Illinois Sports Betting: Best IL Sportsbooks December 2023

Illinois sports betting has been legal since 2019. There are currently eight legal Illinois sportsbooks in operation. IllinoisBet has you covered with the latest IL betting site news, updates & exclusive promos.

Fact Checked by Lawrence Hollyfield

Best Illinois Sportsbooks December 2023

Our experts reviewed every Illinois sportsbook to find the five best sports betting offers available today. You can place a bet on any of these sites right now! Just click β€œBET NOW,” sign up and make a deposit.

Verified Offers Verified By Our Experts
Best Choice
ESPN BET Sportsbook
Best Choice
Must be 21+ and present in IL. Gambling Problem? Call 1-800-GAMBLER. T&Cs Apply.
Live Betting
Live Support Chat
Same Game Parlay
Deposit To Qualify
Promo Code
Live Betting
Live Support Chat
Same Game Parlay
Deposit To Qualify
Promo Code
Visit for T&Cs. Must be 21+. IL only. New Customer Offer. All promotions are subject to qualification and eligibility requirements. Rewards issued as non-withdrawable bonus bets. Bonus bets expire in 7 days from issuance. Gambling Problem? Call 1-800-GAMBLER (426-2537) or by texting ILGAMB to 53342. In partnership with Par-A-Dice Hotel Casino.
Live Betting
Live Support Chat
Same Game Parlay
Deposit To Qualify
Live Betting
Live Support Chat
Same Game Parlay
Deposit To Qualify
Promo Code
Live Betting
Live Support Chat
Same Game Parlay
Deposit To Qualify
Promo Code
Not Required
Live Betting
Live Support Chat
Same Game Parlay
Deposit To Qualify
Promo Code
Not Required

Illinois Sports Betting At a Glance: December 2023

Below you will find the basics on what you need to know about online Illinois sportsbook apps. For more details about Illinois sports betting and specific sportsbooks, keep scrolling the page. 

βœ… Is Sports Betting Legal in IL?Yes, online and in person
🚨 Latest NewsESPN BET is Live in Illinois
πŸ”ž Legal IL Betting Age21
βš–οΈ Who Regulates IL Sports Betting?Illinois Gaming Board
πŸ“² Legal IL Sportsbooks8
πŸš€ IL Sportsbooks Coming SoonFanatics, Hard Rock Bet, Bally Bet
✍️ Data Last Verified:December 2023

Latest News Impacting Illinois Sports Betting

  • πŸ“… Nov. 14: ESPN BET Illinois launches with a $250 promo. It is expected to be one of the biggest sportsbook launches in the U.S. 
  • πŸ“… Oct. 27: Betway's request to withdraw its gaming license bid in Illinois is approved.
  • πŸ“… Sept. 29: Circa Sportsbook becomes the eighth legal Illinois sports betting site.
  • πŸ“… Aug. 8: PENN Entertainment and ESPN announce a partnership to create ESPN BET.
  • πŸ“… Mar. 17: Illinois casino bills in the House and Senate won't move forward. The earliest legal Illinois online casinos could be available is now 2024.
  • πŸ“… Mar. 2: There is a bill in the House sponsored by Rep. Edgar Rodriguez, but the Senate has not moved forward with their version of the bill.
  • πŸ“… Feb. 8: Illinois has a new bill to legalize online casinos. Sen. Cristina Castro wants to allow up to three brands for each operator license with a tax rate of 15%.
  • πŸ“… Jan. 16: The American Gaming Association study suggests that legal online casino could generate an extra $100+ million in annual tax revenues.

Illinois bettors can trust us to provide the latest news around the industry. We cover new online sports betting sites launches, the latest Illinois sports betting promos, and monthly sports betting tax revenue reports.

What Sportsbooks Are Legal In Illinois?

There are eight online sportsbooks in Illinois as of December 2023: BetMGM, Caesars, PointsBet (soon to be Fanatics), FanDuel, DraftKings, BetRivers, Circa, and ESPN BET. These are some of the biggest names in the industry, which is a great thing for Illinois sports bettors.

