Last updated on: May 9th, 2022

Legal Illinois Sports Betting

Sports betting launched in Illinois on March 9, 2020, with the first land-based sportsbooks taking action. Mobile betting would come a few months later, launching officially in June. There are currently seven of the 19 casinos in Illinois that offer sports betting operations. The regulations allow each casino to operate a maximum of three legal sports betting skins. This allows a lot of variety in terms of options for Illinois sports betting. In addition, online sportsbooks based overseas also provide some of the best betting action available in the Prairie State. Bettors also have a lot of options in terms of banking methods as well, as these sites are the only Illinois sportsbooks that accept Bitcoin for sports betting. From bonuses to banking variety, Illinois sports betting sites are the best way to play.​

  • Sports betting was signed into Illinois law in June 2019 and went live on March 9, 2020.
  • Illinois has statewide mobile betting but locals must sign up in person first.
  • Seven retail casinos offer sports betting in Illinois.
  • Sportsbooks that are available in Illinois include licensed betting sites.

Is Bovada Legal In Illinois?

Yes, Bovada is not only legal in Illinois, it is a preferred option for those who wish to bet on the Illinois college athletic programs listed above. As a result of Illinois-regulated online sportsbooks’ ban on offering odds on in-state college teams, internationally-based sportsbooks like Bovada are the top legal option for these types of bets. Even professional sports bettors often prefer to use sites like Bovada, since local teams’ odds will not be swayed by an overwhelming number of bettors wagering the same side.

#1

Bovada Sportsbook

Illinois’ Top Tier Sportsbook

Bovada is an excellent sportsbook for Illinois bettors, and it is available in Illinois as well as 44 other states in America. Betting limits at Bovada range up to $2,000, which means you can place big wagers on your favorite teams. Bovada even offers mobile betting and live betting options for IL players.

Rating: 5 Star Rating

  • Leading Site Interface
  • Live Betting Suite
  • Mobile Betting Availability
  • Bet With Bitcoin
  • Live Customer Service Chat

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#2

BetOnline Sportsbook

A Trusted Name In Sports Betting

BetOnline was founded in 2011, and is a licensed and regulated online sportsbook that operates out of Panama. You can easily access BetOnline in Illinois, and they accept a wide variety of deposit methods, such as credit cards and cryptocurrencies like bitcoin. Withdrawals can be processed with crypto, wire transfers and checks, making BetOnline a great IL sportsbook.

Rating: 5 Star Rating

  • Reliable Banking Methods
  • Strong Server Connection
  • 10+ Year Track Record
  • Huge Assortment Of Odds
  • No App Mobile Betting

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#3

MyBookie Sportsbook

Great Optimization For Mobile Betting

MyBookie offers an excellent betting bonus, using code MYB100. This bonus lets you get 100% matching on your first deposit, with values ranging from $50 to $1,000. Established in 2014, MyBookie has quickly become one of the top offshore sportsbooks in Illinois. You can access MyBookie using computers, iPhones and Androids, so there are a lot of ways to wager.

Ratings: 5 Star Rating

  • Huge Player Bonuses
  • Consistent Odds
  • Easy Interface
  • Rapid Live Betting
  • Legal In Illinois

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#4

SportsBetting Sportsbook

A Top Choice For Illinois Bettors

SportsBetting offers a very solid signup bonus that will get you a 50% match up to $500 when you sign up, as well as very sharp lines that make it a great alternative to any sportsbook in IL. It’s been in operation since 1998, making it one of the oldest offshore sportsbooks around, and it leverages that experience to provide excellent wagering opportunities to IL players.

Ratings: 5 Star Rating

  • Efficient Site Layout
  • Full Mobile Betting Suite
  • Available Customer Service
  • Trustworthy Banking Options
  • Fast Payout Times

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#5

XBet Sportsbook

Fund Your Account With Crypto

Some may think that Hawaii does not have passionate sports fans thanks to no major professional teams coming from the islands. In reality, that is furthest from the truth, as Hawaii is home to some crazily devoted fans and has produced some amazing athletes in recent memory like Miami Dolphins’ quarterback Tua Tagovailoa. That athletic culture extends to sports betting, which is where sites like Xbet come in. XBet is one of the newest sportsbooks that has been serving players in Hawaii with great results. Being completely legal to use, XBet provides Hawaiians with the best way to wager on all of their favorite teams, no matter how many miles away they may be.

