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Illinois Sports Betting: Best IL Online Sportsbook Sites June 2024

The launch of legal IL sports betting got off to a rocky start, but the addition of remote online registration streamlines access to eight of the best sportsbooks, including DraftKings and FanDuel, and Illinois sports betting apps. We're dishing out tips for creating accounts and claiming Illinois sportsbook promos worth over $5,800.

Illinois Sportsbooks

21+ and present in IL. Gambling Problem? Call 1-800-GAMBLER.


$1,000 First Bet on Caesars

๐Ÿป Terms and conditions apply.


  • Earn Caesars Rewards from betting activity.
  • Live streaming of NFL games.
  • User-friendly mobile app.

Caesars Sportsbook Review

๐ŸงธCaesars is proving to be one of the most aggressively expanding brands in sports betting. Unfortunately, like all major U.S. sportsbooks, they are quick to limit you if you go on a tear and their odds boost promos offer low maximum bet limits.



Bet $5, Win $200 in Bonus Bets

๐Ÿ”ฏ New customers only. Deposit min. $10. Place first bet of $5+ and get $200 in Bonus Bets if the bet wins (within 72 hours).


  • Top-tier app experience.
  • Same Game Parlays and SGP+.
  • Extensive promos and odds boosts.

FanDuel Review

เฆ“FanDuel reigns supreme right now as the No. 1 betting site in America. And it has largely earned that spot on the strength of superior brand recognition, an easy-to-use product, an overwhelming number of markets for North Americaโ€™s most popular sports, and representation in every state in which it is permitted to offer legal sports betting.



Bet $5, Get $150 in Bonus Bets

๊ฉฒ Terms and conditions apply.


  • Lots of promos and odds boosts.
  • Wide range of sports and bet types.
  • Seamless integration with DFS.

DraftKings Review

๊ฆบDraftKings had a solid reputation as the leading DFS provider in the country, so the shift to legal sports betting felt natural. They offer one of the most voluminous collections of ongoing promos and odds boosts in the industry as they cater to the beginner crowd.



Get up to $1,000 in Bonus Bets

+$25 in FanCash ๐Ÿงข


  • Live in 21 states
  • Extremely powerful brand history and recognition
  • FanCash reward system is great for sports fans

Fanatics Sportsbook Review

๊ฆFanatics Sportsbook has launched its app in almost 20 states already, with plans to expand to more in the near future. Fanatics is poised to be a major player in the sports betting industry.



Up to a $500 Second Chance Bet

๐’ƒ Terms and conditions apply.


  • Competitive odds across all markets.
  • Live betting section is well organized.
  • Earn iRush Rewards from betting activity.

BetRivers Review

๐ŸŽ€With its solid lines and user-friendly promos, adding BetRivers to your sportsbook rotation makers a lot of sense.



Up To $1,500 Back In Bonus Bets

๊ง™ Bonus bets will expire in 7 days. One new customer offer only. Additional terms and conditions apply.


  • Some of the best live-betting odds.
  • Great deposit options.
  • Earn MGM Rewards from betting activity.

BetMGM Review

๊ฆBetMGM is one of the top-rated sportsbooks in the U.S. offering some of the best live betting odds in the industry. They’re also the largest iGaming operator across the U.S.


Affiliate Disclosure: เฑ  Sportsbook Review may receive advertising commissions for visits to a sportsbook or casino betting site.

Illinois sports betting key developments and updates

May 29, 2024: A new progressive tax rate structure has passed through the IL Senate and House of Representatives. If signed into law by Gov. JB Pritzker, Illinois sports betting operators could see their tax rate boom to 40%, which may result in lower investment and participation from the best IL sportsbooks.

May 22, 2024: Dave & Buster's proposal for sports bars to offer arcade game betting is halted due to claims of law circumvention, despite support from state lawmakers. The push for legalization remains ongoing.

May 3, 2024: Illinois legislators introduce a bill to block plans for โ™›Dave & Busters to allow betting on arcade games.

