Illinois Sports Books

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Illinois Sports Betting

IL Sports Betting Sites: The Best Illinois Has to Offer

Sports betting is now legal in Illinois, both online and at retail sportsbooks, after a lengthy and controversial negotiation process involving lawmakers, gambling operators, and other stakeholders. Currently, the Illinois sports betting market is the fourth largest in the US.Gov. JB Pritzker signed into law the Illinois Sports Betting Bill in mid-2019, but it wasn't until 9 months later that the state's first legal wager was placed at the Rush Street-owned Rivers Casino Des Plaines.Three months later, in June 2020, BetRivers Sportsbook became the first online sports betting platform to go live in the Prairie State, with other online/mobile sportsbooks launching not long after that.Today, the Illinois sports betting market boasts over 11 retail and six online/mobile sportsbooks, with a long list of sports wagering mobile apps expected to follow suit. However, with so many sportsbooks out there, it can be tricky to know which sports betting platform is the perfect one for you to try out first.It is for that reason we've rounded up our shortlist of the best Illinois sports betting apps and sites so that you can score the best bonuses, best odds, and best markets, all in a single spot. You'll learn how IL sportsbooks compare based on various factors, from deposit and security to bet types and betting markets.This page provides you with up-to-date information on bonus offers, changes in gambling legislation, new sportsbooks, and everything you need to know about Illinois sports betting.

Can You Place Sports Bet Online in Illinois? Absolutely!

Online sports betting has been legal, save for a few restrictions, in Illinois since June 2020 when BetRivers sportsbook launched. That came a whopping nine months from when the legislature passed the Illinois sports betting bill, which was subsequently signed into law by Gov. JB Pritzker in June 2019.The new gambling law essentially allowed for statewide online and retail sports betting at off-track wagering parlors (OTP), racetracks, casinos, sportsbooks, and venues that host professional sports in the state.The road to the legalization of online sports betting in Illinois has been long and mired in a ton of controversy. Even so, sports betting through mobile apps and online platforms is now fully legal in the Land of Lincoln thanks to a combination of legislation:
  • In the 1920s, when the Prairie State legalized betting on horse racing events held at in-state racetracks
  • The 1990 Riverboat Gambling Act allowed operators to run commercial casino gambling on riverboats, as long as they're located outside of two regions: i) counties with 3+ million people and ii) Lake Michigan.
  • The 2009 legislation allows local bars, pubs, and other entertainment venues to host lottery/gaming terminals backed by the Illinois State Lottery.
  • The 2018 US Supreme Court decision to overturn the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act (PASPA). Essentially, the ruling gave individual states the mandate to pass their own casino gambling and sports betting laws.
  • The June 2019 signing into law of the sports betting bill by Gov. JB Pritzker
  • Executive Order 2020-41 from the governor's office temporarily suspended the mandate for in-person registration for online and mobile sportsbooks. The reinstatement of the in-person registration requirement took place in April 2021
Currently, bettors in Illinois can place bets using authorized retail sportsbooks, mobile apps, and online sports betting sites with land-based casino partners. However, you must be at least 21 years of age and complete the registration for a wagering account in person at a licensed land-based casino.In addition to that, the new law requires internet-only sportsbook operators to wait a minimum of 18 months before launching their own sports betting apps and sites. The said waiting period kicked off on June 11, 2020, meaning internet-only sports betting platforms can launch the earliest on December 11, 2021.Be that as it may, traditionally internet-only operators like FanDuel and DraftKings have managed to enter the Illinois sports betting market sooner than that. They arranged for retail partnership with Fairmount Park racetrack (also currently known as FanDuel Sportsbook & Horse Racing) and DraftKings at Casino Queen, respectively.You are not required to be an Illinois resident to place a legal sports wager in the Prairie State. However, you must be physically within the borders of the Land of Lincoln to be able to use Illinois sports betting mobile apps and online platforms. Best of all, you can transfer funds to and from your sportsbook account from anywhere across the globe.It is crucial to note that placing sports bets via overseas sportsbooks is deemed illegal by the state law, although many offshore online sports betting websites claim to accept Illinoisans.

Complete Guide to Illinois Sports Betting Websites Online

Placing sports bets via authorized online sportsbooks and mobile apps has been legal since mid-2020, thanks to the Illinois sports betting bill passed in 2019.Like retail sportsbooks, Illinois sports betting websites and mobile apps offer a variety of bet types, betting markets, and odds across many different sports and sporting events.To wager online at a regulated online sportsbook, you’ll have to sign up for a betting account and complete the registration in-person at a participating land-based casino.You may be asked to verify yourself and confirm your address by uploading a scanned copy of your state-issued photo ID, bank statement, or utility bill. For security purposes, you may need to confirm your identity by providing the last four digits of your SSN.Once your new sportsbook account has been verified and approved, you can deposit funds into it via various payment methods. Illinois sports betting platforms' most common deposit methods include credit and credit card, PayPal, ACH, wire transfer, and online banking transfer.You can also deposit cash at the sportsbook's land-based partner casino or select convenience stores via the PayNearMe service.Before you are able to place a bet, the sportsbook site or app must confirm and track your location at all times. The operator usually has a geolocation technology to ensure that you're registering or betting within the state borders.All in all, Illinois sports betting is accessible via mobile sportsbook apps, desktop browsers, mobile browsers, and retail sportsbooks. You’ll be able to claim a fantastic selection of sports betting bonuses that include free bets, welcome bonuses, VIP rewards, and rebates.

Why Should You Gamble Online at Illinois Sports Betting Platforms?

Today, pretty much everything can be done on the internet, and that includes wagering on your favorite sports markets. More and more Illinoisans are flocking to digital sportsbooks and apps to bet online rather than at a retail sportsbook — and for a good reason:

- Gambling convenience at its best

Recent reporting shows that more than two-thirds of adults in Illinois place at least one bet in their lifetime, and it's easy to see why. Some people bet for the fun of it, some to enjoy the thrill of winning, and others do so for the social element of betting.Whatever the reason, sports betting can be an excellent form of entertainment, especially when done in moderation. Online sports betting takes that excitement to the next level.It doesn't matter if you live a few miles from your nearest land-based casino; the truth is the majority of retail sportsbooks cannot compete with the convenience that online sports betting sites and apps have to offer. They can offer no-hassle betting, super-fast deposits, and a dizzying array of sports betting options you won't find in a land-based setting.Bettors across Illinois can log into their wagering accounts from anywhere within the state and use any mobile device, providing unfettered access to the best in online sports betting. With that, you can place real money bets at a place and time to suit your preference and needs.All online sportsbooks currently operating in Illinois have optimized their mobile betting experiences, so check them out and download their top mobile apps for iOS and Android.

- Free bets and humongous bonuses

Online sports betting platforms in Illinois provide new customers with lucrative sign-up bonuses. These welcome incentives give bettors hundreds, if not thousands of dollars in free betting money for simply choosing to sign up with them.It all starts with no deposit bonuses that give you the opportunity to start betting on your favorite sports on the house. You may also receive free bets, credits to use on certain sporting events, deposit bonuses, rebates, cash back, and more, which help you build out your bankroll and win real cash with minimal risk.