βœ… ESPN BETBest IL Sportsbook 
βœ… BetMGMBest Rewards Program
βœ… CaesarsBest Promotions
βœ… PointsBet/FanaticsBest For Unique Betting Options
βœ… FanDuelMost Popular NFL Sportsbook
βœ… DraftKingsBest for Live Betting
βœ… BetRiversBest Illinois-Based Sportsbook
βœ… CircaBest Limits & Odds
Must be 21+ and present in IL. Gambling Problem? Call 1-800-GAMBLER. T&Cs Apply.

Best Overall Illinois Sportsbook

ESPN BET Illinois is not only the newest sportsbook in Illinois, it is the best one too. This sportsbook has it all from a great user interface, promotions, betting options, and more.

The current exclusive welcome offer is Bet Anything, Get $250 in Bonus Bets.

πŸ† Top FeatureThe Best Mobile Experience
🎁 Welcome OfferGet $250 in Bonus Bets
⭐ App Rating4.9/5.0
πŸ’³ Venmo & PayPal?Yes

Best Rewards Program

A product of MGM Resorts, BetMGM Illinois Sportsbook's top feature is the unbelievable rewards program for sports bettors.

You earn points on everything you play. These rewards can be redeemed for bonus credits or even things like food, beverages, entertainment, and hotel stays at MGM Resorts.

πŸ† Top FeatureBest Rewards Program
🎁 Welcome Offer$1,500 Bet Refund
⭐ App Rating4.8/5.0
πŸ’³ Venmo & PayPal?Yes
Visit for T&Cs. Must be 21+. IL only. New Customer Offer. All promotions are subject to qualification and eligibility requirements. Rewards issued as non-withdrawable bonus bets. Bonus bets expire in 7 days from issuance. Gambling Problem? Call 1-800-GAMBLER (426-2537) or by texting ILGAMB to 53342. In partnership with Par-A-Dice Hotel Casino.

Best Mobile Experience

Caesars Illinois is the choice if you are looking for the best mobile experience. The mobile app has a seamless interface that is easy to navigate making sports betting effortless.

If you are new to the sportsbook, you can claim a $1,000 First Bet on Caesars with the code ILB1000.

πŸ† Top FeatureSeamless Mobile App
🎁 Welcome Offer$1,000 First Bet on Caesars
⭐ App Rating4.6/5.0
πŸ’³ Venmo & PayPal?Yes

Best For Ongoing Promotions

DraftKings Illinois shines with a variety of ongoing promotions that cater to both new and existing users. On any given day, there are risk-free same game parlays, odds boosts, or bet tokens to take advantage of.

If you are a new user, you are eligable for a Bet $5, Get $150 in Bonus Bets Instantly + A No Sweat SGP Every Day.

πŸ† Top FeatureOngoing Promotions
🎁 Welcome OfferBet $5, Get $150
⭐ App Rating4.8/5.0
πŸ’³ Venmo & PayPal?Yes

Best for Betting Variety

FanDuel Illinois is the leader in market share amongst sportsbooks legal in Illinois. A big reason for this is the wide variety of bets you can make. This sportsbook has the most options on the market from player props, same game parlays, team props, and more.

The current welcome offer is Bet $5 on any Moneyline, Get $150 in Bonus Bets If Your Team Wins.

πŸ† Top FeatureSports Betting Variety
🎁 Welcome OfferBet $5 Get $150
⭐ App Rating4.8/5.0
πŸ’³ Venmo & PayPal?Yes

Best Illinois-Based Sportsbook

BetRivers Illinois is unique because it is the only sportsbook to originate from the state. Bettors who have a particular pride in the Prairie State may find a particular liking to this sportsbook.

The current welcome offer is a 2nd Chance Bet Up To $500 with the code SPORTS.

