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Illinois Sports Betting: Best Illinois Sportsbooks (February 2024)

Written by: Richard Janvrin
12 min read

Sports betting is legal in Illinois

Legal retail and online sports betting in Illinois became a reality in June 2019,  and customers who are 21+ and physically located inside Illinois can choose from eight online sportsbooks right now. We have personally tested and reviewed every legal IL online sportsbook, and our findings, including recommendations for the best sign-up bonuses, are right here.

Logo #1

FanDuel

4.8/5

Bet $5, Get $150 in Bonus Bets

21+ | Terms and conditions apply

🔥 Claimed by 107 people this week!

Logo #2

Caesars

4.3/5

$1,000 First Bet on Caesars

21+ | T&Cs Apply. Gambling problem? Call or text 1-800-GAMBLER.

🔥 Claimed by 160 people this week!

Logo #3

BetMGM

4.4/5

Bet $5, Get $150 in Bonus Bets

21+ | T&Cs apply. *Bonus Bets Expire in 7 Days. One New Customer Offer Only. Add’l terms.

🔥 Claimed by 35 people this week!

Logo #4

DraftKings

4.8/5

Get a No Sweat First Bet up to $1,000

21+ | T&Cs apply

Logo #5

BetRivers

4.1/5

$500 Bonus Bet

21+ | VA only | Gambling problem? Call 1-800-532-3500

How We Rated the Top Illinois Sportsbook Sites

Our team of dedicated experts spends hours upon hours using the sports betting platforms themselves. This means we are able to provide detailed information to Illinois online sports bettors that has been personally tested, vetted, and verified. We know that new online sportsbook customers want to enjoy the best user experience and sign-up deals when deciding where to place wagers online, and that’s what we want to facilitate.

Below are the six most important factors that go into our process of evaluating sports betting sites. Our experts are each tasked with spending two hours on each factor before submitting a final review for any online sportsbook.

  1. Overall Customer Experience:  How enjoyable is the service as a whole? Do customers look forward to using the online sportsbook to place wagers? What is the design like from an aesthetic perspective? This category includes everything from our in-house testing on different devices (desktop PCs, smartphones, and tablets) to how many steps it takes to actually place a bet. 

  2. Features: Our team methodically explores every feature a site has to offer, including providing customers with versatile virtual bet slips, unique betting markets, and any interesting extras like picking services or betting tips. This category also includes how many “bells and whistles” each online sportsbook has and how consistently they function overall.

  3. Promotions:  We personally opt into every bonus available at every sportsbook we review. We complete the wagering requirements and figure out how easy it is to withdraw our winnings from a bonus bet. This allows us to provide information that is precise, relevant, and verified. As a result, new customers know exactly what to expect when signing up for a welcome bonus, as the process has already been experienced by our reviewers. Playthrough requirements, time limits to clear a bonus, and overall bonus value are all considered within this category.

  4. Deposits & Withdrawals:  A member of our team tests out every single deposit method. We see how long both deposits and cashouts take if there are any fees for withdrawals, and if the sportsbook offers multiple online banking options for transactions. We consider how convenient the sportsbook makes it for customers to make a deposit and how long it takes to receive funds upon making a withdrawal request. The variety of payment methods for deposits and withdrawals is also reviewed in this category.

  5. Customer Support:  Can you reach a human customer service agent through various methods? Does the online sportsbook provide customer support telephone numbers, emails, and live chat modules? How extensive is the online sportsbook’s FAQ section, and how long does it take for customers to receive a reply once a customer service request has been submitted? Our team answers these questions so you know ahead of time. 

  6. Responsible Gaming:  Does the sportsbook give customers numerous options to set deposit limits, time-on-site limits, and an opportunity to take a temporary “cooling off” period (self-exclusion) to avoid chasing losses during a bad run? The more options customers have to customize their activity in terms of responsible gaming, the higher an online sportsbook will be graded within this category. We also want to see links to external support organizations.

To summarize, the online sportsbook ratings that we provide are the result of comprehensive reviews that are continuously revised and updated post-publication. Our team dedicates at least 5 hours per month to keeping our reviews up to date. 

Why You Should Trust Us

Our reviewers are all fans of sports betting, first and foremost. Whether it’s testing and verifying an online sportsbook’s features or double-checking bonus terms and conditions, our team does the hard work so you don’t have to. Our love for sports betting means we have been betting online since the early days of the internet, and we know what it takes to make a great online betting site. 

