Why You Can’t Bet On Illinois vs. Iowa State If You Live In IL

Written By Cole Rush on March 27, 2024 - Last Updated on April 1, 2024
Why you can't bet Illinois vs. Iowa State NCAA basketball game

On Thursday, the University of Illinois will meet Iowa State University in a Sweet Sixteen March Madness match-up between neighboring state schools. If you’re a sports bettor in Illinois, particularly if you’re new to sports betting, you may wonder why Illinois online sportsbooks don’t have any odds or bets available for the game.

We’ve got you covered.

In-state schools are off limits for Illinois bettors

The simple and unfortunate truth is that Illinois prohibits any wagers on Illinois-based schools. It doesn’t matter where or when they play. Even if they travel to a different state to play in the biggest NCAA basketball tournament of the year, you can’t bet on any Illinois college teams. That’s why you won’t see any odds listed for Illinois schools or players.

This rule has been in place since sports betting first became legal in Illinois. New Jersey, one of the first legal sports betting markets in the country, has a similar rule in place. It laid the groundwork for a lot of states that followed in its footsteps.

The catch? Even New Jersey has been toying with lifting the ban on in-state school betting.

There’s a small silver lining here, and it involves a few of Illinois’ neighbors. Both Indiana and Kentucky allow online sports betting, and neither bans bets on Illinois schools. If you live near a border and/or plan to travel before the Illinois vs. Iowa State game, you can place bets in a different legal state.

What can you bet on in Illinois?

Although Illinois schools are not on the state’s sportsbook apps, you can still bet on March Madness in IL. There are a bevy of markets available, including any game that doesn’t include the University of Illinois Fighting Illini. Illinois allows betting on player props, which are wagers on outcomes not necessarily tied to the final results of the game. Think “X player to score 3 or more 3-pointers” or “Play to log Over/Under 16.5 assists.”

Many markets prohibit such bets on NCAA players. Ohio recently banned them, citing player harassment concerns and other integrity issues. Illinois hasn’t shown any signs of doing the same, but it’s possible in the future.

Photo by AP Photo/Abbie Parr
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Cole Rush

Cole Rush writes words. A lot of them. Most of those words can be found in gambling publications such as PlayIllinois, iGaming Business, Gaming Today, Bonus.com, MidwestSharp.com, ICE 365, and IGB North America. Cole also covers pop culture and books for Tor.com and TheQuillToLive.com. Cole has more than eight years of experience writing about gambling and entertainment.

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