Illinois Sports Betting: Legal IL Sportsbooks

The Illinois sports betting industry, mobile and retail, is thriving, consistently among the largest U.S. states by handle every month.

By Chet Fussman
Fact Checked by Lawrence Hollyfield

Latest Key Developments In Illinois Sports Betting, 2022

  Aug. 16 – A report projected that Illinois online casinos could produce almost $1.4 billion a year in gross gaming revenue, and an additional $274 billion annually in potential tax revenue. That would be a major windfall for the state on top of the revenue generated from Illinois sports betting apps.

  Aug. 9 – Although the summer gambling lull set in, Illinois did better than most states, adding optimism that the first billion-dollar month is just around the corner. March's revenue, powered by the NCAA Tournament, landed at $971 million. Football – NFL and NCAA – is the most-wagered-on sport. Regular-season professional games begin Sept. 8. NCAA games begin Aug. 27.

  July 18 – DraftKings Sportsbook at Wrigley Field (2023) and FanDuel Sportsbook at United Center will open in the coming months.

  July 13 – Illinois’ mobile-only handle was $734.1 million in May as the state continues to gain ground on becoming the nation’s second-biggest sports betting market. New York ($1.26 billion) and New Jersey ($766.4 million) are at the top. NBA betting was the top attraction in May ($192 million), followed by baseball ($180 million) and tennis ($71 million).

  July 1 – DraftKings Sportsbook showed off renderings of its planned 22,350-square-foot, two-story facility, slated to open in 2023 at Addison Street and Sheffield Avenue and enhance the Illinois sports betting scene. The onsite casino will help build excitement for one of the top-ranked Illinois sportsbook apps.

Latest Sports Betting News in Illinois

We strive to provide Illinois bettors with the latest Illinois sports betting news, both through stories and social media. As new sports betting sites launch and new issues and legislation emerge, we’ll have you covered.

Best-Ranked Illinois Sportsbooks 2022

Which sportsbooks are the right ones for you as you enter the Illinois sports betting arena? Are you a new bettor looking for the best promotions? Is customer service important to you? We’ve got the details you need to select the betting sites for you and your style of wagering.

🥇  Caesars Sportsbook IllinoisBest for promotions
🥇  BetMGM Sportsbook IllinoisBest rewards program
🥇  FanDuel Sportsbook IllinoisMost unique betting options
🥇  BetRivers Sportsbook IllinoisBest for daily odds boosts
🥇  DraftKings Sportsbook IllinoisBest for live betting options
🥇  PointsBet Sportsbook IllinoisBest NFL odds
🥇  Barstool Sportsbook IllinoisBest for parlays


Reviewing The Top-Rated Illinois Sportsbooks

There are seven online sportsbooks in Illinois as of summer 2022. Some of the biggest names in the industry are available in Illinois, which is a great thing for Illinois sports betting customers. This will be a quick guide to the top IL sports betting sites and the promotions that are available.

Caesars Sportsbook Illinois

Caesars Sportsbook entered Illinois after purchasing William Hill and then rebranding the previous sportsbook. This is a big name in Nevada, and though for a while it wasn't as well known elsewhere, Caesars has started to grow throughout the United States.

This site has some terrific promotions available, including the opportunity to win a free NBA or NFL jersey. Caesars Sportsbook is still trying to get established in Illinois and will be looking to challenge the leaders in the future.

BetMGM Sportsbook Illinois

BetMGM Sportsbook is now a player in the Illinois sports betting market. BetMGM Illinois Sportsbook is a product of MGM Resorts, and the top feature is the unbelievable rewards program.

There's a pretty substantial signup bonus available at BetMGM, and it's a highly-rated sports gambling option. It may take some time for BetMGM to challenge the current leaders in the state, but as soon as online sportsbook registration is available, you'll want to take advantage and add it to your betting arsenal.

FanDuel IL Sportsbook

FanDuel is the leader in market share in the U.S. and is popular in Illinois as well. There's a $1,000 risk-free bet available to all new Illinois sports betting customers, and no promo code is needed.

