Editor’s Note: As of Saturday, March 5, 2022, you no longer have to visit a retail sportsbook in Illinois to sign up for a legal online sportsbook. Instead, you can register for an Illinois sports betting account on your phone or computer.
Illinois Gov. JB Pritzker reinstated the in-person registration sports betting requirement on Friday, drastically changing the market landscape.
Now, Illinoisans who would like to sign up for a sports betting account must visit a casino, racetrack or off-track-betting (OTB) location in order to do so.
There are currently 11 retail sports betting options in the Land of Lincoln: Seven casinos, two racetracks and two OTBs.
But of those 11, currently you can only register for an online sportsbook account at eight Illinois locations. Those are:
- Barstool: Hollywood Casino Aurora, 1 W. New York St., Aurora, IL 60506
- BetRivers: Rivers Casino, 3000 S. River Road, Des Plaines, IL 60018
- DraftKings: DraftKings at Casino Queen, 200 South Front St., East St. Louis, IL 62201
- FanDuel: FanDuel Sportsbook & Horse Racing, 9301 Collinsville Road, Collinsville, IL 62234
- PointsBet: Club Hawthorne Crestwood, 13148 Rivercrest Drive, Crestwood, IL 60445
- PointsBet: Player’s Pub & Grill, 1250 River Road, Prospect Heights, IL 60070
- PointsBet: Hawthorne Race Course, 3501 S. Laramie Ave., Stickney, IL 60804
- Caesars by William Hill: Grand Victoria Casino, 250 S. Grove Ave., Elgin, IL 60120
You may notice that Par-A-Dice Casino, Argosy Casino Alton and Hollywood Casino Joliet aren’t included in that list.
According to FanDuel and Barstool, they are only allowed to register users at FanDuel Sportsbook & Horse Racing and Hollywood Casino Aurora, respectively.
With all of that in mind, let’s look at the largest cities and regions in Illinois, and which retail sports betting options are nearest you.
Illinois retail sportsbook options
Where to register for a sportsbook in Chicago/Chicagoland
For sports bettors in the Chicago area, the closest retail sportsbooks are at Hawthorne Race Course (Stickney), Rivers Casino (Des Plaines), Players Pub & Grill (Prospect Heights) and Club Hawthorne Crestwood.
That’s in order of proximity, though commute times can vary depending on your exact location.
At Rivers Casino, you can register for BetRivers.
At the other three locations, you can sign up for PointsBet.
If there are any winners to come from a return to in-person registration, they are BetRivers and PointsBet, thanks to their distance from Chicago and the near-Chicago suburbs.
Where to register near Aurora/Naperville
Aurora and Naperville are the second- and third-largest cities in Illinois by population, and are about 25 minutes apart.
Aurora is home to Hollywood Casino Aurora.
There, you can sign up for Barstool, which is partners with Hollywood Aurora.
That’s easily the closest option if you’re in Aurora and Naperville. There are several other options just under an hour away, including Rivers Casino, Grand Victoria Elgin and the Hawthorne OTBs.
Naperville is a bit closer to the non-Hollywood options than Aurora.
Where to register near Rockford
Eventually, the northern Illinois community of Rockford should have its own casino.
But for now, its closest retail sportsbook option is Grand Victoria Casino Elgin. Unfortunately, that’s almost an hour away.
Grand Victoria’s sportsbook partner is Caesars Sportsbook by William Hill.
Where to register near Springfield
Like Rockford, Springfield doesn’t have many nearby options, especially since Par-A-Dice Casino and Argosy Casino Alton can’t accept in-person registrations.
Because of that, the closest options for those in the Springfield region are DraftKings at Casino Queen (East St. Louis) and FanDuel Sportsbook & Horse Racing (Collinsville).
They are both a little over an hour-and-a-half away from Springfield. But once there, you can register for FanDuel or DraftKings.
Where to register in Southern Illinois
If you live in the southern portion of the state, either FanDuel Sportsbook & Horse Racing or DraftKings at Casino Queen are likely your best bet.
Visit Indiana, Iowa to register, bet sports online
For many Illinoisans, it might be easier to trek over to Indiana or Iowa.
In both states, you don’t have to visit a retail casino to register for a sportsbook online; however, all your online betting must take place within the state you register at.
Are more Illinois retail sportsbooks on the way?
Yes, we know of a few.
PointsBet is planning to open up a third OTB site soon in Oakbrook, a nice hub for the western suburbs.
DraftKings, meanwhile, will open a retail sportsbook at Wrigley Field at some point. The last time we checked, 2022 was the target on that, though, hopefully, we have returned to online registration by then.
But if not, the Cubs partnership will become extra valuable for DraftKings.
Finally, if the Illinois Gaming Board approves BetMGM Sportsbook, it would likely assume the Par-A-Dice Casino license in East Peoria. Then, Par-A-Dice would be an in-person registration option.
There could be more in the pipeline, especially in light of Pritzker’s decision. We’ll keep you updated as more plans arise.