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
All Bookies Are:
US LicensedSecure & TrustedFast Withdrawals
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DraftKings logo
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Fanduel logo
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Recommended
BetMGM logo
Risk-Free Bet Up To $1,000
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Pointsbet logo
2 Risk-Free Bets Up To $2,000 + $100 in Free Bets
Recommended
BetRivers logo
100% Match Up To $250

Other Illinois Free Bets

Caesars Sportsbook logo

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DraftKings logo

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Twinspires logo

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DraftKings logo

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Illinois sports betting was legalized at retail locations on June 28, 2019, when Governor J.B. Pritzker signed bill SB690 into law, paving the way for sports betting in the state. After the Illinois Sports Wagering Act passed, the first-ever legal sports bet was placed at Rivers Casino Des Plains on March 9, 2020. On June 18, 2020, Rush Street Interactive (the digital arm of Rush Street Gaming, owner of Rivers Casinos) launched Illinois’ first sportsbook app and website.

The state then welcomed more US-leading sportsbooks, including BetMGM, Caesars, FanDual, and PointsBet. However, it was not until March 5, 2022, that Illinois online sportsbooks started operating without in-person registration requirements. Now you can sign up for an Illinois betting app anywhere within the state. With seven online Illinois sportsbooks operating in the state, players have plenty of options.

Regulator Illinois Gaming Board Launch Date June 28, 2019
Tax Rate 4.59% Registration Allowed from anywhere in state

With the in-person registration requirement removed and retail and online sportsbooks available, Illinois sportsbooks are now more accessible in the state. Legal sportsbooks available to Illinois bettors include DraftKings, Caesars, FanDuel, BetMGM, PointsBet, BetRivers, and Barstool.

All sportsbook operators offer various sign-up bonuses for new users, and some offer rewards programs and bonuses to reward the loyalty of existing customers. Illinois sports betting apps have a wide range of payment solutions, unique features like live streaming and live betting, and native mobile apps. You don’t have to live in Illinois to bet legally. As long as you are old enough to gamble and within state borders, you can sign up and place bets in minutes. Illinois sports betting Is safe, fun, and 100% legal.

 

Sports Betting Operators in Illinois

With Illinois being one of the larger states, the market for online sports betting is huge. Smaller states often attract fewer betting operators, but with more than 12 million residents, Illinois has attracted many of the largest sportsbooks. This is great as a competitive market for Illinois sports betting leads to better promos and allows bettors to shop for the best lines.

No restrictions prevent more sportsbooks from launching, with seven already taking wagers in the state. The Illinois sportsbooks currently operating are very high quality, so there is not necessarily a need for more.

NAME PARTNER LAUNCH DATE PROMO
DraftKings Sportsbook DraftKings at Casino Queen August 2020 $50 free bet, plus a 20% deposit match up to $1,000
Caesars Sportsbook Harrah's Metropolis September 2020 $1100 bet insurance
FanDuel FanDuel Sportsbook & Horse Racing (Fairmount Park) August 2020 Bet $5, get $150 free
BetMGM Online License March 2022 $1000 risk-free bet
PointsBet Hawthorne Race Course September 2020 $2200 risk-free bets
BetRivers Rivers Casino Sportsbook June 2020 $250 deposit match
Barstool Sportsbook Hollywood Casino Joliet, Aurora, Argosy Casino Alton March 2021 $1,000 risk-free
 

Best Illinois Sportsbook Apps

DraftKings

DraftKings is not one just one of the best Illinois sportsbooks but one of the best operators in the country. The Daily Fantasy Sports operator that turned into a sportsbook offers extensive market coverage, many betting types, and a state-of-the-art app. DraftKings Illinois sportsbook is partnered with Casino Queen and was launched in August 2020. The DraftKings Sportsbook at Casino Queen is located in East St Louis, Illinois.

DraftKings is well known for having a user-friendly website/mobile app with a sleek design. It also takes a top spot in the industry for its daily odds boosts, deposit bonuses, betting specials, and excellent customer service.

Caesars

Caesars Sportsbook in Illinois was one of the very first to launch in the state back in September 2020. Partnered with Harrah's Metropolis, Caesars Metropolis is located in Metropolis, Illinois.

Caesars’ acquisition of William Hill online sports betting in 2020 for $3.7 billion was finalized in August 2021. This massive deal immediately took Caesars to the top of the industry. Caesars is a high-quality sportsbook and had been a steady name in gambling even before the Supreme Court's ruling allowing states to legalize online sports betting in 2018, thanks to its parent company’s portfolio of casinos across the US.

