PointsBet jumped into the sports betting industry in January 2019 by launching a sportsbook in New Jersey shortly after the state became the first to legalize sports betting outside of Nevada. The sportsbook quickly expanded to other states to grow their brand and is currently legal in Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Iowa, Colorado and New Jersey. Unlike other Illinois online gambling operators, PointsBet focuses all its time and energy into its sportsbook to provide a unique and enjoyable experience for its players.
PointsBet has become a fan favorite by local diehard fans thanks to its continued commitment to pumping up local markets, providing boosts to local teams and featuring professional Illinois teams on its home page. PointsBet has quickly established itself as one of the premier sportsbooks in Illinois.
But how does it stack up against the others? We reviewed every inch of the sportsbook, including its user experience, bonus bets, mobile app experience, responsible gaming access and more to give you a comprehensive look at whether PointsBet is the right sportsbook to place your bets.
|+ Local flare||X Mobile app|
|+ Odds boosts||X Same-game parlays|
|+ Parlay boosters|
|+ Live customer chat|
Like all major sportsbooks, PointsBet has several different promo codes for customers to take advantage of when signing up. The current offer includes a 100% deposit match up to $250, meaning players can deposit up to $250 and receive that same amount back in the form of free bets. Bonus funds will appear in accounts within 60 minutes of a qualifying deposit ($10 minimum) and expire 14 days after being credited to accounts. These bets can only be used on a fixed odds bet. PointsBet has a one-time playthrough requirement, so any winnings from free bets played and won will then be deposited into members' available funds.
Another sign-up offer that PointsBet gives its new members is up to $2,000 in free bets. PointsBet will give members up to $500 in free bets if they lose their first fixed odds bet, up to the dollar amount the player wagered. If your first fixed odds bet is $400 on the Bulls to cover against the Lakers and they fail to do so, you'll be rewarded with $400 in free bets. Similarly, PointsBet offers up to $1,500 back on a players' first PointsBetting wager if that bet loses. Use the PointsBet promo code ILSTAKES to receive those risk-free bets back if you lose. We will explain more about Points Betting in a bit.
Up to $2,000 in free bets is one of the better sign-up promotion offers we've come across at any major sportsbook. If you bet big and win big, you won't receive the free bets, but you'll also have started your PointsBet experience by potentially doubling your money. If you lose, you'll have that same amount in the form of free bets to use.
|Deposit Bonus||Total Bonus Up to $2,000 in free bets ($500 fixed odds bet, $1,500 PointsBetting)|
PointsBet has made the deposit and withdrawal process a simple one for its members.
PointsBet has their own MasterCard that the company describes as its preferred payment method. Customers can user their bank card to transfer funds to and from their PointsBet MasterCard, with those funds being made available to play immediately. Withdrawal is also immediate, and they can access those funds on that card wherever MasterCard is accepted. It’s a nice workaround for bettors whose banks do not allow online gaming transactions.
Players can deposit funds into their account by selecting their account dropdown in the top-right corner of the home screen and clicking on "deposit." PointsBet allows five different payment options, including online banking (recommended), PayNearMe, PayPal, ACH/eCheck and credit/debit cards. Members select the method they want to use to deposit funds, select an amount (minimum $10) and the funds are ready to be used almost immediately.
The withdrawal process is also seamless, one of the added benefits to using legal sportsbooks in the United States. Withdrawals can be done electronically, which can take up to 5 days to receive funds (but is typically much shorter) or by a mailed check, which can take up to 14 days. Members can withdraw their funds by selecting the "withdraw" option on the account dropdown menu to see their available balance that is able to be withdrawn. From there, members can select a withdrawal method, receiving their funds via online banking (recommended), ACH/eCheck, PayPal or a cash withdrawal at any of the four PointsBets Chicago-area sportsbooks.
Like all major sportsbooks, PointsBet has made it simple for its members to deposit and withdraw funds. We haven't experienced any issues with the process, and that's a major bonus when considering some of the problems that players of offshore sportsbooks sometimes encounter.
Responsible gaming options are also available for members who want to set limitations for funds and/or deposits they can bet or deposit in a given day, week, or month. PointsBet makes these options readily accessible, easy to understand and simple to use on its responsible gaming page.
