Illinois Sports Betting

Illinois Sports Betting Betting Info And The Top IL Sportsbooks

Illinois sports betting is entirely live and legal. As of March 5, 2022, it is now possible to complete the entire signup process for an Illinois sportsbook account from anywhere in the state. As long as they are located within IL state lines, bettors can legally sign up with an online sportsbook and wager. Seven online sportsbooks operate in Illinois, with BetMGM Sportsbook the latest operator to launch a mobile betting app. In addition, the majority of its retail casinos have sports betting facilities that are also open for business. With increased competition, we have seen that Illinois sports betting apps have upped their game and are offering regular bonuses and promotions. Now that the in-person registration requirement for new sportsbook accounts is a thing of the past, we expect the sports betting market in Illinois to grow pretty fast.

Illinois Sportsbooks

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When will Illinois end in-person verification for mobile sports betting?

The required in-person registration has already ended on March 5, 2022. That was after the Illinois General Assembly passed a new law in October 2021 to eliminate the in-person registration requirement for IL sports bettors. The bill setting the date for the chance is HB 3136.

Top Sports Betting Apps Comparison in Illinois

Ultimately the online sportsbook that is the best for you is the one that suits best your wagering style and that works for you. Each app is different, with Illinois that has around half a dozen sportsbooks available online. As you will see, each has its own strengths and weaknesses and below is a brief overview of the best legal sports betting apps in Illinois: Top sportsbook for Chicago sports: BetRivers. BetRivers’ parent company, Rush Street Interactive, has their headquarter in Chicago, and it is also the exclusive partner of the Chicago Bears. So it is not surprising that they excel when it comes to Chicago-centre options and offers for bettors in the Windy City. Best sportsbook for a variety of sports: Caesars. Caesars has the best variety of sports of any other sports betting competitor in IL. This is mostly thanks to its acquisition of William Hill. Best sportsbook for user-experience: FanDuel. FanDuel is a very user-friendly app that is slick and easy to navigate. Monitoring your wagers during the game is also seamless, with the whole betting interface scoring very high. Best sportsbook for innovative features: DraftKings. DraftKings has been the first in the US to launch innovative betting functionalities like the early cash-out option and a customized betting carousel when a player logs onto the website. The carousel presents similar wagers to the ones you have placed, and it is built from your preferences and betting history. Best sportsbook for iOS and Android apps: FanDuel, DraftKings, PointsBet. These apps have solidly positive reviews on Google Play and the App Store, with speed and design scoring exceptionally high.

DraftKings Sportsbook

DraftKings Sportsbook is one of the top sportsbooks in the state. It is famous for innovative features like cash-out option, which allows bettors more flexibility before the end of the game, or the betting carousel that tailors itself to each bettor. 

BetMGM Sportsbook

BetMGM is one of the best sportsbooks in the US. Its presence stretches over several legal markets. They offer their customers a wide range of sports and bet types and innovative features like Edit My Bet and Easy Parlay. 

PointsBet Sportsbook

PointsBet is an Australian sportsbook that has expanded successfully also in the US. They have a rather aggressive approach, with generous promotions for new and existing customers. 

BetRivers Sportsbook

BetRivers Sportsbook is some sort of ‘home’ sportsbook for Illinoisans, as the company has its headquarters on North Michigan Avenue and have an exclusive online gambling partnership with Chicago Bears. BetRivers distinguish itself with a dedicated rewards program called iRush Rewards, where loyal sports bettors are compensated. 

Caesars Sportsbook

Caesars Sportsbook is a top sports betting app that provides extensive daily odds boosts and many betting markets covering almost every sporting event. Caesars is an excellent sportsbook, despite its basic design. 

FanDuel Sportsbook

FanDuel Sportsbook has become one of the best sports betting apps in Illinois. Easy to use, provide lots of daily same-game parlay options, and generous promotions for new and existing customers. 

New sports betting operators in Illinois

Illinois is one of the largest states that provide online sports betting. With a population of more than 10 million, it is not surprising that this is one of the states that features at the top of the list for gambling companies as a place to expand. Some top operators are already active in the state, but more is still to come. The latest to launch has been BetMGM in March 2022, and Unibet Sportsbook and theScore Bet are likely to follow suit shortly. 

How to get the best Illinois sportsbook bonuses

Starting up with a legal Illinois sports betting site is pretty easy. The great thing is that each Illinois sportsbook app offers welcome bonuses to new users, so make sure to compare the different offerings and read the terms and conditions to ensure you are claiming correctly. Each operator have slightly different terms, but below is a summary of the most common types of bonuses offered by IL sportsbook app:  Deposit bonus: With this offer, the sportsbook will match all or a portion of your deposit amount with their money. This will increase your initial deposit up to a specific limit.  Free bets: as you can see from the words, a free bet allows you to make a single wager on the sporting event of your choice without using your own money. You will get the profit added to your account balance if you win. Risk-free bets: with this promotion, you need to place a first bet that meets the sports betting site conditions. If you win, you just get the profit from your win, while if you lose, the site will give you credits equivalent to a percentage of your losing wager. These promotions are also called cashback or insurance bonuses. 

Why betting with a legal Illinois sports betting site

The most important reasons why you should only sign up and wager with legal Illinois’ online sportsbooks is that you are guaranteed that these are safe, secure and reliable. All the apps that the Illinois Gaming Board approves have to respond to stringent requirements. Therefore, legal sports betting sites have business standards and security practices to ensure you and your bets will be safe and fair. Once you have an account and have downloaded the app, you will find an excellent convenience in betting from anywhere in IL. In addition, online sportsbooks have bonuses and options that are simply not available at casinos. 