Apr. 4, 2024: Fanatics launches in Illinois, marking the 19th legal state for the sportsbook.
Nov. 17, 2023: ESPN BET officially goes live in Illinois, plus 16 other states across the U.S.

Oct. 26, 2023: Betway withdraws its application for an online sports betting license in Illinois.
Sept. 29, 2023: Circa Sports officially enters the Illinois market, becoming the state's eighth active sportsbook.

July 28, 2023: The Chicago Blackhawks use the No. 1 overall pick in the 2023 NHL Draft to select Connor Bedard, who is highly touted as the next young hockey superstar. The Draft itself drew significant betting interest, even with Bedard as a relative lock as the top pick.

June 27, 2023: The University of Illinois announced a partnership between their Division of Intercollegiate Athletics (DIA) and sports betting watchdog U.S. Integrity to monitor and identify suspicious betting patterns.

June 15, 2023: Illinois announces that bettors made $898.6 million worth of bets in April, the second-highest state total for that month, behind New York.

April 14, 2023: After posting four straight months of at least a $1 billion handle, the Illinois Gaming Board announces the streak is over with a wagering total of only $875.4 million in February.

January 2023: An amendment to the Illinois Sports Wagering Act that would allow betting exchanges in the Prairie State is introduced by Rep. Bob Rita.

March 2022: Illinois' in-person registration requirement โ€” in place for about a year โ€” ends, permitting sports bettors to once again begin signing up for sportsbooks remotely. 

December 2021: Gov. J.B. Pritzker signs a bill allowing bettors to place wagers on in-state college sports, though they must do it in person.

June 2020: BetRivers Sportsbook becomes the first online platform to launch in the Prairie State.

March 2020: 
Rivers Casino opens the first retail sportsbook in Illinois.

Illinois sports betting quick facts

๐Ÿš€ Launch Date       June, 2022
๐ŸŽ‚ Legal Sports Betting Age21+
๐Ÿ–ฅ๏ธ Sports Betting Sites  8
๐ŸŽฐ Retail Sportsbooks12
๐Ÿ“ฑ Online sports betting  Yes
๐Ÿข Retail sports betting  Yes
๐ŸŽฐ Online casinosNo
๐Ÿƒ  Online pokerNo
๐Ÿ’ต Projected Revenue (2023)$10.5 billion
๐Ÿ””Illinois RegulatorIllinois Gaming Board

Illinois promos and bonuses

โ™‘In a state where more than $10 billion is projected to be wagered in 2023, Illinois online sportsbook operators are pushing generous welcome bonuses upon new players. Two of the eight sign-up promotions is worth at least $1,000:

  • BetMGM Sportsbook: Up to $1,500 in bonus bets
  • Caesars Sportsbook: $1,000 first bet on Caesars

โ„ฑIf youโ€™re a seasoned Illinois sports bettor who has already signed up with one of the eight betting sites, know that ongoing promotions have improved dramatically over the past year. Daily odds boosts, bonus same-game parlay bets, and other reliable promos are available to all players daily. While new players can earn big bucks on welcome promos, veteran sports bettors can also cash in on the action by sticking with a sportsbook that offers tangible loyalty rewards.

IL online sportsbook๐Ÿ†Promo code โœ…Welcome bonus ๐Ÿ’ฐ
Circa SportsNo code requiredNo welcome bonus
DraftKingsNo code required
ESPN BETNo code requiredUp to $1,500 in bonus bets
FanDuelNo code required
FanaticsNo code required

๐ŸงœRemember, each betting site's welcome bonus or sign-up promotion comes with terms, conditions, and playthrough requirements. Before signing up and making a first-time deposit, read through the T&Cs and requirements. You donโ€™t want to be surprised that your available funds are not eligible for a payout when you go to make a withdrawal.

Top Illinois betting sites

Most Illinois sports betting apps๐Ÿงธ and betting sites offer the same betting markets, from the NFL to the NBA, point spreads to point totals, and live betting on select events. What separates sportsbooks in Illinois from the rest of the pack are unique promotions and offerings exclusive to their most loyal customers.