If there's a sport to be bet on, PointsBet has you covered. It offers all the major markets such as betting on the NBA, NFL, MLB and NHL, and there are also more than a dozen other sports to choose from, including boxing, tennis, MMA and even darts. What's more, PointsBet also offers a number of different leagues within all sports that make the betting experience one that can be enjoyed at any time of the day or night. Where there's a market or game, there's a PointsBet bet to be placed.
If you're looking for a local flare to your sports betting experience, PointsBet is for you. They're more of a state-specific operator than some of the other major sports, such as IL DraftKings Illinois or FanDuel Illinois. When you log onto PointsBet, you know right away that you're on an Illinois sportsbook. That's a unique feature and added bonus, and one of PointsBet's biggest selling points.
Whereas a typical online sportsbook doesn't have all that many localized odds boosts, PointsBet goes out of their way to provide boosts for Illinois teams. It could be boosting the bet on the Illinois MLB team the White Sox moneyline on a given night from -110 to +110 or boosting the parlay odds of a Kris Bryant home run and a Cubs victory from +400 to +650. Because PointsBet is affiliated with NBC Sports, Sunday Night Football betting is routinely an event that gets odds boosts, with even larger promotions if the Bears are part of the action.
What's more, PointsBet makes sure to place their local odds boosts front and center on the website. Whereas some sportsbooks will make you dig around the website or at the very least click through multiple links to find their local markets and boosts, these are routinely the first thing that bettors will see when they log on. PointsBet also features local athletes as spokespersons for the sportsbook, including former Bears player Devin Hester. NBA Hall of Famer Allen Iverson is a national spokesperson for the company.
PointsBet is a full-scale sportsbook with thousands of different betting options. The most popular and traditional bets include point spreads, totals, moneyline, player prop bets, team prop bets and futures. These sports betting markets are all typically offered for each of the 17 different sports PointsBet offers. In addition to standard betting options, PointsBet features a unique version of betting called PointsBetting.
In short, the more your bet is correct, the more you win. The more your bet is wrong, the more you lose. For example, a $10 PointsBetting bet on the Bulls -4 would yield $100 if the Bulls were to win by 14 points ($10 x the Bulls winning by 10 more points than the spread). Likewise, a six-point Bulls loss would result in a $100 loss ($10 PointsBetting bet x the Bulls losing by 10 more points than the spread).
This PointsBetting option is available for game spreads, game totals and several player propositions. Sports bettors can cap their max PointsBetting winnings and max losses to avoid a significant loss. PointsBetting is as unique a feature as any major sportsbook has, but it does take some getting used to, so make you understand what your bet is, how much it could potentially win or lose is, before placing it.
While it's not necessarily a PointsBet promo or contest, another unique feature on PointsBet sportsbook is the Karma Kommittee. If PointsBet notices a bad beat or a wrong call by an official changing the outcome of a bet, it will consider refunding the losing side of the bet and/or offer a free bet in exchange. It's a nice feature that isn't available at all sportsbooks, and bettors can Tweet at the PointsBet Twitter account to alert them of something the Karma Kommittee should look at, making the experience an interactive one.
Another unique feature on PointsBet is the "name your bet" tool. Bettors can get creative with the kind of market, sport or league they want to be on by creating their own bet and sending it to PointsBet. If PointsBet accepts the bet, it will create specific odds for that bet and place it in the "name your bet" tab. All PointsBet bettors are then eligible to bet on the unique market. One example includes touchdowns thrown by Bears rookie quarterback Justin Fields in 2021.
In addition to the traditional sports betting options, PointsBet also has a handful of other features that make the betting experience an even more enjoyable one. They include cash out options, live bets, odds boosts and single-game parlays. These features make for an interactive experience for bettors who can find more value, better plays and more lucrative incentives if they take advantage of these readily accessible features.
Sports betting doesn't stop when the game starts. PointsBet offers hundreds of different live betting options during events in just about every market, with live odds, spreads and totals changing in real time. PointsBet's quick response time allows for bettors to quickly make live bets as the event is happening, and the sportsbook does a nice job of allowing users to make a follow-up bet if odds have changed in the time the player went to place a bet and when it was declined.
Sports betting is about knowing which games to play and about knowing when to take the money and run. It's why PointsBet offers a cash out option for members who don't want to potentially lose their bet on a backdoor cover or believe their bet is going to lose and want to salvage what's left of it.
