. Can I play high-payout slot games online?

Yes, you can experience high-payout slot games online at, which offers a selection of slot games with competitive payouts and bonuses, providing a comparable experience to Illinois’ top casinos from the comfort of your home.

5. How is the slot machine market in Illinois different from other states?

Illinois has a distinctive slot machine market where gambling is not only confined to commercial riverboat casinos but extends to thousands of small retail settings across the state, from bars and restaurants to gas stations, offering a wider spread of gaming options.

6. What should I know about slot machine gambling regulations in Illinois?

All traditional commercial casino operations in Illinois must occur on a riverboat, as a legacy of the historical gambling industry on the Mississippi River. However, slot and video poker games can be found in numerous retail stores outside of these traditional venues.

7. How are slot machine payback percentages determined in Illinois?

Illinois slot machine payback percentages are calculated by dividing the total amount paid out by machines by the total amount paid into them, providing an average return percentage. However, this calculation mixes both slot and video poker returns, which can affect the accuracy for slot-only players.

8. Which cities in Illinois offer the best chances for slot and video poker players?

According to recent revenue reports, the best cities in Illinois for slot and video poker players, based on average RTP, are Joliet, Decatur, Rockford, and Springfield, with Springfield offering the highest average RTP.

9. What are the best slot machine games to play in Illinois for favorable odds?

For better odds against the house, look for the slot machine games Geisha by Endorphina and Lightning Link by Aristocrat, both popular and offering decent odds.

10. How can I find out about the latest developments in Illinois’ slot machine offerings?

Keep an eye on updates from the Illinois Gaming Board and local news sources for the latest developments in slot machine offerings and upcoming casino properties in Illinois.

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