- Talk about variety!

When it comes to the Illinois sports betting market, online sportsbooks rule because they offer a massive variety of wagering options. If online casino gambling is approved, some of these sites may have online poker rooms, bingo, and casinos attached to the sportsbook.The real magic happens when it comes to choosing what sports and sports markets to wager on. Online sportsbooks offer more choice than you can ever dream about, including big football matches, tennis, baseball, basketball, soccer, UFC, MMA, motorsports, and hundreds of other sporting actions.

- Impregnable security

All Illinois sports betting apps and sites adhere to the strictest security protocols. Regulated sportsbooks are required to put in place a number of security measures that include 128-bit or higher SSL encryption to protect your funds and personal data.In addition to that, the operators contracted third-party testing labs to audit their sportsbook software before they go live. Auditors ensure that a sports betting app and site's software and payouts are precise and always in tip-top condition.

- Easily switch between different sportsbook

Not feeling that you’re a good fit with a particular sportsbook? No problem – Illinois sports betting market boasts several sportsbooks that you can switch between if you choose to bet online.

- Early cash out and live betting

Retail sportsbooks operate using traditional sports betting kiosks and platforms. Once you have placed your bet, that's it until the final whistle.Online sportsbooks and apps take sports betting to a whole new and innovative level with early Cash-Out and Live Betting features. The cash-out function allows you to close out your bets early for a guaranteed profit or minimize your losses if things aren't going your way.

Illinois Sports Betting Bonuses Offered Online

Rewards, bonuses, and promos start rolling in the Illinois sports betting market from the moment you create and verify your sportsbook account. New customers are usually greeted at the virtual door of the sportsbook with a sign-up bonus, which can be worth hundreds, if not thousands of dollars in betting cash.Not only that, top online Illinois sportsbooks now offer a basket filled with bonus offers for existing and new bettors alike. These bonuses come in many different shapes and sizes.As the list below depicts, specific promotions and bonuses are geared towards different types of players for various reasons. For instance, a sign-up offer differs from a reload bonus in that the welcome bonus is designed to attract new customers, while the other is about encouraging bettors to keep betting and making deposits.Illinois online sportsbook bonuses come in a number of different types that include:No deposit bonuses: This is inarguably the best kind of sportsbook promotion you can use to enhance your betting experience. You can claim and use the bonus cash without having to deposit a dime. The only downside is that these bonuses are aimed exclusively at new customers to entice them to sign up for a sportsbook wagering account.Welcome bonus: A sign-up bonus is a welcome offer geared exclusively towards new bettors signing up with the sportsbook. The bonus money you get will come with certain terms & conditions tied to it. You may be required to place a qualifying wager or make a minimum deposit.Deposit match bonus: This type of bonus offer is usually tied to or part of the welcome offer. The amount of bonus money you receive will vary depending on your deposit size and preset bonus percentage. The bonus cash you can claim is usually capped – for instance, you can claim a 100% match bonus up to $1,000 on your first deposit.Free bets: In the Illinois sports betting market, the sign-up bonus is typically awarded in the form of free bets. In this type of bonus, the sportsbook offers you a chance to make one or several free bets worth a certain amount. There are three common types of free bets offered by Illinois online sportsbooks:
  • No-risk free bets
  • Only-win free bets
  • Any-win free bets
Whichever you choose, you will be required to meet the wagering requirements, such as betting on sports markets with minimum predetermined odds. Free bets can also be given as a token to both new and existing bettors. Be sure to always read the bonus T&C’s.Money back or cashback promos: A popular cashback or money back promotion is an offer in which your stake or part of it will be returned if a certain number of legs (typically one leg) lets you down. This kind of bonus offer is designed to be a consolation and reduce the impact of losses on the bettor.In some cases, the cashback offer is attached to a specific deposit or losses made during a given period of time. For instance, the casino can offer 10% cashback on all losses made on Monday.Reload bonuses: Usually offered by online casinos, reload bonuses are rare in the Illinois sports betting market, but some sportsbooks offer them on special occasions, such as during a major sporting event like Super Bowl. Only a few sportsbooks offer to reload bonuses as a standard offer.The reload bonus percentage tends to be on the smaller side, often capped at 25%. As with most bonuses, they are often subject to a playthrough and time limit. The sportsbooks that give their customers reload bonuses do so in a bid to reward loyalty bettors that continue to make deposits long after the welcome bonus.Bet insurance: This type of sportsbook offers functions in the same way as cashback bonuses. Bet insurance is a consolation offer meant to compensate for a loss or set of losses incurred during a certain period of time or on specific bets. The bonus coverage is typically distributed for the net loss, and the maximum amount you can recoup will only help you break even.Loyalty rewards/ VIP clubs: Not bonuses per se, but loyalty programs are there to reward you for betting on a specific number of eligible bets during a given time period (usually a day or week). You can redeem the reward points for further bonuses to bet with.VIP clubs reward the big players for continued business. You will get large bonuses and lucrative bonuses, which vary in size depending on your VIP status.Event bonuses: This bonus offer is often given when a team or player attains a specific accomplishment, such as scoring a certain number of goals. The offer is usually paid out to you as a fixed-amount bonus every time that event occurs during the game.Overall, the most popular Illinois sports betting platforms for bonuses include:
  • DraftKings at Casino Queen Sportsbook
  • FanDuel Sportsbook
  • PointsBet Sportsbook
The following Illinois sportsbooks are known to offer the most lucrative welcome bonuses:
  • Caesars Sportsbook by William Hill
  • BetMGM Sportsbook
  • DraftKings at Casino Queen
It is crucial to understand how Illinois sports betting bonuses works and what wagering rules apply to them so you don't end up forfeiting your bonus cash and winnings. Some bonus offers might only be linked to betting types that don't suit your betting style.The most important offer to keep an eye out for is a deposit bonus, which are cash rewards credited to your bankroll when you transfer funds into your account. The sportsbook usually matches part or your entire deposit amount with its own funds. Normally, there's a rollover, so you'll have to play through the bonus cash a certain number of times before you are permitted to cash out the resulting winnings.

Illinois Sports Betting Apps

When it comes to mobile sports betting, you will be spoilt for choice in the Illinois market. Whether you prefer to place bets on Android, iPhone, or tablets, mobile sportsbook apps offer smooth navigation, great graphics, and best of all, you can bet anywhere.
  • FanDuel Sportsbook IL
  • DraftKings at Casino Queen Sportsbook
  • BetMGM Illinois Sportsbook
  • Caesars Sportsbook by William Hill
  • BetRivers Sportsbook
  • Barstool Sportsbook
  • PointsBet Sportsbook
Smartphone and tablet bettors can enjoy sports gambling for IOS and Android devices with these mobile sportsbook apps. Be sure to pick a sportsbook that provides hassle-free, easy-to-use mobile sports betting app and a wide selection of sports markets.