The cash out option is not always available during a live event, particularly if the game in question has already been essentially decided, but often members will have the option during an event to cash out for a percentage of the full payout. PointsBet's quick response time and excellent live betting features make cash out options seamless.
Sports betting is all about finding the best value. And if you've come to PointsBet, you can be sure you're getting that kind of value. The PointsBet sportsbook routinely offers odds boosts, whether that's local teams playing a nationally-televised games, a three-leg parlay or a specific market like the NBA Draft or March Madness. Not all odds are created equal, and PointsBet is often giving its users the ability for higher payouts on popular betting markets. Those odds boosts are easy to find for members to take advantage of, which isn't always the case at all sportsbooks.
Same-game parlays are becoming increasingly popular at major sportsbooks, and PointsBet is getting in on the action. PointsBet refers to these as single-game parlays, though they are only available in certain markets and on certain games. That being said, PointsBet continues to expand those markets and games, and we expect that to continue moving forward. For now, there are not as many same-game parlays offered on PointsBet as there are on other major sportsbooks, but you will find it available for several games.
Online sports betting in the United States can look 100 different ways. Though the content of each website (major markets, spreads, totals, futures) all generally look the same, the way those odds markets are laid out can take many different forms. When it comes to PointsBet, Illinois bettors will find more positives than negatives when it comes to the desktop experience.
The first thing you will see on the home screen are current promotions. In addition to the promotions being listed, PointsBet routinely has fun graphics attached to each promotion that make it even more appealing to click on. It's a small thing, but one that we noticed as a small bonus. The home page also features the most popular sports and leagues in play, which are usually the NFL, NBA, MLB and NHL. The other tab next to featured leagues are the in-play games, so members will have access to the most popular live events happening at any given time.
All sports betting markets are available via a dropdown menu, with PointsBet listing its featured markets at the top, followed by all available markets in an A-Z list. PointsBet also recently added a search bar to its dropdown main menu, though the website is structured so well that most members won't have any need for it. That dropdown menu also includes a link to PointsBet's blog to give members the latest updates on what's happening with the online sportsbook.
Within each market, league, and/or sport, PointsBet features tabs at the top of each page with access to the featured games and events in that market, the live games and events in that market, and the upcoming games and events in that market. Whether you're looking to make a fixed odds bet, a live bet or a futures bet, everything is accessible on a single page, so sports bettors won't need to jump around multiple pages to find what they're looking for.
PointsBet also makes it easy for its players to understand everything going on with their account. A dropdown on the right side of the screen gives customers access to their balance, pending bets, settled bets, deposit and withdrawal options, free bet options and other rewards. The best part is all that information is in a dropdown menu, so members can continue betting while looking at that info in real time.
Last but certainly not least, the live chat customer support on PointsBet is one of the best features we uncovered when reviewing the sportsbook. It's accessible and easy to utilize on both the desktop and PointsBet mobile app, the 24/7 function is real and the PointsBet team members are friendly, quick to respond and almost always able to answer questions. Like the dropdown menus for accounts, the live chat is a pop-up app. so members will be able to continue playing while getting their questions answered.
PointsBet's mobile app is a spitting image of the desktop. And that's a good thing. It's easy to download the PointsBet app and is available for both iOS and Android. Members will find the same black background, red and gray tabs, and white fonts for teams, spreads, totals and odds on the app. The same banners atop the website are featured on the mobile app, so players can easily find the most popular major markets that they're looking for. The PointsBet app has a navigation tool along the bottom of the screen for users to locate the main menu, specific sports, live games, quick parlay options and a player's current unsettled bets.
Players can also easily access their account information from the right side of the PointsBet app, and each player's balance, PointsBet points and free bets balance is easily readable in that same location, almost identical to the desktop experience. If there's one downside to the app, it's that bet slips don't populate as effectively as we've experienced on some other sportsbooks' mobile apps. There can be some lag time, which can make a difference for users trying to bet on live events. It's not necessarily a huge negative, but we have noticed more problems using the PointsBet app than we do other sportsbooks.
Overall, the PointsBet app provides just as many varieties, boosts, promotions and offers as the desktop. Users can rest easy knowing their mobile app experience will be almost identical when they're on the go.