Our reviewers have spent hundreds of hours on online sportsbooks in Illinois and around the US. All of that experience and everything we find, both positive and negative, goes into our reviews.

Sports Betting Illinois

In-Depth Look at the Best Online Sportsbooks in Illinois

1. FanDuel Sportsbook

Best for: Mobile App

Whatever metric you use to judge it, FanDuel is one of the very best sportsbooks in Illinois. If you want an excellent all-around betting app and site, this is the sportsbook for you.

Smart device users who sign up for a new FanDuel Sportsbook IL account will immediately be in for a treat, as the software is feature-rich and easy to use for online sports bettors. Whether you’re intimately familiar with most of the online sportsbook mobile apps or are a first-time online sports bettor, the FanDuel app has a user-friendly interface that will quickly guide you to your desired market. Android users can download the FanDuel Sportsbook IL app from the Google Play Store, while the iOS version for iPhones and tablets is available directly from the App Store. Both are incredibly well-reviewed, and the 4.8/5 in the App Store is the highest in the country.

FanDuel also offers a generous welcome bonus for Illinois sports bettors. Create a new verified account, and upon placing your first moneyline bet of at least $5 that wins, you can receive up to $150 in bonus bets.

Pros

  • An excellent $200 welcome bonus for just $5

  • Top-tier mobile app with accessibility for desktop users as well

  • Excellent refer-a-friend offer

Cons

  • Customer support is available via email and FAQ page only (no live chat)

  • The rewards program could be fleshed out more

Read our complete FanDuel Sportsbook IL review for additional details.

FanDuel promo offer

2. BetMGM Sportsbook

Best for: Cross promotions with land-based MGM resorts

BetMGM Sportsbook has the highest number of betting markets in the entire industry. If you’re looking for a platform to bet on the likes of Teasers, Odds Boosts, Parlays, and SGPs, BetMGM is ideal.

Another great thing about BetMGM is how the online site is tied to the brand’s retail casinos through MGM Rewards. This gives the sportsbook’s reward program a step up on the competition, especially if you’re a frequent flier who sometimes stays the weekend at one of BetMGM’s world-class resort casino properties. 

If you’re a sports fan who loves watching sports via the internet, you’ll be happy to learn that the BetMGM Sportsbook allows for live streaming within its licensed Illinois app. This provides an extra incentive for customers to place real money wagers and then stream the actual sports contest as it happens.

Sign up for a new BetMGM Sportsbook Illinois account via our link to get $150 in bonus bets after betting just $5

BetMGM has a very detailed FAQ section within its app, and you can also contact customer support at any time via the 24/7 live chat feature.

Pros

  • Solid $158 welcome bonus

  • Great deals at MGM retail properties via MGM Rewards

  • 24/7 customer service with a built-in live chat module 

Cons

  • Seasonal promotions could use an overhaul

  • Betting history features and tracking are limited

Learn more about BetMGM Sportsbook IL by reading our full review.

BetMGM Promo Offer

3. Caesars Sportsbook

Best for:  Caesars Rewards

The Caesars Rewards program is the best of its class, with multiple tiers that reward high-volume players with discounted stays at Caesars properties across the country and around the world. If you have intentions or ambitions of spending time at a Caesar property in the future, becoming a member of the Caesars Rewards program is a no-brainer.

The main Caesars Sportsbook IL app isn’t too shabby, either. The layout is easy to grasp, even for beginning sports bettors. The site offers all the sports betting markets that one would expect, including a great live section. We like the red notifications that are always visible in the menu, showing you how many live events are available to bet on at any time.

The Caesars Sportsbook Illinois offers one of the most generous welcome bonuses in the market: your first bet covered with a Second Chance up to $1,000 offer. The sign-up promotion is very simple: your first wager – up to a maximum of $1,000 – will be refunded in case of a loss in the form of Bonus Credits. And like BetMGM’s offer, if your first bet wins, you’re all set! Enjoy the winning payout. All you have to do is sign up using our link and a special promo code - WSN1000.

Once your new Caesars Sportsbook account has been verified, you will automatically receive 1,000 Tier Points, which can be used for Caesars Rewards prizes that range from free hotel stays to discounted shows at branded retail properties. The Caesars Rewards points can likewise be used for Bonus Bets once a customer has achieved one of the higher tiers. 