Quick Glossary of Illinois Online Sports Betting Terms

If you want to conquer the world of Illinois sports betting, it is important to learn the lingo. Here are the most common terms you will likely hear or come across:Wager – This refers to either the action of betting or the bet itself. For instance, you could say, "I will bet on the Indianapolis Colts to win the game."Action – It refers to what you have bet on a particular game. For example: “Do you have any action on Saints vs. Falcons, bro?” “Of course, I have $100 on Falcons to carry the night.”Underdog – Sometimes known just as the dog or puppy, the underdog is the team, contestant, or player thought to be weaker, and therefore, unlikely to win the contest, game, or competition.Favorite – This is the stronger contestant, team, or player likely to win the game, match, contest, or competition. "Houston Texans have lower odds because they're the favorite."Total – The combined number of goals, points, or runs scored by both teams during a match or contest. For instance: “The total for the Lakers vs. Celtics game is 236”.Under – A bet that the total runs, points, or goals scored by both teams will be below a specified number.Over – A wager that the total runs, points, or goals scored in a game by both teams will exceed the specified figure.Spread – Also known as Point Spread, the Spread is the number of points given to the underdog to even out its odds against the favorite team. For example: "Kansas City Chiefs are predicted to beat the Chicago Bears with a -6 spread."Cover – It refers to the act of a team scoring enough points to account for the point spread. For instance: “Is New York Nicks strong enough to cover the spread?”Line – Typically in plural Lines, referring to the odds provided by the sportsbook to the bettor on a given market.Odds – The chance of a team or contestant winning as set by the bookmarker and adjusted to include the profit. Long odds are usually higher than 10 to 1, while short odds are generally less than 1:1.Lay odds – To place a wager on terms that favor the other side, which could end up winning more than you wagered.Lay the points – To bet the favorite by giving up pointsShut out – When the losing team fails to score at all. It is also what happens when you try to place a wager once the action has closed. “I was shut out from the Falcons game.”Push – A tie game in which the stake is returned.Money line – A wager on the winner of a game, contest, or event without adjustment for point spread odds.Prop bet – Proposition bet (prop bet) is a unique betting type in which you can wager special and various events. These bets can be on entertainment, politics, and sports events, and the payoff odds are usually given in the money-line format.Margin – The number of points by which the winning team finishes ahead of the losing team.Best Sportsbooks in IllinoisIllinois sports betting market is already massive and continuing to grow. Wondering where you can place sports bets in the Prairie State? Wonder no more!Choosing the best Illinois sports betting platforms should involve a careful screening process. We know there is a broad variety of sportsbooks to choose from, and we are here to help you find the very best.That’s why we have put together a comprehensive list of the top sportsbooks in Illinois, including both retail sportsbooks and online sports betting platforms.

Best Online Sportsbooks in Illinois

Let’s kick off our list with the top operators of Illinois sports betting sites and apps. Our shortlisted online sportsbooks offer you everything from generous odds and top bonuses to a wide array of sports and betting markets.

1- DraftKings Sportsbook Online

  • Operator/Owner: DraftKings
  • Land-based Casino Partner: DraftKings at Casino Queen
  • Launch Date: August 5, 2020
DraftKings rules the roost when it comes to online sports betting in the US, and the same is true in the Illinois market. There’s a ton going for DraftKings sportsbook, from a diverse selection of betting markets and sports to bet on to lovely promotions and bonuses, great security, multiple banking methods, and around-the-clock customer support via live chat.Among the rewards available to IL bettors include a $50 no-deposit free bet, a huge welcome match bonus of 20% up to $1,000, and many unique reload bonuses. Some of the sportsbook’s highlights are live betting, live streaming service, superb mobile wagering experience, and modern, easy to navigate site packed with features & sporting events.DraftKings at Casino Queen offers up regular odds boosts, stats hub, and loyalty rewards, as well as parlay insurance, early cash-out, and many helpful sports betting guides, which are great for novices.As a well-known provider of daily fantasy sports (DFS), DraftKings had already groomed its sports betting team before launching in Illinois. It uses the best-in-class Kambi sportsbook gaming software, which is prized for its flexibility, smooth rendering, and fast-loading ability – all of which make DraftKings sportsbook a formidable force to reckon with in the Illinois sports betting scene.

2- PointsBet Sportsbook

  • Operator/Owner: Carey Family
  • Land-based Casino Partner: Hawthorne Race Course
  • Launch Date: September 12, 2020
PointsBet partnered with Hawthorne Race Course in Stickney in Illinois, which is one of the 3 major racetracks in the Land of Lincoln, to offer online sports betting. The sports betting website is well-appointed, sleek, and fairly easy to use, plus it is loaded with betting guides and help articles.In addition to that, PointsBet has made a name for itself in the Illinois sports betting arena because of its one-of-a-kind PointsBetting feature. This unique betting feature is designed such that the more right you are, the more you will win. However, the other way around is also true – the further away you are from the correct outcome, the more you will lose.PointsBet has a two-tier sign-up offer, in which you earn two risk-free bets worth up to $2,000. In the first part, you will earn up to $500 if you lose your initial fixed-odds wager. If you lose your first PointsBet wager, you can expect to get up to $1,500 back in free bet credits.The Australian-based bookmarker has partnered with several big-name sports personalities, including Golf player-turned-socialite Paige Renee Spiranac and NBA sensation Allen Iverson. PointsBet doesn’t hold back when it comes to promotions, either, offering great bonuses, as well as top-notch security, 24/7 customer support, and a decent variety of banking options for withdrawals and deposits.

3- FanDuel Sportsbook

  • Operator/Owner: William Stiritz and Associates
  • Land-based Casino Partner: FanDuel Sportsbook and Horse Racing (Fairmount Park)
  • Launch Date: August 28, 2020
FanDuel is a big competitor of DraftKings in most states where sports betting is legal, and Illinois seems to be another battleground for the two big operators. Like its rival, FanDual began as a fantasy sports provider in the PAPSA-era.FanDuel has partnered with the East Peoria-based Par-A-Dice Casino to provide IL bettors with both online and mobile sports betting. It has already gained much traction among bettors for its huge sports coverage, above-industry odds, and an expansive selection of betting markets, particularly for NFL football and NBA basketball games.The sportsbook features a plateful of unique offerings to differentiate itself in the increasingly crowded Illinois sports betting market. Some noteworthy features include Odds Boots, Bet-Back, multi-game parlay insurance, Birdie bonus, and more. These features are designed to help enhance your odds and betting experience on certain events.The operator is welcoming new customers with a superb sign-up offer. When you open and verify a new account with FanDuel, you will be granted a risk-free bet worth up to $1,000. The sportsbook will match your first lost bet dollar for dollar up to a max of $1,000, which is a great way to earn an early win while facing no risk.Bettors love FanDuel's modern sportsbook app, well-designed sports betting site, and the live betting feature. They'll also find multiple payment options for deposits, several ongoing promos, and responsive customer service available 24/7, including live chat. The sportsbook is also beloved for its range of prop bets for popular US sports.

