Your Guide to Sports Betting in Chicago

Sports betting is now legal in the Prairie State, which means those living nearby or visiting Chicago can bet on their favorite teams at an Illinois sportsbook. They can also do so online at five online sportsbooks in Illinois.

There are already several retail sportsbooks in the Chicagoland area, with more on the way.

Let’s take a look at the options for sports betting surrounding the Windy City.

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Chicago sportsbooks near you

Rivers Casino

Home of BetRivers online sportsbook, Rivers took the first legal sports wager in Illinois in June 2020.

Located in Des Plaines, Rivers Casino is less than 20 miles from downtown Chicago. And it’s less than a 10-minute drive from O’Hare Airport.

The sportsbook features stadium seating, a 26-seat bar and an LED display covering an entire wall. Monitors with spreads and totals line the room.

There is also an open-air patio for those who’d prefer to remain outdoors.

  • Address: 3000 S. River Road, Des Plaines, IL 60018
  • Owner: Rush Street Interactive 
  • Hours: 10 a.m.-midnight Monday through Saturday; 9 a.m.-midnight Sunday
  • Online partner: BetRivers

Hawthorne Race Course

Hawthorne Race Course opened its sportsbook in partnership with PointsBet at the end of September 2020.

The sportsbook includes a “bet-and-go” lobby along with 20 self-service kiosks.

There are also more than 60 HD TVs and a three-person betting concierge counter. Players can also reserve seating in an exclusive VIP lounge.

Hawthorne Race Course has the closest retail sportsbook to downtown Chicago. It’s about 10 miles from the heart of the city.

  • Address: 3501 S. Laramie Ave., Stickney, IL 60402
  • Owner: Carey family
  • Hours: 10 a.m. to midnight daily
  • Online partner: PointsBet

Grand Victoria Casino

Located in Elgin, the Grand Victoria Casino is about a 50-minute drive from downtown Chicago. It is northwest of the Windy City.

William Hill operates the online sportsbook at the casino, which has been open since August 2020.

The sportsbook is close to the main casino floor and features three full-service ticket windows, high-top tables and multiple HD TVs.

It is adjacent to the table games and slot machines in the casino.

  • Address: 250 S. Grove Ave., Elgin, IL 60120
  • Owner: Caesars Entertainment
  • Hours: 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. daily
  • Online partner: William Hill

Hollywood Casino Aurora

Hollywood Casino Aurora is about a 45-minute drive from downtown Chicago. It doesn’t have an online sports betting partner yet, but all signs point to Barstool Sportsbook filling that role once the operator is ready to launch in Illinois.

Hollywood Aurora features 10 sports wagering kiosks, teller windows and several HD TVs.

It also has a Jumbotron. The sportsbook is at the center stage of the casino.

  • Address: 1 W. New York St., Aurora, IL 60506
  • OwnerPenn National Gaming
  • Hours: 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. daily
  • Online partner: N/A

Hollywood Casino Joliet

Hollywood Casino Joliet is slightly under an hour drive from downtown Chicago and is the sister casino of Hollywood Aurora.

The Joliet location features more than 40 HD TVs and has five sports betting terminals. You can find the sportsbook inside of the 99 Hops House at the casino.

There are also 14 sports betting kiosks.

  • Address: 777 Hollywood Blvd., Joliet, IL 60436
  • Owner: Penn National Gaming
  • Hours: 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. daily
  • Online partner: N/A

Wrigley Field Sportsbook coming in near future

The Chicago Cubs struck a historic partnership with DraftKings in early September 2020.

DraftKings will operate a retail sportsbook at Wrigley Field, though its exact location (in-stadium or at Gallagher Way) is yet to be determined.

The Cubs are the first Illinois professional team to partner with an operator to provide on-site sports betting. Matt Kalish, the co-founder and president of DraftKings, said:

“We want to build the biggest retail sportsbook in the country right in the heart of Wrigley, with an unrivaled experience, food and beverage and the ability of a fan to go there pregame, make bets, go to the game and sweat and come back and cash their tickets on the way out.”

