Last updated on: September 27th, 2023
Legal Illinois Sports Betting
Legal Illinois sports betting sites remain the best way to bet on sports in the state. With sportsbooks in Illinois both in person and online, you’ll be able to find one no matter where you are. There is a lot of variety when it comes to where to legally bet in Illinois. For the state-regulated books, they have restrictions when betting on universities in Illinois. For legal sports betting sites that take Illinois players, the same restrictions do not apply. If looking for how to bet on sports in Illinois with Bitcoin, these betting sites are your only option. If you want to mix it up, try Bovada to shop lines or bet college props in IL.
- Illinois began taxing local sportsbooks after creating laws in 2019 and launching in 2020.
- Legal sports betting sites that accept Illinois residents are available as well and provide a way to bet on college props.
Is Bovada Legal In Illinois?
There are no laws against using Bovada in Illinois. Due to the location of the legal sports betting site, the Free Trade Agreement protects Bovada’s rights. Bovada is the preferred option for those betting on Illinois college teams. Because of their ability to take player prop bets and accept bets from a mobile device, it makes it so much easier.
Bovada is one of the best legal sports betting sites that allow Illinois residents. As the legal operation in Illinois that offers college bets, you can’t go wrong. Find college football odds on the Illini or college basketball lines for Northwestern. With their safe platform, you can see exactly what Illinois sportsbooks are missing. Find hundreds of bets for Illinois teams on every game, posted early and running nonstop.
- Leading Site Interface
- Live Betting Suite
- Mobile Betting Availability
- Bet With Bitcoin
- Live Customer Service Chat
BetOnline was founded in 2011, and is a licensed and regulated online sports betting site 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 betting platform.
- Reliable Banking Methods
- Strong Server Connection
- 10+ Year Track Record
- Huge Assortment Of Odds
- No App 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 destinations for where to legally bet in Illinois. You can access MyBookie using computers, iPhones and Androids, so there are a lot of ways to wager.
- Huge Player Bonuses
- Consistent Odds
- Easy Interface
- Rapid Live Betting
- Legal In Illinois
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 online or in person sports betting outlet in IL. It’s been in operation since 1998, making it one of the oldest offshore books around, and it leverages that experience to provide excellent wagering opportunities to IL players.
- Efficient Site Layout
- Full Mobile Betting Suite
- Available Customer Service
- Trustworthy Banking Options
- Fast Payout Times
Founded just in time for bettors to place bets on the Chicago Blackhawks to win the Stanley Cup in 2013, XBet has proven to be a safe and secure betting site for all of Illinois’ sports bettors. Located and licensed in Panama, XBet has prided itself on being a trustworthy sportsbook. In XBet’s own words, the sportsbook, casino, and racebook are dedicated to three core principles: Reliability, Reputation, and Real fast payouts. Illinois sports betting players can attest that overall trustworthiness and reliability, having gotten paid out large for both Blackhawks Stanley Cups and the Chicago Cubs World Series title since the site was founded.
- Worry-free Legal Betting
- Exclusive Bonus Offers
- Constantly Updated Odds
- Premier User Experience
- Full Mobile + Live Betting
Illinois Sports Betting And Gambling Laws
Illinois regulated regulated sports betting with the signing of SB 690 on June 28, 2019. Casinos must be near flowing bodies of water except for Lake Michigan. The only exception to his law is if a county’s population exceeds 3 million people. The betting age in Illinois is set at 21 for casino-style gaming and sports betting. The Illinois Gaming Board regulates sports gambling. For more info on Illinois’ gambling laws, consult Illinois Compiled Statutes §720 5/28-1 .
In January 2022, legislators introduced a pair of Illinois sports betting bills. SB 3872 would have added an exchange trade amendment to the Wagering Act. This would allow peer-to-peer sports betting services, such as Wagr, to operate. The other bill was HB 5376 which deals with diversion of funds from the Sports Wagering Fund. The plan was to redirect funds to student-athletes, sports wagering costs, and compliance. It also took deeper measures to ensure no persons related to athletics had a betting account. Both measures jumped around a few committees and neither switched chambers.
Illinois Sports Betting Timeline
- October 2022 – Illinois sports betting handle broke $1 billion for the first time in October 2022.
- May 6, 2022 – The Chicago White Sox have partnered with Caesars Sportsbook in a move that mirrors similar moves made by the Bears and RSI.