Ratings: 5 Star Rating

  • Worry-free Legal Betting
  • Exclusive Bonus Offers
  • Constantly Updated Odds
  • Premier User Experience
  • Full Mobile + Live Betting

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Illinois Sports Betting And Gambling Laws

Illinois officially legalized and regulated sports betting with the signing of SB 690 on June 28, 2019. Illinois requires that casinos be located near flowing bodies of water with the exception of Lake Michigan. The only exception to his law is if a county’s population exceeds 3 million people, in which case land-based venues are allowed. The betting age is set at 18 for everything except casino-style gaming and sports betting, for which you will need to be 21 years of age. Charitable gaming and pari-mutuel wagering on horses are also available in the state, and the Illinois Gaming Board oversees all gambling activities (except the state lotto, which is managed by the Illinois Lottery Control Board). The Illinois Gaming Board also regulates sports gambling now that the pastime has been legalized and licenses are being distributed. For more information about Illinois’ changing gambling laws, you can consult Illinois Compiled Statutes §720 5/28-1.

In January 2022, a pair of new sports betting bills were introduced in the Illinois legislature. The first, SB 3872, would add an exchange trade amendment to the Wagering Act; this would allow peer-to-peer sports betting services, such as Wagr, to operate in the state. Currently, only Tennessee allows such services. The other bill introduced was HB 5376, which deals with diversion of funds from the Sports Wagering Fund. According to the bill, 6% of the funds in the Sports Wagering Fund would be redirected for use on mental health services for student-athletes, sports wagering costs, and school staff compliance. It would also allow NCAA Division-1 athletic programs to submit an exclusion list of student-athletes and school staff, which would prevent them from registering with state-regulated sportsbooks. It would also allow the schools to force operators to close already-active accounts of individuals listed on the exclusion list.

Illinois Sports Betting Timeline

August 2018 The Illinois legislature  holds the first hearing on the potential legalization of sports betting.
March 2019 Neil Bluhm, mogul and owner of Rivers Casino,  begins lobbying against FanDuel and DraftKings from entering the Illinois sportsbook market. Bluhm argued that the companies had offered their DFS product in Illinois illegally for years, and that preventing them from entering the market would be restitution.
June 2019 The Illinois legislature drafts their sports betting bill, SB 690,  finding a compromise between Bluhm’s lobbying and the desires of consumers by allowing online operators to enter the market after a year and a half.
March 2020 Rivers Casino opens the first sportsbook in Illinois just days before the mandatory casino closure as a result of COVID-19.
June 2020 Governor J.B. Pritzker signs an executive order  lifting the in-person online sportsbook registration requirement despite no online sportsbooks being launched.
August 2020 DraftKings launches in partnership with Casino Queen.
August 2020 Gov. Pritzker extends his executive order removing the in-person registration requirement for online sportsbooks.
September 2020 Gov. Pritzker once again extends his executive order.
October 2021 The Illinois legislature passed HB 3136,  removing the in-person online sportsbook registration requirement and allowing participating retail sportsbooks to accept wagers on in-state college teams.
January 2022 BetMGM Sportsbook receives approval from the Illinois Gaming Board. The company plans to launch by March 5, 2022.
February 2022 FanDuel unveils plans to launch a sportsbook at Chicago’s United Center.
March 2022 Online registration for online sportsbooks officially launches.
March 2022 Caesars Sportsbook launches  their Liberty sportsbook platform in Illinois.
March 2022 BetMGM launches in Illinois.

