As a state, Illinois is no stranger to sports betting. Retail sports betting launched in March 2020, with mobile betting following suit within a few months. Illinois brings in a massive sports handle month-to-month, making it one of the most robust betting states in the industry. Now that customers can register for sports betting accounts online (as of March 5, 2022), the market in Illinois should continue growing steadily.
And as that happens, we want to help you identify the best sportsbook site Illinois has to offer. In the sections that follow, we'll examine the ins and outs of Illinois sports betting online, including its history, popular teams to bet on, an Illinois sports betting FAQ and much more.
Online Sports Betting in IL: Best Illinois Sports Betting Sites
There are seven online Illinois betting apps to pick from, but where do you start? Well, you can start right here by looking at our favorites — and the unique qualities that make them great.
1. BetMGM Illinois Sportsbook
Not only will new Illinois sports betting fans now have full access to online registration for Illinois betting sites, but they'll have a new online sportsbook Illinois to try out in the coming days! BetMGM has made Illinois its 16th licensed state for online sports betting. In Illinois, that means customers can experience the operator's highly-rated app, while enjoying a slew of recurring promotions and racking up points with MGM Rewards.
BetMGM Bonus Code Welcome Offer: Risk-free first bet worth up to $1,000
Live Since: March 5, 2022
States Available In: Arizona, Colorado, Connecticut, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Louisiana, Michigan, Mississippi, Nevada, New Jersey, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Virginia, West Virginia, Wyoming (and D.C.)
App Offered: Via the App Store and Google Play
2. Caesars Sportsbook Illinois
After initially entering the Illinois sports betting market under the William Hill name, Caesars Sportsbook has revamped its Illinois sports betting site and mobile app since the rebrand. Illinois sports bettors who sign up with Caesars Sportsbook IL should expect one of the biggest risk-free bet offers in the industry, as well as a selection of creative promotions for existing customers and an exciting rewards program. Grand Victoria Casino (in Elgin) houses Caesars Sportsbook's retail sportsbook Illinois.
Caesars Sportsbook Promo Code Welcome Offer: Up to $1,250 on Caesars + 1,000 Tier Credits and 1,000 Reward Credits
Live Since: August 2021
States Available In: Arizona, Colorado, Iowa, Indiana, Illinois, Kansas, Louisiana, Michigan, New Jersey, New York, Tennessee, Virginia, West Virginia (and D.C.)
App Offered: Via the App Store and Google Play
3. FanDuel Illinois Sportsbook
FanDuel Illinois Sportsbook is one of the foremost brands in the world of daily fantasy sports, but there's more to enjoy about this Illinois online sports gambling site than that. With a wide selection of sports to bet on and an Illinois sports betting app that's easy to use, you'll find that FanDuel is one of the best sports betting sites Illinois for rookie and veteran bettors alike.
In East Peoria, Par-A-Dice Casino offers FanDuel's retail IL sports gambling location — but there's another one seemingly on the way. FanDuel has partnered with the United Center (home of the Chicago Bulls and Chicago Blackhawks) to bring a multi-story FanDuel Sportsbook lounge to the arena.
FanDuel Promo Code Welcome Offer: $1,000 No Sweat First Bet
Live Since: August 2020
States Available In: Arizona, Colorado, Connecticut, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Louisiana, Michigan, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Virginia, West Virginia
App Offered: Via the App Store and Google Play
4. DraftKings Illinois Sportsbook
If you know anything about sports betting, there's a really good chance you've heard of DraftKings. The mega sports betting platform, based in Boston, helped gain extensive brand recognition through its daily fantasy sports platform, and its venture into sports wagering has continued that process. At DraftKings Sportsbook, Illinois sports bettors will find one of the most user-friendly IL online betting sites around. You can check out DraftKings IL's retail location, too, at Casino Queen in East St. Louis.
Given that the Chicago Cubs count DraftKings as their exclusive partner for sports betting and daily fantasy sports, it's not difficult to envision a retail location of DraftKings Sportsbook popping up at Wrigley Field sometime down the road.