Online sportsbook and betting appBest known for
BetMGMโ€œKing of Parlaysโ€
BetRiversFirst online sportsbook in Illinois
CaesarsHuge four-figure welcome bonus
Circa SportsNo limits, quality odds
DraftKingsIndustry leading sports betting company
ESPN BETUnique personality-driven promos
FanDuelTop-rated sports betting app
FanaticsFanCash Rewards program

Why FanDuel is the best sportsbook in Illinois ๐Ÿ”ต

FanDuelโ€™s app store ratings are second-to-none, even as the FanDuel vs. DraftKings๊ง‚ debate rages on. Despite battling DraftKings Sportsbook for mobile sports betting app supremacy, it has already scored Illinois partnerships with the Chicago Bulls and Chicago Blackhawks.

Aside from its great welcome bonus that can be collected without a FanDuel promo code๐Ÿ”ฏ, the sportsbook offers new and veteran players daily promos in the form of boosted odds, same-game parlay, second-chance bets insurance, and fast payout speeds when youโ€™re ready to ring the register. If you have questions, FanDuelโ€™s global support team is there for your 24/7/365.

  • App store ratings: 4.8 (iOS), 4.7 (Android)
  • Sign-up bonus: Bet $5, win $200 in bonus bets.
  • Payout speed: Within 24 hours

Where to bet on sports in Illinois: FanDuel review

Other Illinois online sportsbooks reviewed

BetRivers Illinois โšก

The first legal online sportsbook in Illinois history offers new players a deposit match of up to $250 when they use BetRivers bonus code SBRBONUS๐Ÿฆน. This is an undeniably strong bonus because most IL betting sites do not guarantee sign-up bonus funds. Remember to read the terms and conditions and playthrough requirements.

๐ŸŽBetRivers' parent company, Rush Street Interactive, is based in Chicago and has earned global accolades as an industry leader and innovator in the mobile gaming space.

  • App store ratings: 4.7 (iOS) & 3.6 (Android)
  • Sign up bonus: Deposit match up to $250
  • Payout speed: 1-5 Days

Where to bet on sports in Pennsylvania: BetRivers review

DraftKings Illinois ๐Ÿ‘‘

Did you know DraftKings IL is the sports betting partner of the Chicago Cubs? One of the pioneers of daily fantasy sports in the United States, DraftKings has matured into a publicly traded, fully-loaded sports betting platform with an industry-leading sports betting mobile app. While new players will appreciate the welcome bonus they can claim without a DraftKings promo code๐Ÿ˜ผ, the ongoing promos include daily odds boosts, bonus same-game parlay insurance, and reward points for the most loyal players. 

  • App store ratings: 4.8 (iOS) / 4.5 (Android)
  • Sign up bonus:
  • Payout speed: Within 24 hours

Where to bet on sports in Illinois: DraftKings review

BetMGM Illinois ๐Ÿฆ

The self-proclaimed โ€œKing of Parlaysโ€ offers new Illinois players a welcome bonus in the form of up to $1,500 in bonus bets. If your initial bet loses, BetMGM will credit your account with bonus bets equal to the amount of that bet. Just remember to use BetMGM bonus code SBRBONUS ๊ฆœduring registration. Initial bets of $49 or less will be awarded as a single bonus bet, whereas bets of $50 or more will be split into five equal pieces. For example, a $100 initial bet that loses will grant five separate $20 bonus bets.

๊ง’The silky smooth mobile app is a fan favorite, evidenced by its uber-strong iOS and Android app ratings. BetMGM offers classic parlays, same-game parlays, and live in-game betting with live video streaming of select events.

  • App store ratings: 4.8 (iOS), 4.6 (Android)
  • Sign up bonus: Up to $1,500 in bonus bets
  • Payout speed: 1-2 business days

Where to bet on sports in Illinois: BetMGM review

Caesars Illinois ๐Ÿ›

Caesars has set up shop in Illinois, offering new players a $1,000 first bet offer when they use Caesars Sportsbook promo code SBRBONUS1000๐”. No matter if you play on an Apple or Android device, Caesars' sports betting app ranks among the best in the country.