4- BetRivers Sportsbook

  • Operator/Owner: Rush Street Gaming
  • Land-based Casino Partner: Rivers Casino Des Plaines
  • Launch Date: June 18, 2020
BetRivers sportsbook is credited with being the first sportsbook to launch in the Illinois sports betting market, having handled the state's first-ever bet on March 9, 2020. Owned and operated by the Chicago-based gaming company Rush Street Interactive, BetRivers courted its namesake, the land-based Rivers Casino Des Plaines @ 3000 S. River Road, Des Moines, for its online sports betting license.The online sportsbook platform is clean, expertly designed, and user-friendly. It boasts a number of mention-worthy promotions, including a lucrative welcome bonus matched at 100% up to $250. Although this bonus offer is not world-breaking, it comes with one of the fairest wagering requirements of just 1x.Bettors who choose to sign up with BetRivers sportsbook will enjoy robust player security, a nice variety of banking methods, and superior customer support with live chat. In line with its tradition in many other states, IL bettors will be enrolled in a vibrant loyalty scheme called the iRush Rewards program, in which the more you wager on the sports markets, the more perks you will receive.There's also a sports newsfeed and mobile sportsbook for both Android and IOS devices. Support is not only available via email and live chat, but the site and app also feature a comprehensive FAQ section. The diversity of bet types covered at the sportsbook is nothing short of impressive, with live proposition bets, player futures, same-game parlays, and point spread betting taking the cake.

5- Caesars Sportsbook by William Hill

  • Operator/Owner: Caesars Entertainment
  • Land-based Casino Partner: Grand Victoria Casino
  • Launch Date: August 3, 2021
Caesars Sportsbook by William Hill (formerly William Hill Sportsbook) is among the newest operators in the Illinois sports betting market. It is partnered with the land-based Grand Victoria Casino, a well-known riverboat located at 250 S Grove Ave in Elgin, IL.Unlike other sportsbooks, which choose to go with match bonuses or risk-free bets for their welcome offers, Caesars sportsbook by William Hill sprung for the more innovative and rewarding bet match. With this welcome offer, the sportsbook operator will match your first bet dollar for dollar up to $1,001, and it doesn't matter if you lose or win.William Hill is one of the oldest names in the gambling space, and it's highly regarded in the European market. Hinged on the long-standing expertise of William Hill and brand recognition of Caesars, it offers a sportsbook that's unbeatable in the market. The platform has everything you can dream of as a sports bettor, including live betting, live streaming service, generous promos, and an abundance of sports to bet on.The sportsbook site and app make a whole range of sports markets and competitive odds available to Illinois bettors. There are well over 30 sports covered, with the most popular ones listed being football, soccer, tennis, basketball, baseball, and hockey.Caesars sportsbook site is simple, cleanly designed, and easy to navigate, yet it feels stylish and modern. Its loyalty rewards program is also something worth calling home about, with airfare credits, fine dining, free hotel rooms, complimentary valet parking, and exclusive access to private events up for grabs.

6- Barstool Sportsbook

  • Operator/Owner: Penn National Gaming
  • Land-based Casino Partner: Hollywood Casino Aurora
  • Launch Date: March 11, 2021
A brainchild of the outspoken and oft-controversial online media mogul Dave Portnoy (aka El Presidente), Barstool sportsbook made its debut in the Illinois sports betting market in March 2021. The online and retail sportsbook has already launched in several other states, including Virginia, Colorado, Indiana, Michigan, Arizona, Tennessee, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania.It offers retail and online sports betting in partnership with Hollywood Casino Aurora. One of the most renowned sportsbook operators, Penn National Gaming, has a 36% stake in Barstool sportsbook, so it is bound to make a dent in the IL market.Barstool offers both a no deposit cash bonus worth $10 and a risk-free bet worth up to $1,000. However, the payout will not include the bonus cash amount. Beginners are going to go crazy for the Barstool sportsbook app, as it is filled with ready-to-bet picks, odds boosts, and much more. The app is cool-looking, a snap to navigate, and puts everything you need right in front of you.The most notable features of the sportsbook include great player prop pricing, Reduce the Juice, and the five-tier loyalty rewards program. There’s also a bevy of secure banking options, as well as 24/7 customer support available via live chat.There you have it – the six top sportsbooks, but these Illinois sports betting titans will be facing stiff competition soon enough. With the 18-month moratorium on internet-only operators elapsing this December, we think several other top-tier sportsbooks will be joining them shortly.Those already in the final stages of preparing to launch their online sports betting platforms and apps in Illinois include:
  • Unibet Sportsbook: The European-born Unibet recently obtained an online sports betting license through a partnership with the Penn National-owned riverboat casino, the Argosy Casino Alton. The new sportsbook’s launch date is yet to be made public.
  • BetMGM Sportsbook: The 50-50 joint venture between MGM Resorts International and UK-based Entain is also poised to enter the Illinois sports betting market soon. The top gambling brand already operates online sportsbooks and casinos in multiple states, including New Jersey. The timeline for the launch of the BetMGM sportsbook in Illinois is uncertain as of writing. What we currently know is that it will offer its sports betting services in partnership with Par-A-Dice Casino East Peoria.
  • Bally's Sportsbook (presumably Bally Bet): Projected to launch sooner than the rest, Bally’s Sportsbook will be partnered with Jumer's Casino Rock Island and run by Bally’s Corp.
  • William Hill Sportsbook: If the news going round in the Illinois gambling space is to be believed, then William Hill Sportsbook will launch in partnership with Harrah's Metropolis and Harrah's Joliet. Both establishments are Caesars Entertainment properties.
  • TheScore Bet Sportsbook: There are also rumors that TheScore sportsbook will launch in Illinois soon in partnership with the Caesars-owned Harrah’s Joliet Casino.
  • Fox Bet Sportsbook: Already up and running in New Jersey, Michigan, Colorado, and Pennsylvania, Fox Bet is bound for the Illinois sports betting market. The sportsbook is a joint venture between Fox Sports and The Stars Group (the operator of the famous PokerStars). It is expected to launch in early 2022.

Best Retail Sportsbooks in Illinois

If you prefer to get your sports betting fix from a brick-and-mortar sportsbook, you won't be disappointed by what you'll find in Illinois. There are a total of 11 retail sportsbooks in Prairie State, with most of them operating betting kiosks across multiple locations.

