Illinois Sports Betting

Illinois Sports Betting

Latest Illinois sports betting news, best apps and promo offers

Yes, Illinois online sportsbooks are legal, live and available online throughout the state. Illinois sports bettors can now access the best sports betting apps in the US, sign up and bet from the comfort of their homes.

There are currently seven legal, regulated Illinois online sportsbooks sites for those who are 21 or older.

Here at Play Illinois, we have the latest on online sports betting in Illinois, and comparisons so you know what each IL sportsbook app brings to the table. Check below for all of the details.

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This week in Illinois

May 19, 2023

A closer look at how Circa Sportsbook operates in other states and what sports bettors can expect when Circa opens in Illinois.

Hawthorne-based Two Phil’s, who finished second in the Kentucky Derby, is providing a huge boost to the struggling Illinois horse racing industry.

Fanatics instantly becomes the fourth-biggest Illinois sportsbook thanks to its $150 million purchase of PointsBet’s US operations.

March Madness helped Illinois set a monthly sports betting record and rank second in the nation in both handle and revenue.

The Chicago Cubs are 19-24 are in Philadelphia for a weekend series.

The Chicago White Sox are 16-29 and playing host to the Royals over the weekend at Guaranteed Rate Field.


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Comparing the best Illinois sports betting apps

There are seven high-quality sportsbook apps in Illinois, but not all are created equal. Each offers its own set of innovations, unique features, benefits and bonuses. Some have loyalty programs that work at casinos. Others keep things competitive with odds.

Here are some features where certain sportsbooks stand out, including mini-reviews of the top 5 Illinois sports betting apps:

DraftKings Sportsbook Illinois

1. DraftKings Sportsbook

What We Think: The market leader in Illinois by handle, the DraftKings app is extremely easy to navigate and has a smooth interface. DraftKings consistently offers the most markets of any sportsbook and quickly gets lines up. Its search feature is also a nice perk that allows users to find their preferred game easily.


Caesars Sportsbook Illinois

2. Caesars Sportsbook

What We Think: Caesars brings with it an extensive list of markets and a host of experiences. While the app itself has some issues with lag time, speed, and navigation, Caesars does offer better juice on MLB lines than most sportsbooks.


3. BetMGM Sportsbook

What We Think: BetMGM has a very smooth customer experience and is known to cater to its local audience with boosts and promotions. Cashing out and depositing is especially easy, and it’s simple to find your preferred game or sport on the app.


BetRivers Sportsbook Illinois

5. BetRivers Sportsbook

What We Think: BetRivers quietly has some of the best profit boosts in the Illinois market, as you can receive 20% or more money on winning bets simply by logging into the app on certain days of the week. The official partner of the Chicago Bears, BetRivers is also known to offer Bears-centered promotions.


6. FanDuel Sportsbook

  • Download FanDuel
  • Ideal for Same Game Parlays
  • Partner Casino: FanDuel Sportsbook and Horse Racing

What We Think: If you’re a big fan of parlays, FanDuel is the place to go. Its Same Game Parlay feature is easy to use, and the app is very user-friendly in general. FanDuel also frequently offers odds boosts for the biggest games. Look out for some Chicago Bulls-specific promotions, as FanDuel is their official sports betting partner.


PointsBet Sportsbook Illinois

4. PointsBet Sportsbook

What We Think: PointsBet has extremely quick app loading times and has a very modern feel. The sportsbook has an extensive betting catalog that is easy to use. PointsBet is also known to offer better juice than the typical -110 vig you’ll see at most sportsbooks.

Snapshot of legal Illinois sports betting

Here are some fast facts about legal sports betting in the Prairie State:

  • Legalization of Sports Betting: June 2019
  • Online Launch: June 2020
  • Retail Sportsbooks Count: 11
  • 7 Online Sportsbooks Count
  • Legal Betting Age: 21
  • Registration Returned Online: March 5

Other apps coming to Illinois

Illinois sportsbook apps are anticipated to grow and expand. These brands are the most likely to arrive in 2023:

  • Bally Bet
  • Circa Sports
  • Unibet
  • WynnBet

How online sports betting works in Illinois

Illinois sports betting customers no longer have to visit a retail sportsbook in order to sign up for an IL sports betting app. Illinois online registration returned on March 5, 2022.

Registering online is a simple process that should take no more than a few minutes. Be sure to have any legal documents handy should you be asked to verify your age or location.