With a wide range of betting markets, live in-game betting, same-game parlays, and exclusive rewards for repeat customers, Caesars offers a top-tier user experience. It's also one of our top-ranked NFL prop betting sites, which is elevated by free NFL live streaming.

  • App store ratings: 4.6 (iOS), 4.1 (Android)
  • Sign up bonus: $1,000 first bet on Caesars
  • Payout speed: Within 24 hours

  Where to bet on sports in Illinois: Caesars review

Fanatics Illinois ๐Ÿงข

๐ŸŽƒFanatics roared into the legal online betting scene in 2023, parlaying its years of being the main sports apparel and merchandise retailer in North America into a stylish and functional online betting app. 

New Fanatics customers in IL can snag as a welcome bonus. Plus, you'll get $25 in FanCash just for creating your account. Both parts of this offer are available without needing a Fanatics promo code

  • App store ratings: 4.7 (iOS), 4.5 (Android)
  • Sign up bonus: Up to $1,000 in bonus bets + $25 FanCash
  • Payout speed: 24 to 72 hours

  Where to bet on sports in Illinois: Fanatics review

How we rate and review Illinois sportsbooks

โ™One of our primary goals is to provide Illinois players with a thorough and independent review of the best online sportsbooks and sports betting apps on the market. Our team of experts critiques each sports betting site and app with a particular concentration on these six categories for quality and safety.

Welcome bonuses and promotions

๐Ÿ…ทWith seven sportsbooks to choose from, each operator attempts to reel in new players with generous welcome bonuses and promotions. As an Illinois sports bettor, you will want to cash in on these opportunities immediately because they can instantly increase your bankroll with little to no effort.

๐Ÿ€…Keep in mind that most sign-up offers carry playthrough requirements. Read the terms and conditions beforehand to know how the bonus incentives work and what needs to happen before you can request a payout that may include some bonus funds.

User experience

โœ…Like a baseball fan taking in an afternoon ballgame at Wrigley Field for the first time, oneโ€™s user experience at an online sportsbook or using a sports betting app matters. This process starts with an easy and quick registration process that isnโ€™t convoluted and takes more than five minutes, several banking options, an easy-to-navigate website or app that doesnโ€™t hang or crash, a wide range of betting markets, uber-fast payouts and readily available customer support should issues arise. All these factors create a positive user experience for new and veteran players.

Sports bet variety

โ˜‚Yes, you can stick to what you know and wager on Illinois-based sports teams and back your Cubbies, White Sox, Bears, Bulls, and Blackhawks, but repeatedly betting on the same event won't build your betting knowledge. This is why the best online sportsbooks for Illinois players must have a wide range of sports betting markets, including international sports like European soccer, tennis, and golf majors like the British Open. This how-we-rate category also looks at the various betting styles aside from the moneylines, point spreads, and point totals. We check to see if live in-game betting, same-game parlays, and futures odds are available.

Banking options

๐ŸŸBefore legal sports betting in the United States, banking was a tremendous friction point or barrier to entry for those interested in signing up with a sportsbook. This isnโ€™t the case today. We review each online sportsbookโ€™s banking options, which include credit cards, debit cards, Paypal, other third-party e-wallet vendors, and ACH bank wire transfers. We check to see if any fees are involved, how long it takes to deposit and withdraw, and if the banking method is unique to the operator.

Payout speed

The average payout speed for withdrawal requests is 1-2 days for processing the ask and then less than three days to transfer the funds. If you request an ACH bank wire transfer or PayPal withdrawal, those funds can be in your hands before five business days. If you request a physical check be mailed to your residence, youโ€™re looking at 15 business days. The fastest payout sportsbooks๐ŸŒณ routinely make the list of our top-ranked betting sites.

Security and customer support

โ™›With so much personal and financial information beamed over the internet, itโ€™s essential for sportsbook operators in Illinois to prioritize digital security. This means SSL encryption of all personal and financial data to keep details hidden from bad actors. It also means maintaining a unique password on your account and not sharing it with anyone else.