DraftKings and the Cubs are reportedly targeting the end of 2022 for launch.

Chicago teams and sportsbook partnerships

The Cubs aren’t the only Chicago professional sports franchise to partner with a sportsbook operator.

In late September 2020, the Bears came to an agreement with PointsBet. PointsBet will serve as the first official betting sponsor in team history.

Unlike the Cubs-DraftKings deal, however, there are no plans to offer a retail sportsbook at Soldier Field.

PointsBet has access to Bears IP, marks and logos. Bears legend Devin Hester is the company pitchman in Illinois, and PointsBet has offered the best Bears promotions of any sportsbook in the state in 2020.

As of now, the Chicago Bulls, White Sox, Blackhawks, Sky, Fire and Red Stars do not have an official sports betting partner.

Chicago major sports teams

  • Chicago Bears: Founded in 1920, the Bears were one of the first NFL franchises. The Bears play at Soldier Field and last won a Super Bowl in 1985. The team is owned by the McCaskey family and plays in the NFC North division. Its headquarters are at Halas Hall in Lake Forest.
  • Chicago Cubs: The Cubs are one of two MLB teams in Chicago and play at the historic Wrigley Field. The team snapped its World Series drought in 2016 when it topped the Cleveland Indians. The Cubs play in the NL Central and are owned by Tom Ricketts.
  • Chicago White Sox: The White Sox play at Guaranteed Rate Field on the south side of Chicago. They last won a World Series in 2005. The White Sox play in the AL Central and are owned by Jerry Reinsdorf.
  • Chicago Bulls: Also owned by Reinsdorf, the Bulls play at the United Center and are the city’s lone NBA franchise. The Bulls won six championships in the 1990s on the back of Michael Jordan, arguably the best basketball player to ever live. The Bulls’ most recent title was in 1998.
  • Chicago Blackhawks: The Blackhawks are the only NHL franchise in Chicago, and they’ve won six Stanley Cups. Their last came in 2015. The Blackhawks are one of the “original six” NHL franchises and are owned by the Wirtz Corporation.  They also play at the United Center.
  • Chicago Sky: Chicago’s WNBA team was founded in 2006 and plays at Wintrust Arena, also the home of the DePaul Blue Demons. The Sky won a conference championship in 2014, but have never won it all. Elena Delle Donne and Courtney Vandersloot are among the best players in franchise history.

Chicago sports betting history

We can’t talk about the history of sports betting in Chicago without mentioning the Black Sox scandal.

In 1919, eight White Sox players were bribed into throwing the World Series, a lynchpin event that influenced sports betting policy for decades.

The next year was the year of the Wrigley Field raid. On May 24, 1920, police arrested 47 spectators during a game against the Philadelphia Phillies.

Undercover officers caught people “exchanging opinions and money, some writing down bets they had made,” according to the Chicago Tribune.

Nearly 100 years later, sports betting finally became legal in Illinois.

 

Chicago sports betting FAQs

Can I bet on sports in Chicago? 

Yes, though at the moment, betting in the city of Chicago itself must be done online. There are currently five online sportsbooks in the state: DraftKings, FanDuel, BetRivers, PointsBet and William Hill.

You can bet on sports at any of the retail sportsbooks listed above in the Chicagoland area, as well.

How old do I have to be to bet in Chicago?

You must be at least 21 years old to bet in Chicago.

Will there be a retail sportsbook in Chicago?

Eventually, yes. There will be a sportsbook at Wrigley Field, and there are plans to develop a casino in downtown Chicago. That’s likely pretty far down the road, but we’d expect a downtown Chicago casino to offer sports betting.

Can I bet on college sports in Chicago?

Yes, but you can’t bet on teams located in the state such as Illinois, Northwestern or DePaul. That’s the way the Illinois Gambling Act was written in 2019.

Are more sportsbooks coming to the Chicagoland area?

Yes, Hawthorne Race Course and PointsBet plan to open up three OTB sportsbooks in Oak Brook TerraceProspect Heights and Crestwood. These could be open by the end of 2020.

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