Illinois Sports Betting Regulations

Illinois sports betting is subject to a variety of restrictions. The primary restriction, which is no longer in place, was a ban on online registration for online sportsbooks. This restriction was first lifted by executive order, then officially codified by the passage of HB 3136. HB 3136 also created a workaround for sportsbooks to be able to offer bets on in-state college teams at retail sportsbooks only. Online sportsbooks are still restricted from being able to offer betting lines on in-state college teams. Bettors must be 21 years of age or older to participate in sports betting in Illinois.

Illinois’ sportsbooks are subject to a progressive tax rate, based on the sportsbook’s total sports betting handle. Sportsbooks in Illinois are required to pay a tax of 5% of their yearly handle, up to $20 million. Online-only sportsbooks are required to pay the full $20 million fee regardless of their total handle. All licenses are good for a period of four years, and renewable for a fee of $1 million. Gross gaming revenues are also taxed at 20%.

How To Bet On The Fighting Illini In Illinois

Citizens living in Illinois often wonder why they are unable to wager on their favorite in-state college teams. This is a result of state laws, which prohibit bettors in the state from betting on colleges based within the state’s borders. Sports bettors in Illinois that are looking to bet on Illinois Fighting Illini or Northwestern Wildcats games can still look to overseas-based sportsbooks like Bovada, which are not under the jurisdiction of Illinois’ state laws.

What Is The Legal Sports Betting Age In Illinois?

Pari-mutuel wagerin has a legal sports betting age set at 18 while casino and sports betting require gamblers to be 21+ in Illinois. Legal internet sportsbooks set age of 18 for their players but gamblers in Illinois should wait until they reach the required legal age of the state before joining one of these outlets.

Can I Bet Real Money On Sports In Illinois?

Real money sports betting in Illinois is available through multiple outlets. There are retail sportsbooks, mobile apps provided by the state-sanctioned industry, and internet sports wagering websites, all available to sports bettors for gambling real money on sports in Illinois.

Online & Mobile Sportsbook Options In Illinois

Illinois is home to several active mobile sportsbooks that offer statewide mobile betting. Illinois has popular local sportsbooks in Barstool, Caesars Sportsbook, and FanDuel. In addition, the Illinois Gaming Board has begun issuing mobile-only applications for future sportsbooks. Currently, each active sportsbook is aligned with a retail casino operation.

Barstool Sportsbook BetMGM Sportsbook BetRivers Sportsbook
Caesars Sportsbook by William Hill DraftKings Sportsbook FanDuel Sportsbook
PointsBet Sportsbook

Where’s The Closest Place To Me To Bet?

Illinois has several different retail casino sportsbooks — mainly centered around Chicago and the Missouri border. There are currently 11 operational retail sportsbooks in Illinois, with the first to open being the Rivers Casino Des Plaines. In December, the Chicago City Council removed the city’s ban on in-person sportsbooks. As a result, Wrigley Field (home to the Chicago Cubs) partnered with DraftKings sportsbook and the United Center (home to the Chicago Bulls and Blackhawks) partnered with FanDuel sportsbook. Both venues plan to launch an in-stadium sportsbook, hopefully before the beginning of their respective 2023 seasons.

Sportsbooks in Alton

Argosy Casino Sportsbook

The Argosy Casino was planned to launch on March 16, 2020 but could not meet that deadline because of the novel coronavirus outbreak. Once launched, this sportsbook will feature a wide assortment of betting options and 36 large-screen HD TVs.

Sportsbooks in Aurora

Hollywood Casino Aurora Sportsbook

The Hollywood Aurora sits atop an island in the middle of the Fox River. Although its sportsbook has not yet launched, it received a temporary license from the state of Illinois and will likely accept wagers once sports resume.

Sportsbooks in Des Plaines

BetRivers Sportsbook at Rivers Casino

The BetRivers sportsbook features a sleek, modern lounge that looks like it was ripped from a Hollywood spaceship design, offering a fantastic space to bet from. BetRivers is also a well-established sports betting brand and comes with a host of convenient features.