The best feature of FanDuel Illinois is the unique betting options that are available. This included a Same-Game Parlay, which is the best version of this type of bet in the industry.

FanDuel allows users to switch back and forth between the sportsbook and DFS site on the same mobile app. 

BetRivers IL Sports Betting

BetRivers has the distinction of being the first to enter the Illinois sports betting market and hold a sports betting license. It's the sports betting arm of the Bet Rivers Casino Des Plaines. 

There's a pretty good welcome offer from BetRivers Illinois Sportsbook, and it's the only sports gambling operator in the state to offer a 100% deposit match. Another great feature of this site are the odds boosts that are available daily. 

BetRivers has a sports betting partnership with the Chicago Bears, which gives this operator a big advantage in Illinois due to the Bears' massive popularity.

DraftKings Sportsbook Illinois

DraftKings Sportsbook is one of the biggest names in this industry and is a leader for betting in Illinois. You won't find a better sportsbook with more live-betting options.

The mobile app that comes from DraftKings sportsbook is terrific and comes with reviews from other sports bettors. DraftKings was one of the first sports betting licenses handed out, and partners with the Casino Queen in East St. Louis.

DraftKings Sportsbook is the official sports betting partner of the NFL, giving it the rights to official league data.

PointsBet Sports Betting Illinois

PointsBet Illinois is an Australian-based company and it does things a little differently than other sites. This sportsbook is known for having the best odds for NFL games, including "no-juice" odds for all regular-season matchups.

PointsBet also offers points betting, which is a unique betting style that's only available at this site. It offers retail betting at Hawthorne Race Course and also has sites set up at OTBs.

Additionally, PointsBet was the first sports betting partner of the Chicago Bears, a great alliance in the Illinois sports betting marketplace.

How To Sign Up At An Illinois Sports Betting Site

When you are ready to register for Illinois sportsbook accounts, follow these simple steps.

Step #1Use links we provide to reach the IL sportsbooks you want to try
Step #2If you don't land on the registration page, click "Join" or equivalent, generally at the top right of the screen
Step #3Complete the registration form, verifying age and identity
Step #4Choose a screen name, password and security question (if offered), then read terms and conditions
Step #5Enter any promo code we list so you can get the offer
Step #6Make a deposit to enable real-money betting
Step #7Check out the responsible gaming section, and learn how to set limits for your deposits or betting
Step #8Be smart and have fun

Visit how to bet on sports in Illinois for more information on sports gambling. 

Illinois Betting Boosts and Bonuses

Illinois sportsbooks are going to offer boosts and bonuses as a way to reward the most loyal customers. These bonuses are also offered as a way to attract new business in the highly competitive Illinois sports betting market.

Bonuses and promotions come in many different forms, such as first deposit matches and free bets, but all sportsbooks will have something for you. These bonuses likely will come with some requirements and you have to pay attention to that so you get the full reward.

Be sure to keep coming back to this site so you can stay on top of all of the newest offers from Illinois sportsbooks. These promos can change quickly, but we'll have the latest ones available.

Sports To Wager 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.

  • Football (NFL)

    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.

  • Basketball (NBA)

    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 bettors and most Illinois NBA betting sites.

  • Baseball (MLB)

    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 residents love their baseball betting, 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, generate plenty of attention. The annual All-Star Game is another huge baseball event that's featured at retail sportsbooks and online MLB betting sites in IllinoisMLB betting sites in Illinois.

  • Hockey (NHL)

    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 sees a boost when the Blackhawks or the St. Louis Blues make the postseason. The other time that hockey is a popular betting option is during the Winter Olympics. Even if NHL stars aren't playing, there is plenty of rooting interest for Team USA, who should have a solid chance to take the gold in the 2022 Games in Beijing.

  • College Sports

    Betting on collegiate Illinois sports teams isn't allowed as of January 2022, but that could change in the future. There are enough professional Illinois sports to drive this industry, but adding in-state college teams from Illinois would help. College basketball and college football are the two biggest betting markets when it comes to Illinois sports betting, but other NCAA sports are offered as well.