DraftKings Promo Code Welcome Offer: First deposit match worth up to $1,000
Live Since: August 2020
States Available In: Arizona, Colorado, Connecticut, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Louisiana, Michigan, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Virginia, West Virginia, Wyoming
App Offered: Via the App Store and Google Play
5. BetRivers Illinois Sportsbook
One thing to know about BetRivers IL is that it led the way for all other Illinois sportsbooks. The first retail Illinois sports gambling wager came at BetRivers' Rivers Casino in Des Plaines on March 9, 2020. Roughly two months later, BetRivers' mobile sports betting Illinois app accepted the state's first online wager. Owned by Chicago-based Rush Street Interactive, BetRivers has local roots that set it apart from its online sports gambling Illinois competitors. The Illinois sportsbook app has tapped into that local connection by forming an exclusive sportsbook and casino partnership with the Chicago Bears.
BetRivers Promo Code Welcome Offer: First deposit match worth up to $250
Live Since: June 2020
States Available In: Arizona, Colorado, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Louisiana, Michigan, New York, Pennsylvania, Virginia
App Offered: Via the App Store and Google Play
Promo Codes for Illinois Sports Betting Sites
Every betting site in Illinois offers a welcome bonus of some kind, and some of those bonuses require a promo code. If you need a promo code to access a particular bonus, rest assured we'll provide it for you. In many cases, the promo codes grant you a bonus on your first deposit, a set value of free bets or a risk-free offering on your initial wager at the sportsbook. You can see the top sportsbook promo code offers above.
Bet on Sports in Illinois
We're confident that you'll find whatever sport you want to bet on at one or more of the legal sports betting apps in Illinois, whether it be Aussie Rules football, American football or anything in between. Here, we've listed the most popular leagues to bet on, along with a bring synopsis of what each one entails.
Football Betting (NFL)
The NFL is the king of live sports in North America, based on its TV audience, and it's the continental king of sports betting, too. No other league has as many prop bets and weekly specials as the NFL, which makes it an exceptionally popular market during the fall season. Autumn Sundays are jam-packed with action, and the Super Bowl is the crown jewel of the sports betting world.
Hockey Betting (NHL)
Hockey betting has a consistent "puck line" spread of +/- 1.5 goals, which sometimes makes moneyline wagering more enticing. The best nights of the week for NHL parlays are Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays. Be mindful of goalie matchups and see if either team is playing a long road trip (or is on the back end of a back-to-back slate).
Basketball Betting (NBA)
On any night, a superstar in the NBA can take over a game in a way that isn't replicable in other sports. Many bettors may have a favorite team, but it's also important to track which players are on hot streaks (and which ones are sitting out due to load management). For optimal NBA parlay opportunities, keep an eye on the Wednesday, Friday and Sunday schedules.
Baseball Betting (MLB)
One of MLB's greatest strengths in a sports betting sense is its volume of events (162-plus games for 30 teams over six months). We also enjoy the opportunities MLB provides for live betting, given how many stoppages there are for pitching changes and half-inning breaks.
Illinois Professional Sports Teams
Count yourself luck, Illinois sports betting fans. You've got a ton of local teams to root for and bet on, including at least one in each of the four major pro sports leagues (not many states can say that).
Chicago Cubs (MLB)
The Cubs' 2016 World Series title is well in the past now, as all of the core players have moved on to play elsewhere. Wrigleyville is now mired in a rebuild, but anything can happen in the unclaimed NL Central.
Chicago White Sox (MLB)
Could a championship team finally be emerging on the South Side? The White Sox took their time working through a rebuild, and now they're legit World Series contenders for the first time in 15 years. That's what a deep pitching staff and a surplus of young sluggers can do.
Chicago Bears (NFL)
Much of the hope for the faithful at Solider Field rests on the shoulders of quarterback Justin Fields, who the Bears traded up for in the 2021 NFL Draft. The stories Bears franchise hasn't won a playoff game in more than a decade.
Chicago Bulls (NBA)
In unexpected fashion, the Bulls are among the top teams in the Eastern Conference right now, and they've got a shot at their first 50-win season since 2014-15. A lot of that is thanks to DeMar DeRozan, a first-year Bull who's having his best NBA season at the ripe age of 32.
Chicago Blackhawks (NHL)
An epic dynasty in the early-2010s (three Stanley Cups between 2010-15) has given way to ineptitude of epic proportions. Since their 2015 Stanley Cup win, the Blackhawks haven't won a single playoff series and are currently on track to miss the playoffs for a fourth time in five years.
Chicago Fire (MLS)
The Fire won the MLS Cup in 1998 as an expansion team, though they've largely struggled in recent years. A new season recently got underway, bringing with it a new sense of hope.
