Illinois Sports Betting

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Illinois Sports Betting

Last Updated: September 2, 2022

Sports betting is alive and well in Illinois, and this state is now one of the biggest markets in the United States. Some of the biggest sportsbook brands in the U.S. operate in Illinois. 

Retail sports betting in Illinois officially launched on March 9, 2020, but that was not the date that most Illinois sports bettors were looking for. Instead, the online sports betting industry launched in June 2020, with BetRivers accepting the first wager in each instance. 

Illinois sometimes approaches the $1 billion mark in monthly sports betting handle. Those numbers place the Land of Lincoln among the top five U.S. sports betting markets.

This review includes “Play Now” links that you can use to claim new player bonuses at Illinois online sports betting sites.

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State of Play in Illinois

Sports Betting in Illinois

Illinois hosts one of the most thriving sports betting markets in the nation. Both retail and online sports betting are legal in the Land of Lincoln.

Illinois mobile sports betting apps launched in June 2020. The state allows access to some of the top brands in the U.S. legal sports betting industry.

Daily fantasy sports (DFS) are legal in Illinois, while online casinos and poker aren’t authorized to operate in the state.

Sportsbooks in Illinois

SportsbookRead ReviewBonusJoin
BetMGMRead Review$200Play Now
DraftKings SportsbookRead Review$1,000Play Now
FanDuel SportsbookRead Review$1,000Play Now
Caesars SportsbookRead Review$1,250Play Now


  • Is college sports betting legal in Illinois? Betting on college sports is available in Illinois, and you can now place bets on in-state college teams. However, betting on in-state college teams is restricted to in-person wagering, and you can only place single pregame wagers.
  • Is esports betting legal in Illinois? No, betting on esports is still illegal in Illinois, but that could change at some point in the future. Some states have legalized betting on esports events, but that hasn't been the case yet in Illinois.
  • Who can apply for an Illinois online sports betting license? For the first 16 months after the first sportsbook launched, only those online sportsbooks with a casino partner were granted a license. That law has since changed, and there are now online-only licenses available through the Illinois Gaming Board.
  • Does BetMGM offer online sports betting? BetMGM was able to launch online sports betting in Illinois in March 2022 after its license was finally approved. However, BetMGM had to wait almost a year and a half before being approved by the Illinois Gaming Board as it didn't have a casino partner in the state.
  • Can I anonymously place a bet at an Illinois sportsbook? No, you will not be allowed to place a bet without an account at an Illinois sportsbook. This account does not cover every option either, and you will have to sign up at each sportsbook you intend to wager at. Before placing a bet, you must be logged into your account and have your location verified.



Illinois bettors enjoy access to some of the top brands in online sports betting.


Some of the most reliable deposit/cashout methods include ACH/eCheck, PayPal, Play+ Prepaid, and online banking.

Fair Pricing

With the competition fierce among IL online sportsbooks, you can count on plenty of opportunity to line shop and find the best odds.

Betting Options

Illinois online sportsbooks offer numerous ways to bet, with domestic, international, and niche sports available.

Bonus Offers

Sign up for Illinois sportsbooks using the “Play Now” links in this review, and unlock available welcome bonuses at each.

Statewide Mobile Betting
Competitive Odds
Remote Registration Available

Illinois Sports Betting

Illinois sports betting launched in 2020 and immediately emerged as one of the nation’s top markets. Legal Illinois sportsbooks produce some of the biggest betting handle among U.S. states. In addition, sports bettors enjoy access to Illinois sports betting apps and retail sportsbooks in the state. This review includes “Play Now” links that you can use to claim new player bonuses at Illinois online sports betting legal sites.

Illinois Sports Betting Key Information 

  • Illinois online gambling options: Sports betting, daily fantasy sports
  • Sports betting tax rate: 15%
  • Illinois sports betting licenses available: Depends on the number of casinos/professional teams. Illinois will only offer three online-only sports betting licenses available through the IGB. 
  • College sports betting in Illinois: No betting on in-state college teams online. 
  • The legalization date of Illinois sports betting: The Illinois sports betting bill was approved on June 28, 2019. 

The Illinois Gaming Board is in charge of overseeing and regulating the sports betting industry in the state. Illinois sports betting law also puts the IGB in charge of overseeing and regulating other gaming industries. 