Pros

  • Excellent Caesars Rewards program 

  • First sports bet covered up to $1,000 for new sign-ups

  • Sleek yet practical user interface; ideal for sports bettors of all skill levels

Cons

  • Customer service is limited to email and FAQ section (no live chat module)

  • Lack of recurring promotions during pro sports off-seasons

Read our full Caesars Sportsbook review for more details. 

Caesars Illinois Promo

3. DraftKings Sportsbook

Best for: Very Accessible Minimum Deposit Amount

DraftKings is one of the most recognizable names in the DFS and online sports betting business, thanks to its broad licensing and advertising within the United States. If you’re seeking a feature-rich platform with toggles and customizable layouts, you’re in for a bonafide treat with the DraftKings app.

There’s not much you can't do on the DraftKings Sportsbook in terms of online sports betting and wagering. It even has a built-in online casino service in the handful of northeastern states that have regulated the activity. 

New DraftKings Sportsbook IL customers are in for a treat if they’re looking to get their hands on a budget-friendly deal that is applicable to all bankrolls. First time sign ups can get up to $1,000 in Bonus Bets if their first bet loses.

DraftKings IL has one of the most attractive bonuses and promos in the legal online sports betting market. DraftKings welcome bonus allows new sports bettors to explore all the features this operator has to offer for an extremely low minimum deposit and first wager requirement. It’s the only sportsbook in Illinois that lets you make a $5 deposit. 

Pros

  • Minimum deposit amount of only $5

  • $200 in Bonus Bets upon placing first wager of at least $5

  • Complete package in terms of software and interface

Cons

  • No live chat module for customer service – must consult FAQ sheet

  • Needs more in-app live streaming options for customers

To learn more about what our experts think of DraftKings check out our review.

Lebron James Super Bowl Bet DraftKings

4. BetRivers Sportsbook

Best for: Bonus playthrough requirements (1x)

BetRivers Sportsbook IL has the most forgiving bonus playthrough requirements in Illinois. You will only need to wager through the bonus once before it can be withdrawn. If you want to receive the full benefit of bonus cash without having to play through the promotional amount multiple times, then BetRivers is a great start for beginning sports bettors.

BetRivers is also known to host a steady flow of seasonal bonuses during the NFL, NBA, NHL, and MLB regular seasons and throughout the postseason. It’s genuinely fun to log in every week or a few days to check out the latest updated promos. However, if you’re a mobile device user who is on an Android device, keep in mind that the BetRivers Sportsbook app could still use a bit of work and is not as sleek as its competition. 

All in all, the opportunity to get $500 in Second Chance Bonus Bets (if your first wager up to $500 loses) is a great promo for beginning sports bettors who want to move some of their action online. The software itself could use a facelift on both the desktop version and mobile app. Other than that, you’ll find all of your favorite betting markets and games to place wagers on.

Pros

  • 1x playthrough requirement for most bonus bets

  • Full customer service options, including a live chat module

  • Excellent regular promotions offered throughout the year

Cons 

  • Poor mobile app for Android users

  • Bonuses tend to be lower in value compared to competition

Take a closer look at our full BetRivers Sportsbook review.

BetRivers Illinois Promo

Full List of Legal Sportsbooks in Illinois

Below is a complete list of all 8 legal online sportsbooks in Illinois.

  1. FanDuel

  2. BetMGM

  3. Caesars

  4. DraftKings

  5. BetRivers

  6. PointsBet

  7. ESPN BET (formerly Barstool)

  8. Circa Sportsbook

Illinois Online Sports Betting Sites

Online SportsbookRetail PartnerMobile AppOnline CasinoLaunch Date
FanDuel SportsbookFanDuel Sportsbook & Horse RacingxAugust 2020
BetMGM(online only)xMarch 2022
CaesarsGrand Victoria CasinoxSeptember 2020
DraftKingsTPC Scottsdale / PGA TourxAugust 2020
BetRiversMountaineer ParkxJune 2020
PointsBetHawthorne Race CoursexSeptember 2020
ESPN BETHollywood CasinoxNovember 2023
Circa SportsbookAmerican Place CasinoxSeptember 2023

Illinois Retail Sportsbooks

SportsbookRetail PartnerAddressPhone Number
BetRivers SportsbookMountaineer Park1420 Mountaineer Cir, New Cumberland, WV 26047(800) 804-0468
FanDuelPar-A-Dice Hotel Casino21 Blackjack Boulevard, East Peoria, IL 61611(309) 699-7711
CaesarsGrand Victoria Casino250 South Grove Avenue, Elgin, IL 60120(847) 468-7000
DraftKingsCasino Queen200 South Front Street, East St. Louis, IL 62201(618) 874-5000
PointsBetHawthorne Race Course3501 South Laramie Avenue, Cicero, IL 60804(708) 780-3700
ESPN BET Hollywood Casino777 Hollywood Boulevard, Joliet, IL 604364(888) 436-7737
Circa SportsbookAmerican Place Casino4011 Fountain Square Place, Waukegan, IL(773) 477-9515

Is Sports Betting Legal in Illinois?