1- DraftKings at Casino Queen Sportsbook

  • Address: 200 S. Front St., East St. Louis, IL 62201
  • Telephone: 618-874-5000
  • Sportsbook Operating Hours: 9 a.m. to 11 p.m., Mondays to Fridays; 8 a.m. to 11 p.m., Saturdays and Sundays
Casino Queen in East St. Louis rebranded as DraftKings at Casino Queen in July 2020. In this never-seen-before rebranding deal with the sports wagering behemoth DraftKings, the former riverboat casino agreed to open a retail sportsbook within the property, becoming the 4th casino in Illinois to do so.It was the first instance in the Land of Lincoln whereby a sports betting partnership resulted in a whole casino property rebranding. DraftKings online sportsbook was launched not long after that. However, you must complete the sign-up process at this location when opening a new online sportsbook account.In addition to offering retail sports betting services, the property has a full-fledged casino with more than 34 gaming tables, over 1,100 slot machines, an RV park, and a hotel. The casino also offers several dining options.

2- Caesars Sportsbook by William Hill at Grand Victoria Casino

  • Address: 250 S. Grove Ave., Elgin, IL 60120
  • Telephone: 847-468-7000
  • Sportsbook Operating Hours: 10 a.m. to 11 p.m. Monday through Thursday; 10 a.m. to midnight on Fridays; 9 a.m. to midnight on Saturdays, and 9 a.m. to 11 p.m. on Sundays
Grand Victoria Casino partnered up with Caesars Entertainment to establish a retail sportsbook on its property, becoming the 3rd casino to do so in Illinois. The new brick-and-mortar sportsbook started accepting sports bets in early August 2021.The sports betting kiosks are found smack on the gaming floor of the Grand Victoria Casino, where you can also deposit or withdraw cash from your Caesars by William Hill sportsbook online account. The retail sportsbook offers a complete gambling experience with multiple dining options, VIP areas, 36 gaming tables, and over 1,100 slot machines on the property located in the far northwest suburbs.

3- BetRivers Sportsbook at Rivers Casino

  • Address: 3000 S. River Road, Des Plaines, IL 60018
  • Telephone: 847-795-0777
  • Sportsbook Operating Hours: Open 9 a.m. to midnight, every day
If you are looking for a retail sportsbook near Chicago, you can't do better than BetRivers Sportsbook at Rivers Casino in Des Plaines. The land-based sports betting location was first opened in March 2020, accepting the first-ever legal sports wager in the Prairie State.Nestled a few minutes drive from the O'Hare International Airport, the sportsbook flaunts a raft of best-in-class amenities for its patrons. These include a wall-to-wall LED screen, a full bar, stadium-style seating, and a VIP lounge.Rush Street Gaming launched an online sportsbook tied to the land-based facility in mid-2020. The casino property on which the retail sportsbook stands also offers a whole range of trappings for customers, including more than 1,000 slot machines, 65 gaming tables, and six first-rate restaurants. The sportsbook is the current Chicago Bears’ official betting partner.

4- FanDuel Sportsbook at Par-A-Dice Casino

  • Address: 21 Blackjack Blvd., East Peoria, IL 61611
  • Telephone: 309-698-7711
  • Sportsbook Operating Hours: 1 p.m. to 10 p.m. Monday through Friday; 9 a.m. to 10 p.m., Saturdays and Sundays
The national sports wagering giant, FanDuel, joined hands with Par-A-Dice Casino in East Peoria to offer retail sports betting services. It is the 12th brick-and-mortar sportsbook to bear the FanDuel name in 9 states (so far). Because of its location smack in the middle of the Land of Lincoln, FanDuel Sportsbook is the biggest and most prominent sports betting location outside of St. Louis/Chicago metros.The sportsbook is located within the riverboat casino moored along Peoria Lake. It provides a bounty of amenities on top of a sportsbook, including more than 800 slot machines, 25 gaming tables, several dining options, and a hotel.

5- Sportsbook at Argosy Casino Alton

  • Address: 1 Piasa St., Alton, IL 62002
  • Telephone: 618-474-7500
  • Sportsbook Operating Hours: 9 a.m. to 11 p.m., daily
Sportsbook at Argosy Casino Alton was the 2nd retail sportsbook to open for business in Illinois and the first to do so without an exclusive online sports betting partner. Although the casino property was rumored to partner with Unibet Online Sportsbook, the online sports betting side of the business is now operated by Barstool Sportsbook.The retail sportsbook has a whopping 36 large-screen HDTVs, individual viewing stations, and VIP areas. Patrons can also enjoy a drink at the next-door Hops House bar and access several odds-display screens spread across the property.The casino itself boasts a full-service riverboat gaming floor docked on the Mississippi River. The gaming floor features around 12 gaming tables, more than 800 slot machines, and dining, alongside the self-branded retail sportsbook.

6- FanDuel Sportsbook & Horse Racing

  • Address: 9301 Collinsville Road, Collinsville, IL  62234
  • Telephone: 618-345-4300
  • Sportsbook Operating Hours: 10 a.m. to 11 p.m., Monday through Friday; 8 a.m. to midnight, on Saturdays, and 8 a.m. to 11 p.m., on Sundays
Located in the former Fairmount Park racecourse, FanDuel Sportsbook & Horse Racing isn't just a retail sportsbook. The location also features five dining options, including casual dining and fine dining, as well as off-season simulcasts and in-season horse racing events.The sportsbook and horse racing property has a full-wall LED display and multiple odds-display TVs. Bettors will find a row of twenty betting kiosks and many more betting windows. New customers can also sign up for the FanDuel online sportsbook at this facility.

7- PointsBet Sportsbook at Hawthorne Race Course, Stickney IL

  • Address: 3501 S. Laramie Ave., Stickney, IL 60804
  • Telephone: 708-780-3700
  • Sportsbook Operating Hours: 10 a.m. to 9 p.m., Monday through Friday; 9 a.m. to 9 p.m., on Saturdays and Sundays
Hawthorne Race Course in Crestwood went through a rigorous revamping that cost well over $400 million, and the result is the world-class PointsBet retail sportsbook. The off-track betting shop is located within the gaming property, which is located roughly 10 miles from the central business district of Chicago.For that reason, PointsBet Sportsbook at Hawthorne Race Course is the closest Illinois sports betting retail facility to downtown Chicago. It is the flagship brick-and-mortar sportsbook of the Australian-born PointsBet.Visitors to the retail sportsbook will be able to indulge in sports betting, as well as bet on horse races at the racetrack within the same visit. The location is the land-based partner for Xpressbet and PointsBet Sportsbook for online gambling, with a self-branded casino slated to come soon.

8- PointsBet Sportsbook at Club Hawthorne, Crestwood

  • Address: 13148 Rivercrest Drive, Crestwood, IL 60445
  • Telephone: 708-489-4700
  • Sportsbook Operating Hours: 10 a.m. to 11 p.m., Sunday through Thursday; 10 a.m. to 1 a.m., on Fridays and Saturdays
As of writing, PointsBet Sportsbook runs three retail sports betting locations in Illinois through its partnership with Club Hawthorne. The OTB facility in Stickney near Chicago is the primary location and the home base for PointsBet's online sportsbook.The retail sportsbook at Club Hawthorne in Crestwood has a capacity of 150 persons, 5 counter positions, 5 betting kiosks, a mega-wall LED display, and 24 75” odds-display/simulcasting TVs. Visitors can also wager on horse races since this is an off-track betting shop, as well.