PointsBet has made the registration process for its users a simple one. Like many of the major sportsbooks such as Illinois BetMGM or BetRivers Ilinois , players will need to sign up using their contact information and personal information. Players simply use their email address as their username, unlike some sportsbooks that have players create unique usernames. Make sure to use our promo code ILSTAKES during the registration process.
PointsBet does have not have a loyalty program but does offer benefits to its members in the form of promotions and rewards. In addition to daily promotions such as odds boosts and parlay boosters, members receive points with every bet they place that can be redeemed for free bets.
Members receive 1 point for every $5 fixed odds bets, 1 reward point for a $1 parlay bet and 1 reward point for every dollar won or lost through PointsBetting. Members can also receive 100 points for a $100 parlay, 200 points for a $200 fixed bet, 300 points for a $300 PointsBetting win, 300 points for a $300 in-play bet, and 100 points for a $100 in-play parlay.
Members can then redeem their points for free bets. Every 1000 points earned equals $10 in free bets.
PointsBet also has a newly formed invitation-only Platinum Club, which is described as "an exclusive betting experience for select PointsBet customers. Members receive personalized benefits as they move toward unlocking Diamond Club level status." The PointsBet club won't be available to the majority of members but is an option for high-stakes PointsBet clients.
Like many of the major sportsbooks in the United States, PointsBet takes responsible gaming seriously and provides members with resources if they need help. PointsBet has an entire page dedicated to responsible gaming that includes links for members to set deposit limits, time-on-site limits, spend limits and cool-off periods of 3, 7, or 30 days.
PointsBet also conveniently provides bettors with a dropdown menu of frequently asked questions surrounding responsible gaming, including warning signs, who to contact if you believe you have a problem, preventing children from betting, PointsBet's commitment to help bettors and closing your account. Live chat customer support is always available for those who need it as well.
Lastly, PointsBet has a player protection page on its website (accessible from the responsible gaming page) that allows bettors to reset their password or dispute a bet, with a link to the Illinois Gaming Board if PointsBet is unable to resolve the issue.
Most major sportsbooks are comprehensive and genuine about their commitment to responsible gaming within sports betting. PointsBet's thorough info is no different here.
If you're a diehard fan of the Bulls, Blackhawks, Bears, Cubs or White Sox, it's tough to beat PointsBet as a sports betting experience. Local flare is always front-and-center, whether it's the featured matchup or a particular odds boost. For those who don't care about the Illinois teams, they're a click away from a full-scale sportsbook with hundreds of different markets to choose from on an easily accessible sportsbook with no lag time and real-time updates to odds.
The PointsBet mobile app is a virtual replica of the desktop website, while members being able to utilize the PointsBetting feature is something they won't find anywhere else. The attention to detail that PointsBet gives to local teams and players is also second to none, making the sportsbook the most personal of any we've reviewed. The name your bet option on PointsBet is also a unique feature that allows members to really feel like PointsBet is their own sportsbook. New members receiving bets up to $2,000 with a simple PointsBet promo code is a nice touch, too.
There are no casinos feature or any daily fantasy sports, though the former isn't all that big of a deal considering Illinois Online Casinos are not legal .
Yes, the PointsBet sportsbook is legal in Illinois as of July 2020.
Yes, all money won on PointsBet's sportsbook is considered income and must be reported on state and federal tax returns, according to the IRS.
Yes, with an exception. Players can bet on college sports in Illinois except for games that include a school located in Illinois or a game played within the state lines. All other college sports bets are allowed. Markets for those games that are ineligible will not populate on the website or PointsBet app.
Yes, PointsBet can be accessed outside of Illinois but can only be used to place real money bets in any of the other states in which they have a license. Those states include New Jersey, Indiana, Michigan, Colorado and Iowa.
Mark Strotman is a veteran sports journalist who has covered the Chicago Bulls and the NBA for NBC Sports Chicago for about 8 years. His work has also appeared on ESPN.com, FoxSports.com, The Chicago Tribune, Yahoo Sports and NBC Sports. He covered the NBA Playoffs in 2013, 2014, 2015 and 2017 as well as Team USA Basketball in 2014 and 2016. He has also covered high school football and was nominated for a Midwest Emmy in 2016 for his work on a documentary featuring local Chicago product and NFL prospect Miles Boykin.