Yes. Sports betting is legal and regulated within the state of Illinois. The activity was formally authorized for both retail and online on June 28, 2019, when Illinois Governor J.B. Pritzker signed Senate Bill 690 into law. 

The first online sports betting site to go live in Illinois was BetRivers, which commenced operations on June 18, 2020. The first retail sports bet ever placed within the state of Illinois occurred on March 9, 2020, at Rivers Casino.

There are eight legal, regulated online sportsbooks licensed to operate in the Prairie State. A number of retail sportsbooks can also be found in land-based casinos and sports betting kiosks.

The minimum age to bet on sports while inside the physical borders of Illinois is 21. The minimum age requirement is typically verified—both live and online—through the use of an official photo ID along with other information that is requested by the sports betting service.

How to Get Started

It’s not difficult to sign up for an online sports betting account and get started placing wagers online. If you’re a first-time customer, there are a few steps that you’ll need to take in order to set up your account

  1. Choose an IL online sportsbook to sign up for. Make sure that you are physically located within Illinois at the time of sign-up and when placing online sports bets. If you click on any of our sign-up links above, we will ensure that you are eligible for the advertised welcome bonus, as long as this is your first time signing up with the sportsbook.

  1. Fill out your account details to create an account. The information required to open an Illinois online sportsbook account includes your full name, date of birth, physical address, email, telephone number, and your U.S. Social Security Number (SSN). This information is requested by all legal IL sportsbooks when registering for a new online account.

  1. Get your welcome bonus. Each online sportsbook will have a slightly different process for claiming welcome bonuses, as well as different play-through requirements. Read the promotional material and follow the steps that are stipulated – including entering any relevant bonus code – to become eligible for your new account bonus. If you sign up via our links, we can help with claiming your bonus. If you’ve already signed up for an account with the sportsbook (even if you were in another state), you will not be eligible for the welcome bonus.

  1. Deposit some money. Most Illinois sportsbooks require a minimum deposit of at least $10, with the exception of DraftKings IL, which will allow a $5 minimum deposit. The sportsbooks in Illinois all offer multiple payment options for deposits. The deposit process at all our recommended sites above is simple and smooth, whatever method you choose.

  1. Place your very first wager on the sportsbook’s site or app. You can browse the list of betting markets and add your selection to the betslip to lock it in. Make sure that the wager amount is in line with the terms and conditions of the welcome. For example, most “Odds Boosts” wagers are normally not eligible for promotional bonus bets, and huge favorites are often restricted in terms of clearing bonuses. Bonus bets for second-chance offers generally appear in your account within 48 hours of the original wager’s conclusion.

  1. Complete the bonus requirements and withdraw your winnings. If there is a time limit on claiming your bonus bets, make sure to fulfill the playthrough requirements within the stipulated time period in order to subsequently make those funds available for withdrawal.

Illinois Sportsbook Promos

Check out the top welcome bonuses from Illinois sportsbooks below:

SportsbookSign Up OfferPromo Code
FanDuelBet $5, Get $150 in Bonus BetsClick to claim
Caesars Sportsbook$1,000 Second Chance  BetClick to claim and use promo code: WSN1000
DraftKingsNo Sweat First Bet up to $1,000Click to claim
BetMGMBet $5, Get $150 in Bonus BetsClick to claim
BetRivers$500 in Bonus BetsClick to claim and use promo code: WSNMGM

Online sportsbooks in Illinois provide new customers with multiple incentives to sign up and try the service. These welcome bonuses can vary greatly for each sportsbook. Below is a list – along with explanations – of the welcome offers that are generally advertised to new account holders.

Bonus Bets

Think of Bonus Bets as betting vouchers. These are usually offered to first-time customers following an initial wager and need to be used within a specific time period in order to become eligible for cashout. 

One important note about Bonus Bets is that the customer will usually need to wager-through the promotional amount one or more times over before the winning funds can be withdrawn.