9- PointsBet Sportsbook at Club Hawthorne, Prospect Heights

  • Address: 1250 S. River Road, Prospect Heights, IL 60070
  • Telephone: 847-537-3043
  • Sportsbook Operating Hours: 10 a.m. to 11 p.m., Sunday through Thursday; 10 a.m. to midnight, on Fridays and Saturdays
PointsBet Sportsbook offers retail sports betting services at Club Hawthorne in Prospect Heights. It is also an off-track betting facility, meaning that bettors can wager on sports along with betting on horse races.PointsBet Sportsbook at Club Hawthorne Prospect Heights has 4 in-person ticket counters, 6 self-serve betting kiosks, and more than 100 75-inch odds-displaying TV screens.

10- Sportsbook at Hollywood Casino Joliet

  • Address: 777 Hollywood Blvd., Joliet, IL 60436
  • Telephone: 815-744-9400
  • Sportsbook Operating Hours: 11 a.m. to 11 p.m., on Mondays; 11 a.m. to 10 p.m., Tuesday through Thursday, and 9 a.m. to 11 p.m., on Saturdays and Sundays
Formerly known as Empress Casino, the Sportsbook at Hollywood Casino Joliet is owned and operated by Penn National Gaming. The retail sportsbook is tucked inside the 99 Hops House, located on the Hollywood Casino gaming floor.Today, the retail sportsbook doesn't have an online sports betting partner, although there are reports that Barstool Sportsbook will fill that position soon. The sportsbook facility has 14 betting kiosks and scores of sports betting terminals spread throughout the casino gaming floor.Talking of the casino, Hollywood Casino Joliet is a show-stopper with well over 1,100 slot machines, 18 gaming tables (for blackjack, baccarat, you name it), and five dining options, all nestled inside the riverboat casino. There's also a 100-room hotel facility sitting adjacent to the casino for those looking to spend the night.

11- Sportsbook at Hollywood Casino Aurora

  • Address: 1 W New York St, Aurora, IL 60506
  • Telephone: 630-801-1234
  • Sportsbook Operating Hours: 10 a.m. to 10 p.m., daily
Hollywood Casino Aurora launched its retail sportsbook on August 20, 2020, becoming one of the few casinos in Illinois to run self-branded land-based sports betting facilities. The first honorary wager was placed by the city's mayor, Richard Irwin, backing the Chicago White Sox with a $20 Moneyline bet to beat the Detroit Tigers at -177.By the time it opened, the planned launch of the retail sportsbook had been delayed for about 3 months due to the coronavirus pandemic. The brick-and-mortar sports betting shop has multiple self-service kiosks and many more ticket windows, all found in the middle of the casino gaming floor.As a Penn National-owned facility, the sportsbook and gaming floor do feature a significant amount of Barstool-related branding and promotions. It is worth noting that the retail sportsbook is part of a large riverboat casino docked on the Fox River.The casino gaming floor is huge, with more than 53K square feet of space. Bettors will also find more than 1,100 slot machines, 26 gaming tables, and three dining options on the riverboat casino. There's no accommodation inside or adjacent to the casino.

Deposit Methods for Illinois Sports Betting Venues

Being able to make safe, fast, and secure deposits is crucial to any sportsbook. The best Illinois sports betting venues offer a well-balanced range of methods for depositing funds into your wagering account.You should expect to see several debit & credit cards, ACH e-checks, and bank transfers accepted, as well as more modern methods like mobile and electronic wallets. You should also take a closer look at deposit processing speeds to ensure that you won't have to wait too long for funds to appear on your bankroll.The most common deposit options you will see in the Illinois sports betting market include:


PayPal is one of the most trusted, most popular, and oldest e-wallets, especially among the next generation of digital bettors. It works great on both online and mobile devices. Transferring funds into your online sportsbook using PayPal is secure, fairly anonymous, and the process itself is a breeze.


Visa-branded cards are the most used type of debit and credit card accepted by Illinois sportsbooks, and it is the most readily accepted mode for payment at the majority of retail sportsbooks. However, you might run into transactional errors and other hiccups when trying to fund your online sportsbook using Visa credit cards.


MasterCard credit and debit cards are a secure, quick, and simple way to move money into your online sports betting wallet. Luckily, MasterCard cards are accepted at most online sportsbook sites and apps, as well as retail betting shops, as a method of depositing money to your gaming account. They rarely carry any additional fees.

American Express (AMEX)

Amex is another popular and one of the most trusted credit cards in the sports betting world. You should expect to see secure & safe transactions, not to mention upped deposit limits when using an American Express branded card.Deposits made using an Amex card are usually processed instantly or within a couple of minutes. The deposit process is typically straightforward and familiar to most bettors who shop online, plus you can deposit using your mobile device. Unfortunately, Amex is not as readily accepted by sportsbooks as other credit card brands like Visa and MasterCard.


Discover Card is another type of credit/debit card that is generally popular among bettors. They are relatively easier to acquire and equally effortless to make a deposit with. When it comes to processing Discover card deposits, it is usually fast, secure, and safe, with transactions clearing in seconds.


An abbreviation for Automated Clearing House, ACH is a special type electronic check payment system that bridges your checking/savings bank account with your sportsbook account. When making an ACH deposit, you must enter your bank account number and routing number, as well as furnish your driver's license number. From our experience, the deposit experience is fast, hassle-free, and fee-free.

Credit Cards

Credit cards are still the most used method of funding online and retail sportsbook accounts in the Illinois sports betting market. Almost all operators accept MasterCard and Visa credit cards, while some accept account funding via credit cards from American Express, Discover, Diners Club, JCB, and those issued by credit unions.

Skrill and Neteller

If your credit/debit card is declined when you’re trying to deposit funds into your sportsbook account, Skrill, Neteller, and Paysafecard present a viable alternative. They are more anonymous, safer, and more secure than ACH and bank cards, after all. However, some of these electronic wallets may charge a small fee.Skrill and Neteller are a great option if you are hesitant about using your bank account details or credit/debit cards for gambling transactions. Processing is quick, and the funds should reflect on your bankroll immediately.

Wire Transfer

Most online sportsbooks will allow bettors to deposit funds into their gaming accounts via wire transfers from their bank accounts. This is an excellent funding method for high-stake bettors who wish to move large sums of money. Unfortunately, you may include a small fee for the transfer. It is probably not a suitable method of making small to medium-sized deposits, particularly when the sportsbook already accepts ACH e-checks.


PayNearMe is a cash-depositing method of funding your online casino or sports betting account. It's a smarter choice than e-wallets, bank cards, and ACH, especially if you're a little skeptical of funding your online gambling or betting activities via your bank account or credit cards.You can deposit into your wagering wallet with cash at any participating local store, including CVS Pharmacy, 7-Eleven, Walmart, ACE Cash Express, Casey's General Store, and Family Dollar locations statewide. If you have a PayNearMe account, you can even complete the whole depositing process online.For most bettors, the first step is to generate the cash code that you can use to make a cash deposit. Once the teller has finalized the transaction, the funds should be present in your wagering account within 15 minutes.

