Illinois currently has seven legal online sportsbooks. But as many as five new Illinois sports betting operators could be on the way.
Hard Rock Bet and Circa Sportsbook plan to become the eighth and ninth online sportsbooks in Illinois. They will be followed to market by Betway.
Circa obtained a license from the Illinois Gaming Board in April and has a tentative launch date set for late-September 2023. Circa also plans to launch a retail sportsbook at The Temporary by American Place casino.
Hard Rock received its license in July. No date has been given, yet, for it to launch, but it is likely soon. Hard Rock will offer an online Illinois sportsbook and a retail sports betting space in its Hard Rock Rockford casino.
Also, plans call for a sportsbook in the Bally’s Chicago casino set to open in 2026. In the meantime, sports betting may be coming to Bally’s temporary casino at the Medinah Temple set to open in September. Presumably the sportsbook would be operated by BallyBet. Though, authorization is still needed from the Illinois Gaming Board.
In July, the IGB also selected Betway as the lone “winning bidder” of a process to determine the suitability of operators for an online-only sports betting license. Betway still needs to complete the full license process before it can go live in the state.
Plus, ESPN Bet will take over the Barstool Illinois Sportsbook sometime in 2023. Fanatics is expected to replace the PointsBet Sportsbook in Illinois, likely early in 2024.
While you wait, here are our picks for the best new online sportsbooks in Illinois, as well as some additional information about how to bet online in a safe and responsible way.
Top sports betting apps in Illinois 2023
What is the newest online sportsbook in Illinois?
The most recent online sportsbook in Illinois is BetMGM, which launched in May 2022. Caesars is also relatively recent, as it launched its sportsbook app in Illinois in March 2022. Prior to launching the new app, Caesars was known as Caesars by William Hill.
Best new online sportsbooks in Illinois
These are our choices for the best new online sportsbooks in Illinois. For more information about each sportsbook and its accompanying app, see our detailed reviews.
One of the best options for online sports betting in Illinois is the Caesars online sportsbook. Its interface is user friendly and intuitive. Caesars offers a wide variety of bet types and sports. Caesars also has a good welcome bonus and one of the best rewards programs in the industry.
The rewards program is integrated into the app. Possible rewards include discounts at Caesars’ retail properties, free gambling vouchers, access to VIP lounges and more.
Caesars launched its online sportsbook in Illinois in March 2022, though it wasn’t technically a new sportsbook. Caesars purchased William Hill in April 2021. William Hill was licensed in Illinois in March 2020 and launched its online sportsbook in September 2020. Over the next year-and-a-half, Caesars rebranded the sportsbook under its own name.
The retail partnership Caesars has is with the Grand Victoria Casino in Elgin. Caesars also announced a partnership to become the exclusive betting partner of the Chicago White Sox. The partnership includes Caesars signage at White Sox home games at Guaranteed Rate Field.
Another great option for online sports betting in the Prairie State is the BetMGM Illinois sportsbook. Its website and app are user friendly and fast. BetMGM also features a wide array of bet types and sports to bet on. One of BetMGM’s best features is its live streaming of sporting events, particularly for football.
The BetMGM Illinois app also shines in its bonus offers. In addition to its generous welcome bonus, BetMGM offers a weekly $10 bonus bet if you make at least $50 in qualifying wagers the previous week. BetMGM also offers sports-specific bonuses. For example, BetMGM was offering a bonus bet (up to $25) during the NHL Playoffs if the team you wagered on lost in overtime.
The Illinois Gaming Board approved BetMGM’s license in January 2022, and BetMGM launched its online sportsbook in Illinois in March 2022. BetMGM has a retail partnership with Par-A-Dice Casino in East Peoria. BetMGM isn’t currently partnered with a major pro sports teams in Illinois, but it does have partnerships with MLB, the NFL, and the NHL.
FanDuel is the market leader in online sports betting in the US, and the FanDuel sportsbook app has made its presence felt in Illinois. Both its website and app are fast and user friendly. Because of the straightforward design, it is easy to make and keep track of all your bets. FanDuel also has one of the best welcome rewards in the industry with its $1,000 no sweat first bet.
The FanDuel app offers many bet types on the most popular sports for wagering like football and basketball, as well as bets on more niche sports like cricket, rugby and darts. FanDuel’s same-game parlay feature is one of its best. As its name indicates, a same-game parlay allows you to combine all of your bets (e.g. moneyline, total, props) on a single game into a parlay.
The Illinois Gaming Board approved FanDuel’s license in August 2020, and FanDuel launched its online sportsbook in Illinois that same month. FanDuel has a retail partnership with FanDuel Sportsbook and Casino in Collinsville. FanDuel and the United Center also announced a partnership to open a sportsbook lounge in the arena, home of the Bulls and Blackhawks.
Best bonuses and promos at new online sportsbooks in Illinois
Each online sportsbook in Illinois offers a welcome bonus for new players. These bonuses can be a good way to get started. Here are the current welcome bonuses at our top three online sportsbooks. Keep in mind that there are generally some restrictions on welcome bonuses, so make sure to read the terms and conditions on the sportsbook’s app or website.
