Illinois Sports Betting
Yes, Illinois online sports betting is legal, live and available online throughout the state. Illinois sports bettors can now access the best sportsbook apps in the US, sign up and bet from the comfort of their homes.
There are currently seven legal, regulated Illinois online sports betting sites for those who are 21 or older.
Here at PlayIllinois, we have the latest on online sportsbooks in Illinois, and comparisons so you know what each IL sports betting app brings to the table. Check below for all of the details.
Top sports betting apps in Illinois 2023
This week in Illinois
June 6, 2023
A new biopic will reportedly see notorious 19th-century Chicago gambling kingpin John “Mushmouth” Johnson played by rapper Waka Flocka Flame.
The Chicago Bears are now looking at alternative options for a new stadium outside of Arlington Heights. Naperville is now in the mix.
Recently-retired Illinois Gaming Board agent Bryan E. Hileman has been honored for heroism.
Jeff Benson spoke to PlayIllinois about Circa Sportsbook’s expectations for when it launches as the 8th Illinois online sportsbook.
The newest retail sportsbook in Illinois is now open at the brand new Golden Nugget Casino in Danville.
The Chicago Cubs are 26-33 as they start a three-game series against the Angels in LA. The Cubs will travel to San Francisco for a weekend series against the Giants.
The Chicago White Sox are 26-35 as they begin a three-game series in New York against the Yankees. The Sox will be home for a weekend series against the Marlins.
Latest Illinois sports betting headlines
Comparing the best Illinois sports betting apps
There are seven high-quality sportsbook apps in Illinois, but not all are created equal. Each offers its own set of innovations, unique features, benefits and bonuses. Some have loyalty programs that work at casinos. Others keep things competitive with odds.
Here are some features where certain sportsbooks stand out, including mini-reviews of the top 5 Illinois sports betting apps:
1. DraftKings Sportsbook
- Download DraftKings
- Best for overall experience
- Casino Partner: DraftKings at Casino Queen
What We Think: The market leader in Illinois by handle, the DraftKings app is extremely easy to navigate and has a smooth interface. DraftKings consistently offers the most markets of any sportsbook and quickly gets lines up. Its search feature is also a nice perk that allows users to find their preferred game easily.
2. Caesars Sportsbook
- Download Caesars
- Best for MLB odds
- Casino Partner: Grand Victoria Casino
What We Think: Caesars brings with it an extensive list of markets and a host of experiences. While the app itself has some issues with lag time, speed, and navigation, Caesars does offer better juice on MLB lines than most sportsbooks.
3. BetMGM Sportsbook
- Download BetMGM
- Best for searchability
- Casino Partner: Par-A-Dice Casino
What We Think: BetMGM has a very smooth customer experience and is known to cater to its local audience with boosts and promotions. Cashing out and depositing is especially easy, and it’s simple to find your preferred game or sport on the app.
5. BetRivers Sportsbook
- Download BetRivers
- Best for ease of registration
- Casino Partner: Rivers Casino
What We Think: BetRivers quietly has some of the best profit boosts in the Illinois market, as you can receive 20% or more money on winning bets simply by logging into the app on certain days of the week. The official partner of the Chicago Bears, BetRivers is also known to offer Bears-centered promotions.
6. FanDuel Sportsbook
- Download FanDuel
- Best for Same Game Parlays
- Casino Partner: FanDuel Sportsbook and Horse Racing
What We Think: If you’re a big fan of parlays, FanDuel is the place to go. Its Same Game Parlay feature is easy to use, and the app is very user-friendly in general. FanDuel also frequently offers odds boosts for the biggest games. Look out for some Chicago Bulls-specific promotions, as FanDuel is their official sports betting partner.
4. PointsBet Sportsbook
- Download PointsBet
- Best for navigation speed
- Casino Partner: Hawthorne Race Course
What We Think: PointsBet has extremely quick app loading times and has a very modern feel. The sportsbook has an extensive betting catalog that is easy to use. PointsBet is also known to offer better juice than the typical -110 vig you’ll see at most sportsbooks.
Snapshot of legal Illinois sports betting
Here are some fast facts about legal sports betting in the Prairie State:
- Sports Betting Legalized: June 2019
- Online Launch: June 2020
- Number of Retail Sportsbooks: 11
- Number of Online Sportsbooks: 7
- Legal Betting Age: 21
- Online Registration Returned: March 5
Other apps coming to Illinois
Illinois sportsbook apps are anticipated to grow and expand. These brands are the most likely to arrive in 2023:
- Bally Bet
- Circa Sports
How online sports betting works in Illinois
Illinois sports betting customers no longer have to visit a retail sportsbook in order to sign up for an IL sports betting app. Illinois online registration returned on March 5, 2022.
