Thanks to Gov. Pritzker for signing SB690 into law making sports betting legal in Illinois. Online sports betting began in Illinois on June 18, 2020, when Rivers Casino went live through BetRivers. Sports bettors in the Land of Lincoln now have access to a handful of Illinois betting sites such as BetRivers and FanDuel.
Punters can place bets from anywhere in the state via desktop or mobile betting apps, on Android, or iOS devices.
However, to place an online sports wager, you have to register for an account with the casino or racetrack associated with the sportsbook app. On August 21, Gov. J.B. Pritzker lifted the in-person registration rule for one month. Within this time period, new players in Illinois can sign up online.
Here at Gambler Saloon, we built this stupendous guide to bring you complete information about the Illinois Betting Sites and their offerings directly to you.
- Tournaments with huge payouts
- Free contests to practice
- Brand reputation
- Sports betting & Casino gaming
- Complex rewards system
- Legal in many states.
- Only 1x wagering requirement.
- Live betting on major sports.
- No Neteller and Skrill support.
- Trusted operator in the US
- App for iOS and Android devices
- Plenty of casinos games
- Easy site navigation
- Can lose more than the initial wager
- Bet on over 17 sports
- Same game parlays
- Cash out option
- In-Game Betting
- Promos not that regular
- App can freeze occasionally
- In Play betting
- Easy parlays
- Bet on every sport
- Trusted industry name
- Slow withdrawals
- Cash rewards take time to earn
- Sportsbook & Casino
- User-friendly website and mobile app
- Amazing for parlays
- Huge range of markets
- Slow withdrawals
- Low max bets on odds boosts
Illinois Online Sports Betting Sites
Illinois boasts the sixth-largest population in the US and has five professional sports teams across the nation’s four major sports leagues. With 12.7 million people, Illinois is the second-most populated state with legalized online sports betting,
Illinois allows only one mobile skin per entity. In other words, each casino can have only a single online/mobile partner.
At the present time, three online betting sites are operating in the state. Those include BetRivers, FanDuel, PointsBet, and DraftKings. Some top online betting operators like William Hill and PointsBet are waiting for license approval.
Illinois online sportsbook operators use geolocation security technology, similar to other states that have legalized online sports betting. The bettor does not have to be an Illinois resident to place a wager, but simply in the state at the time the bet is placed.
On March 9, Rush Street’s River Casino Des Plaines became the first retail location to accept legal wagering in the state. BetRivers is its online sports betting arm.
In fact, the BetRivers was the first to launch an online sportsbook in Illinois. It officially went live on June 18, 2020. Illinois is the seventh state with a BetRivers sportsbook. The others are New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Iowa, Indiana, Michigan, and Colorado.
BetRivers sportsbook is well known for its easy to operate interface, live betting options, and a wide selection of betting lines and markets. For new users, BetRivers offers a 100% deposit bonus up to $250. Use the promo code MATCH250.
America’s one of the top DFS operators, FanDuel launched their online sports betting app in Illinois on August 28, 2020. The launch is possible because of the deal with Par-A-Dice Casino in East Peoria.
For bettors in Illinois, however, a third online sportsbook does mean more ways to win.
Being a top sportsbook in the US in terms of revenue and wagers are taken, the FanDuel sportsbook offers a no sweat first bet up to $1,000 to new customers. Also, a wide range of perks are available to both new and existing players. Those include enhanced payouts, drastically altered lines, and boosted odds.
PointsBet was issued their temporary gaming license in Illinois, making them eligible to accept online sports bets through partner Hawthorne Racecourse. The deal is for 20 years and includes a brick and mortar sportsbook inside the racetrack’s property, as well as mobile betting.
On September 13, PointsBet officially launched its mobile and online sports betting platform in Illinois. It is the fourth legal sports betting site to go live in the state.
The Australian-based bookmaker has a partnership with NBC Sports Chicago that will integrate PointsBet sports betting content into its various platforms. Illinois players can download the user-friendly PointsBet sportsbook app to place bets on their favorite sport.
New players can take advantage of 2 Risk-Free bets up to $2,000. In detail, you’ll get up to $500 back if you lose your first fixed-odds betting, and up to $1,500 if you lose your first PointsBetting. Use the promo code ‘GS2000’. Weekly promotions are also available.
Since August 3, 2020, Caesars Sportsbook (previously under the William Hill brand) is operating a brick-and-mortar site in Illinois, at the Grand Victoria Casino Elgin. As online and mobile betting option is much more convenient, Caesars Sportsbook launched a mobile sportsbook in Illinois, marking the sixth state in which the operator has rolled out an online betting product. At present, William Hill’s betting app and/or online sportsbook is also available in New Jersey, Iowa, West Virginia, Colorado, and Nevada.