Betting on Professional Sports Teams 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

    The Bears are easily the most popular team in Illinois, and they are popular throughout the U.S. as well. 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 all the way back in 1985, but it was a memorable one. That '85 Bears team is known as one of the best in NFL history, particularly noted for their fearsome defense, and is still celebrated by fans to this day.

  • Chicago Bulls

    During the Michael Jordan era, the Bulls challenged the Bears as the most popular team in Illinois. Jordan led the Bulls to six NBA championships, and could have won eight in a row. The United Center is the home to the Bulls, and there is usually a sell-out crowd on hand even when the Bulls aren't good. This current version of the Bulls team looks like one that could win another title as well.

  • Chicago Blackhawks

    The Chicago Blackhawks dominated the NHL in the 2010s, and instantly became a hugely popular team in Illinois after years of futility in the late 1990s and early 2000s. However, winning solves everything, and the fans are back to pack the United Center. The Blackhawks were an Original Six team in the NHL and therefore they have a long and storied history in the league, boasting 51 Hall of Famers (41 players and 10 builders of the sport).

  • 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, known for creeping ivy that lines the outfield walls. The Chicago Cubs captured the 2016 World Series, ending a drought of 109 years between titles. Even when the Cubs were going through some bad stretches, this team continued to have a massive following.

  • 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. That could change soon, as the Sox are on the rise and will be competing for World Series wins over the next few seasons. The White Sox have won three World Series titles, with the last one coming back in 2005.

Other Popular Betting Types

After covering some of the most popular teams in Illinois, this section will cover the other popular betting types in the state. Betting on sports in Illinois still has some restrictive rules in place when it comes to some betting options.

Daily Fantasy Sports

Daily Fantasy Sports (DFS) sites are legal in Illinois, but it took a long legal battle to get to that point. IL sports 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.

Horse Racing

Horse racing is legal in Illinois and sportsbooks can then take wagers on these races. There are three major horse racing tracks in Illinois, but one is set to shut down, and could turn into a new NFL stadium. Horse race betting is popular at tracks such as Hawthorne Race Course, but not as much at online sportsbooks.

Elections

Elections are extremely fun to follow at times, especially when it is a Presidential election. You won't find any election betting odds offered though on a sports betting app in Illinois. This is one area that is illegal throughout the entire U.S. sports gambling industry.

Awards Shows

Since an awards show isn't classified as a sport, it can't be offered by online sportsbooks in Illinois. There has been a push to allow this form of betting, but that push hasn't happened yet in IL. Awards shows are typically voter-driven, and that can change the way the awards are handed out.

eSports

The Esports industry is growing almost as fast as sports gambling, but it's not a market that can be wagered on in Illinois. The Illinois Gaming Board establishes the legal betting markets, and Esports hasn't been added to the list at this time. There are some states that have legalized Esports betting, and Illinois could be next on the list.

Promotions and Sign-Up Offers At IL Sportsbooks

You are going to be bombarded – and that's a good thing – with promotions when looking for a new sportsbook. 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.

Risk-Free Bets

A risk-free bet is a common promotion that will be offered by online sports betting apps, and it's a good offer. Think of a risk free bet as an insurance policy because you'll get your money back if your wager does not hit.

This risk-free 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 free 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.

Choosing From The Top Illinois Online Sportsbooks

Sports betting in Illinois has taken off because of the great online sports gambling apps that are available. These apps are great because they provide some features that simply can't be found with basic online betting.

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

Variety of Bets Allowed

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.

Lines & Odds

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 a 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 that are available.

Betting Bonuses and Frequency

Finding a site that has a welcome 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.

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.

User Interface and User Experience

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 make this feature even more important, and you can notice a major difference with the top sports betting apps.

Deposits and Withdrawal

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

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

Customer Service Options

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.

Benefits To Signing Up For Multiple Illinois Betting Sites

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 top sports betting app.

Compare Lines Across Illinois Betting Sites

It's important to compare betting lines and odds to ensure you are getting the best deal. This can affect the amount of money you win when placing a wager, and that money can add up in a hurry.