๐Ÿ€…We review each site's customer support offerings if you have any security, account, or sports betting questions. Most offer support via email, phone, and live chat 24/7 because if you need an answer now instead of later, time is of the essence.

How to start betting in Illinois

๐ŸŒProjections suggest that Illinoisโ€™ sports betting handle for 2023 โ€” meaning the total amount wagered at all sportsbooks โ€” will creep over $ 10 billion for the first time this year. While the Cubbies continue to rebuild, the White Sox are in the mix for an American League pennant. If you are interested in backing the pale hose, hereโ€™s a quick step-by-step explainer on how to get started betting at Illinois online sportsbooks.

1. Select a sportsbook licensed in Illinois

๐ŸƒThe first step is finding a licensed and legal online sportsbook or sports betting app that fits your needs. We independently review, critique, and highlight the pros and cons of each Illinois sports betting site. Remember to read all seven Illinois sportsbook reviews before deciding on one or more. When youโ€™ve found the one you prefer, sign up and download the sports betting app to your iOS or Android phone or tablet.

2. Register online

๐Ÿ’ƒNew players may take this step for granted because it wasnโ€™t too long ago that mobile registration was not available in the Prairie State. Now, you can fire up your downloaded sports betting app and create a new account. The operator will require you to provide basic information like your full name, home address, email address, phone number, and social security number. This helps with identification verification and helps speed up payouts when it comes time to withdraw. The operator may also send you a verification email to activate your account. The next step is to create a unique username (sometimes your email) and password. The best and safest passwords are at least eight characters and include upper and lowercase letters, numbers, and special characters.

3. Deposit and claim a bonus

๐Ÿ’œAfter registering and verifying your account, make your way to the operatorโ€™s digital cashier. Here youโ€™ll sync up your preferred banking method to your account. Most online sportsbooks accept credit and debit cards, and third-party banking partners like PayPal and ACH bank wire transfers.

๐ŸญReminder: Before you click submit on your initial deposit, check if you need to enter a promo code to redeem a welcome bonus promotion. You donโ€™t want to miss out on bonus funds or bets because you forgot to punch in the promo code.

4. Select and finalize your bet

เนŠSo, you have a shiny new online sportsbook account and have funded your bankroll wallet. Itโ€™s time to find your first bet. New players may gravitate towards more basic odds markets like moneylines, point spreads, and point totals, but they should also check out and review player props, parlays, same-game parlays and live in-game betting, which allows for wagers to be made as the game is in progress. Once youโ€™ve added one or more wagers to your digital bet slip, confirm the selections. Itโ€™s worth noting here that some operatorโ€™s promotions โ€“ for things like same-game parlays or boosted odds โ€“ require your to click to apply the bonus. 

5. Win and withdraw your payout

๊ฆฌSuppose you have won your first wager and want to cash out some of your winnings. Head to the cashier page where you made the first deposit and click withdraw. Select your preferred payout method and how much youโ€™d like to withdraw. Most payouts take less than five business days except for checks by mail, which can take up to 15 business days. The ACH bank wire transfer is popular as it heads directly to your primary checking or savings account in a few days.

Illinois sports betting handle

๐Ÿ’–In 2021, Illinois sportsbooks raked in a $7.02 billion handle on all sports bets wagered. With 2022 in the rearview mirror, the stateโ€™s handle soared to more than $9 billion, with $1.03 billion wagered in October and November alone. Revenue numbers will finish around $830 million for the Prairie State and around $130 million in tax revenue.

โœ…In 2023, the Illinois betting handle finished above $11 billion for the first time, with revenues over $1 billion. 2024 has started out strong with the handle reaching $3.6 billion in just three months, paving the way for what projects to be another record-breaking year.

๐Ÿ’ฎSome tax revenue goes towards capital improvements such as roads and bridges, schools, and university upgrades. Additionally, revenues are spent on funding the IGB and problem gambling resources, prevention, and treatment.