Second Chance Bets

Second Chance Bets are distinct from Bonus Bets because they are only awarded if the first wager is unsuccessful. For example, if your initial bet is graded as a winner, then the Second Chance Bet promo will not apply – and you can continue wagering online after receiving the payout for the winning bet. 

Second Chance Bets are usually awarded for the exact amount of the initial wager, like a refund. Whether these promotional bets can be used for multiple events or need to be wagered all at once will depend on the sportsbook that you signed up for.

Deposit Match Bonuses

These welcome offers match a percentage of your initial real money deposit in Bonus Bets or Credits. Some online sportsbooks will give you a 100% first deposit bonus up to a certain amount – which means the bonus will be more valuable depending on how large your initial deposit is. 

For example, a 100% Deposit Match Bonus up to $1,000 will only award $20 in Bonus Credits if your first deposit was $20. However, if you deposit $1,000, you’ll receive an extra $1,000 in Bonus Credits.

No Deposit Bonuses

You can receive this type of welcome offer without making a real money deposit. It’s basically a one-off free bet in exchange for signing up. Bonus Credits will be awarded to your new account for free, but you will still need to play through the bonus amount (sometimes multiple times, depending on the sportsbook) before you can withdraw your winnings.

What Mobile Sports Betting Apps Are Available in Illinois?

All licensed Illinois sportsbooks have mobile apps in addition to their desktop sites. If you’re an individual who is constantly on the go and wishes to place sports bets online, you’ll want to choose a sportsbook that offers a state-of-the-art mobile app to its customers.

Below is a list of the best online sportsbook mobile apps that are available in the Illinois market – along with individual ratings for each app for iOS and Android users.

  1. FanDuel - 4.8/5 (iOS); 4.7/5 (Android)

  2. BetMGM - 4.8/5 (iOS); 4.2/5 (Android)

  3. Caesars - 4.6/5 (iOS); 4.3/5 (Android)

  4. DraftKings - 4.8/5 (iOS); 4.6/5 (Android)  

  5. BetRivers - 4.4/5 (iOS); 3.5/5 (Android)

What Betting Markets Are Available in Illinois?

Betting markets – also known as the different types of wagers you can place – are very plentiful within the IL online sportsbook market. In fact, it’s more difficult to find a betting market that is NOT offered when it comes to professional sports events. 

Here is a list of the typical betting markets that you will find available at your favorite Illinois online sportsbooks, along with a brief description of each.

Moneylines

A moneyline bet is a prediction on which team will win a game or contest. Of course, not all teams are evenly matched. This is why moneyline bets include favorites and underdogs determined by the odds. For example:

  • Carolina Panthers (+250)

  • Philadelphia Eagles (-315)

In this hypothetical NFL matchup, we can see that a $100 wager on the Carolina Panthers TO WIN (without any help from a point spread) will pay $250 in profits if the Panthers come out on top. 

Consequently, a $315 wager on the Eagles TO WIN will award $100 in profits if Philadelphia beats Carolina. In this scenario, the Eagles are significant favorites, while the Panthers are big moneyline underdogs.

A moneyline bet is among the most basic of betting markets. It is easy to understand and extremely popular among both beginning sports bettors and sharps. 

Point Spreads

Point spreads are likewise very common at legal sportsbooks in Illinois. They take into account the amount of points that a selected team wins or loses by.

  • Carolina Panthers +8.5  (-115)

  • Philadelphia Eagles -8.5  (-115)

In this example, a wager on the Carolina Panthers to not lose by more than 8 points will pay $100 for a $115 wager. And a bet on the Philadelphia Eagles to win by at least 9 points will likewise award $100 for every $115 that is committed.

A 30-22 Eagles victory would be enough to win a point spread bet on the Panthers, while a 31-22 Eagles victory would be a winner if you bet on the Eagles.

The payout odds for a Point Spread bet are usually much closer than the disparity in payout amounts between favorites and underdogs on the moneyline. 

Totals

The totals betting market features an Over/Under on the total amount of points that will be scored for the specified sports contest. While these bets can be broken down by period or half, the most common form of a Totals bet is one that is placed on the final score. 

  • Panthers vs. Eagles (O/U 52.5) (-115)

If the total combined final score eclipses 52.5 points, then bettors who wagered on the OVER will receive $100 for every $115 wagered. If the total combined final score is less than 52.5, then those who wagered on the UNDER will receive $100 for every $115 that was bet..