Other Popular Betting Options for Illinois Bettors
Daily Fantasy Sports Betting
DFS giants such as DraftKings and FanDuel are operational within Illinois, thanks to a 2020 Illinois Supreme Court decision that found "some" daily fantasy sports contests to be games of skill.
Horse race wagering is legal in Illinois, with two racetracks — FanDuel Sportsbook and Horse Racing, and Hawthorne Race Course — offering live events to bet on now that Arlington International Racecourse is shuttered. There are also more than a dozen off-track betting locations throughout the state, which allow for horse race betting as well. Mobile horse race betting is legal too, through platforms such as TVG and TwinSpires.
Betting on elections is not permitted in Illinois.
Betting on eSports has not been authorized in Illinois to this point, but it hasn't been explicitly prohibited, either. So, while you can't bet on eSports right now, perhaps it will be allowed in the future.
Promotions & Offers At Illinois Online Sportsbooks
When you're looking for an Illinois betting site, take advantage of the fact that each IL sportsbook wants your business. That means they're going to throw a series of promotions and offers your way, so it's helpful to understand what each of those offers entails.
With a risk-free bet, customers are assured of winning something regardless of how their bet fares. If they win, they'll claim a cash profit. If they lose, they'll claim a refund of their initial stake, which is generally paid out in site credit. That credit can't be withdrawn, but winnings from it can be.
With a deposit match, customers receive a bonus on the value of their first deposit. It could be a full or partial match, paid out in cash or site credit.
With a code or link that is unique to each bettor, you can refer a friend and collect a bonus. When your friend signs up using your code or link, both you and the friend will receive some kind of reward (typically site credit).
How to Choose an Illinois-based Online Sportsbook
In addition to a welcome bonus, you'll want to choose an Illinois sportsbook that fits your preferences in a handful of critical categories. We've outlined some of those categories here.
Variety Of Bets Offered
Maybe you already have a preferred type of bet you like to place (or sport you like to bet on), and that's great! But we will always find value in sportsbooks that offer a wide variety of betting types and sports markets. Who knows, you could be exposed to something new that enhances your experience.
Competitive Lines and Odds
Not all lines and odds will be the same across Illinois sports betting apps, but the important thing is that they're competitive. We only review licensed and regulated Illinois sportsbooks, with the expectation that fair odds will be applied to the consumer. It helps that the Illinois online sports betting market is as competitive a market as it is, because that competition fuels fairness in the odds markets.
Frequency Of Betting Bonuses
Why settle for fewer bonuses when you can have more? Some Illinois sportsbooks offer recurring betting bonuses every week, which can make sports gambling even more fun. If your Illinois sports betting site is lacking in betting bonuses for its existing customers, it could be time to switch.
Ease Of Deposits and Withdrawal
Fortunately, most Illinois online sports betting apps have a similar baseline of banking options, which include credit and debit cards (for deposits), as well as PayPal, banking transfers, Play+ cards and more. We'll go through the best banking options at Illinois sportsbooks in a later section.
You may not think much about customer support — until you have to use it. Phone support, email services and live chat, along with FAQ articles, are the forms of customer support we most often look for at Illinois sports betting apps.
Bet Types & Sports Wagers At Legal Illinois Sportsbooks
Predict which team will secure an outright win. Odds at Illinois online sports betting sites will be shown as minus-odds for favorites, such as -150, and plus-odds for underdogs, like +200. Minus-odds represent how much you must wager to win $100; positive odds are the profits you'd reap from a $100 bet.
Predict whether the total score of a game will be over or under the predetermined total provided by the sportsbook.
Predict which team will "win" based on the predetermined margin of victory or defeat laid out by the Illinois online sports betting site. If the Bears are -7.5-point underdogs, and they lose by four points, they'll cover the spread (and thus "win" the bet).
Group two or more individual wagers together onto one bet slip, with the understanding that each wager must succeed for the parlay as a whole to succeed. Your risk will increase when you bet this way, but so will your reward.
Predict an event that will take place sometime in the future. It could be days away, but more often it's weeks or months (e.g., Super Bowl champion or NBA MVP). NFL futures are typically the most popular on betting apps in Illinois.
Predict whether an event will occur or not occur, such as a two-point conversion in football or a goal in the first 10 minutes of a hockey game. There are player props for many sports, too, including anytime home run hitters in baseball and over/under lines or assists in basketball.