πŸ† Top FeatureBased in Illinois
🎁 Welcome Offer2nd Chance Bet Up To $500
⭐ App Rating4.4/5.0
πŸ’³ Venmo & PayPal?No

Illinois Sportsbook with Best Odds & Limits

Circa Sportsbook Illinois made its way to the state earlier in 2023 after originating in Nevada. Circa Sports prides themselves on having the best odds and highest limits. If you like to make big bets, or bet the opening market this is the sportsbook for you.

πŸ† Top FeatureBest Odds & Limits
🎁 Welcome OfferN/A
⭐ App Rating3.6/5.0
πŸ’³ Venmo & PayPal?No
Must be 21+ and present in IL. Gambling Problem? Call 1-800-GAMBLER. T&Cs Apply.

Most Anticipated Sportsbook -Fanatics Illinois

The Fanatics sportsbook is coming to Illinois in 2024. Fanatics' intuitive interface makes navigating through various sports markets effortless. The platform's robust features, including live betting and competitive odds, enhance the overall user experience. Additionally, the seamless integration with Fanatics' merchandise store allows users to redeem loyalty points for sports-related products, adding a unique twist to the traditional sports betting experience.

Illinois Sportsbooks Coming Soon

In the last year, Fanatics purchased PointsBet's U.S. operations and, as a result, will take over its licenses across the states where PointsBet was already live. That means bettors should see Fanatics Sportsbook Illinois by the end of 2023.

There are more Illinois sportsbooks planning to expand in the state in the coming months. One of those is Bally Bet Illinois Sportsbook. Its temporary retail sportsbook is already open in Chicago, but the online app is expected to go live soon, too.

Hard Rock Bet in Illinois has also come to the state, but so far only at its casino location in Rockford. We're expecting the mobile version to come online soon.

Betway Illinois was orignially on pace to become one of the next legal operators in Illinois. However, Betway Illinois recently removed their license request - so it will not be coming to Illinois any time soon. 

How Illinois Sports Betting Compares to the Other Legal States

The Illinois sportsbooks industry is one of the largest in the U.S. There are plenty of legal sports betting options available, and some of the top operators in the industry have claimed sports gambling licenses. The fact that Illinois has so many professional sports teams is another factor that has driven this industry.

Is Sports Betting Legal in Chicago?

Yes, sports betting is legal in Chicago as of December 2021. Chicago sports betting was legalized via a city council ordinance, which lifted a previous ban on sports betting in the city. This move allows Chicago sports venues to apply for sports betting licenses. Retail sportsbooks at Illinois' sports stadiums, including Wrigley Field and the United Center, are currently awaiting approval from the Illinois Gaming Board.

Timeline for Illinois Sports Betting Legislation

There were five sports betting bills introduced all the way back in 2018, but none of received much attention. It wasn't until 2019 when a new governor led the charge for legalizing sports betting.

  • πŸ“† June 2020: The first online sportsbook launches in Illinois.
  • πŸ“† March 2020: Illinois retail sports betting begins.
  • πŸ“† June 28, 2019: The Illinois Sports Wagering Act is signed into law by Gov. J.B. Pritzker.
  • πŸ“† May 2018: The U.S. Supreme Court rules, 6-3, to eliminate the federal law that banned sports gambling in the majority of states.
  • πŸ“† Jan. 2018: Five sports betting bills were introduced for the first time in anticipation of the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act of 1992 being struck down.
Must be 21+ and present in IL. Gambling Problem? Call 1-800-GAMBLER. T&Cs Apply.

Can You Bet on Sports in Illinois?

Yes, you can sports bet in Illinois! Illinois sports betting has been live since 2020.

Where Can I Bet on Sports in Illinois?

You have two choices for sports betting in Illinois: retail sports betting or online sports betting. 