BetMGM Illinois currently offers a first-bet bonus of up to $1,000 to new players. After you sign up with the promo code PLAYBONUS and deposit at least $10, you make a bet up to $1,000. If your bet wins, great. Congratulations and enjoy your winnings. If your bet loses, BetMGM will provide you with bonus bets equal to the amount of your first wager up to $1,000.
There are some things to keep in mind with this offer. The bonus bet needs to be used within seven days of it being credited to your account, which is typically within 24 hours after the initial bet loses. The bonus bet may only be used once on either a straight bet or a parlay, and it can’t be split into multiple bets. The bet credit itself can not be cashed out. Also, if the bonus bet wins, the bet credit will not be included with the winnings the way a cash bet would.
Caesars offers a generous welcome bonus that comes in three components. New players can get a first bet on Caesars for up to $1,250. They also get 1,000 Tier Credits and 1,000 Reward Credits. Use the promo code LEGALFULL when you sign up and deposit at least $10. Then make a bet for up to $1,250. If you win, you’re all set. If you lose, you will get a bet credit equal to the size of your wager up to the maximum of $1,250.
Be aware of the conditions on the welcome bonus. Your first bet must be placed within 30 days of opening your account, and it must be settled within 30 days of the wager being placed. The bet credit must be used within 14 days of when it was issued to your account. The bet credit can only be used once and not split between multiple wagers. You can’t cash out the bet credit, and it won’t be included with your winnings if the bet you use it on wins.
FanDuel offers a No Sweat First Bet up to $1,000. After signing up and depositing at least $10 in your FanDuel account, you can make a first bet up to $1,000. If the bet wins, you collect your winnings. If it loses, then you get bet credits equal to the amount of the bet issued to your account. FanDuel is a bit more flexible with bet credits than some other sportsbooks. You don’t have to use the bet credit on a single bet. You can divide it into multiple bets if you prefer.
There are some restrictions on the bet credits. They can’t be cashed out, and they must be used within 14 days of being credited to your account. If they aren’t used, they will expire.
Advantages of having multiple Illinois sportsbook accounts
It’s easy to stick with a single online sportsbook that you’re comfortable with. But there are some advantages of having multiple sportsbook accounts. Here are a few of them.
Take advantage of different promos and offers
In addition to welcome bonuses, online sportsbooks offer other types of promos and offers, such as odds boosts. This type of offer gives better odds on select bets for a limited time. For example, an online Illinois sportsbook might have a parlay on the Bulls and Blackhawks to both win. The original odds for this parlay might be +200, but the sportsbook decides to give an odds boost so that the parlay is offered at +250. If you make the bet and win, you get an extra $50.
One of the best reasons to have multiple sportsbook accounts is so that you can shop around for better lines. For example, you may want to place a bet on the Bears to win the NFC North this season. Near the end of June 2023, the Bears had these odds to win the division.
- Caesars: +380
- BetMGM +400
- FanDuel +420
If you made a $100 bet on the Bears at Caesars, you would win $380 if Chicago wins the NFC North. However, that same bet would win $400 if made at BetMGM and $420 if made at FanDuel. Sportsbooks tend to have some variation between lines, and shopping around for the best value adds up and can pay off in the long run.
New or different features
Different sportsbooks will have different features in an attempt to attract players. These features may include live streaming options, personalized displays, live betting and rewards programs. Some sportsbooks may also offer more options for certain types of bets like props. And some sportsbooks offer bets on more niche sports like volleyball or rugby.
In addition to the aforementioned features, each sportsbook has its own interface and user experience. Different apps may appeal to different people, so it is a good idea to check out a number of sportsbooks to see which ones you find easiest to use.
Is my money safe at new online sports betting apps?
Your money is safe at one of the new online sports betting apps in Illinois. The apps have all met the requirements of the Illinois Gaming Board to get a license. Legal online sportsbooks and apps are strictly monitored and regulated to protect players and their money.
This is in contrast to unregulated sportsbooks, such as those that are located offshore. Since they aren’t regulated, there is more risk involved with your personal information, and it may be hard to get your money back if something goes wrong. It’s best to stick with a legal option.
Responsible gambling tools in Illinois
When making use of any sportsbook in Illinois, it’s important to keep responsible gambling principles in mind. Problem gambling can affect anyone, so it’s important to be aware of warning signs such as gambling more than you can afford to lose or borrowing money to gamble.
Illinois has a number of tools to help those with problem gambling. There is the Illinois Council on Problem Gambling, which can connect gamblers with counseling. The National Council on Problem Gambling is another resource that can be reached by phone (1-800-GAMBLER) or online chat. Local chapters of Gamblers Anonymous are another option.
The Illinois Department of Human Services maintains a list of approved treatment providers in the state and offers a website with resources for problem gambling. Illinois also offers a voluntary self-exclusion program for those struggling with the issue.
For more information, please see our page on responsible gambling in Illinois.