Sportsbooks in East Peaoria

FanDuel Sportsbook at Par-a-Dice Casino

Par-a-Dice is partnered with B Connected to launch the FanDuel Sportsbook, one of the largest sports betting operators in the country. The sportsbooks opened their doors in August of 2020.

Sportsbooks in Elgin

Grand Victoria Casino

The Grand Victoria is one of Illinois’s premier riverboat gambling destinations, but its sportsbook has yet to launch. Their sportsbook opened on August 1, 2020.

Sportsbooks in Joliet

Hollywood Joliet Casino Sportsbook

The Hollywood Joliet Casino is on the west side of the Des Plaines River in southwest Chicago. Its sportsbook has not yet launched, but the casino received a license for sports betting and could launch once the state reopens for large gatherings.

Sportsbooks in Prospect Heights

Club Hawthorne Prospect Heights & PointsBet Sportsbook

Club Hawthorne Prospect Heights is the home to one of Illinois’ premier racecourses. The PointsBet Sportsbook, launched in 2021, added another dimension to the destination.

Sportsbooks in Crestwood

Club Hawthorne Oakbrook Terrace & PointsBet Sportsbook

One of Illinois’ top off-track betting destinations, Club Hawthorne Oakbrook Terrace also includes a PointsBet Sportsbook, similar to the establishment in Prospect Heights.

Sportsbooks in East St. Louis

DraftKings At Casino Queen

DraftKings first launched their sportsbook at Casino Queen in August 2020 and has become one of the top retail sportsbooks in Illinois. Besides DraftKings sportsbook, the Casino Queen also features a variety of casino games, providing a well-rounded gaming experience.

Sportsbooks in Collinsville

Fairmount Park

One of three horse racing tracks in Illinois and the only outside of the Chicago Metropolitan Area, Fairmount Park now also offers a full-service sportsbook on-premises.

Sportsbooks in Cicero

Hawthorne Race Course

Hawthorne Race Course is the oldest continuously-run family-owned horse racing track in the United States, making it a top horse race destination in the region. On top of the horse racing action, the venue now offers a full-service sportsbook.

What Teams Can I Bet On?

Illinois is home to many professional sports teams, as the city of Chicago represents nine professional teams just by itself. Moreover, universities flood the state, with over a dozen different teams representing the NCAA at the Division 1 level and supported by fans all over the country.

Professional Sports Teams In Illinois

Team: League:
Chicago Cubs MLB
Chicago White Sox MLB
Chicago Bears NFL
Chicago Bulls NBA
Chicago Sky WNBA
Chicago Blackhawks NHL
Chicago Fire FC MLS
Chicago Red Stars NWSL

D-I College Sports Teams In Illinois

Team: Conference:
Bradley Braves Missouri Valley
Chicago State Cougars WAC
DePaul Blue Demons Big East
Eastern Illinois Panthers Ohio Valley
Illinois Fighting Illini Big Ten
Illinois State Redbirds Missouri Valley
Loyola Ramblers Missouri Valley
Northern Illinois Huskies MAC
Northwestern Wildcats Big Ten
Southern Illinois Salukis Missouri Valley
SIUE Cougars Ohio Valley
Illinois-Chicago Flames Missouri Valley
Western Illinois Leathernecks Summit

Betting On The NFL In Illinois In 2022

Illinois residents have plenty of options for betting on the NFL in 2022. Not only are their land-based sportsbook options, but they also have a handful of state-sanctioned mobile sports betting platforms. Outside of those, there are always the sports wagering websites that remain safe and legal in the state to use for gambling on the NFL with a mobile device. Some of the greatest odds and wagers are posted by these books including tons of props per game for football fans in Illinois when gambling on the NFL. These same methods can be taken for people looking to bet on Super Bowl 56 in Illinois.