Registering online is a simple process that should take no more than a few minutes. Be sure to have any legal documents handy should you be asked to verify your age or location.
Let’s walk through the steps on how to sign up online for one of the seven sportsbooks in Illinois:
- Register for a new account.
- Use the sportsbook bonus/promo code.
- Deposit funds.
- Place a bet.
Bonuses and bonus bet offers
One of the most significant differences between online sportsbooks compared with retail is the prevalence of sportsbook bonuses. Because the competition is only a few clicks away, online sportsbooks have to work harder to keep customers interested, happy and loyal.
|Online Sportsbook||Bonus Offer||Casino Partner||Launch Date|
|DraftKings Sportsbook||$1,250 Bonus||DraftKings at Casino Queen||Aug. 5, 2020|
|Caesars Sportsbook||$1,250 + credits on Casears||Grand Victoria Casino||Aug. 3, 2021|
|BetMGM Sportsbook||$1,000 First Bet Offer||Par-A-Dice Casino||March 5, 2022|
|BetRivers Sportsbook||$500 Second-chance bet||Rivers Casino||June 18, 2020|
|FanDuel Sportsbook||Up to $2,500 in bonus bets||FanDuel Sportsbook and Horse Racing||Aug. 28, 2020|
|PointsBet Sportsbook||$250 In second-chance bets||Hawthorne Race Course||Sept. 12, 2020|
Here are some of the most common types of promotions you’ll encounter at Illinois betting sites:
- No Deposit Bonuses: One of the best types of promotions is the no deposit bonus. You don’t have to deposit a dime to take advantage, although they are most common for new players as an enticement to register for an account.
- Deposit / Match / Reload Bonuses: These bonuses all function the same and involve the sportsbook matching a portion or all your deposit amount with its own money. You will usually have to play through the bonus money to a certain degree before you can withdraw it.
- Insurance / Cash-Back: These are bonuses that compensate for losses on specific bets or during certain periods. They are usually distributed for net losses only; however, the best they can do is help you break even.
- Event Bonuses: These bonuses are specified for a player or team achievements, like goals or scores of a specific type and may pay a flat amount to you for each time they occur during a game.
- Loyalty Programs: These programs reward customers for continued patronage. You receive perks and bonuses, depending upon the aggregate total amount of wagers you make on the site.
- bonus bets: These vouchers allow a wager of a particular value on specific bets. The bonuses are often given for the completion of tasks that the sportsbook specifies.
What you cannot bet on in Illinois
Sports bettors 21 years or older can bet on professional and collegiate sports in Illinois, as well as on international sporting events. But the law does impose some restrictions on certain types of wagers. Some states allow the following types of bets. However, in Illinois, sports operator licensees cannot accept wagers on:
- A minor league sporting event
- A sports event involving an Illinois collegiate team (mobile-only, retail is allowed)
- A K-12th grade sports event
- A non-sports event (i.e., an event that is not “a professional sport or athletic event, a collegiate sport or athletic event, a motor race event” or other events authorized by the IGB)
That latter restriction against betting on non-sports events prohibits accepting wagers on events such as the Academy Awards (permitted in some states, like New Jersey and neighboring Indiana).
Additionally, there are some limits on the types of betting on college sports. Individual props are not allowed, nor is in-game betting on college events.
Chicago sports and teams
Illinois is home to eight major professional sports franchises, all of which are in Chicago. Illinois has been the home of several great sports teams in history. Here is a brief rundown of the major league teams that call the Prairie State home:
- Chicago Cubs (MLB)
- Won the 2016 World Series
- One of the original teams in the National League (1876)
- Chicago White Sox (MLB)
- Won the 2005 World Series
- Originally known as the White Stockings
- Chicago Fire (MLS)
- Won the MLS Cup in 1998 in their first year of existence
- The name recognizes the famous Chicago disaster; colors reminiscent of fire departments
- Chicago Bulls (NBA)
- Won six NBA championships in the 1990s
- Primary NBA team for Michael Jordan, widely recognized as the greatest basketball player ever
- Chicago Bears (NFL)
- Won nine pre-merger NFL championships and one Super Bowl (1985)
- Have more players in the NFL Hall of Fame than any other team
- Chicago Blackhawks (NHL)
- Have won six Stanley Cup championships, including three since 2010
- Named after Sauk Native American warrior Ma-ka-tai-me-she-kia-kiak
- Chicago Red Stars (NWSL)
- They appeared in the first league finals in 2019
- Name is chosen by fan vote
- Chicago Sky (WNBA)
- Won 2014 conference championship
- One of few WNBA teams without NBA team affiliation
Retail sports betting in Illinois
Illinois is home to 11 sportsbooks at local casinos. Future sportsbooks in Chicago are in the works as well including venues at United Center, Soldier Field, and Wrigley Field. Here are the places where you can bet on sports in Illinois right now. In addition to the following, PointsBet hosts two retail locations via Club Hawthorne off-track betting sites.