Illinois Online Sportsbooks

DraftKings Sportsbook

DraftKings was the second mobile sportsbook to enter Illinois, going live on August 5, 2020. DraftKings partnered with the Casino Queen in East St. Louis to apply for Illinois’ sports betting license. Retail sports betting at the Casino Queen began on the same date. 

FanDuel Sportsbook

FanDuel Sportsbook joined the market shortly after DraftKings, going live on August 20, 2020. The Par-A-Dice Casino was the initial sports betting partner of FanDuel, but that has since changed to Fairmount Park. That racetrack has now been renamed to FanDuel Sportsbook and Horse Racing. 


BetMGM entered Illinois in March 2022, and it did so in a way that was much different than the rest of the state’s mobile sportsbooks. BetMGM received the first online-only license offered by the state, but it also has a partnership with the Par-A-Dice Casino in East Peoria. 

Caesars Sportsbook

Caesars Sportsbook had an interesting path to entering the Illinois sports betting market as it did so by acquiring William Hill. Caesars obtained casino partnerships with the Grand Victoria Casino, Harrah’s Joliet, and Harrah’s Metropolis through that deal. Caesars officially launched in March 2022, but it was available through the William Hill app much earlier. 


PointsBet Sportsbook came from Australia to enter the state of Illinois, and it did so by partnering with Hawthorne Race Course. The online launch for Pointsbet in Illinois took place on September 12, 2020. 


The BetRivers Sportsbook app was the first Illinois mobile sports betting option officially launched in June 2020. BetRivers partnered with Rush Street Gaming and the Rivers Casino in Des Plaines to apply for a license and then go live in the state. 

Barstool Sportsbook

Penn National Gaming and the Barstool Sportsbook were able to enter Illinois in March 2021, just in time for the start of the NCAA Tournament. This sportsbook is partnered with three casinos in the state, including Argosy Casino Alton, Hollywood Casino Aurora, and Hollywood Casino Joliet. 

Top Illinois Online Sportsbooks


Sports Betting Illinois: Retail Sportsbooks

  • DraftKings Sportsbook at Casino Queen
  • FanDuel Sportsbook and Horse Racing
  • Grand Victoria Casino (Caesars)
  • Hawthorne Race Course (PointsBet)
  • Hollywood Casino Aurora (Barstool)
  • Hollywood Casino Joliet (Barstool)
  • Par-A-Dice Casino (BetMGM)
  • Rivers Casino Sportsbook 
  • Sportsbook at Argosy Casino Alton 

Illinois Online Sports Betting Welcome Bonuses

When signing up for a sports betting account in Illinois, you will find that the top mobile sportsbooks have welcome bonuses for new customers. Each site chooses these welcome bonuses, but there are some common offerings that you will find throughout the state. 

Risk-Free Bet (aka First Bet Insurance)

A risk-free bet is among the most common welcome bonuses in the Illinois sports betting industry. The risk-free bet bonus requires you to have funds in your account before you make an initial wager. 

A risk-free bet is an insurance policy as you have nothing to lose with your first wager. If your first bet at the sportsbook is unsuccessful, that site will credit your account for the amount you used with your first wager. 

If your first wager at an Illinois sports betting site wins, the risk-free bet refund doesn’t apply.

Deposit Match Bonus

A deposit match bonus is another popular welcome bonus that you will find from sportsbooks in Illinois. You don’t even have to bet with this offer, as you will put bonus funds into your account as soon as the first deposit is made. 

Each site will develop its policy regarding the deposit match, as some will offer just a percentage match on the first deposit. Other sites might offer a 100% first deposit match, but you will likely be limited with the amount of money that can be matched. 

Free Bet Bonuses (aka Match Bets)

Another popular bonus offered by sportsbooks in Illinois will be what is known as a free bet bonus. This type of bonus can be offered as a welcome bonus, but you will also see this offered as a reward to loyal customers. 

When a free bet is offered, this money is put into your account, and you can use it whichever way you choose. This free bet will have to be wagered in full before you can make a withdrawal request to receive these funds. 

Unlike a risk-free bet, free bet bonuses apply to your account whether your qualifying wager wins or loses.