William Hill customers in Illinois will be able to use the app to place prop, parlay, future, and in-play bets on a wide range of professional and collegiate sports events. New customers that open a William Hill sportsbook account, make a digital deposit and lose the first bet will receive up to $1250 first bet on Caesar.
In July, DraftKings made a partnership with Queens Casino in Alton to launch its sports betting app. Usually, an online betting site like DraftKings must wait for 18-months before entering the market. Surprisingly, DraftKings found a loophole and entered well before the 18-month period was up.
DraftKings launched its online sports betting app in Illinois on August 5, 2020. It was the second sports betting operator to enter the Illinois market. DraftKings sportsbook is also available in New Jersey, West Virginia, Indiana, Pennsylvania, New Hampshire, Iowa, and Colorado.
The sportsbook offers a risk-free bet of up to $500 for new customers. In addition, new and existing players can take advantage of a 20% bonus on the next deposit up to $500.
Illinois Betting Sites – Who’s Next?
With the number of potential gaming venues and the three stand-alone online/mobile licenses, there will be multiple online sports betting operators trying to launch in the state.
The list of online sports betting operators that could launch in Illinois:
- Unibet Sportsbook
- FOX Bet
- BetAmerica Sportsbook
- Barstool Sportsbook
- Circa Sports
- Golden Nugget Sportsbook
Illinois Land-Based Sportsbooks
There are 10 riverboat casinos in Illinois. As of now, seven of them have obtained licenses to operate sportsbooks. In addition, three racetracks are awaiting approval from the Illinois Gaming Board.
At the present time, five land-based sportsbooks are operating in the state. The land-based sportsbooks along with their launch dates are:
- Rush Street Gaming at Rivers Casino on March 9, 2020.
- Penn National at Argosy Casino on March 12, 2020.
- William Hill at Grand Victoria Casino on August 3, 2020.
- DraftKings at Casino Queen on August 5, 2020.
- FanDuel at Par-A-Dice Casino on August 28, 2020.
Here is the list of casinos and racetracks in Illinois with their sportsbook partnerships:
- Casino Queen – DraftKings
- Harrah’s Joliet – Caesars
- Harrah’s Metropolis – Caesars
- Hollywood Casino Aurora – Penn National Gaming
- Grand Victoria Casino – William Hill
- Hollywood Casino Joliet – Barstool
- Argosy Casino Alton – Penn National
- Rivers Casino Des Plaines – BetRivers
- Par-A-Dice Casino – BetMGM
- Hawthorne Racecourse – PointsBet
- Arlington Park Racetrack – Churchill Downs
- Jumer’s Casino – Delaware North
- Fairmont Park Racetrack – FanDuel
Best IL Sports Betting Apps
The best Illinois sports betting market is still not done growing. Each and every online betting app in Illinois offers the customer something a bit different. We recommend learning more about the best features of all betting apps in Illinois and then choosing from there. The top features to consider are the user interface of the website, bonuses, promotions, betting market, banking, and customer service.
If you’d like to pick the best among the current Illinois sportsbooks, our top choices are:
How to Place a Sports Bet in Illinois
The IL sports betting industry is an increasingly crowded market. We did a deep dive and analyzed all of the Illinois online sports betting apps to come up with what we think is the best. Now Illinois bettors can sign up for a sportsbook account, deposit funds, and place wagers from anywhere in the state. From the below steps, we can understand how easy it is to get started placing a bet on sports in Illinois.
Choose an IL Sportsbook
The first thing that you want to do if you plan on betting in Illinois is to check out what sites offer the best welcome bonus, and will also want to look at the betting options or sports offered. Here, one of the best online sportsbooks in Illinois, PointsBet, is offering up to $500 back if you lose your first fixed odds bet, as well as up to $1,500 back if you lose your first Points Betting wager. Click on the exclusive PointsBet to get started.
Sign-up and Deposit
Here in Illinois, you can sign up and wager from anywhere in the state at a number of sports betting apps. Gov. JB Pritzker responded to the realities of the coronavirus pandemic by issuing an executive order suspending the in-person registration requirement. This made it very easy for the player to register for an Illinois sportsbook. Simply register for an account by providing some information such as name, address, DOB, phone number, email, and last 4 digits of your SSN.
As soon as you register, you can fund your account, and then you are ready to wager. The most widely used deposit methods to fund your Illinois sports betting account include Credit/Debit card, Play+ prepaid card, PayPal or E-wallets, Bank Transfers or ACH, and PayNearMe.
Verify Your Location
Illinois online sports betting sites and apps will ask you to verify your location to check if you are present within the state borders of Illinois. For that, they use geo-location technology, which is a non-intrusive piece of software that pings your location. Desktop users need to allow the prompt to download the software. After an initial download, the software runs in the background and only tracks your location so you can place a sports bet. While mobile users can just turn on the location service to verify.