Let’s walk through the steps on how to sign up online for one of the seven sportsbooks in Illinois:

  1. Sign up for a new account.
  2. Utilize the promo/bonus code for the sportsbook.
  3. Deposit funds.
  4. Place a bet.

Bonuses and bonus bet offers

One of the most significant differences between online sportsbooks compared with retail is the prevalence of sportsbook bonuses. Because the competition is only a few clicks away, online sportsbooks have to work harder to keep customers interested, happy and loyal.

Online Sportsbook Bonus Offer Casino Partner Launch Date
DraftKings Sportsbook $1,200 Bonus DraftKings at Casino Queen Aug. 5, 2020
Caesars Sportsbook $1,250 + credits on Casears Grand Victoria Casino Aug. 3, 2021
BetMGM Sportsbook $1,000 First Bet Offer Par-A-Dice Casino March 5, 2022
BetRivers Sportsbook $500 Second-chance bet Rivers Casino June 18, 2020
FanDuel Sportsbook Up to $1,000 in bonus bets FanDuel Sportsbook and Horse Racing Aug. 28, 2020
PointsBet Sportsbook $250 In second-chance bets Hawthorne Race Course Sept. 12, 2020

Here are some of the most common types of promotions you’ll encounter at Illinois betting sites:

  • No Deposit Bonuses: This is one of the most favorable promotional offers. With the no deposit bonus, you don’t need to put down any money to benefit from it. Although it’s most commonly offered to new players to encourage them to create an account.
  • Deposit, Match, and Reload Bonuses: These bonuses operate similarly, with the sportsbook matching a part or the entirety of your deposit with its own funds. Typically, you’ll need to wager the bonus money to a certain extent before you’re able to withdraw it.
  • Cash-Back/Insurance: These are rewards intended to offset losses on particular wagers or throughout specific times. They are typically allocated for net losses exclusively; nevertheless, their maximum benefit is assisting you in breaking even.
  • Event Bonuses: These rewards are designated for individual or team accomplishments, such as specific types of goals or scores. They may offer a fixed sum for each occurrence during a game.
  • Loyalty Programs: These schemes offer rewards to customers for their ongoing support. Depending on the total amount you bet on the site, you can receive various benefits and bonuses.
  • Bonus bets: These coupons permit a specific value of wager on particular bets. The sportsbook usually offers these bonuses upon completion of certain designated tasks.

Live Illinois sports betting odds

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What you cannot bet on in Illinois

Sports bettors 21 years or older can bet on professional and collegiate sports in Illinois, as well as on international sporting events. But the law does impose some restrictions on certain types of wagers. Some states allow the following types of bets. However, in Illinois, sports operator licensees cannot accept wagers on:

  • A sporting event in the minor league
  • A sports event featuring a collegiate team from Illinois (only available on mobile, retail permitted)
  • A sports event for grades K-12
  • An event that is not related to professional, collegiate, or motor racing sports, or any other events approved by the IGB (a non-sports event).

That latter restriction against betting on non-sports events prohibits accepting wagers on events such as the Academy Awards (permitted in some states, like New Jersey and neighboring Indiana).

Additionally, there are some limits on the types of betting on college sports. Individual props are not allowed, nor is in-game betting on college events.

Chicago sports and teams

Illinois is home to eight major professional sports franchises, all of which are in Chicago. Illinois has been the home of several great sports teams in history. Here is a brief rundown of the major league teams that call the Prairie State home:

  • The Chicago Cubs, one of the original teams in the National League since 1876, won the 2016 World Series in the Major League Baseball (MLB).
  • The Chicago White Sox, originally named the White Stockings, clinched the 2005 World Series in Major League Baseball (MLB).
  • The Chicago Fire, an MLS team, secured the MLS Cup victory in 1998, which was their inaugural year. The team’s name pays homage to the infamous Chicago disaster, while their colors are a nod to those associated with fire departments.
  • The Chicago Bulls, an NBA team, triumphed in six NBA championships in the 1990s. This team is primarily known for having Michael Jordan, often considered the greatest basketball player of all time, as a part of their roster.
  • The Chicago Bears, a team in the NFL, have won nine NFL championships before the merger and one Super Bowl in 1985. They also have more players in the NFL Hall of Fame than any other team.
  • The Chicago Blackhawks, a team in the National Hockey League (NHL), have claimed victory in six Stanley Cup championships, with three of these wins occurring since 2010. The team is named after Ma-ka-tai-me-she-kia-kiak, a warrior from the Sauk Native American tribe.
  • The Chicago Red Stars, a team in the National Women’s Soccer League (NWSL), made their first appearance in the league finals in 2019. The team’s name was chosen through a fan vote.
  • The Chicago Sky (WNBA) clinified the conference championship in 2014. It’s one of the few WNBA teams that isn’t affiliated with an NBA team.