Betting Online in Illinois

You must create a sportsbook account before placing a bet at an online sportsbook in Illinois. However, this process is now much easier than it used to be, as remote registration is now available. 

You will download the mobile sportsbook app of your choosing and then start the registration process. When creating your account, you will be asked for personal information, but the entire process can take 10 minutes or less. 

When you want to sign up for a new sportsbook account, click on the “Play Now” links to get the latest welcome bonus offer from each sportsbook. 

Downloading Illinois Mobile Sports Betting Apps For Apple IOS 

If you have an Apple device, you will want to access the App store when looking to download a mobile sportsbook app. The App Store will have all Illinois apps listed, and you can quickly search for what you are looking for. 

One nice thing about looking for an iOS app is that the App store will have the ratings for each app, and you can see which one works the best for that device. 

Downloading Illinois Mobile Sports Betting Apps For Android Devices

The Google Play store should be your first stop when looking for Illinois sports betting apps on an Android device. The mobile apps might not be available on the Google Play store, though, requiring an additional step. 

If you can’t find the app you are looking for, you will need to visit the online sportsbook site and use the links provided to download the mobile app. 

Betting at Illinois Sportsbook Sites On Desktop 

You don’t have to use a mobile app when looking to bet on sports online in Illinois. Each sportsbook will also have an online sportsbook that you can access on a desktop computer. 

There are some advantages to using a desktop computer to place bets, and the biggest advantage is that everything will be easier to view. You will still find the same betting odds and features on the mobile apps. 

Illinois Sportsbooks Payment Methods


A Play+ Card might be a new idea to you, but it can be a great way to fund your account and receive a payment from an online sportsbook. Specific books will only offer this Play+ card, simply a prepaid card.

You can load the prepaid card however you choose, and then money can be put back on the card by the sportsbook if you win some cash. 


PayPal is a widely used payment option in many industries, including sports betting. As a result, PayPal might be the easiest way to send money back and forth to mobile sportsbook apps.

You will want to link your PayPal account to each online sportsbook when signing up, allowing you to make a deposit and receive a withdrawal quickly. 


If you prefer receiving a check after winning money, then the ACH/eCheck option is the way to go. When using this option, you will have to designate a financial institution, but it can be a safe and secure way to send and receive funds. 

Bank Transfer/Online Banking

If your banking institution allows you to send and receive money through an online sportsbook, that will be an option. Of course, you will have to provide the online sportsbook with your routing and account numbers, but then you can transfer money quickly and quickly.

Credit/Debit Card

Most Mastercard and Visa credit/debit cards are accepted as a form of payment at Illinois sportsbook sites, and those can be used as both a deposit and withdrawal method. This used to be the most common form of payment when betting online with sports, but that is no longer the case. 

Some credit/debit cards might block transactions to online betting sites, and you will want to check before attempting this option. 


If you have a mobile device today, you might notice that it comes fully loaded with some eWallet options. Of course, you don’t have to use these options when making a payment, but those will be available in an online sportsbook. 

Each sportsbook will determine what eWallet options can be used, but this can be a great way to fund an account by using what is already on your mobile device. 

Other Payment Options

While the most common payment methods are listed above, that is not a complete list. Every online sportsbook in Illinois is free to come up with its banking methods, and you might be able to find another method that works even better for you.

If you don’t trust online payments, you can also travel to a retail sportsbook and speak with a teller to get your winnings in person. 

Top Illinois Online Sportsbooks

College And Professional Teams in Illinois

Chicago Bears

The Chicago Bears last won the Super Bowl during the 1985 season after having one of the best teams in NFL history. Since that time, there have been some playoff appearances, but the Bears have always come up short in the postseason. Despite the lack of recent success, the Bears remain the most popular team in the state, competing in the NFC North Division. 

Placing a future bet on the Bears to win the NFC North is an example of a bet you can place on the team. 

Chicago Blackhawks

The Chicago Blackhawks won the Stanley Cup in 2010, 2013, and 2015, making them one of the most popular teams in the state. Unfortunately, the team has gone wrong since the last Stanley Cup win, and the Blackhawks are now in the middle of a rebuild. The Detroit Red Wings and St. Louis Blues are two of the team’s biggest rivals. 