The following Illinois casinos accept sports bets in person:

  • πŸ“ Rivers Casino in Des Plaines (BetRivers)
  • πŸ“ Grand Victoria Casino in Elgin (Caesars)
  • πŸ“ Harrah's Metropolis Hotel & Casino in Metropolis (Caesars)
  • πŸ“ Harrah's Joliet Hotel & Casino in Joliet (Caesars)
  • πŸ“ Hollywood Casino Joliet in Joliet (ESPN BET)
  • πŸ“ Hollywood Casino Aurora in Aurora (ESPN BET)
  • πŸ“ DraftKings at Casino Queen in East St. Louis (DraftKings)
  • πŸ“ Fairmount Park in Collinsville (FanDuel)
  • πŸ“ Par-A-Dice Casino in East Peoria (FanDuel)
  • πŸ“ Hawthorne Race Course in Stickney (PointsBet, soon to be Fanatics)
  • πŸ“ Argosy Casino Alton in Alton (ESPN BET)
  • πŸ“ The Temporary by American Place Casino in Waukegan (Circa)
  • πŸ“ Bally’s Chicago Casino at Medinah Temple in Chicago (Bally Bet)
  • πŸ“ Rockford Casino in Rockford (Hard Rock Bet)

Several locations are planning to open sportsbooks over the next few years, including: Bally's Quad Cities Casino & Hotel in Rockford and Wind Creek Chicago Southland in East Hazel Crest.

Is Online Sports Betting Legal in Illinois?

Yes, online sports betting in Illinois is legal, as are Illinois sportsbooks. Sportsbook apps in Illinois have been live since June of 2020.

Do I Need to Be an Illinois Resident to Bet Online?

No, you don't need to be an Illinois resident to bet online or in person. You simply need to be located within state lines in order to place a sports bet.

Who Regulates Illinois Sports Betting?

The Illinois Gaming Board regulates sports betting sites and the entire sports gambling industry. The IGB also has control over the casino gaming industry. 

All sports betting license applications go through the IGB, which can be a lengthy process. All forms of online or retail gaming must go through the IGB, as they govern Illinois sports betting law. This includes video poker machines that can be found inside of bars and restaurants.

What Is The Legal Illinois Sports Betting Age?

The legal Illinois sports betting age is 21, according to Illinois sports betting law. This is similar to other states' age requirements. You'll be required to verify your age when place a sports bet in-person or online in Illinois.

Can I Bet on Illinois Sports Teams?

Yes, you can bet on pro Illinois sports teams like the Bulls, Blackhawks, Cubs, White Sox, and more. 

The only limitation is that you cannot bet on in-state college teams online. The state law restricts online sports betting in Illinois, as you are able to bet on Illinois college teams only in person at a retail sportsbook.

Visit for T&Cs. Must be 21+. IL only. New Customer Offer. All promotions are subject to qualification and eligibility requirements. Rewards issued as non-withdrawable bonus bets. Bonus bets expire in 7 days from issuance. Gambling Problem? Call 1-800-GAMBLER (426-2537) or by texting ILGAMB to 53342. In partnership with Par-A-Dice Hotel Casino.

Illinois Sports Betting Revenue

Illinois sports betting makes a difference: In 2021 alone, Illinois recorded sports betting revenue of more than $525 million. That amounted to more than $85 million in tax revenue for the entire state, and that funds different projects around the state. The total sports betting handle for Illinois was a bit over $7 billion in 2021.

Online sports betting revenue is taxed at a rate of 15%. This is right around the national average, as there are some states with much higher or lower tax rates set. You can use our Illinois gambling tax calculator to see how much of a winning bet you can keep.

When Did Sports Betting Become Legal in Illinois?

Illinois sports betting has been legal since June 28, 2019, when Gov. J.B. Pritzker signed HB 3308 into law. 

Bettors have been able to use Illinois sportsbook promos since 2020. The first retail Illinois sportsbook at Rivers Casino Des Plaines opened the following year on March 9, 2020. Online Illinois sports betting went live on June 18, 2020, with BetRivers.