Cash at the Casino Cage

As with PayNearMe, you can also deposit with cash at the land-based partner casino of your sportsbook. You can even do it yourself using the self-serve terminals found at most retail sportsbook locations throughout Illinois.To execute a cash deposit at the casino cage, be sure to bring your state-issued photo ID and note your sportsbook account details.

Prepaid Cards

If you are not comfortable carrying cash, prepaid cards present a safer and more convenient alternative. You can upload funds onto your prepaid card/online account and use it to deposit at an online sportsbook where it is accepted.Play+ is a popular kind of online prepaid card account that is accepted by a growing list of sportsbooks, including BetMGM, Caesars by William Hill, DraftKings, and PointsBet. You can use the prepaid card or account to move funds in either direction.Multiple credit card companies and credit unions offer prepaid cards, too, and they function in the same way traditional credit cards do. Some of the sportsbooks in the Illinois sports betting market offer their own branded prepaid cards, including DraftKings. You can purchase and use them as gift cards to make sportsbook deposits.

Bank Transfers

A bank transfer is simply that. Illinois sports betting sites and apps allow bank transfers, in which money is sent from your checking account to the sportsbook’s appointed account. Unlike ACH echeck transfers, no clearinghouse or intermediary is used here, minimizing chances of data leakage and fraud.

Brief History of Illinois Sports Betting

The road to the first sports bet in Illinois has not been exactly smooth sailing. It was a long, controversial, and eventful journey packed with legal wrangling and too many to-and-fros. Here’s a quick timeline of major happenings since the Illinois sports betting bill was signed into law:June 2019: Gov. JB Pritzker signs on the dotted line of the Illinois Sports Wagering Act. The new law includes a provision that would block out prospective internet-only operators for a period of 18 months. The same law prohibits betting on events involving local college and high school teams while allowing state sporting venues to apply for retail sportsbook licenses.March 2020: Rivers Casino accepts the first-ever sports wager in Illinois, but all casinos shut down soon after that due to the coronavirus pandemic.June 2020: BetRivers Sportsbook, in conjunction with its land-based partner Rivers Casino in Des Plaines, launches the first legal online sportsbook in the Prairie State. At the same time, Illinois Gov. JB Pritzker issued an executive order temporarily waiving the requirement of in-person registration for online sportsbooks, citing the COVID-19 pandemic.August 2020: DraftKings becomes the second operator to launch an online sportsbook in Illinois, soon followed by its arch-rival FanDuel in a close third. They used a loophole in the new sports wagering law to circumvent the 18-month moratorium by partnering with brick-and-mortar gambling facilities Casino Queen and Fairmount Park, respectively.September 2020: The Chicago Cubs and online sports wagering company DraftKings announce that they would establish a retail sportsbook at the famous Wrigley Field. In the same month, PointsBet and Caesars Sportsbook by William Hill became the 4th and 5th operators to launch online sportsbooks in the Land of Lincoln.December 2020: The IGB releases figures showing that the Illinois sports betting handle for the month is $491.7 million, marking the highest revenue raked in by the sportsbooks.February 2021: Preliminary figures show that Illinois sports betting operators received over $45 million worth of Super Bowl wagers.March 2021: Barstool launches in Illinois, becoming the 6th sportsbook to do so. Meanwhile, the IGB announces that Illinois sportsbooks posted the highest mark for any month since 2019 by taking in around $633.6 million in sports betting handle. At the same time, the Illinois sports betting handle passes the $2-billion mark.April 2021: Gov. JB Pritzker reinstated the in-person registration requirement for online sportsbooks, with a significant portion of Illinoisan adults having received the Covid-19 jab.June 2021: Sporting venues in and around Chicago reopen to full capacity.September 2021: Churchill Downs and the Chicago Bears come to an acquisition agreement for the historic horse racing track, Arlington International Racecourse.October 2021: Illinois lawmakers passed a bill that would end the mandatory in-person registration for online sports betting on March 5, 2022. The same bill would allow wagering on state college teams as long as you place the bet in person.

How to Choose Your Next Illinois Sports Betting Venue

With more and more sportsbooks making a foray into the Illinois sports betting market, our mission is to help you find the one that is perfect for you. Here are top factors to keep in mind to ensure that the Illinois sports betting venue you choose is worthy of your time and money:

- Is it safe and secure?

You should sign up with only reputable sportsbooks that offer the industry’s highest security and banking standards. When doing your research, you should do a thorough screening and background check, make sure to cover the site’s audit process, certification, and licensing process.Make sure the sportsbook is duly licensed and regulated by the Illinois Gaming Board. Once you have confirmed this, you should look at the site’s and app’s encryption. Do they use the latest SSL encryption to protect your personal details, data, and money?

- Range of sports, betting markets, and bet types

For one thing, the best Illinois sports betting platforms will cover a broad range of sports. From NBA basketball and NFL football to soccer and even cricket – you should look for a sportsbook jam-packed with options.A sportsbook that covers a wide range of sports markets gets a stamp of approval from us, as well. Some apps make the mistake of featuring hundreds of markets on football alone. You should be able to see odds for all major sports events, as well as markets for worldwide sports like English Premier League, Aussie Rules, and Serie B.We also recommend sportsbooks that cover all the bases when it comes to bet types. Talk about same-game parlays, point spread, totals, prop bets, futures, and live in-game betting.

- Does it offer competitive odds?

With several sports betting platforms in Illinois trying to capture your attention, they’re bound to compete on the odds front. That may be bad for them, but definitely a good thing for you. With that being said, you’ll want to assess sportsbooks to see how generous their odds are compared to others.By choosing a sportsbook with competitive odds, you will be certain that you get the best value for your wagers.

- What extra features do they have?

You should also keep an eye out for anything extra that the sportsbook may offer, such as early cash-out feature, live streaming service, odds boosts, parlay insurance, build-a-bet, stats hubs, and so on. These are the bonus features that will make betting on sports on their platforms all the more enjoyable and rewarding.

- Is the customer support responsive?

This is one aspect of the sportsbook that you shouldn’t ignore. The quality, availability, and responsiveness of the customer service can make or break a sportsbook. So, look at how genuinely helpful the sportsbook’s customer support is – can you get help 24/7?What support channels do they use – live chat, telephone, email, or social media? Do the site and app feature a useful help & support section?

- Check banking options and payout speeds

When looking for your next place to bet on sports, you should explore the methods for deposits and withdrawals available to you. The operator must cover the most secure and popular methods like credit/debit cards, bank transfers, and ACH, as well as more modern methods like PayPal, Skrill, Play+, and mobile wallets.As a rule of thumb, you want at least one cash-depositing method at your disposal, so expect to see PayNearMe or cash at the cage depositing. Sportsbooks worthy of your time should also offer snappy withdrawal times, so you won’t be left waiting to enjoy your hard-earned winnings. You don’t want to see fees included whenever you make a withdrawal.