- Hollywood Casino, Aurora (Barstool)
- Rivers Casino, Des Plaines (BetRivers)
- Grand Victoria Casino, Elgin (Caesars)
- Casino Queen, East St. Louis (DraftKings)
- Par-A-Dice Casino, East Peoria (FanDuel)
- FanDuel Sportsbook & Horse Racing, Collinsville
- Hawthorne Race Course, Stickney (PointsBet)
- Argosy Casino, Alton (Unibet)
- Hollywood Casino, Joliet
Illinois sports betting history
Sports betting is legal in Illinois, both in retail locations and online. The Illinois Gaming Board regulates sports betting in the state. Casinos and racetracks can apply for a license to operate sportsbooks, but so can sports venues with a seating capacity of 17,000 or more. Since the launch in 2020, the state has grown by leaps and bounds, and that’s despite an in-person registration requirement. All-time, the state has seen more than $8 billion total bets. You can find more information about Illinois sports betting revenue here.
Read on for a brief rundown of all that has happened in Illinois sports betting since 2019:
The start of the NFL season in September had a huge impact on sports betting in the state. Month-over-month, Illinois sports betting handle rose nearly $267 million or 47%. Illinois is second in the nation in 2022 revenue through September and third in handle.
In August, legal sports betting revenue in Illinois, from bets placed online only, surpassed $1 billion lifetime.
In July, Illinois surpassed $1 billion in lifetime, legal sports betting revenue and became the second-largest sports betting market in the United States.
On March 5, online sports betting registration became possible again in the Land of Lincoln. Also, BetMGM Sportsbook went live in Illinois.
Illinois recorded more than $7 billion in sports betting handle in 2021, which was the third-highest mark in the US. But Pritzker brought back in-person registration in April, and that policy lasted throughout the rest of the year. Barstool was the only new online sportsbook to launch.
In March, Rivers Casino accepted the first legal sports bet ahead of March Madness. Shortly thereafter, all Illinois casinos closed for several months due to the COVID-19 pandemic. But once sports leagues started up again in the summer, a few online sportsbooks launched. Illinois would have online registration from late August through the end of the year. In December, Illinois set a then-handle record of $491.7 million in bets.
Illinois Gov. JB Pritzker signed the Sports Wagering Act into law in June. The law included an 18-month “penalty box” provision, which would not allow online sports betting registration. Illinois sporting venues could apply for retail sports betting licenses, but betting on Illinois college teams would not be allowed.
Illinois sports betting FAQ
Yes, sports betting is legal in Illinois, thanks to the passage and signing of the Sports Wagering Act (230 ILCS 45) in 2019. It is legal for Illinois residents and visitors to participate in sports betting both online and in person.
There are now seven mobile sports betting apps in Illinois, including BetMGM, DraftKings and FanDuel, using your mobile devices. Or you can visit most Illinois casinos to bet at a retail sportsbook, including DraftKings at Casino Queen in East St. Louis, FanDuel Sportsbook & Horse Racing in Collinsville, Grand Victoria Casino in Elgin, and Hollywood Casino in Aurora.
Yes, DraftKings Sportsbook is legal in Illinois and launched both online and retail sportsbooks in August 2020.
Yes, the FanDuel Illinois Sportsbook app went live on Aug. 28, 2020.
Yes, the BetMGM Illinois sportsbook went online on March 5, 2022.
No. laying at an Illinois sportsbook from outside the state is prohibited. Sportsbooks are required to employ geolocation software to verify every player’s location on the site.
Sportsbooks that fail to comply with this requirement will risk fines and sanctions from oversight agencies. So, there will never be a time that the books will take out-of-state play lightly.
Yes, but only at retail locations. Online sportsbooks are prohibited from offering bets on Illinois college teams.
If you’re 21 or older, you can legally bet on sports in person and online. You must have a valid state ID in order to do so.