Illinois Sportsbook Revenue Projection
From March 2020 through December 2021 (the most current data we could gather), nearly $9 billion worth of sports wagers have been placed in the state of Illinois. Throughout 2021, the revenue generated by sports betting IL generally ranged from $30-50 million per month, with a high of $78.2 million (November) and a low of $26.8 million (August).
Illinois Legal Online Sports Betting Tax Rate
Illinois online sports betting revenue is taxed at 15% in the state of Illinois, which is right around the middle of the pack when compared to other legal sports betting states. Since legalized sports gambling in Illinois began, the state has collected more than $100 million in tax revenue. A chunk of that revenue is invested back into the state through the "Rebuild Illinois” fund, which helps fund efforts related to education, road improvements and more.
Who Regulates Sports Betting Sites in Illinois?
The regulating body for sports betting in the Prairie State is the Illinois Gaming Board, which is tasked with outlining and enforcing Illinois sports betting law. Additionally, the board reviews applications for sports betting licenses, ensures that problem gamblers have access to a variety of resources and publishes detailed reports regarding the betting handle per sportsbook in the state.
How to Deposit and Withdraw from Illinois Sports Betting Sites
The best part about deposits is that they're processed quickly (often within seconds). So, if you need some funds for a game that's about to start, you shouldn't have an issue. And you'll have plenty of deposit options at your disposal, including credit and debit cards (particularly VISA and MasterCard), PayPal, PayNearMe, prepaid Play+ cards, ACH transfers, cash and paper checks. For cash and paper checks, you'll have to make your way to a retail IL sports betting location.
When it comes to withdrawals, the process won't be quite a swift — but most methods will allow you to receive your money within a few days. PayPal is arguably the fastest, and other online options include bank transfers and Play+ cards. At a retail sportsbook or casino, you can withdraw cash or request to have a check mailed to you.
How Illinois Sports Betting Compares to the Other Legal States
Illinois has a ton of local professional sports teams, which helps stir up a ton of interest in sports betting within the state. Illinois consistently has one of the top sports betting handles from month to month, which is an indicator that the Illinois sports betting market is in solid shape. There are some restrictions when it comes to sports betting in Illinois, though. As of now, bettors can only place wagers on college games involving local teams (e.g., Northwestern, DePaul, Northern Illinois) if those wagers are placed in person. There is also no eSports gambling allowed.
The largest hurdle in using Illinois sports betting apps had been the necessity to register in person — but as of March 5, 2022, that is no longer required.
Retail Sports Betting vs. Mobile Sports Betting
Up until March 5, 2022, retail and mobile sports betting Illinois were intertwined due to the fact that customers were required to complete an in-person registration process — whether they intended to bet at an online sportsbook Illinois or not.
Now, thanks to the approval of online registration, bettors have the convenience of enjoying all aspects of mobile betting (registration, deposit, wagering, withdrawals) from anywhere in the state. There are still some benefits to retail sports betting, such as the social aspect of gambling at a casino or racetrack, but mobile betting has a distinct edge in terms of convenience.
Illinois Legal Sports Betting Legislation Timeline
March 5, 2022: As a result of the successful passing of House Bill 3136, Illinois will now allow online registration for sports betting. Previously, bettors had to register in person (even if they intended to wager on Illinois sports betting apps only).
Dec. 17, 2021: Governor J.B. Pritzker signs legislation to lift the ban of betting on local collegiate teams. The new Illinois sports betting law stipulates that wagers involving in-state colleges must be placed in person (i.e., not on a mobile app), and they must pertain to the game's outcome as opposed to individual performances. The ban will be reinstated in two years unless another bill is passed.
January 2021: With more than $581 million generated in January sports betting handle, Illinois becomes the fourth state to surpass the $500-million mark in a single month. Illinois would go on to clear $500 million in sports betting handle in nine of the next 12 months.
June 18, 2020: BetRivers launches its Illinois sportsbook app, becoming the first mobile sports betting platform in the state. Six other online sports betting apps have joined since then.
March 9, 2020: Former Chicago Blackhawks star Eddie Olcyzk places the first legal sports wager at Rivers Casino in Des Plaines, signaling the start of legal retail sports gambling in Illinois.
June 28, 2019: Gov. Pritzker signs the Illinois Sports Wagering Act into law, paving the way for legal sports betting to come to Illinois.