Taking the Chicago Blackhawks -1.5 in a game is an example of a puck line bet you can place. 

Chicago Bulls

The Chicago Bulls were once kings of the NBA in the 1990s, but things have changed since Michael Jordan retired. Chicago was back in the playoffs in 2022 but ended a long drought. The Bulls have many rivals in the Central Division, including the Cleveland Cavaliers, Detroit Pistons, and Indiana Pacers. 

Betting on Demar DeRozan to score over 25.5 points in a game is an example of a player prop bet. 

Chicago Cubs

After winning the World Series in 2016, the Chicago Cubs have been trending in the wrong direction. Chicago is currently in the middle of a rebuild, but they remain the most popular MLB team in the state. The St. Louis Cardinals are the biggest rival of the Cubs. 

Betting on the over/under and taking over 7.5 total runs is an example of a wager you can place on baseball. 

Chicago Fire

The Chicago Fire FC is a Major League Soccer (MLS) member, and they won the MLS Cup in their first season (1998). However, this team is a member of the Eastern Conference, and they have struggled to be competitive over the last few seasons. 

Betting on soccer isn’t extremely common, but taking the Fire -145 is an example of a moneyline bet that you can make. 

Chicago Sky

The Chicago Sky are members of the WNBA, and they won the title during the 2021 season. The Minnesota Lynx are the biggest rivals of the Sky, as both teams are in the same conference. 

WNBA betting is similar to betting on the NBA, and taking the Sky -4.5 to cover the spread is a popular way to bet on this team. 

Chicago White Sox

The White Sox are the second-most popular MLB team in the state, but they have a massive following on the city’s Southside. The White Sox are one of the best teams in baseball, but their last World Series win came in 2005. 

Creating the same game parlay featuring player prop bets is a great way to wager on the White Sox. 

Illinois Fighting Illini

Betting on Illinois college teams is still illegal at online sports betting sites, but you can place these wagers in person. The Fighting Illini are the most popular team for college sports in Illinois. Illinois just won the Big Ten Conference in men’s basketball and has a strong tradition in baseball and golf. 

Picking Illinois to beat Michigan State in basketball is a moneyline wager you can make. 

Northwestern Wildcats

The Northwestern Wildcats are the other Big Ten team in Illinois, and they have a stronger tradition in football over basketball. Northwestern football won the West Division title in both 2018 and 2020. 

Taking Northwestern -2.5 over the Wisconsin Badgers is a bet you can make on a football game. 

How Can I Tell That Illinois Sports Betting Sites Are Fair? 

It’s important to remember that Illinois sports betting sites are looking to make money, but they will also be fair. The best way to check the fairness of each site is to try them out, but all of them will operate under fair principles. 

Illinois is one of the top sports betting markets in the United States and is extremely competitive. As a result, Illinois sports betting sites must operate fairly, or bettors in the state will look for other options. 

Each site’s odds and betting lines will also be competitive, as every sportsbook is looking for an edge. 

Who is in charge of regulating Illinois sportsbooks?

Illinois sports betting law puts the Illinois Gaming Board overseeing and regulating the industry. The Illinois Gaming Board is not a new governing body in the state, but it simply had to add sports betting to its list of roles. 

Overseeing and regulating sports betting in Illinois includes receiving sports betting applications and approving those sportsbooks for launch. Then, after each site is live, the IGB has to regulate each site to ensure that all rules are followed. 

Can I trust the legal sportsbooks in Illinois?

If you are betting on a legal and regulated online sportsbook in Illinois, that will be a trustworthy site. However, only those approved and licensed by the Illinois Gaming Board are legal to launch in the state. 

The sites will be extremely fair to use, but you won’t get into legal trouble when betting on the site. However, if you have an issue, you can file a formal complaint with the Illinois Gaming Board to resolve that issue. 

How do I receive my winnings from an online sportsbook?

Winning money from Illinois sports betting apps is not easy, even though that is the goal for all Illinois sports bettors. If you find a way to win some money, you will make a withdrawal request to get your winnings. 

Each online sportsbook in Illinois will create withdrawal options, and you can choose the one you like the best. Some options will have money transferred in minutes, while others could take a few days to process.