Your Guide To Betting On Illinois College Teams In Person: What To Do Once You’re At The Sportsbook

Written By Joe Boozell on December 21, 2021

Illinois Gov. JB Pritzker signed HB 3136 into law in mid-December. The bill legalizes betting on Illinois college teams, but there is a catch: an in-person stipulation.

That means you won’t see odds for Illinois, Northwestern, DePaul, etc. on your sports betting apps. However, you can bet on those teams if you’re physically present at a retail sportsbook.

There are currently 11 retail sportsbooks in Illinois. If interested in betting on an IL school, you may want to determine which one is closest to you:

  • Barstool: Hollywood Casino Aurora, 1 W. New York St., Aurora, IL 60506
  • BetRivers: Rivers Casino, 3000 S. River Road, Des Plaines, IL 60018
  • Caesars by William Hill: Grand Victoria Casino, 250 S. Grove Ave., Elgin, IL 60120
  • 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:
    • Hawthorne Race Course, 3501 S. Laramie Ave., Stickney, IL 60804
    • Club Hawthorne Crestwood, 13148 Rivercrest Drive, Crestwood, IL 60445
    • Player’s Pub & Grill, 1250 River Road, Prospect Heights, IL 60070
  • Argosy Casino Alton: 1 Piasa St, Alton, IL 62002
  • Hollywood Casino Joliet: 777 Hollywood Blvd, Joliet, IL 60436
  • Par-A-Dice Casino: 21 Blackjack Blvd, East Peoria, IL 61611
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You can also sign up for an online sports betting account at all but the final three locations listed. Illinois still has an in-person registration policy, but thanks to the bill, that will end on March 5, 2022 at the latest.

Below, we’re answering any questions you may have regarding betting on Illinois college teams in person.

Can I bet on Illinois college teams right now?

It is legal if you do so in person. However, as of now, no sportsbook has requested to offer lines on Illinois college games with the Illinois Gaming Board.

We will update this story once that changes.

If I’m at the casino/sportsbook, can I use my phone to place the bets?

No, you cannot. This is different than being able to sign up for an account simply by being in the parking lot, in some cases.

You must place wagers either at a kiosk (if available) or at the counter.

What types of bets can I make?

You will be able to place pre-game bets on games involving Illinois college teams.

For example, let’s say Illinois is facing Wisconsin in an upcoming basketball game. You can bet on the pregame spread, moneyline, over/under, etc. You can also include these bets as parlay legs if you so choose.

What types of bets can’t I make?

Live betting and player props will not be available. The lack of live betting is most notable, as it’s common for US sportsbooks not to offer college player props.

When will the in-person requirement end?

We don’t know for sure. However, the law gives July 1, 2023 as the date that the provision will end.

Then, it will be up to the legislature to determine what happens. They can either extend the policy; remove the in-person requirement and allow people to bet on Illinois college teams online; or go back to no betting on IL schools at all.

With that said, if all goes smoothly, there should be momentum for online expansion come 2023.

Can I bet on non-Illinois schools online?

Yes. Odds from out-of-state schools are readily available on your sports betting apps.

Other changes from HB 3136 in Illinois

As previously mentioned, the bill gives March 5, 2022 as the last possible date for in-person registration.

So just in time to bet on March Madness, Illinoisans will be able to create sports betting accounts online again.

Despite being the No. 3 sports betting state in the US by handle each month, IL only has six online sportsbooks. Expect that number to double by the end of the year, and it wouldn’t be shocking if the Land of Lincoln flirted with $1 billion in March handle.

HB 3136 also allows Wintrust Arena to apply for a sports betting license. With Chicago passing an ordinance allowing stadium betting, expect to see sportsbooks at Wintrust and other Chicago sports venues in the next few years.

Photo by AP Photo/Michael Allio
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Joe Boozell

Joe Boozell has also been a college sports writer for NCAA.com since 2015. His work has also appeared in Bleacher Report, FoxSports.com and NBA.com. Growing up, Boozell squared off against both Anthony Davis and Frank Kaminsky in the Chicagoland basketball scene ... you can imagine how that went.

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