How Experts Rank the Best IL Online Sportsbooks

Illinois sports betting in Chicago and all of Illinois has taken off because of the worry-free sports betting apps in Illinois. These apps make your betting experience more personalized because some features provided can't be found on a basic Illinois sports betting site.

Below you are going to find some of the top features on an Illinois sportsbook, and how these features can set an operator apart. Some features will mean more to you than they will mean to others.

Read IL Sportsbook Reviews

It is always a good idea to check out online sportsbook reviews. This allows you to get a sense of other users' experiences and some things to keep in mind if you decide to sign up for the sportsbook. Online sportsbook reviews can encompass a wide range of important information, from customer service options to promotions and bonuses. These apply to both desktop and mobile app platforms. A great review will maintain a positive tone throughout and clearly indicate a liking for the sportsbook. These are the sportsbooks you'll want to use.

Variety of Bets Allowed at IL Sportsbooks

When looking for a top sportsbook, it is important to find one that offers a wide variety of betting options. This includes both bet types, as well as sports that are offered. There won't be much difference when it comes to professional U.S. sports, but there will be some in other areas.

Odds Pricing at IL Sportsbooks

The standard for most betting lines is -110 for over/under and spread bets. Moneyline odds are going to be extremely different, and following those lines can be to your benefit.

It will be to your benefit to sign up for an Illinois sports betting account at several different sites. This will give you the opportunity to "shop" around and find the best Illinois sports betting odds and lines available.

IL Sportsbooks Welcome Bonuses

Finding a site that has a strong welcome Illinois sportsbook bonus is a great way to start betting in Illinois. It's also nice to find one that will reward its loyal customers with additional offers.

Illinois sports betting sites have to offer bonuses to attract customers in this competitive market. The more competition, the bigger the rewards are going to get. Every sportsbook that we recommend will offer some sort of bonus. These bonuses can change often, and it's important to check back frequently to get the best offers available.

UX & User Interface at IL Sportsbooks

Because you could be looking to place a bet against the clock, it's important to find one with a good user interface, and one you like to use. The look and feel is extremely important, but you also want one that is fast and responsive.

Online betting apps in Illinois make this feature even more important, and you can notice a major difference with the best Illinois sportsbooks.

IL Sportsbook Deposits & Withdrawals

This isn't always true, but the more deposit options, the better the site is going to be for you. Illinois sports betting sites continue to come up with new options, and we rank sites based on what will be available.

When we are ranking our best Illinois sports betting sites, we take a close look at the time it takes each site to make a withdrawal payment.

Customer Service at IL Sportsbooks

Hopefully you won't have any issues at any of the sites in Illinois, but on the chance you do encounter an issue then you'll have to reach out to customer service.

All of the betting sites on this list have some sort of customer support. Typically live chat is the best to use, because you can get an answer right away.

Why Sign Up For Multiple Illinois Sportsbooks

Since there are so many great options in Illinois, choosing just one Illinois sportsbook can be hard. In fact, you don't have to register at just one, but instead can set up multiple sports betting accounts to try things out and see what you like. Here are some things to consider when you are looking for the best Illinois sports betting site.

Promotions & Welcome Offers At Illinois Sportsbooks

You are going to be bombarded with Illinois sportsbook promos when looking for a new sportsbookβ€”and that's a good thing. Each offer is different, and it's important to know the different types of bonuses offered to get the best deal.

Anyone looking to sign up at an online sports betting site should always use a bonus or promotion that is offered,. This is the best way to boost your account before even placing a wager.

You're a valued member of the Illinois sports betting community. Operators are competing for your business.