Illinois sports leagues and teams to bet on

๐ŸƒSome sports bettors believe they enjoy a slight hometown advantage when it comes to wagering on their favorite squads, and although Illinois operators may accept bets on the NFL, MLB, NHL, and NBA, this doesnโ€™t mean you should bet with your heart instead of your head. Before you go and bet the farm on the Bears, Blackhawks, or Bulls, do your homework. Remember, injuries, depth chart changes, suspensions, and weather can impact the odds board. Donโ€™t rush into a hometown team bet because you think you know better. Thatโ€™s the quickest way to tank your bankroll.

๊ฆซSBR tip: Wagering on in-stage college sporting events is legal but must be done in person at a retail sportsbook. No online sportsbook is allowed to offer odds on college team sports.

NFL ๐ŸˆMLB โšพNHL ๐Ÿ’NBA ๐Ÿ€
Chicago BearsChicago White SoxChicago BlackhawksChicago Bulls
Chicago Cubs

โ™ŽThough not as popular as the United Statesโ€™ big four professional sports leagues, fans will be happy to know that Illinois sportsbooks typically offer Major League Soccer and WNBA odds, too. So, if youโ€™re interested in wagering on the Chicago Fire FCโ€™s next match or Chicago Skyโ€™s summer tilt against the New York Liberty, there will be a betting market available.

๐Ÿ‘Sports bettors can check out the top sportsbooks for specific sports, leagues, playoffs, and categories:

โ™“After the U.S. Supreme Court ruled to overturn the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act, Illinois Governor J.B. Pritzker signed a bill legalizing sports betting in the state. The first Illinois retail sportsbook opened in March 2020, while BetRivers launched the state's first online sportsbook in June 2020. Today, there are eight online sportsbooks, each with a sports betting app for iOS and Android devices.

Illinoisโ€™ online and mobile sportsbooks

Online sportsbookLaunch date
๐Ÿ“ฑ BetMGMMarch 2022
๐Ÿ“ฑ BetRiversJune 2020
๐Ÿ“ฑ CaesarsSeptember 2020
๐Ÿ“ฑ Circa SportsSeptember 2023
๐Ÿ“ฑ DraftKingsAugust 2020
๐Ÿ“ฑ ESPN BETNovember 2023
๐Ÿ“ฑ FanDuelAugust 2020
๐Ÿ“ฑ FanaticsMarch 2024

Land-based IL sportsbooks

๐•ดIn less than five years, Illinois has grown from one retail sportsbook to 12 land-based locations, with two more expected to open in late 2023. ESPN BET has partnered with three retail casinos, while Fanatics now counts up to four retail locations, including off-track horse racing betting books


Retail sportsbookLocation
๐Ÿ† Barstool SportsbookHollywood Casino Joliet
๐Ÿ† Barstool SportsbookArgosy Casino Alton
๐Ÿ† Barstool SportsbookHollywood Casino Aurora
๐Ÿ† BetRiversRivers Casino
๐Ÿ† DraftKings at Casino QueenCasino Queen
๐Ÿ† FanDuelPar-A-Dice Casino
๐Ÿ† FanDuelFairmount Park
๐Ÿ† FanaticsProspect Heights Off Track Betting
๐Ÿ† FanaticsCrestwood Off Track Betting
๐Ÿ† FanaticsHawthorne Race Course
๐Ÿ† FanaticsClub Hawthorne
๐Ÿ† CaesarsGrand Victoria Casino

Who can bet on sports in Illinois?

Legal age ๐ŸŽ‚

Illinois sports bettors must be at least 21เตฒ years old to wager at retail locations, online sportsbooks, and via sports betting apps.

Mobile betting ๐Ÿ“ฑ

๐Ÿ—นMobile betting via online sportsbooks or sports betting apps is legal. Mobile wagering allows you to access sports betting markets while traveling around the state, at a coffee shop, from the stands, or on the train.

Remote registration ๐Ÿ’ป

Registration requirements were a point of contention during Illinois' first year of legal sports betting. First, you had to register in person at a retail sportsbook, then โ€“ due to the pandemic โ€“ the stateโ€™s governor lifted that requirement and allowed mobile registration from March 2020 โ€“ early April 2021.

