Illinois Sports Betting
Online sports betting and in-person sportsbooks are now live in Illinois.
Rivers Casino Des Plaines took the first legal Illinois sports wager on March 9, 2020. Online sports betting went live in the summer of 2020, and for now, accounts must be created and registered while at a physical casino.
As of April 3, you must visit a retail casino in Illinois to complete the sign-up process for an online sports betting account. Once that’s done, you can wager from anywhere within state lines.
Illinois Gambling Board
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Is sports betting legal in Illinois?
Legal, licensed and regulated
The state legislature passed a bill allowing for Illinois sports betting at riverboat casinos, horse racetracks and sports facilities in spring 2019. Gov. JB Pritzker, who helped push the complicated legislation passed the finish line, signed S 690 into law in June 2019.
As part of the law, three online-only sportsbook licenses will be available in late 2021. Illinois brick-and-mortar gambling facilities were given an 18-month head start to the online market. Although that head start has diminished as online brands have quickly signed deals with land-based partners to get up and running in Illinois.
The Illinois sports betting law also includes a 15% tax rate on gross gaming revenue and a cap of $10 million for a licensing fee that rises to $20 million for the online-only license.
What is legal to bet on in Illinois?
People within the borders of Illinois can now bet on professional, collegiate, and international sporting events.
The only legal requirements are that you are over 21, inside state lines, and not on a self-exclusion list. There is no requirement to be a permanent resident of Illinois.
There are some restrictions for betting:
- Bets can only be taken on sports, not on non-sporting competitions such as elections and the Oscars.
- Personnel involved in sports leagues (officials, coaches and so on) can’t bet on their own sports
- Wagers are not allowed on in-state collegiate teams.
Best sports betting apps in Illinois for 2021
BetRivers became the first online sportsbook to launch in Illinois on June 18, 2020. For a short time, people in Illinois could register an account online, make a deposit, and immediately start placing bets at BetRivers.
Gov. JB Pritzker responded to the realities of the coronavirus pandemic by issuing an executive order suspending the in-person registration requirement. The order superseded the law’s stipulation that people register for online sports betting accounts in-person for the first 18 months at least.
While he rescinded that order in July, it went back into effect in August and stayed that way until April of 2021, when he failed to renew his executive order. Illinois sports bettors must visit a casino or racetrack to complete registration.
Online sports betting got off to an interesting start in Illinois in 2020. For now, here are the apps available in the state:
- DraftKings Sportsbook
- FanDuel Sportsbook
- William Hill
All are available for people in Illinois to place wagers. As major sports start to get back underway in the US, additional Illinois sports betting apps are sure to come online. For now, the options for Illinois residents include:
Get up to $1,050 in bonuses, which includes a $50 free bet
Offers a live match tracker and custom betting carousel
DraftKings Sportsbook inked a deal with the Casino Queen in East St. Louis in order to offer sports betting in the state; right now, sportsbooks must partner with a land-based entity to offer mobile wagering. You can currently register your account from anywhere in the state but will need to visit the physical DraftKings at Casino Queen to verify your account before you can place bets online.
DraftKings has been one of the early leaders in the rapid expansion of US sports betting as it has launched online sportsbooks in a number of states.
Up to $1,000 in risk-free bet
Easy-to-use in-play betting feature to stream live games
FanDuel launched an online sports betting app in the summer of 2020 as well thanks to a deal with Par-A-Dice Casino in East Peoria. After looking like it may stay on the sidelines for a while, FanDuel quickly moved to launch and take advantage of the ability to sign up bettors remotely.
FanDuel is the top sportsbook in the country in terms of revenue and wagers taken.
New players receive up to $2,000 in bonuses with deposit
Provides a rewards program for regular sports bettors
PointsBet became the fourth app to launch in Illinois when it opened for business in September 2020. The Australian sportsbook opened its doors thanks to a partnership with Hawthorne Race Course, one of Illinois’ three racetracks.
PointsBet is unique in the sports betting landscape thanks to its signature product, the Points Bet. Players bet on an established mark, like a point spread or total, but are rewarded or penalized according to the distance the actual score is from the estimate.
Up to $250 bonus with your first deposit
Features a 1x playthrough requirement for bonuses
The first sports betting app in Illinois came from Rush Street Interactive, which is the online arm. Would-be bettors have to go to Rivers Casino Des Plaines near Chicago to register their BetRivers accounts under state law, although that is suspended by executive order at the moment.
BetRivers already offered online sports betting in a number of states, including New Jersey and Pennsylvania.
William Hill Sportsbook
One of the most ubiquitous sportsbooks in the legal US market started up its app in Illinois in time to take advantage of wagering during football season. The William Hill platform features bonuses and offers competitive with the other mobile IL sports betting apps.
Latest IL sports betting news
Illinois Sports Betting Latest Market To Report April Slowdown
It’s nearly mid-June, which means one thing: Illinois sports betting results from April are finally available. While Illinois has been one of the hottest markets in 2021, it could not escape the April slowdown caused by March Madness betting the prior month. Total handle was $537.2 million, down 15.2% from...