A Totals bet completely disregards which team wins or loses. If the final score is 52-0 in favor of either team, then the UNDER will win. If the final score is 53-0, then the OVER will win – regardless of which team actually won the contest.

Prop Bets

Prop Bets are among the more entertaining wagers available in the Illinois sports betting market. A proposition bet normally involves predicting whether a team or player will hit or miss a specific, stats-based benchmark over the duration of a sports contest or season.

  • Jalen Hurts: 1.5 TD Passes (Over/Under 1.5) (-115)

Basically, this bet is based exclusively on the performance of Jalen Hurts as it refers to touchdown passes. If this QB throws for zero or only one touchdown over the course of the entire game, then the UNDER will be victorious. If Hurts throws for two or more TD passes, the OVER wager will be graded as a winner.

Prop bets can become pretty involved – especially when they form part of a longer odds “parlay” bet. More on that below.

Parlays

A parlay bet is a combination of individual wagers that are all required to be successful in order to receive a relatively hefty payout. Parlays often award huge odds to winners due to how difficult it can be for all “legs” of the overall wager to come through.

  • +1440   Philadelphia Eagles vs. Carolina Panthers PARLAY BET

  • Philadelphia -8.5 (and)

  • Jalen Hurts +1.5 TD Passes (and)

  • Over 52.5 Total Points (and)

  • Jalen Hurts +260.5 Passing Yards

If one “leg” or part of this wager is not achieved, the entire wager is graded as a loss. However, if all four legs of this hypothetical parlay wager do indeed hit, then the individual who placed this parlay bet can likely expect a payout in excess of fourteen times the original wager. 

So let’s say that the Eagles win by a final score of 35-21, with Jalen Hurts throwing for 255 Passing Yards along with 3 TD passes. The outcome of the wager would be graded as a loss because Jalen Hurts did not eclipse 260.5 passing yards. Even if the Eagles covered the stipulated point spread, and even if the total points OVER “leg” was achieved, plus Jalen Hurts throwing for three touchdown passes. To win a parlay, every leg must be correct. 

Futures

A Futures Bet is aimed at predicting how an individual player or team will perform in the days, weeks, or months to come. Think of a futures wager as a “milestone” bet, normally on the overall winner of a competition.

  • Philadelphia Eagles to win Super Bowl (+700)

In this example, the Futures wager will only pay out if the Eagles end their season with a Super Bowl victory. Anything less, such as being eliminated in the Playoffs or not making the postseason at all, would mean this wager is unsuccessful. 

So if Philadelphia does win the Super Bowl, this wager will award $700 for every $100 wagered.

Live Betting

Live betting involves betting on sports as they happen in real time. At its most granular, you’re placing a wager on whether a specific baseball pitch will be a strike or a ball – who will win a single point in a tennis match, and so on. 

Live odds are changing all the time as the game progresses. Here’s an example:

  • Philadelphia Eagles: 3rd Down & 7 at Eagles 38 Yard Line

  • Pass Play (-330) -OR- Run Play (+400)

What Can’t You Bet On in Illinois?

The following wagers are NOT allowed in Illinois.

  • In-State college teams

  • Collegiate proposition bets

  • Amateur sports (grade school, intramurals, Little League, Pop Warner, etc.)

  • Political elections, including voter turnout or passage/failure of proposals

  • Scripted event outcomes (professional wrestling, awards ceremonies, etc.)

  • Entertainment venues/events (total attendance, order or playlist, etc.)

  • Non-sanctioned and/or non-sporting contests

College Sports Betting in Illinois

You can bet on college sports in Illinois but can’t place any wagers on in-state collegiate teams. Proposition bets on any collegiate team or player are also restricted in the state of Illinois.

The list below includes a few of the more well-known NCAA Division I college teams that call the state of Illinois their home.

  • Illinois Fighting Illini

  • Illinois State Redbirds

  • DePaul Blue Demons

  • Eastern Illinois Panthers

  • Northwestern Wildcats

  • Loyola Ramblers

  • Northern Illinois Huskies

  • Southern Illinois Salukis

Betting on college sports is completely legal in Illinois (aside from prop bets), except if the team’s home university is located within the boundaries of Illinois’ borders. 