However, Gov. Pritzker let the pause on in-person registration requirement lapse, and between April 3, 2021, and March 5, 2022, Illinois bettors had to travel to a retail sportsbook to register. Since March 6, 2022, online registration has been reinstated๐’ŠŽ, and individuals can remotely register for an online sportsbook or sports betting app.

Within state borders ๐ŸŒŽ

Those interested in sports betting in Illinois do not need to live in the state full-time, but when placing a wager, you must be physically located within its bordersแƒฆ to submit a bet slip. Online sportsbooks and sports betting apps leverage geotagging software and require individuals to turn on location tracking when using their products.

Retail sportsbooks ๐Ÿข

The Land of Lincoln offers 12 retail sportsbooksโ™›, with each location linked to an online sportsbook operator. 

Taxable winnings ๐Ÿ’ธ

The federal government taxes gambling profits at 25%, while the state of Illinois will dig into your pocket for an extra 15% on winnings over $600. Remember, you can offset tax liability by deducting gambling losses๐Ÿฆ‹ from your profits. However, you cannot deduct the wager on winning bets.

What you can't bet on in Illinois

แฉšแฉšแฉšแฉšแฉšแฉšโคโคโคโคแฉšโคโคโคโคแฉšโคโคโคโคแฉš๐’€ฑแฉšแฉšแฉšWhile retail and online sportsbooks and sports betting apps offer thousands of event odds each week, there are some things Illinois players canโ€™t wager on due to state and federal regulations.

Politics โŒ

The IGB does not allow๐Ÿ’ง sports betting operators to offer odds for political events such as the 2024 U.S. Presidential election, primary debate props, or if President Donald Trump will face President Joe Biden head-to-head. This policy is the same in every other state where legal sports betting exists.

Entertainment award ceremonies โœ…

Illinois permits๐ŸŒž wagers on entertainment award shows like the Emmys, Oscars, and Grammys. Odd markets may be available for similar events depending on the operatorโ€™s latest betting markets.

Unlike several states, Illinois does allow wagering๐Ÿ’ƒ on the NFL Draft. Future odds for โ€œwho will be the first player taken in the 2023 NFL Draft?โ€ will be on the board, along with similar markets.

eSports ๐ŸŽฎ

๐Ÿ’งThe matter as to whether wagering on eSports is legal rests with the Illinois Gaming Board (IGB). They currently sit in a gray area regarding legal Illinois sports betting. Nothing in Illinois sports betting law says you are allowed to wager on eSports, but there are no clauses that say itโ€™s illegal either. Bettors and operators are in a holding pattern.

Responsible sports betting in Illinois

The  (IGB) is the regulator and enforcement agency that oversees all forms of betting in the state. Their mission statement states that itโ€™s responsible for ensuring the integrity and safety๐Ÿ’ฏ of Illinois gaming practices. This mandate includes reviewing operatorsโ€™ applications, dictating license fees, awarding sportsbook licenses, auditing tax reports, and issuing fines should the integrity or security of Illinois bettors be ignored.

The IGB is also responsible for problem gambling initiatives๐ŸŽ‰ to help curb, treat, or prevent gambling addiction. Its website offers several resources to help individuals and families dealing with gambling addiction. From self-exclusion programs to adding oneself to the problem gambling registry to the IGB requiring online sportsbooks to feature betting and session limits under their account settings, the goal is to keep sports betting fun and entertaining for everyone.