Retail sports betting in Illinois

Illinois is home to 11 sportsbooks at local casinos. Future sportsbooks in Chicago are in the works as well including venues at United Center, Soldier Field, and Wrigley Field. Here are the places where you can bet on sports in Illinois right now. In addition to the following, PointsBet hosts two retail locations via Club Hawthorne off-track betting sites.

  • Hollywood Casino, Aurora (Barstool)
  • BetRivers, Rivers Casino, Des Plaines
  • Caesars Grand Victoria Casino, Elgin
  • DraftKings at Casino Queen, East St. Louis
  • FanDuel’s Par-A-Dice Casino in East Peoria
  • Sportsbook & Horse Racing by FanDuel, Collinsville
  • PointsBet at Hawthorne Race Course, Stickney
  • Argosy Casino, Alton (Unibet)
  • Hollywood Casino, Joliet

Illinois sports betting history

Sports betting is legal in Illinois, both in retail locations and online. The Illinois Gaming Board regulates sports betting in the state. Casinos and racetracks can apply for a license to operate sportsbooks, but so can sports venues with a seating capacity of 17,000 or more. Since the launch in 2020, the state has grown by leaps and bounds, and that’s despite an in-person registration requirement. All-time, the state has seen more than $8 billion total bets. You can find more information about Illinois sports betting revenue here.

Read on for a brief rundown of all that has happened in Illinois sports betting since 2019:


The start of the NFL season in September had a huge impact on sports betting in the stateMonth-over-month, Illinois sports betting handle rose nearly $267 million or 47%. Illinois is second in the nation in 2022 revenue through September and third in handle.

In August, legal sports betting revenue in Illinois, from bets placed online only, surpassed $1 billion lifetime.

In July, Illinois surpassed $1 billion in lifetime, legal sports betting revenue and became the second-largest sports betting market in the United States.

On March 5, online sports betting registration became possible again in the Land of Lincoln. Also, BetMGM Sportsbook went live in Illinois.


Illinois recorded more than $7 billion in sports betting handle in 2021, which was the third-highest mark in the US. But Pritzker brought back in-person registration in April, and that policy lasted throughout the rest of the year. Barstool was the only new online sportsbook to launch.


In March, Rivers Casino accepted the first legal sports bet ahead of March Madness. Shortly thereafter, all Illinois casinos closed for several months due to the COVID-19 pandemic. But once sports leagues started up again in the summer, a few online sportsbooks launched. Illinois would have online registration from late August through the end of the year. In December, Illinois set a then-handle record of $491.7 million in bets.


Illinois Gov. JB Pritzker signed the Sports Wagering Act into law in June. The law included an 18-month “penalty box” provision, which would not allow online sports betting registration. Illinois sporting venues could apply for retail sports betting licenses, but betting on Illinois college teams would not be allowed.

Illinois sports betting FAQ


Yes, sports betting is legal in Illinois, thanks to the passage and signing of the Sports Wagering Act (230 ILCS 45) in 2019. It is legal for Illinois residents and visitors to participate in sports betting both online and in person.


There are now seven mobile sports betting apps in Illinois, including BetMGM, DraftKings and FanDuel, using your mobile devices. Or you can visit most Illinois casinos to bet at a retail sportsbook, including DraftKings at Casino Queen in East St. Louis, FanDuel Sportsbook & Horse Racing in Collinsville, Grand Victoria Casino in Elgin, and Hollywood Casino in Aurora.


Yes, DraftKings Sportsbook is legal in Illinois and launched both online and retail sportsbooks in August 2020.


Yes, the FanDuel Illinois Sportsbook app went live on Aug. 28, 2020.


Yes, the BetMGM Illinois sportsbook went online on March 5, 2022.


No. laying at an Illinois sportsbook from outside the state is prohibited. Sportsbooks are required to employ geolocation software to verify every player’s location on the site.

Sportsbooks that fail to comply with this requirement will risk fines and sanctions from oversight agencies. So, there will never be a time that the books will take out-of-state play lightly.


Yes, but only at retail locations. Online sportsbooks are prohibited from offering bets on Illinois college teams.


If you’re 21 or older, you can legally bet on sports in person and online. You must have a valid state ID in order to do so.