Must be 21+ and present in IL. Gambling Problem? Call 1-800-GAMBLER. T&Cs Apply.
  • Second Chance Bets A second chance bet is a common promotion that will be offered by online sports betting apps, and it's a good offer. Think of a second chance bet as an insurance policy because you'll get your money back if your wager does not hit.This second chance bet usually applies to the first wager made at the sportsbook, but it can be a promotion offered to existing customers as well. You'll receive bonus bets in your account for the amount you wagered initially.The fact that your bet is insured is great, but you'll have to wager that amount again before making a withdrawal.
  • Deposit Match A deposit match is another common bonus found with online betting, and it can be a signup offer or a bonus for returning customers. This simply means that the sports betting apps are going to match the amount of money you put into your account.The biggest negative to this promotion is that it's not common with most of the online sportsbook options in Illinois. It's a huge advantage to have more money in your account right from the beginning to place a legal sports bet online.
  • Referral Bonus A referral bonus is paid to customers as a way to thank them for getting more customers to the site. Even though the operators in Illinois are popular, they still need some help attracting new business.The person you refer to the online sportsbook will have to make a deposit before you get your referral bonus, and there is going to be a minimum deposit required from the person you're referring. Still, getting free money for simply getting a friend to bet on sports is a pretty good deal.
  • Odds Boosts An odds boost is going to be available to Illinois sports bettors as well, and all of the sites will offer them in some fashion. Most odds boosts will only apply to specific games or betting markets, but it's still something you should take advantage of.With an odds boost, you are going to have the chance to earn a bigger payout on the game that is selected. The only negative to an odds boost though is that there is usually a maximum bet amount that can be used.
  • Parlay Insurnace Parlay insurance is a great promotional opportunity for those who enjoy placing parlay bets. Normally, winning a parlay requires each leg of the bet to win. Even if just one leg is unsuccessful, the bet is lost. Parlay insurance provides a solution to this dilemma.With this promo, one leg of your parlay wager is insured. This means that if a single leg of the entire bet is unsuccessful the sportsbook has you covered. As opposed to losing all the money that was placed on the bet, the amount you wagered is refunded to your account. This promotion is a great way to reduce the risk associated with parlay betting.

Retail Illinois Sportsbooks vs. Mobile Sportsbooks in IL

Mobile sports betting provides many distinct advantages over retail sports betting. Betting at a sports betting app can be done from anywhere in the state, and it can be done much quicker.

Betting at a retail sportsbook is going to require some travel, and there could be some limited betting options. Most would agree that online sportsbooks are the best way to go when placing a bet in IL.

Diversify Your IL Sportsbook Options

If you are going to give yourself the best chance to win, then you want to diversify your betting options. This means finding a sportsbook that has a wide range of options available is essential to your success.

Get a Feel for Different Illinois Sportsbooks

Every sportsbook is unique across a variety of dimensions. Signing up for multiple sportsbooks allows users to get a sense of which is the best option for them. Only through using multiple sportsbooks is it possible to find the best option for you that suits your specific needs.

Explore All Illinois Sportsbook Rules

There are a number of specific rules and policies unique to each online sportsbook. While most of the time these rules might seem negligible, there are moments where they may in fact influence your ability to place the bets you want. Features like minimum deposit requirements, withdrawal options, promo terms or bet types may vary between sportsbooks.

Visit for T&Cs. Must be 21+. IL only. New Customer Offer. All promotions are subject to qualification and eligibility requirements. Rewards issued as non-withdrawable bonus bets. Bonus bets expire in 7 days from issuance. Gambling Problem? Call 1-800-GAMBLER (426-2537) or by texting ILGAMB to 53342. In partnership with Par-A-Dice Hotel Casino.

Available Wagers At Illinois Sportsbooks

Sites that offer sports betting in Illinois are going to have bets available on a wide range of sports and betting types. This section will discuss how to bet on sports in Illinois and which wagering options you can use.

