Last updated on: September 16th, 2022
Legal Illinois Sports Betting
Legal Illinois sports betting sites remain the best way to bet on sports in IL. 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 as far as sports betting in Illinois. For the state-regulated books, they have restrictions when betting on universities in Illinois. For online sportsbooks taking Illinois players, the same restrictions do not apply. Also, these are the only Illinois sportsbooks that accept Bitcoin for sports betting. If you want to mix it up from the 18 legal sports betting options in IL, try Bovada to shop lines or bet college props.
- Illinois laws added sports betting regulations in June 2019 and went live on March 9, 2020.
- Illinois has seven mobile sportsbook apps and 11 in-person sportsbook locations.
- These numbers do not reflect licensed legal online sportsbooks that accept Illinois residents.
Is Bovada Legal In Illinois?
There are no laws against using Bovada in Illinois. Due to the sportsbook’s location, 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 an excellent sportsbook for Illinois bettors. As the legal sportsbook 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 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.
- 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 offshore sportsbooks 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 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.
- Efficient Site Layout
- Full Mobile Betting Suite
- Available Customer Service
- Trustworthy Banking Options
- Fast Payout Times
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
- 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 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 Illinois sports betting 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.
Betting On The Chicago Bears In Illinois
The Chicago Bears have been on a steady decline seeing their Super Bowl odds drop in each of the last four seasons with their current +8000 odds being the longest. Despite their Super Bowl odds declining each year, they have been on an up and down trend in terms of making the playoffs having made and missed the playoffs every other year for the last five seasons. After having missed the playoffs last season, and this trend going strong, the Bears are technically up for a playoff appearance in 2022 and offer a sweet +300 profit along with it.
Chicago Bears Past Playoff Odds Results
- 2021: Miss -275
- 2020: Make +175
- 2019: Miss +100
- 2018: Make +240
- 2017: Miss -1400
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 mobile sportsbook apps that offer statewide betting. Illinois has popular local sportsbooks in Barstool, Caesars Sportsbook, and FanDuel. Each active sportsbook must partner with a retail casino operation.
|Barstool Sportsbook||BetMGM Sportsbook||BetRivers Sportsbook|
|Caesars Sportsbook by William Hill||DraftKings Sportsbook||FanDuel 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|
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.
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.
Betting On The Chicago Bulls
The 2021-2022 season was the second straight season that the Chicago Bulls hit the over for their regular season win total. The primary way they accomplished that was dominating bad teams. As a favorite in 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.
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.
Professional Sports Teams In Illinois
|Chicago White Sox||MLB|
|Chicago Fire FC||MLS|
|Chicago Red Stars||NWSL|
D-I College Sports Teams In Illinois
|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|
D-II College Sports Teams In Illinois
|Lewis Flyers||Great Lakes Valley|
|McKendree Bearcats||Great Lakes Valley|
|Quincy Hawks||Great Lakes Valley|
|UIS Prairie Stars||Great Lakes Valley|
D-III College Sports Teams In Illinois
|Blackburn Beavers||St. Louis|
|Eureka Red Devils||St. Louis|
|Greenville Panthers||St. Louis|
|Illinois College Blueboys and Lady Blues||Midwest|
|Illinois Tech Scarlet Hawks||Northern|
|Illinois Wesleyan Titans||CCIW|
|Knox Prairie Fire||Midwest|
|Lake Forest Foresters||Midwest|
|Millikin Big Blue||CCIW|
|Monmouth Fighting Scots||Midwest|
|North Central Cardinals||CCIW|
|North Park Vikings||CCIW|
|Principia Panthers||St. Louis|
Illinois Sports Betting Revenue
On average, Illinois’ sportsbooks see roughly $750 million handled per month. This brings forth about $55 million in revenue for legal Illinois sportsbooks. Taxed at a flat 15%, sports betting in Illinois has proven to be an enormous moneymaker. Illinois sportsbooks have accepted over $13.5b with help from SB LVI and March Madness. The contribution to Illinois totals in at $160 million, as the sportsbooks revenue closes in on $1b. Illinois sports betting revenue leads the nation in year over year growth. From 2021 to 2022, 60% more has been bet in Illinois.
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.
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 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 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.
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?
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.