How Illinois sports betting was legalized

Illinois legalized sports betting thanks to the SB 690 law, which was passed in June 2019. The law allowed online and retail sports betting in the state, with retail facilities that were clear to offer sports betting: these were state’s casinos, racetracks and larger sports venues. The law also allowed for three online-only licenses to be awarded in 2021. Until March 2022, there has been a requirement in the law for in-person registration. This part of the law has now been scrapped, with online and app registration allowed in Illinois. 

List of currently legal sports betting apps in Illinois

At the moment of writing, seven sports betting apps are operating in Illinois. BetRivers were the first to launch in 2020, and each app has a partnership with a casino located in the state. Below are the current legal sports betting apps in Illinois:  Barstool Sportsbook (Hollywood Casino Aurora/Hollywood Casino Joliet) BetMGM Sportsbook BetRivers Sportsbook (Rivers Des Plaines) Caesars Sportsbook (Grand Victoria Casino Elgin/Harrah’s Joliet/Harrah’s Metropolis) DraftKings Sportsbook (DraftKings at Casino Queen) FanDuel Sportsbook (Par-a-Dice Casino) PointsBet Sportsbook (Hawthorne Race Course)

Most popular sports to wager on in Illinois

In Illinois, there are plenty of major sports teams, so bettors in the state have plenty to support and wager on if they want to. As for Illinois’ sports betting law, bettors in the state will be soon able to place wagers at the stadiums of many of these teams, in addition to retail and online/app offering. Below are a list of the most popular sports and Illinois based teams on which to wager on in the state:  NBA — Chicago Bulls NFL — Chicago Bears MLB — Chicago White Sox MLB — Chicago Cubs NHL — Chicago Blackhawks MLS — Chicago Fire FC In addition to these Chicago-based teams, it is also possible to wager on other games in these leagues, on top events like March Madness, tennis, mixed martial arts, golf, motorsports, etc. 

Illinois sports betting history key milestones

Illinois’s strive to legalize sports betting started in 2018, but some serious progress wasn’t made until 2019. That year a challenge from Gov. J.B. Pritzker, who included sports betting revenue in his budget, motivated Illinois lawmakers to move forward with legalizing the matter. At the end of several rounds of negotiations, Pritzker signed the bill into law in June 2019. As a result, the first retail sportsbooks went live in March at Rivers Del Plaines and Argosy Casino Alton. The first online sportsbook, BetRivers, was launched in June 2020, with four other operators starting their activity in Illinois before the end of 2020. More online sportsbooks are launched in the state in 2021, while the Illinois General Assembly successfully voted in March to rescind the in-person registration requirements and allow in-person pre-game betting on in-state college teams. 

FAQ on Illinois sports betting

Is sports betting legal in Illinois?

Sports betting is legal in Illinois, and several online and retail sportsbooks are operating in the state. This is thanks to a sports betting law that The Illinois General Assembly passed in 2019, authorized and signed by Gov. J.B. Pritzker. 

Where can I wager on sports in Illinois?

You can wager from everywhere within states lines using legal Illinois sportsbook apps. Additionally, the state law also permits wagering at the state’s casinos, racetracks and some selected sports stadiums. More sportsbooks are due to be opened in eligible facilities, but as of today, these are locations that have a sportsbook open in IL:  Rivers Des Plaines, 3000 S. River Road, Des Plaines, IL 60018 Argosy Casino Alton, 1 Piasa St., Alton, IL 62002 Grand Victoria Casino, 250 S. Grove Ave., Elgin, IL 60120 DraftKings at Casino Queen, 200 S. Front St., East St Louis, IL 62201 Par-a-Dice Casino, 21 Blackjack Blvd., East Peoria, IL 61611 Hollywood Casino Aurora, 1 W. New York St., Aurora, IL 60506 Hollywood Casino Joliet, 777 Hollywood Blvd., Joliet, IL 60436

Can I wager with Bovada legally in Illinois?

No. Bovada hasn’t got a license to operate by the Illinois Gaming Board, and it is not part of the regulated options for sports betting in IL. However, Bovada is currently offering service to Illinoisans from outside the US in violation of federal law, so we recommend that you only use one of the Illinois legal operators listed on this page for your wagers on sports in the Prairie State. 

What age do I have to be to bet on sports in Illinois?

The minimum wagering age in Illinois is 21. Therefore, if you want to bet on sports in the state, either live or online, you must first verify that you are 21 or older. 

Is horse betting legal in Illinois?

Yes, you can bet on horse racing in several approved outlets in Illinois. You can also place bets in person at the two live racing tracks in the state: Fairmount Park and Hawthorne Race Course. However, the most comfortable way for Illinoisans to wager on horse racing is through their mobile devices and computers, at the many legal online horse betting sites and apps available. 

Can I play daily fantasy sports contests in Illinois?

Yes. The legality of daily fantasy sports contests has been debated in courts for many years, but the Illinois Supreme Court has declared that some daily fantasy sports contests are considered skill games and are therefore not illegal gambling under state law. As a result, the likes of DraftKings, FanDuel and other DFS providers are available to Illinois residents who are keen to get involved.

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John Pentin
John was born and raised in London, John has always been in love with American sports. He started to write football articles back in 2006 on his own blog and has also worked for several newspapers. John other passion was betting and has worked as a trader for several top sports book in the UK. As sports trader and has joined leading UK betting tipping site BettingTips4You in 2013 and he is now head of content. He has a great passion for US Sports so hasn't wasted the opportunity to write also for NewJerseySafeBetting, now that online sportsbetting has been legalized in the state.