- March 5, 2022 – The in-person sportsbook registration requirement, after being waived half-a-dozen times, is finally gone for good.
- October 29, 2021 – Online sportsbooks will no longer be required to offer in-person registration in Illinois, removing the requirement for in-person casino partners.
- July 17, 2021 – IL SB0521, a bill that would remove the requirements for in-state collegiate wagering, is referred to a committee, where it proceeds to get stuck, never leaving.
- June 25, 2021 – The Chicago Bears partner with Rush Street Interactive, the operator of BetRivers.com and Rivers Casino.
- April 4, 2021 – Gov J.B. Pritzker removes the order allowing for remote betting signups during the COVID-19 pandemic.
- March 8, 2021 – Gov. J.B. Pritzker extends his order allowing remote sportsbook signups so that March Madness falls within the remote signup period.
- February 11, 2021 – Rep. Michael Zalewski proposes an end to the in-state collegiate betting requirements, although his bill, HB 0849, will not pass.
- November 14, 2020 – The Governor’s order allowing remote registration for online sportsbooks is extended once again.
- October 20, 2020 – The Governor’s order allowing for remote registration at online sportsbooks in Illinois is again extended due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
- September 21, 2020 – For the second time, Gov. J.B. Pritzker has extended his order allowing for the removal of in-person sportsbook registration requirements during the COVID-19 pandemic.
- August 24, 2020 – Gov. J.B. Pritzker has reinstated an order that allows for remote registration for online sportsbooks, after it was left out of his re-signing at the end of June.
- July 27, 2020 – Illinois will sunset their in-person sportsbook requirement removal program, as Gov. Pritzker did not sign an order extending it.
- July 1, 2020 – Illinois casinos and sportsbooks reopen to the public.
- June 5, 2020 – Gov J.B. Pritzker has issued a stay of the in-person registration requirement for legal Illinois sportsbooks.
- March 8, 2020 – The first sports bet under the new set of laws in Illinois is placed by hockey legend Eddie Olczyk.
- June 28, 2019 – Gov. J.B. Pritzker signs sports betting Illinois into law by signing the omnibus gaming bill.
- June 3, 2019 – The Illinois State Legislature has passed SB 690, the omnibus gaming bill that includes sports betting. It passed the House with a final tally of 87-27, and the Senate with a vote tally of 46-10-2.
- February 21, 2019 – Gov. J.B. Pritzker announced that he was officially coming down on the side of sports betting in his budget address.
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. This restriction was first lifted by executive order, then codified by the passage of HB 3136. HB 3136 also created a workaround to be able to offer in-state college bets at retail sportsbooks. IL sports betting apps have restrictions on accepting bets on in-state college teams. Illinois’ sportsbooks have a progressive tax rate, based on the sportsbooks’ betting handle.
What Is The Legal Sports Betting Age In Illinois?
Pari-mutuel wagering 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.
Betting On Sports In Illinois With Cryptocurrency
Although the regulated online sportsbooks in Illinois don’t allow it, the licensed sports betting sites in the state do let you bet on sports with cryptocurrency. Betting on sports with crypto comes with plenty of upside to it such as great deposit limits, huge deposit bonuses that could score you up to $1,000, and the ability to link your crypto wallets to your legal sports betting Illinois accounts and send funds in just seconds. Some of the available crypto betting options include:
What Teams Can I Bet On?
While you can bet on any sports team that you could possibly think of, Illinois has some of the top sports teams in the country for you to bet on. That includes seven professional sports teams and 13 Division 1 collegiate teams.
Professional Teams In Illinois
- Chicago Bears – NFL
- Chicago Blackhawks – NHL
- Chicago Bulls – NBA
- Chicago Cubs – MLB
- Chicago Fire – MLS
- Chicago Sky – WNBA
- Chicago White Sox – MLB
DI Teams In Illinois
- Bradley Braves
- Chicago State Cougars
- Eastern Illinois Panthers
- DePaul Blue Demons
- Illinois Fighting Illini
- Illinois State Redbirds
- Loyola Chicago Ramblers
- Northern Illinois Huskies
- Northwestern Wildcats
- SIU Edwardsville Cougars
- Southern Illinois Salukis
- Western Illinois Leathernecks
Betting On The Chicago Bears In Illinois
The Bears were the worst team in the NFL, locking up the first pick in the NFL draft for 2023. You have every opportunity to use legal NFL betting sites to wager on every game line, spread or player/game props during the entire year. You can also bet on whether or not the 2023 Bears will make the playoffs or not – here are their past results!