  • Moneyline A moneyline bet is the simplest form of sports wager, because all you have to do is pick a team to win. There are different payouts set for each side of the bet, and that is where the decision comes into play.
  • Parlays A parlay is a combination wager, and it is one that can come with a pretty impressive payout. There is also more reward with this type of bet though, but Illinois bettors are able to add as many legs to the bet as they choose.A three-team parlay in January might include the Bulls, Blackhawks, and Bears winning a playoff game.
  • Totals Totals betting has nothing to do with the winner or loser of a sporting event. This bet instead focuses on the total number of points scored, and Illinois bettors simply take the over or the under.
  • Point Spread Point spread betting is extremely common and popular, especially with basketball and football. Not only do you have to pick a winner, but you also have to predict how far apart the final spread will be.
  • Futures A futures bet is one where the outcome won't be decided until the future, usually at the end of the season. Making a bet on a team to win a championship, or a player to win a certain award are the best options available. Betting on the Bears Super Bowl odds would be a prime example of a futures bet.
  • Prop Bets Prop betting provides some additional fun and excitement into sports betting as there are some unique options available. This form of betting became popular during the Super Bowl, but it is now offered for most regular season games in all professional sports.
  • Live Bets Live-betting is extremely popular in Illinois, and throughout the United States as well. These bets are placed while a sporting event is taking place, and the odds are updated in real-time.

Sports To Bet On In Illinois

Sportsbooks need betting markets to attract wagers, and there are some great options in this state. Not only are the professional sports popular, but Illinois has a professional team in each of the major sports.

NFL Betting in Illinois

Football, especially the NFL, is the largest betting market in Illinois. From August-February each year, NFL betting sites in Illinois see most of the betting action coming from this sport. The Super Bowl is clearly the biggest football event offered, but the entire NFL regular season is popular. Sportsbooks will feature more betting options for football than any other sport. 

NBA Betting in Illinois

Illinois residents love basketball, especially at the NBA level. It helps to have a popular NBA team like the Chicago Bulls, but there's action being taken on all NBA matchups. This action really heats up when the NBA Playoffs begin, and the All-Star Weekend is another major event for Illinois sports bettors and most Illinois NBA betting sites

MLB Betting in Illinois

Baseball is a popular sport in Illinois with two professional teams, the Cubs and the White Sox. While MLB doesn't see a ton of betting action nationally, Illinois MLB Betting is huge, especially when the crosstown rivals play each other. Baseball also carries the total handle during the summer when the other professional sports aren't in action. The MLB Playoffs, especially the World Series, and the All-Star Game generate plenty of attention.

NHL Betting in Illinois

Hockey is the fourth-most popular professional sport in the U.S., and that applies to betting as well. The NHL is the leading league for hockey bets, especially during the playoffs each year. NHL Illinois betting sites always see a boost when the Chicago Blackhawks make the postseason.

College Sports Betting in Illinois

Betting on Illinois college sports teams isn't allowed as of now, but that could change in the future. Illinois college teams like Northwestern and DePaul are not under the legalized sports betting umbrella.

Prohibited Betting in Illinois

Esports is growing almost as fast as sports gambling, but it's not a market that can be wagered on in Illinois. Since awards shows aren't classified as a sport, it can't be offered by online sportsbooks in Illinois, either. You won't find any election odds offered in Illinois as betting on elections is illegal in the U.S.

Popular Teams To Sports Bet On In Illinois

Illinois has some terrific professional sports teams, and all of them are extremely popular. It is these teams that drive the Illinois sports gambling industry, but betting can also be done on teams from outside of the state.