Illinois Sports Betting Facts

Illinois Sports Betting Quick Facts
Online launch dateJune 18, 2020
Legal betting age21+
Retail tax rate15%
Online tax rate15%
Retail sportsbooks15
Online sportsbooks8
Betting on College Sports✓ (in-state college team bets prohibited)
Online casinox
Online pokerx

How Does Illinois Online Sports Betting Compare to Other States?

Before March 2022, visiting a land-based casino and signing-up in person was a requirement for all online sports betting accounts in the state. Once the specter of in-person registration was officially lifted, Illinois residents and visitors who are 21 years of age or older can now register exclusively online - as is the case in most US states with legal gambling, including the likes of NJ and PA.

Due to Illinois’ relatively large population compared to other states, it ranks among the Top 3 overall in both sports betting handle and revenue. Only New Jersey and New York have attracted more overall handle in their respective legal sports betting markets compared to Illinois.

Illinois achieved $9.7 billion in total handle during the 2022 calendar year. New Jersey took in $10.9 billion in total sports bets during that year, and New York topped the nation with a $16.28 billion total handle in 2022.

Historically, sports betting “hold” for the state of Illinois has been just over 8%. This is a significantly higher net revenue rate compared to states like Nevada, but it pales in comparison to the massive 13% hold that the state of Ohio has enjoyed. Delaware is the highest-grossing sports betting state in terms of “hold” by a wide margin. Delaware turns almost a 20% profit from legal sports betting on average. 

The blanket betting ban on in-state college teams generally doesn’t impact Illinois as much as it could (or already does) in other states. This is likely due to a relative lack of popular NCAA Division I “powerhouse” athletic programs located within the state when compared to other jurisdictions.

Illinois Sports Betting Latest News

Legal retail sports betting became a reality within the state of Illinois back in June 2019, but the first land-based legal IL sports bet was placed in March 2020. BetRivers was the first online sportsbook to accept a legal bet on June 18, 2020.

Check out a timeline of the industry below: 

  • Feb. 9, 2024 - iGaming bills, HB 2239 and SB1656, have been reassigned to the House Gaming Committee.

  • Jan. 23, 2024 - Bally’s will have to redesign its planned Chicago casino due to foundation issues. The facility was planned to be a 500-room hotel tower.

  • Jan. 17, 2024 - Sports betting handle in Illinois reached $1.3 billion in November.

  • Jan. 3, 2024 - Caesars Racebook goes live in Illinois.

  • Dec. 28, 2023 - Bally's temporary Chicago casino at the Medinah Temple in River North is now open 24/7.

  • Nov. 29, 2023 - PENN Entertainment started construction on Hollywood Casino Aurora, which will replace the existing riverboat casino.

  • Nov. 14, 2023: ESPN BET opens for business in Illinois. ESPN BET is a rebranding of Barstool Sports and will operate under the corporate umbrella of Penn National Gaming.

  • Sept. 29, 2023: Circa Sportsbook becomes the first Illinois online sportsbook to launch in 18 months when BetMGM entered the legal IL online sports betting space in March 2022.

  • August 2023:  The state of Illinois surpasses $25 billion in all-time handle for legal sports betting. The state also eclipses the $2 billion mark for Adjusted Gross Revenue (hold).

  • March 2023:  Illinois sets its own record after announcing four consecutive months of legal sports betting handle in excess of $1 billion.

  • Jan. 25, 2023:  An amendment to the Illinois Sports Wagering Act is proposed that would allow for peer-to-peer exchange wagering within the legal statewide sports betting market.

Is Daily Fantasy Sports Legal in Illinois?

In a de-facto sense, yes it is. Despite there being no official law authorizing Daily Fantasy Sports (DFS) activities in Illinois, plenty of online sports bettors use the existing portals from DFS behemoths FanDuel and DraftKings to place real money DFS wagers within the state.

If you’d like to participate in Daily Fantasy Sports contests in Illinois, then DraftKings and FanDuel both offer this service online – despite the ambiguity surrounding its state-based legality.

Sports Teams in Illinois

Depending on which sports you count, there are a total of nine professional, “major league” sports teams located in Illinois. There is at least one professional football, basketball, baseball, hockey, rugby, and soccer team that has a hosting venue in the Prairie State.

  • Chicago Bears - One of the “oldest” NFL professional football teams, the Chicago Bears, was founded in the 1920 calendar year. Since then, it has won a combined total of nine NFL Championships, including a blowout win over the New England Patriots in Super Bowl XX.