Place Your Bet
If you have made it this far, then you are ready for the final step. You are ready to start exploring the sportsbook to find games that you wish to bet on. All you have to do for this step is to select a game and then make a betting pick. You will be asked how much money you want to wager, and then you submit the bet for approval.
Payment Methods accepted by Illinois Betting Sites
When it comes to banking, Illinois sportsbooks offer the most trusted and popular methods available in the US today. All transaction securely goes through encryption software to offer the best levels of protection for those that open account with an online sportsbook.
Some of the most widely accepted banking methods include:
- Online Banking
- Credit or Debit Card – Visa and MasterCard
- Prepaid Cards
- Cash at Cage
- Wire Transfer
Illinois Sports Betting Law & Restrictions
After the Supreme Court of the US repeal PASPA, state lawmakers gained the ability to create sports betting laws. In the spring of 2019, with executive orders from the House and Senate, lawmakers passed a bill expanding gambling online and at brick and mortar locations across the state.
It took some time for Illinois to get it right, thanks to Governor J.B. Pritzker for signing IL SB 690 into law. Illinois sports betting became legal on June 28, 2019.
Sports betting will be licensed at the following venues:
- Casinos and racetracks
- Sports venues with a capacity of over 17,000
- Illinois Lottery vendors
Casinos and racetracks in Illinois can apply for sports betting licenses at the bargain price of $10 million, or 5 percent of their revenues.
Whereas, online-only websites must wait for 18-months to apply for the license. Even then, there will only be three sports betting licenses available to online-only providers, which costs $20 million each.
The betting age is set at 18 for all gambling activities except casino-style gaming and sports betting. To place a sports wager, you need to be 21 years of age.
Some restrictions for betting in Illinois are as follows:
- Cannot be on non-sporting competitions such as elections and the Oscars.
- Someone participating in sports leagues (officials, coaches, and so on) can’t bet on their own sports
- Wagering on in-state collegiate teams is prohibited.
State of the Union
Although every state has different gambling laws, U.S. sports betting sites are picking up the pace and
Nevada was the pioneer of regulated US online gambling but only offers the chance to play poker. Now bettors can safely access sports betting apps and websites from regulated, U.S. based bookmakers in the following states:
NJ Betting Sites: New Jersey is currently the largest market for regulated online gambling in the US.
PA Betting Sites: Pennsylvania is the biggest state to legalize and regulate online gambling.
WV Betting Sites: West Virginia is one of the first states to unroll sports betting in the wake of the US Supreme Court decision.
IA Betting Sites: Iowa legalized wagering as of May 2019 and went live in August 2019. Many important US sportsbooks are already up and running.
IN Betting Sites: Indiana betting sites are active since October 2019 after Gov. Mike Pence signed Bill S 335 into law.
CO Betting Sites: Colorado sports betting is legal and live as of May 1, 2020. Residents may participate in online sports betting, horse racing betting, greyhound betting, daily fantasy sports, and skill games.
TN Betting Sites: Online sports betting went live in Tennessee on Nov.1, 2021. There are currently no plans for physical sportsbook locations, as the law is designed to regulate only the online sports betting market.
MI Betting Sites: The first Michigan sportsbooks began taking in-person bets in March 2020 and online sports betting followed in January 2021.
How Illinois Sports Betting Compares
There were time delays and legal complications that made it hard for larger national sportsbooks and platforms to enter the Illinois sports betting market. As the fifth-largest state in the nation and home to most of the 9.5 million people living in Chicagoland, Illinois has the potential to be one of the largest legal sports betting markets in the world.
In November, over $450 million was wagered in Illinois, making it the fourth-largest legal sports betting market in the country. Quite simply, the odds and lines you’ll find here in Illinois stack up quite well with the numbers that come out of the desert. That doesn’t mean they’ll be exactly the same. Due to market action, that’s just not possible. However, it does mean that the sportsbooks here in Illinois are on point. Let us see how the Illinois sports betting market compares with the rest of the US states.
Mobile Betting Options
In Illinois, there are several places to wager on sports in the land-based sportsbook as well as at the five online sportsbooks. Players can register remotely for mobile sports betting accounts. Sports bettors in Illinois can place bets from anywhere in the state via desktop or mobile betting apps on Android. BetRivers was the first app to go live in the state on June 18, 2020. Overall, Illinois has created an environment with a somewhat high barrier to entry for operators (unlike New Jersey and Colorado). That will make things tougher for consumers since they’ll have fewer betting options.