Illinois Sports Betting Revenue

Sports wagering revenue in Illinois is taxed at a flat 15%. On average, Illinois’ sportsbooks see roughly half a billion dollars in handle per month, bringing in about $40 million in revenue. 2021 proved to be an incredibly important year for the legal Illinois sports betting industry, as it became a top-five sports betting state by handle. Illinois brought in $789.6 million – its largest month on record – in December 2021 – mainly from online betting, which data indicates comprise 95% of the total sports betting handle. In 2021 as a whole, Illinois turned over a whopping $7 billion in sports betting handle. This was good for almost half a billion dollars in revenue for the sportsbooks in Illinois, as well as $84.7 million in tax revenue.

Super Bowl LVI in February 2022 proved to be an enormous moneymaker for Illinois’ sportsbooks, bringing in a total of over $60.5 million in sports betting handle. About $54.8 million of that total came from online sportsbooks, while just over $5.7 million came from land-based sportsbooks. An impressive $16.3 million in live bets were placed on Illinois’ sportsbooks during the Super Bowl. The sportsbooks held approximately $9.5 million in Super Bowl sports betting revenue, good for an estimated $1.425 million in tax revenue.

BetMGM Sportsbook

BetMGM opened their online sportsbook in Illinois recently, with a lot of options available for prospective bettors in the state. Their app is quite easy to use, although there’s quite a gap between the reviews on the App Store and the Google Play Store, suggesting a possible drop in quality.

BetRivers Sportsbook

BetRivers was the first online sportsbook that opened up in the state of Illinois, starting operations in June of 2020. This means that it had a bit of an advantage over other sportsbooks, which had to claw market share away from BetRivers. It’s still a more successful book in IL than it is in several other states.

Caesars Sportsbook

Caesars launched in Illinois on August 3, 2021, in partnership with the Grand Victoria Casino. They’re a popular choice for fans of sports betting in Illinois thanks to their useful mobile app and large volume of daily odds boosts.

DraftKings Sportsbook

DraftKings partnered with Casino Queen in order to offer sports betting in Illinois, launching as one of the first sportsbooks in the state in August 2020. Their big bonus offer in Illinois is a $1000 match paired with a $50 free bet, which is a pretty solid option for bettors in Illinois.

FanDuel Sportsbook

FanDuel Sportsbook opened a sportsbook and race book in Illinois known as FanDuel Sportsbook And Horse Racing, but their online platform is focused on sports betting as well as Daily Fantasy Sports. They offer a reasonable bonus of a $1,000 free wager, which is in line with the Illinois market.

PointsBet Sportsbook

PointsBet opened as one of the first sportsbooks available in Illinois, way back in September 2020. At the time, the only competition it had was from BetRivers and DraftKings, but now, there are three more sportsbooks it has to contend with, and some might argue it has fallen behind.

Retail Sportsbooks In Illinois

Hollywood Casino Aurora

The Hollywood Casino Aurora is partnered with Barstool Sportsbook in order to provide sports betting in Illinois. Located in Aurora, the casino also features large numbers of slots and a live poker room.

Rivers Casino Des Plaines

Rivers Casino Des Plaines is partnered with BetRivers, a spinoff/partner company under the same general umbrella. BetRivers also operates an online sportsbook in Illinois, and offshore sportsbooks can generally offer better odds on local teams than BetRivers can.

Grand Victoria Casino Elgin

The Grand Victoria Casino Elgin is partnered with Caesars Sportsbook, and offers sports betting at their retail location under that imprint. This means that you’ll find mostly the same odds at this sportsbook as you would by simply downloading the Caesars app, and local team bettors will often find better odds at offshore books.

Casino Queen

Casino Queen was one of the first casinos to partner with a sports betting provider, and their partnership with DraftKings has been fruitful. This partnership has yielded not only their retail sports betting operation at the Casino Queen location, but also a DraftKings mobile sportsbook app in Illinois.

Par-A-Dice Casino 

Par-A-Dice Casino partnered with FanDuel, which also opened a separate location known as FanDuel Sportsbook And Horse Racing. These two retail books are the only places to bet on FanDuel in the state of Illinois, with the exception of the FanDuel mobile app.