Chicago Bears Past Playoff Odds Results
- 2022: Miss -800
- 2021: Miss -275
- 2020: Make +175
- 2019: Miss +100
- 2018: Make +240
- 2017: Miss -1400
Super Bowl Betting In Illinois
The best sportsbooks with which to wager on the Super Bowl in Illinois are going to be international. Despite the fact that Illinois has regulated online sports betting, there are none that are better than Bovada, BetOnline and SportsBetting, some of the top sports betting sites in the world and are a great solution for where to legally bet in Illinois. Make sure to check them out – because there’s already odds on Super Bowl 58 up on these books.
Betting On The Chicago Bulls
While the Chicago Bulls have one of the richest histories in legal NBA betting as an explosive scoring team, in recent seasons, you would find a profit betting on their total points going under in recent seasons. Looking at the last five seasons, they have gone 174-158-5 with the under in points in their game, which is the most unders hit in that span by any team in the Central Division. The under in points for them has hit at a 52.4% success rate as they have hit it at a .500 record or above in three of the last five seasons. The primary way they accomplished that was by dominating bad teams. As a favorite in the 2021-22 season, the Bulls went 31-16-1 against the spread, good for a 66% cover rate that was fourth in the league. As an underdog they struggled, going 13-26 against the spread, resulting in 33.3% cover percentage that was tied for second worst in the league.
Bulls Previous Under Records
- 2022: 45-40-2
- 2021: 39-33
- 2020: 31-34
- 2019: 41-38-3
- 2018: 38-44
How To Bet On The Fighting Illini In Illinois
The Illinois Fighting Illini football team, while they haven’t been successful with their S/U record since 2018 with a 25-32 record in that span, they’ve done a nice job against the spread. ATS in the last five seasons, they have an overall record of 31-25-1 at a 55.4% success rate and are covering the spread by +2.8 points on average. In the 2022 season, they caped it off at an 8-4 S/U record, 8-4 ATS record, and cashed the over on their 4.5 win total projection. However you want to bet on the Fighting Illini in Illinois, college football betting sites have you covered every week.
Illinois Previous ATS Records
- 2022: 8-4
- 2021: 7-4-1
- 2020: 3-5
- 2019: 8-5
- 2018: 5-7
Illinois Mobile Sportsbooks and Retail Partnerships
- Bally Bet (Bally’s Quad Cities) – TBD
- Barstool Sportsbook (Hollywood Casino Joliet, Aurora, Argosy Casino Alton) – March 2021
- BetMGM (Online License) – March 2020
- BetRivers (Rivers Casino Sportsbook) – June 2022
- Caesars Sportsbook (Grand Victoria, Harrah’s Metropolis, Harrah’s Joliet) – March 2022
- Caliente Interactive (Online Only) – TBD
- Circa Sports (New American Place Casino) – TBD
- DraftKings Sportsbook (DraftKings at Casino Queen) – August 2020
- FanDuel (FanDuel Sportsbook and Horse Racing ) – August 2020
- PointsBet (Hawthorne Race Course) – September 2020
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 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 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 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 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 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.
Where’s The Closest Place To Me To Bet?
Not only is sports betting legal in Illinois online, there are several retail operations — 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
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
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
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
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
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.
The sportsbooks in Illinois constantly evolve whether by brand or location. The construction of the Chicago casino is causing PENN to relocate their Aurora and Joliet sportsbooks. We’ll keep current with the new Illinois sportsbooks opening.
Horse Racing Betting In Illinois
Horse racing betting in Illinois is a thriving industry and legal throughout the state. It is not hard to find where to legally bet in Illinois on horses. 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 Illinois sports betting 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?
Should I Use A Local Bookie In Illinois?
When Did Sports Betting Become Legal In Illinois?
Do Any Casinos Have Sportsbooks In Illinois?
Yes, Illinois is home many sportsbooks. Aside from sportsbooks taking Illinois players, locals or tourists can bet in person. There are about a dozen legal sportsbooks in Illinois.