  • Chicago Bears As a charter member of the NFL, the Bears have a long history in this sport. The last Super Bowl championship for the Bears came in 1985, but it was a memorable one. That '85 Bears team is known as one of the best in NFL history. You can keep up on the latest Bears playoff chances with our experts this season.
  • Chicago Bulls The Bulls are one of the most recognized brands in all of the NBA, largely because of the six championships during the Michael Jordan era. While the Bulls haven't reached that level of success since then, they are still beloved by the city of Chicago. You can keep an eye on the Bulls odds throughout the season.
  • Chicago Blackhawks The Blackhawks were an Original Six team in the NHL and therefore have a storied history in the league, boasting 51 Hall of Famers. The Chicago Blackhawks dominated the NHL in the 2010s, and instantly became a hugely popular team in Illinois. The Blackhawks Stanley Cup chances are less than ideal for this season, but the latest Connor Bedard odds show that he could be the next Blackhawks Hall of Famer.
  • Chicago Cubs There are two MLB teams in Illinois, but it is the Cubs that are the most popular. The Cubs play their home games at Wrigley Field, one of the most iconic venues in all of the sports. The Chicago Cubs captured the 2016 World Series, ending a drought of 109 years between titles.
  • Chicago White Sox The Chicago White Sox are the second-most popular MLB team in Illinois, but not on the Southside of Chicago. Allegiances are pretty well split in the Windy City, but the White Sox just don't have as big of a following in other parts of the state. The White Sox have won three World Series titles, with the most recent in 2005.

Alternatives to Sports Betting in Illinois

There are still some other gambling options available in Illinois aside from sports betting.

Horse Betting in Illinois

Horse racing enthusiasts in Illinois have the exciting opportunity to engage in legal horse race betting. This adds a thrilling dimension to the state's sports betting landscape. The horse racing scene is anchored by venues like the esteemed Hawthorne Race Course, renowned for its history, tradition, and the adrenaline-pumping races it hosts. But whether you are at the track, or online horse race betting remains a captivation pursuit that bridges tradition with innovation for Illinois sports betting.

Daily Fantasy Sports in Illinois

Daily Fantasy Sports (DFS) sites are legal in Illinois, but it took a long legal battle to get to that point. Illinois betting apps can come with DFS options if that operator specializes in both options. DraftKings sportsbook and FanDuel are two of the best DFS sites on the Illinois sports betting scene.

Illinois Casinos

While Illinois online casinos have not been legalized yet, there are several brick-and-mortar casinos available for Illinois gamblers. These casinos offer a range of games, including poker, table games, and roulette.

Illinois Lottery

The in-person lottery in Illinois started in 1974. The Illinois online lottery has been around since March 25, 2012. 

Illinois Sportsbook Payment Options

It is now easier than ever to get money into your sports wagering accounts, and you'll find plenty of depositing options. Illinois sportsbooks apps will have up to 10 different payment methods, and you can simply choose the one that works the best for you.

Using a credit card is one way to fund an account, but you can also use options such as, Neteller, Prepaid Cards, an online bank transfer, or Illinois sportsbooks that accept PayPal. All of the banking processes are safe and secure, and you won't have to worry about your money being stolen.

Requesting a payment from a site is easy as well, and you could receive your winnings in 24 hours or less. Using PayPal or requesting an online bank transfer are two of the best ways to get your winnings from the site.

You can also visit one of the retail sportsbooks and request your winnings be paid out in cash.

Things to Consider: Legal Sports Betting in Illinois

The legal sports betting industry has really taken off since 2020, and there are no signs of slowing down. Ever since the first legal sports bet was placed, there has been growth at a rapid pace.

Betting on mobile sports betting apps is the way to go, and Illinois has some of the best options in the industry. Betting apps in Illinois will continue to evolve and improve as well, making it even easier to get in on the action.

Responsible Gambling In Illinois

Even though sportsbooks in Illinois are trying to make money, they aren't looking to take advantage of anyone with a gambling problem. Each site will have a statement that promotes responsible gambling. Most IL sites will also have links to resources, and they'll have a way for Illinois bettors to take a timeout from betting on sports. The Illinois Gaming Board also provides tips and resources to help promote responsible gaming

Illinois Sports Betting FAQ


Chet Fussman is a writer for Fussman is a former horse racing writer and longtime sports editor of the Florida Times-Union in Jacksonville. He's a poker and blackjack player and frequent sports bettor, who plans to send the U.S. Supreme Court a thank-you card for clearing the way for states to adopt sports wagering. Fussman's philosophy: Don't let the bad beats overshadow your winning ones.

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