- Online, retail, or both?

Convenience is a game-changer when it comes to betting on sports. Sometimes you want to take advantage of a newly-reported injury, substitutions, or changes in the lineup, yet the closest retail sportsbook is miles away. At the same time, you might want to pop into a betting kiosk just to say hey to fellow sports bettors.Depending on your betting style, you’d want to choose a sportsbook that’s suitable for you. Even better, you should pick one that offers both retail and online sports betting options.

- Do they offer bonuses and free bets?

Bonuses can be the differentiator when choosing between online sportsbooks, and you should be watching for a strong sign-up offer. A sportsbook that rewards your loyalty with free bets, money backs, and cashback can also do wonders for your sports betting experience.In addition to that, you should prefer a sportsbook with features and perks like a VIP scheme, guaranteed odds, odds boosts, and more.

- What is the sportsbook’s mobile betting experience like?

Let’s face it; most of the wagers you’ll place will be via a tablet or smartphone. Just like you, the majority of players prefer to bet on mobile apps. That is why you should consider whether the sports betting site is optimized for small screens. Extra points go to sportsbooks with a modern, fully-function mobile app.

What You Should Know About Current Illinois Sports Betting Law

Here’s the nitty-gritty of Illinois sports betting law as of writing:
  • Sports wagers must be placed at an authorized retail sportsbook, casino, or racetrack, online using licensed sports betting app or website
  • You can wager legally on all collegiate or professional sporting events, except for those involving Illinois college teams.
  • All Illinois sports betting activities are regulated by the Illinois Gaming Board.
  • Sporting venues, casinos, racetracks, and off-track betting shops can apply for a sportsbook license.
  • Lottery vendors could also open sports betting kiosks under the regulatory oversight of the Illinois Lottery.
  • Any arena or stadium with a 17,000+ seating capacity can apply for IGB licensing to offer sports betting services within a 5-block radius. Technically, that means the United Center, Wrigley Field, and Soldier Field all are eligible for a sportsbook license.
  • Daily fantasy sports (DFS) is legal in Illinois following an April 2020 interpretation by the Illinois Supreme Court.
  • Only persons aged 21 and older are allowed to bet on sports through authorized sportsbooks.
  • In-person registration is required for online sports betting in Illinois

Illinois Sports Betting FAQs

Can you bet on sports in Illinois?

Yes! Thanks to the Sports Wagering Act, which was passed and signed into law in 2019, you can legally gamble on sports in the state of Illinois. Both residents and non-residents 21 and older can legally participate in Illinois sports betting. The only exception is that you cannot place bets on events that involve in-state college teams.

What type of odds should I expect to see at sportsbooks in Illinois?

In Illinois, sports betting odds are usually expressed as money lines, which are listed as either negative or positive numbers -- they denote the underdog and favorite teams, respectively. Thankfully, most sportsbooks have an odds-type changer on the site or app, allowing you to easily switch between American Moneyline, fractionals, and decimal style of odds.

What types of bets are offered in the Illinois sports betting market?

When it comes to Illinois sports betting, there is no shortage of bet types. Here are the most common types of bets you will likely come across:
  • Single bet – In this type of wager, you are betting on one selection, leg, or outcome. For instance, you may bet on the LA Lakers to beat the Boston Celtics.
  • Parlay – It is sometimes known as an accumulator bet. It is a bet that combines more than one selection or leg into one wager. For instance, you can bet on the Atlanta Falcons, Chicago Cubs, and Colts to win on the weekend.
  • Live bet – Also known as an in-game or in-play bet; the live bet is just that. It is a wager made in real-time while the game or match is unfolding.
  • Total bet – Sometimes called Over/Under bet, involves betting on the combined amount of points, runs, or goals scored to be below or exceed a figure set by the sportsbook.
  • Prop bet – Short for "proposition bet," prop bet is a wager that has nothing to do with the game's outcome. For instance, you can wager on the color of Gatorade that will be poured on the winning coach.
  • Futures – A futures wager is a bet you place on an outcome that will result in a long period, such as a month or the end of the season, such as betting the division winners in the NBA.
  • Moneyline bets – sports money lines indicate the odds of a team winning a game or contest outright.

Where can you bet on sports in Illinois?

  • Land-based casinos and racetracks: A handful of casinos, including Penn National-owned Hollywood Casinos and racetracks in Illinois, operate their own retail sportsbooks.
  • Off-track betting (OTB) shops: Club Hawthorne is particularly known for offering sports betting in partnership with PointsBet.
  • Betting kiosks: these are typically found inside casinos, racetracks, and near sporting venues
  • Online sportsbooks: As of writing, all online sportsbooks must partner with a land-based casino or racetrack for online sports betting in Illinois
  • Sportsbook mobile apps: Every online sportsbook has a corresponding mobile app that allows you to wager on sports on the go.

What sports can you gamble on in New Jersey?

Betting fans in Illinois enjoy wagering on a wide variety of sports. However, not all sportsbooks offer every sport, and the coverage varies from one sportsbook to the next – and for varying reasons.Before you sign up, you should scroll through the sports menu of a particular sportsbook to see if your favorite sports, sporting event, or sports teams are covered. The most common sports found across the Illinois sports betting space include:
  • NFL football
  • College football
  • NBA basketball
  • College basketball
  • NHL hockey
  • Soccer
  • Formula 1 racing
  • NASCAR motor racing
  • MLB baseball
  • PGA golf
  • Golf Majors

When did sports betting become legal in Illinois?

Sports betting has been legal in Illinois since the passing and subsequent signing into law of the Sports Wagering Act in mid-2019.

What are some of the sports betting restrictions in Illinois?

Sports betting is only legal at any licensed and authorized retail and online sportsbook in Illinois.You must place a bet while physically within the borders of the state of Illinois. As such, gambling at an Illinois sports betting platform from outside the state is not allowed. Sportsbooks enforce this rule by using geolocation software.To open a new online sportsbook account, you must complete the sign-up process at an authorized land-based casino facility associated with the sports betting operator.Illinois sports betting operators can’t accept bets on:
  • Any K-12 sporting event
  • Any minor league sporting event
  • Any sporting event that involves a collegiate team from Illinois
  • A non-sport event not authorized by the Illinois Gaming Board, such as Academy Awards

What are the tax liabilities on Illinois sports betting?

In Illinois, sports betting winnings are treated as gambling income and taxed at a fixed rate of 4.95%. Your sports betting winnings may also be subject to federal taxes if they exceed $600, in which case a fixed rate of 24% of the gambling income will be automatically withheld at the point of withdrawal.

Is fantasy sports betting legal in Illinois?

Yes. The Illinois Supreme Court ruled in April 2020 that betting on Daily Fantasy Sports (DFS) is legal by virtue of the skill component. The most popular providers of DFS betting include FanDuel and DraftKings.