FanDuel Sportsbook & Horse Racing

FanDuel Sportsbook And Horse Racing opened as a way for FanDuel to kickstart their mobile betting presence in Illinois, but has evolved into a unique experience in its own right. It’s functionally a racino without the casino – you can bet on sports and you can bet on horses at this location in Collinsville, IL.

Hawthorne Race Course

Hawthorne Race Course was PointsBet’s partner when it launched sports betting in Illinois, and it was actually the first of the online sportsbooks to be up and running in the state. Hawthorne itself is a fine race course, and one of the unique fixtures of Illinois’ betting setup.

Argosy Casino

The Argosy Casino now offers sports betting to anyone willing to travel to their location in Alton, IL. Their odds provider is UniBet, a well regarded odds provider, and they have a lot of benefits available for first time bettors, although it’s likely an online sportsbook located offshore will be more profitable for local sports betting.

Hollywood Casino Joliet

The Hollywood Casino Joliet is an excellent casino for anyone in the Joliet area to visit, and it operates a sportsbook that can easily accept wagers from anyone in the area. Like the Hollywood Casino Aurora, it is partnered with Barstool Sportsbook as an odds provider.

Horse Racing Betting In Illinois

Horse racing betting in Illinois is a thriving industry and legal throughout the state. The state boasts over two dozen pari-mutuel wagering facilities – also called OTBs or off-track betting sites – where horse races are simulcast for all to enjoy. Two major horse tracks are located outside of Chicago. These are the Hawthorn Racecourse and Arlington Park, which are easily accessible for residents in the suburbs. The state’s other track, Fairmont Park, is located in Collinsville, which is across the Mississippi River from St. Louis. While horseracing season is limited to seasonal months, that doesn’t have to stop you from betting on horses, as the online operators listed here also offer racebooks with action from dozens of tracks throughout the US and the rest of the world!

Daily Fantasy Sports In Illinois

Illinois daily fantasy sports (DFS) is an interesting topic, as the state allows for operators and players to participate; however, the Attorney General is on record giving an unfavorable opinion on the matter. Regardless, DFS operators like FanDuel and DraftKings do business in the state, and they offer prizes ranging from a few bucks to several hundred thousand dollars! Some contests are free to join, while others are paid, though they both provide sign-up and friend-referral bonuses.

Interestingly, as a result of Illinois’ “gray area” DFS climate (there are no laws regulating or criminalizing the industry), several local casino operators were able to get the state to lock out DraftKings and FanDuel from operating IL sportsbooks for the first 18 months of the state’s legal sports betting calendar. Though controversial, this move has not been challenged, meaning that these particular seasoned bookmakers will not be offering wagering products in IL in the short-term future. That said, you can still enjoy the full gamut of their free and paid DFS services!

Legal Illinois Sports Betting FAQs

Where Is The Best Place To Bet On Sports In Illinois?
Illinois has so many options that every place could be considered the best place to bet on sports. Going to a retail establishment is great but so is using a mobile sports betting platform. And shopping lines among various operators including internet sportsbooks make all three choices the best place for Illinois sports bettors to get in on the action of the games.
Should I Use A Local Bookie In Illinois?
No, local bookies are not licensed and regulated in Illinois, meaning they do not have to pay you your winnings if they do not want to. There is no need to go this route for residents of Illinois as every other way to gamble on sports is quite literally legally available to them.
When Did Sports Betting Become Legal In Illinois?
Sports betting became legal in Illinois for both retail and mobile sportsbooks on June 28, 2019.
Do Any Casinos Have Sportsbooks In Illinois?
Yes, Illinois is home to three sportsbooks within commercial casinos statewide, and tribal gaming facilities also have sportsbooks open. More locations will be opening in the future. There are ten riverboat sportsbooks and more than a handful of mobile sportsbooks open to gamblers of Illinois to utilize through the state’s legal sports betting industry.
Can I Bet On Sports With Friends In Illinois?
Yes, gambling on sporting events in Illinois with your friends is completely legal because there are no laws prohibiting it. And you’d have to imagine it would be either way if it’s okay to wager using a local sportsbook or faceless mobile application.