Deposit and withdrawal methods vary from operator to sports betting operator in Illinois. The process of making a deposit is very easy. Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker did temporarily suspend the in-person registration rule during COVID-19, so bettors can sign up online in the short term. But it’s unknown how long that will stay in effect.
Once you sign up for a sports betting account and confirm/verify your identity, you will be able to go into your account profile and make your deposits. Step-by-step instructions are available on the websites of all of the Illinois sports betting operators and there are FAQ sections and additional instructions on the mobile apps as well. This is a process that simply has to be streamlined. A variety of deposit options are available.
When legal and regulated sportsbooks release betting odds to the public, the goal is to attract as much action as possible. If any were to post lines that were extremely off-kilter compared to what the general market has to say about the game, they would stick out. This process may continue right up until the time of the event, so it’s not uncommon to see several shifts after the initial release. The odds offered by Illinois sportsbooks have been comparable to other big states like New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and Colorado.
Like New Jersey, Illinois also banned betting on college sports teams. So, you cannot bet on college teams such as Illinois fighting Illini, Illinois State Redbirds, Loyola University Chicago or East St. Louis College. Illinois sports betting apps also need to purchase “official league data”, so they require a lot of money to invest in it. However, you can bet on major sports leagues like the Chicago Cubs, Chicago Bulls, Chicago Bears, Chicago Blackhawks, and Chicago Red Stars.
Pros: Illinois’ Successes
Illinois sports betting is getting bigger, especially from the comfort of your own couch. Gamblers in the state wagered nearly $435 million on professional, college, and other sporting events in October, up to $130 million from the previous month, according to revenue of the Illinois Gaming Board. Illinois has taken a step in the right direction by legalizing sports betting but then made things infinitely more complicated with its complex signup rules.
The eight Illinois sportsbooks saw total adjusted gross revenue of $42.2 million. The state collects 15% in taxes, or $6.3 million. Big brands operating in the state are making a major contribution.
Cons: What Can Be Done Better?
The ban of wagering on college sports teams certainly limits potential Illinois revenue. Illinois sports betting law made it difficult for small online sports betting apps. Its plan would have created fewer sportsbook options, little competition, and therefore a less friendly environment for bettors. Initially, given the $10 million online licensing fees required of the state’s retail casino operators, and an extremely pricey $20 million tag for only online sportsbooks.
It was expected that online-only Illinois sports betting operators wouldn’t launch until the conclusion of the 18- month waiting period. If the licensing fee is reduced, the state would be home to more online-only sportsbooks.
Illinois Betting Sites FAQs
Is Sports Betting Legal in Illinois?
Yes, online and retail sports betting is legal in Illinois. Governor J.B. Pritzker signed S 690 into law in June 2019 permitting sports betting in the state of Illinois. The first legal sports wager was placed on March 9, 2020.
Who regulates online sports betting in Illinois?
The Illinois Gaming Board regulates the sports betting in Illinois. In fact, they oversee all gambling activities including online casinos, online poker, and online sports betting.
Who can bet on Illinois betting sites?
Players who are at least 21 years of age and physically present within the state borders of Illinois can place online sports wagers in the state.
How do I place a bet on an Illinois betting site?
Here is how you can place a sports wager:
- Firstly, create an account with the online sportsbook.
- Deposit money into your online sportsbook account.
- Select a bet from the available market.
- Place the bet.
On which sports can I bet on an Illinois sportsbook?
Illinois sports bettors can place a wager on all major sports and races, including college sports, football, basketball, baseball, hockey, soccer, tennis, golf, combat sports, auto racing, horse racing, dog racing, and much more.
The major sports leagues include NFL, MLB, NBA, MLS, and NHL. Certainly, you can wager on home teams of these leagues such as Chicago Bears – NFL, Chicago Cubs, and Chicago White Sox– MLB, Chicago Bulls – NBA, Chicago Blackhawks – NHL, and Chicago Fire FC – MLS.
What kind of wagers can I place on Illinois betting sites?
Different varieties of betting options are available on Illinois betting sites. You can place single and multiple bets along with some innovative betting types such as in-play live wagering and cash-out bets.
The list of popular bet types available are:
- Round Robins
Is online gambling legal in Illinois?
At the present time, playing online casino and poker games is illegal in Illinois. The Illinois Gambling Act of 2019 allows only online sports betting in Illinois It does not legalize online casino games or online poker.
Can I play Daily Fantasy Sports in Illinois?
Daily fantasy sports (DFS) contests run in Illinois, despite being a contentious legal area. In fact, top DFS operators such as FanDuel, DraftKings, and Yahoo offer real money picks.
Is Barstool Sportsbook live in Illinois?
As of the time of writing, the Barstool sportsbook is not available for Illinois bettors. However, it has plans to go live in Illinois in 2021.