เดœThe following list of gambling addiction hotlines was furnished by the IGB:

  • Gambling Anonymous National Hotline: 1-888-GA-HELPS (1-888-424-3577)
  • Gambling Assistance Hotline: 1-800-522-4700
  • Gambler's Anonymous (Chicago): 1-855-222-5542
  • Gam-Anon (Illinois Hotline): 1-708-802-0105
  • National U.S. gambling helpline: 1-800-GAMBLER

Sportsbooks to avoid in Illinois

แ€ฃBefore Illinois passed a bill to legalize sports betting, dozens of offshore online sportsbooks dominated the sports betting market. We urge Illinois bettors to avoid these unregulated and illegal sports betting sites since you'll have little to no recourse if a dispute arises. Here are three sportsbooks to avoid in Illinois:

1LuckyGambler โŒSBG Global โŒOddsmaker โŒ
- Blacklisted since 2008- Slow Payouts- Shady policiesSketchy pastWinning bets confiscatedUsers lack of trustUnfair business practicesKept playersโ€™ bonus moniesF-rating

Growth of sports betting 📈

When the U.S. Supreme Court repealed PASPA in 2018, the growth of legal sports betting in the United States skyrocketed. Close to three dozen states have since legalized some form of sports betting, with the most common legislation including the licensing of online sportsbooks and mobile betting apps. Check our legal sports betting trackerโ™’ to find out more about any state you're interested in. 

Over the past two years, large states like Ohio and Massachusetts have enjoyed massively successful๐Ÿง” online betting launches. Sports fans get an extra way to engage with their favorite teams, and the states earn plenty of much-needed revenue from licensing fees and taxes.

Most recently, legal North Carolina๐ŸŒ  sports betting arrived on March 11, 2024, bringing eight of the best sportsbooks in the country to the Tar Heel state. And with events like the Kentucky Derby and other horse racing betting events, the excitement and opportunities for sports betting enthusiasts continue to grow.

For more information on the best betting sites for horse racing, check out our guides Kentucky Derby betting sites and horse racing betting sites.

Illinois sports betting FAQs

Is sports betting legal in Illinois?

๐Ÿ’ฆYes, sports betting became legal in Illinois in June 2019. However, the state’s rollout of legal sports betting was choppy due to in-person registration requirements, the global pandemic, and the initial delay in letting out-of-state operators enter the market.

When did sports betting go live in Illinois?

๊ง’Illinoisโ€™ first retail sports betting location went live in March 2020, when the global pandemic started to impact daily life. The first online sportsbook was BetRivers, which went live in June 2020. Since then, seven more online sportsbooks have joined the fray.

Where can I bet on sports in Illinois?

๐’ŠŽYou can create accounts at eight sports betting sites: BetMGM, BetRivers, Caesars, Circa Sports, DraftKings, ESPN BET, FanDuel, and Fanatics. Additionally, you can visit one of Illinois' 12 retail betting locations.

How many online sportsbooks are there in Illinois?

๐Ÿ…ทThere are currently eight online sportsbooks โ€“ each with its own sports betting app for download โ€“ available to Illinois players. BetRivers became the first online sportsbook to market back in June 2020.

Can you bet on Illinois-based teams in Illinois?

แƒฆYes, you can bet on IL-based teams, including the Chicago Bears, Chicago White Sox, Illinois Fighting Illini, Sister Jean’s Loyola-Chicago Ramblers, and more. The only caveat is college sports betting, which needs to occur pre-game, in-person at a retail sportsbook. Online sports betting sites are prohibited from offering in-state college sports odds.

Do you have to live in Illinois to bet online?

๐ŸŽTechnically, no. Those interested in sports betting in Illinois can be part-time residents or visitors, and they need to be physically located within state borders at the time of betting. Online sportsbook and sports betting app software includes geotagging software and requires bettors to enable locations on their mobile devices before placing a wager.

How do you place a sports bet in Illinois?

๐Ÿ’™Illinois residents now have a few options if they want to place a sports bet in-state. They can visit one of 12 retail, brick-and-mortar casinos and sportsbooks, sign up for an online sportsbook account or download a sports betting app, create a new account, and start betting via mobile apps.

Are sports betting apps legal in Illinois?

๐“กYes, Illinois offers players eight legal sports betting apps to choose from, offering welcome bonuses to new customers.

What is the minimum age to bet in Illinois?

โ›ŽThe minimum age to place a legal sports bet in Illinois is 21 years old, whether you’re wagering at an online sportsbook, via a sports betting app, or in a retail sportsbook.