Illinois Free Bets

If you're looking for the best legal sportsbooks available in Illinois, you're in luck! We broke down everything they have to offer for residents so you can pick which best suits you. NOTE: Illinois law requires that players complete their registration in-person at the sportsbook’s partnering casino or racetrack
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Sports betting has been legal in the state of Illinois since March 2020 when Rivers Casino Des Paines began accepting bets. Online sports betting began a few months later, with BetRivers being the first to open its virtual doors. The state has legalized both in-person and online sports betting for its residents and anyone visiting the state.

Unlike states like New Jersey and Colorado, Illinois requires bettors to register in person before they can use their account. However, this rule has been temporarily suspended and customers can currently register online from their home or anywhere else in the state.

Despite only allowing online sports betting recently, Illinois has a good selection of sportsbooks available. These sportsbooks operate in partnership with physical casinos and racetracks, though standalone online sportsbooks will be allowed to launch by early 2022.

Top Illinois Sports Betting Sites

Gambling in Illinois is easy thanks to a wealth of great sportsbooks. The state has several national brands operating within its borders, including DraftKings, William Hill, and PointsBet. This means there is plenty of competition in the state, meaning bettors are offered generous welcome bonuses, free bets, and competitive odds.

At OddsChecker, our team of sports betting experts have reviewed all of the Illinois sports betting brands to find the best ones. We’ve compiled the table below to help you find the one that’s most suited to your needs.

With strong competition in the state, Illinois sportsbooks are offering fantastic free bets and welcome offers. There are thousands of dollars of free bets and risk-free bets on offer that new customers can take advantage of right now. This includes a $1,000 risk-free bet to use on Monday Night Football from FanDuel Sportsbook and a $300 risk-free bet from William Hill.

Check out the table below for all the latest Illinois sports gambling promo codes and free bets.

Illinois Sports Betting Sites 2021

In a very short space of time, many of the biggest names in US sports betting have begun offering their services to people in Illinois. Bettors in the state are spoilt for choice when looking for a site to make wagers on many major sports. Here are some of the biggest and best.


BetRivers was the first online sportsbook to begin operating in the state of Illinois. It is the digital arm of the Rivers Casino brand and offers an extensive range of betting markets, covering all major US and international sports and competitions. All main types of bet are available, including parlays, totals, spreads, futures, and moneylines.

The app is easy to use and navigate around and is available on both iOS and Android. A desktop version is also available for anyone wanting to place bets on their computer.

William Hill

William Hill is one of the biggest sportsbook brands in the world. Originally founded in the United Kingdom, the company now lets sports fans in several countries place bets on their favorite sports.

William Hill offers a wide selection of betting markets and generous free bet offers for new customers to take advantage of.

Click here to read our William Hill review


PointsBet is another major sportsbook in the US. It is different from other brands as it operates a non-fixed odds system that means your returns or losses can change depending on the final outcome of the game.

This is a system that appeals to those that love to analyze data, statistics, and trends when making their betting decisions.

It also offers the largest betting market in the world for both the NBA and the NFL, which is quite the accolade.

Click here to read our PointsBet review


DraftKings is a brand that needs no introduction. It is one of the biggest daily fantasy and sportsbook brands in the United States, operating in almost all of the states that have legalized sports betting.

Its size has allowed it to create one of the best sportsbook apps on the market, providing a great experience to its users. This size also allows it to give out generous signup bonuses to new customers. Its current offer is worth up to $1,000 through a combination of a deposit bonus and a matched first bet.

Click here to read our DraftKings review


FanDuel is another juggernaut in the online sportsbook and daily fantasy market. Like DraftKings, it offers up to $1,000 to new customers in the form of a risk-free bet. It also has a wide range of daily odds boosts that can help increase your returns on successful bets.

It also has a first-class app experience that is easy to navigate and offers an extensive market of different sports and wager types to satisfy most bettors.

Click here to read our FanDuel review

Online Horse Betting In Illinois

Betting on horse racing has been legal in Illinois for quite some time. Parimutuel betting on horses was given an exception under the now-defunct Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act (PASPA), allowing it to take place in Illinois.

There are several dedicated horse racing books that operate in Illinois, including big names like BetAmerica, TVG, TwinSpires, and Xpressbet. Like other sportsbooks, most of these brands offer generous signup bonuses to encourage you to open an account with them.

Some, including TVG, also have an extensive range of races that are streamed via their platform, allowing you to bet and follow your horse’s progress live.

Frequently Asked Questions

When did online sports betting become legal in Illinois?

Sports betting became legal in Illinois in March 2020. The first bets were placed on March 9 at the Rivers Casino Des Paines. Three months later, the casino’s BetRivers online brand launched in the state.

Like in several other states, online sportsbooks operate in partnership with physical casinos or racetracks. Illinois requires you to register with the sportsbook in person before you can place bets online.

Are Offshore Sportsbooks Legal In Illinois?

Offshore sportsbooks are not legal in Illinois or any other US state. Sportsbooks must be licensed by the Illinois Gaming Board, which offshore sites are not.

Operators of offshore sportsbooks that allow US residents to bet on sports are breaking state and federal laws. However, using them is not illegal.

Illinois offers a wide selection of sportsbooks, so there is little need to register with an offshore operator. Registering with a licensed sportsbook allows you to bet in confidence since you know it is a legitimate and reputable business.

Can You Bet On College Football In Illinois?

Betting on college sports, including college football, is allowed in Illinois, however, there are some restrictions. Firstly, bettors in Illinois are prevented from betting on any games where any of the state’s teams are competing.

This means that games involving Northern Illinois Huskies, Northwestern Wildcats, or the Illinois Fighting Illini are excluded from the slate.

Additionally, sportsbooks accepting wagers on college games are required to buy licensed “official league data”, which can increase the costs for operators. Potentially resulting in lower odds for customers compared to other states.

How To Place A Sports Bet In Illinois?

Gambling in Illinois is easy and you can have your account up and running in minutes. Just follow these easy steps.

Choose the Illinois sportsbook that you want to join. Check out the comparison table on this page to choose the sportsbook that’s right for you Sign up for your chosen sports betting site. Legislation in Illinois requires that you complete this process in person, though these rules have been temporarily suspended, meaning you can complete the process online.

Make your first deposit. Each online sportsbook accepts different payment methods for deposits, though most allow you to do it through your online banking or a Visa, Mastercard, or Discover card.

Place your bets. Choose from the wide selection of markets offered by all of the Illinois sports betting brands and then place your bets.

Can Anyone Bet On Sports In Illinois?

Anyone over 21, who has completed the registration process can place bets on sports within the state of Illinois. The law requires you to visit a sportsbook in-person to complete the sign-up process, but after this, you are free to place bets from wherever you want within the state.

You don’t need to live in Illinois to be able to use its sportsbooks. You just need to be within its borders while you place the bet. This means visitors to the state and those traveling through it can also make wagers.

Which Illinois Sportsbook Offers The Best Odds?

With a good selection of sportsbooks operating in Illinois, operators need to provide good odds to remain competitive. That doesn’t mean you’ll find the same odds with each sports betting site though, so it’s best to compare the odds on offer from each.

Thankfully, you can do this with just a few clicks with OddsChecker. We do the hard work for you: finding, collating, and comparing the odds from all of the most trusted sportsbooks in Ilinois to find you the bookie that’s offering the best returns.

What Sports Can You Bet On In Illinois?

Sports fans in Illinois have a myriad of options when it comes to leagues, tournaments, and competitions that they can bet on. The sportsbooks operating in the state accept wagers on all major domestic and international sports, including:




MLS and other soccer leagues


College football

College basketball




Horse racing




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