  • Chicago White Sox - Established in the year 1900, the White Sox have won three World Series titles. Their most recent Major League Baseball championship season came in 2005, when they swept the Houston Astros 4 games to 0.

  • Chicago Cubs - The Cubs’ origins go all the way back to 1870. They similarly hold three World Series titles, with their most recent championship season being 2016. The Cubs overcame a 3-to-1 deficit to win the series over the Cleveland Guardians on November 2nd, 2016.

  • Chicago Bulls - The Bulls earned global headlines throughout the 1990s as a “super team” led by NBA Hall of Famer Michael Jordan that won six titles during that decade. Those six championship seasons featuring Jordan, Scottie Pippen, and Head Coach Phil Jackson represent the team’s only league titles since their 1966 inception.

  • Chicago Blackhawks - This team has been around the game of hockey for roughly a century. The Blackhawks have won the National Hockey League Stanley Cup six times, dating all the way back to 1933.

  • Chicago Sky - The Chicago Sky began playing games in the WNBA in 2006. The team’s lone championship was achieved in 2021 with a 3 games to 1 victory over the Phoenix Mercury.

  • Chicago Fire F.C. - This football club (soccer) began competing professionally in 1997. The Fire won the Major League Soccer Cup in 1998.

  • Chicago Red Stars - Founded in 2007, the Red Stars are one of the eight “charter” organizations to enter the National Women’s Soccer League in 2013. The Red Stars call the Chicago suburb of Bridgeview their home.

  • Chicago Hounds - This rugby union team operates out of Chicagoland and was founded in 2022. They compete in Major League Rugby games and hail from Bridgeview.

Illinois Sportsbook Partnerships

Official partnerships between professional teams and sportsbooks have become the norm throughout the country, and Illinois is no different. 

The United Center (where both the Bulls and Blackhawks play their home games) is the most prominent of the IL sportsbook partnerships that include professional teams. The retail sportsbook at the United Center is managed by FanDuel and allows for on-site sports wagers. 

The Chicago Cubs are partnered with DraftKings IL and likewise have a retail sportsbook on-site at Wrigley Field. In May 2022, the Chicago White Sox announced an official casino partnership with Caesars Sportsbook

In June 2022, the partnership between the Chicago Bears and BetRivers Sportsbook/Rivers Casino became official.

Safe and Responsible Gambling in Illinois

Resources to combat problem gambling and promote responsible gaming in Illinois have increased with the launch of legal sports betting within the state. Whether you’re seeking personal help for a gambling problem, concerned about a loved one’s gambling activity, or just want to learn more about RG initiatives, there are a number of websites and services that you can consult. 

The National Council on Problem Gambling (NCPG) hosts a 24/7, toll-free hotline, 1-800-GAMBLER, that can be called and accessed from anywhere within the United States. The NCPG also has a 24/7 live chat module and a list of resources that one can consult for professional assistance.

Locally, the Illinois Gaming Board (IGB) sponsors an anonymous Problem Gambling Registry that is relevant to both real money betting activity and video gaming. 

Regulated online sportsbooks that operate within the legal Illinois market are likewise expected to prioritize responsible gaming tools and initiatives for customers. These tools range from automated “toggle” controls to human communication and outreach.

  • Set Your Deposit Limits - Illinois sportsbooks allow customers to set a maximum deposit limit for a specific period of time. Customers can establish these limits ahead of time to ensure that they do not exceed their own budget.

  • Self-Exclusion - A temporary self-exclusion can be initiated directly by any online sportsbook customer in Illinois. Note that the precise time period of the exclusion may vary, and that the self-prompt “cooling off period” will apply to other sportsbooks and gaming facilities that are linked to the brand or operate within the state.

  • Reality Check - From time to time, a human professional who works on behalf of a legal Illinois sportsbook may “check-in” via telephone and/or email to consult you personally. These reality checks tend to occur when an individual customer exceeds their usual deposit limits or spends a significantly increased amount of time on the company’s sports betting app/website.

Illinois Sports Betting FAQ

Is sports betting legal in Illinois?

What online sportsbooks are available in Illinois?

Is Daily Fantasy Sports legal in Illinois?

How old do you need to be to bet on sports in Illinois?

Do I need to be inside the state of Illinois to place a bet?

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Richard Janvrin

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After graduating from the University of New Hampshire with a BA in Journalism, Richard Janvrin has been covering iGaming and sports betting since December 2018. Richard has covered betting at Bleacher Report, Gambling.com, The Game Day, Forbes, and more.

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