When Did Sports Betting Become Legal In Illinois?
Illinois online sports betting became legal as of June 2020. Currently there are 7 sportsbooks to legally bet on sports in the state, with there always being the possibility of more coming into the fold. For the time being, online gambling in Illinois is just sports betting, as we wait for Illinois online casinos to become legalized.
What Is The Legal Betting Age In Illinois?
According to Illinois sports betting law, the legal betting age in Illinois is 21, as is the case in most states. An age verification check is required, in addition to being within state lines in order to place a bet. This means you do not need to be an Illinois resident to place your online bet, you simply need to be within state lines.
Betting On Illinois Teams
Despite Illinois sports betting being legal, you cannot bet on in state college teams online. The state law is that this is restricted to online sports betting in Illinois, as you are able to bet on Illinois college teams in person at a retail sportsbook.
How To Get Started With The Best Illinois Sportsbooks
Once you have done your research on which Illinois sportsbook fits best for you, it's time to open an account and have your promo code ready. Follow our simple steps to get started:
|✅ Step #1||Use links we provide to reach the IL sportsbooks you want to try|
|✅ Step #2||If you don't land on the registration page, click "Join" or equivalent, generally at the top right of the screen|
|✅ Step #3||Complete the registration form, verifying age and identity|
|✅ Step #4||Choose a screen name, password and security question (if offered), then read terms and conditions|
|✅ Step #5||Enter any promo code we list so you can get the offer|
|✅ Step #6||Make a deposit to enable real-money betting|
|✅ Step #7||Check out the responsible gaming section, and learn how to set limits for your deposits or betting|
|✅ Step #8||Be smart and have fun|
Visit how to bet on sports in Illinois for more information on sports gambling. As a new bettor, don't forget to use a promo code and use the links from our site to ensure you get the best Illinois sportsbook offers.
Mobile Sports Betting Apps in Illinois
Illinois betting apps are offered by most online sportsbooks in the state and offer a great alternative to online sports betting on the desktop. Sportsbook Illinois betting apps are designed to closely resemble their desktop interface counterparts and offer all of the same features. If you're comfortable using the sportsbook desktop format, a similar interface means it is easy to switch between platforms. Sportsbooks optimize the app layout to make it easy to place bets, view odds, and access promotions as you would otherwise. Any promotion or exclusive offer that is available on an online sportsbook desktop platform will be also available on the app, so no matter which option you prefer you never miss out on a deal. Mobile apps are a great option for sports betting in Illinois, allowing users to bet from anywhere as long as their device has a good internet connection.
Downloading the best sports betting apps in Illinois is easy. Online sportsbook apps are available on Android and iOS devices. They can be downloaded from either the Google Play Store or Apple Store depending on what mobile device you have. Once it loads on your phone, all you have to do is sign in as you would using the computer version and you're ready to begin betting.
Promotions And Welcome Offers At Illinois Sportsbooks
You are going to be bombarded – and that's a good thing – with Illinois sportsbook promos 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.
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.
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.
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.
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 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.
How To Pick The Best Illinois Sportsbook
Illinois sports betting in Chicago and all of Illinois has taken off because of the worry-free online sports gambling apps that are available. 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.
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
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.
Great Pricing On Betting 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 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 that are available.
Sports Betting Promotion 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.
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.
Excellent 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 best Illinois sportsbooks.
Easy Deposits and 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 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.
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.
Get The Best Line
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 Multiple Welcome Offers
Promotions come in many different forms, and you always want to be on the lookout for the best options. These promotions can set Illinois 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.
Feel for The Sportsbook
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. Some may find certain online sportsbooks to be more reliable in terms of withdrawals and deposits while another to be more user-friendly and easy to navigate. All of these details combine to define how users enjoy their sports betting experience. Only through using multiple sportsbooks is it possible to find the best option for you that suits your specific needs.
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.
Things like minimum deposit requirements, withdrawal options or allowed bet types are all features that may vary between sportsbooks. It is especially important to keep an eye on this when it comes to promotions, as similar-looking promos may have very different rules in order to be eligible. For example, free bet bonuses on different sportsbooks will have a variety of minimum requirements or allowed betting options. Make sure to always read the find print to find the sportsbook that works for you.
Bet Types & Sports 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 some of the top wagering options that can be found when online betting.
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.
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 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 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.
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 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-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.
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.
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. 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.
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 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 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.
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 sports such as 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.
Popular Teams To 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.
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.
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.
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).
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.
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 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 made sports betting legal 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 Illinois sports betting apps weren't far behind.
Legal Illinois Sports Betting 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
Who Regulates Illinois Sports Betting Sites?
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, as they govern Illinois sports betting law. This includes video poker machines that can be found inside of bars and restaurants.
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.
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 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.
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.
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.
Where To Bet in Chicago 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.