Take Advantage of Promotions Available

Promotions come in many different forms, and you always want to be on the lookout for the best options. These promotions can set sports betting sites apart from the competition, and that will affect how we rank them.

Diversify Your Betting 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.

You'll have to look closely to find out which sites will have more betting options than the others.

Bet Types & Sports Wagers At Legal 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 some of the top wagering options that can be found when online betting.

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.

An example of a moneyline bet would be betting on the Chicago Blackhawks -145 over the St. Louis Blues.

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 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 bettors simply take the over or the under.

In the summer. the over/under for a Cubs-Cardinals game might be set at 7.5 total runs.

Point Spreads

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.

Taking the Chicago Bulls -4.5 over the Cleveland Cavaliers means that they have to win that game by five points or more.

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 Chicago White Sox to win the 2022 World Series is an example of a futures bet in Illinois.

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.

One example of a prop bet would be: Will the Chicago Bulls lead in all four quarters against the Cleveland Cavaliers?

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.

Taking the Chicago Bears +2.5 at halftime would be an example of a live bet that can be made.

Prohibited Bets

A prohibited bet is one that isn't allowed by the online sports betting sites. This can be due to a law from the state, or the sportsbook could decide that this betting market is simply not available.

You can't place a wager on the DePaul Demon Deacons basketball team as all in-state college betting is illegal.

Illinois Sports Betting Revenue

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 that are needed. Illinois sports betting makes a difference.

The total sports betting handle for Illinois was a bit over $7 billion in 2021.

Illinois Legal Online Sports Betting Tax Rate

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. There are gambling winnings tax calculators you can use to calculate how much you can keep.

Who Regulates Sports Betting Sites Regulated?

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, and this can be a lengthy process.

All forms of online or retail gaming must go through the IGB. This includes video poker machines that can be found inside of bars and restaurants.

How to Deposit and Withdraw from IL Sports Betting Sites

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 PayPal, Neteller, Prepaid Cards, or an online bank transfer. 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.

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 betting options available, and some of the top operators in the industry have claimed sports betting licenses. The fact that Illinois has so many professional sports teams is another factor that has driven this industry.

Retail Sports Betting vs. Mobile Sports Betting

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.

Illinois Online 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 got things on the right track and led to legalizing sports betting.

As part of a larger gaming expansion package called the Illinois Sports Wagering Act, the state legalized sports betting in 2019. It was bill H 3308 that was officially signed by Governor J.B. Pritzker on June 28 of that year.

The Illinois Gaming Board was put in charge of the industry, and remains in that position to this day. Retail sports gambling was able to launch first, but online sportsbook apps weren't far behind.

Illinois Legal Sports Betting Legislation Timeline

  • 📆 2020: Retail sports betting began in March; the first online sportsbook launched in June
  • 📆 2019: Illinois sports betting law signed June 28
  • 📆 2019: Legalized sports betting bill included in a budget proposal from Governor J.B. Pritzker
  • 📆 2018: Five sports betting bills were introduced for the first time

Where To Bet in Illinois Now

Illinois retail betting is also available, but most of the action is done online. Retail betting is currently available at casinos throughout the state, but will be extended to professional sports stadiums in the future.

Here are the current sportsbooks and their casino partnerships in Illinois:

  • 🏛 Barstool Sportsbook - Hollywood Casino
  • 🏛 BetRivers Sportsbook - Rivers Casino Des Plaines
  • 🏛 Caesars Sportsbook - Grand Victoria Casino
  • 🏛 DraftKings Sportsbook - Casino Queen
  • 🏛 FanDuel Sportsbook - Par-A-Dice Casino
  • 🏛 PointsBet Sportsbook - Hawthorne Race Course

Things to Consider: Legal Sports Betting in Illinois

The Illinois 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 apps is the way to go, and Illinois has some of the best options in the industry. These Illinois sports betting apps 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 sports betting. Most IL sites will also have links to resources, and they'll have a way for 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

Contributors

Chet Fussman is a writer for IllinoisBet.com. 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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