May 14, 2018: The Supreme Court strikes down the federal ban on sports betting, enabling Illinois to begin realistic consideration of bringing legal sports betting to the state.
Responsible Illinois Sports Betting
To ensure that retail and online sports betting Illinois are carried out responsibly, the Illinois Gaming Board provides a self-exclusion program for problem gamblers (and it requires every legal sports betting Illinois operator to do the same). When you visit an Illinois sports betting app, you'll find options to self-exclude, or to place limits on quantity of deposits, wagers, and time spent on the platform.
For additional resources, bettors can call a problem gambling hotline or text "ILGAMB" to 53342. Both support options are 24/7, and they will help problem gamblers access the resources they require.
Where to Bet in Illinois: Retail Sportsbooks
Bettors have 11 retail sportsbooks to choose from in Illinois, though some will be more or less convenient based on their location. Here's the list of sites for retail sport betting in Illinois:
Rivers Casino, Des Plaines (BetRivers)
Grand Victoria Casino, Elgin (Caesars)
Casino Queen, East St. Louis (DraftKings)
Par-A-Dice Casino, East Peoria (FanDuel)
FanDuel Sportsbook & Horse Racing, Collinsville (FanDuel)
Hawthorne Race Course, Stickney (PointsBet)
Club Hawthorne, Prospect Heights (PointsBet)
Club Hawthorne, Crestwood (PointsBet)
Argosy Casino, Alton (Unibet)
Hollywood Casino, Aurora (Barstool)
Hollywood Casino, Joliet (Barstool)
Final Thoughts on Sports Betting in Illinois
Aspiring Illinois sports betting fans have had two years to give sports betting a try; now, it's never been easier. The allowance of mobile registration should work wonders for the Illinois sports betting market, which is already one of the most robust markets in the country. With BetMGM on board, there are seven mobile sportsbooks to pick from, in addition to the 11 retail sportsbooks that exist around the state. That creates ample opportunity to find the sports, betting types and Illinois online sports betting bonus codes you're looking for (and it doesn't hurt to have a bunch of in-state pro sports teams to root on, does it?).
There's no reason to wait any longer. Go ahead and give one or more of the legal sports betting Illinois sites a try.
Illinois Online Sportsbook FAQs
Is Sports Betting Legal in Illinois?
Yes, legal sports betting Illinois has been active since June 2020, and it's been one of the top states in the nation ever since.
Does Illinois have sports betting?
Yes, legalized sports gambling in Illinois is available for eligible customers who are physically present in the state. The latest sports betting in Illinois update is that registrations can now take place online (prior to March 5, 2022, bettors were required to register in person for betting apps in Illinois).
How old do I need to be to bet on sports in Illinois?
The Illinois sports betting age is 21 years of age and older.
Will Illinois residents pay taxes on betting?
The IRS deems gambling winnings as taxable income, so yes, Illinois residents will pay taxes on betting (at least if they win). The flat rate for Illinois state tax is 4.95%.
Where can I bet on sports Illinois?
There are 11 retail sportsbooks and casinos in Illinois with sports betting right now, operated by IL betting companies such as BetRivers, PointsBet, DraftKings and FanDuel. More retail options are likely on the way at the United Center and Wrigley Field, subject to Illinois sports betting regulations.
On the Illinois online sports betting side, there are now seven sports betting apps Illinois for customers to choose from (and possibly more down the road).
When will sportsbooks open in Illinois?
Under Illinois sports betting law, sportsbooks have been open for business since the spring of 2020. Illinois online sports betting opened its virtual doors a few months after that.
Are there Illinois sports betting apps?
Yes, there are seven apps that provide legal sports betting in Illinois. It's a great situation for customers, who can pick and choose the app and welcome bonus that's best for them — or try them all!
Will I need to be an Illinois resident to bet online?
No, online betting Illinois does not involve a residency requirement. You just have to be physically located in Illinois when placing bets (if you're using betting apps in Illinois, geolocation services will need to be turned on).
Who can offer Illinois sports betting?
Right now, retail and mobile betting Illinois is limited to casinos, race tracks and mobile apps. We should see a sportsbook or two in professional sports arenas down the road as well.
When is the Illinois sports betting start date?
If you're still wondering, "When can I bet on sports in Illinois?" we'll spell it out one more time: You can do it right now! The start date for sports betting IL was in 2020, and customers have enjoyed legal sports betting apps in Illinois ever since.