Caesars is constantly running great promotions for new users and has a solid rewards program for current users. Caesars app and website are easy to use, making it one of the best Illinois sportsbooks.

FanDuel

FanDuel got its start in DFS and is still one of the best in this industry. However, FanDuel expanded its business to include a sportsbook following 2018 when it was acquired by Flutter Entertainment, one of the largest gambling operators worldwide. Just as it is in the daily fantasy market, FanDuel has quickly become one of the best sportsbooks in the country.

Illinois sports betting was kicked off by FanDuel, tied with DraftKings as the first sportsbook to launch in the state in August 2020. FanDuel sportsbook in Illinois is partnered with FanDuel Sportsbook and Horse Racing (Fairmount Park), located in Collinsville, Illinois. FanDuel has one of, if not the best, website and mobile apps in the industry.

BetMGM

Launched in March 2022, BetMGM is the first sportsbook in Illions that operates without a partnership with a land-based casino. BetMGM is another solid and reputable Illinois sportsbook, offering fantastic promos and offers, with a strong rewards program for members. While there are some issues with BetMGM’s website and app, it is evident BetMGM has put a focus on its users. BetMGM has everything any Illinois sportsbook bettor could want with a diverse sports offering.

PointsBet

PointsBet is perhaps one of the most underrated Illinois sportsbooks and one of the longest-running, having launched in September 2020. Partnered with Hawthorne Race Course in Cicero, Illinois, PointsBet has a strong reputation among experienced bettors.

The PointsBet app and website are among the industry's fastest and make placing live bets easier than many other sportsbooks. When there is an issue or players have a question, PointsBet offers 24/7 chat help. The chat help is with a real person, not a bot. Typically, a customer service representative is available within five minutes of entering the chat queue.

 

Legislation Timeline

Illinois sports betting was not possible until 2018 because of the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act of 1992 (PASPA). When the United States Supreme Court overturned PASPA, it paved the way for the possibility of sports betting not just in Illinois, but the whole of the US.

  • • 2018: Illinois sports betting gained support to be legalized from the moment the PASPA was overturned. However, it didn't get any serious momentum from legislators until the following year.

  • • 2019: Illinois Governor J.B. Pritzker put pressure on the legislators in the state as he included Illinois sports betting revenue in his 2019 budget. While there were some battles and arguments, the legislators were able to work things out pretty fast as Pritzker was able to sign the Illinois Sports Wagering Act into law in June 2019.

  • • March 2020: The first retail sportsbooks opened but quickly were shuttered due to the global Covid-19 pandemic.

  • • May 2020: Governor Pritzker suspended the in-person registration requirement for sportsbooks.

  • • June 2020: BetRivers starts operating as the first Illinois online sportsbook. By the end of 2020, there were another four online sportsbooks up and running in the state.

  • • March 2021: As the sixth online Illinois sportsbook opened, Barstool Sports, the Illinois General Assembly voted to permanently reinstate the in-person registration requirement and allow pre-game in-person wagering on Illinois college teams.

  • • January 2022: After waiting for 16 months, BetMGM was the first online license approved without a land-based partnership within Illinois.

  • • March 2022: Illinois sports betting in-person registration requirement is officially removed.

Illinois sports betting has continually developed and gotten better since its initial legalization. Few other states have continued to put so much time into legislation to improve sports betting.

Here are a few essential Illinois sports betting laws and things to know:

  • • The license fee for a sportsbook in Illinois is 5% of their income, capped at no more than $10 million a year. This does not include an online-only license with a $20 million fee.

  • • All licenses are valid for up to four years with a renewable $1 million yearly fee.

  • • Illinois sports betting is taxed at a 15% rate of gross gaming revenue.

Illinois sports betting has been great for the state's tax revenues, having one of the highest net incomes. For example, revenue from Super Bowl LVI was $9.5 million. The Illinois betting handle has gone over $800 million multiple times while online sports betting has been legalized.

 

Illinois Sports Teams

The city has given all Chicago stadiums the go-ahead to operate an Illinois sportsbook at or near their stadium. Here are some of the most popular sports teams you’ll find in the city and the state.

Chicago Cubs

The MLB’s Chicago Cubs play at the famous Wrigley Field and last won a World Series in 2016, breaking a 100 plus year drought.

Chicago White Sox

The Chicago White Sox also plays in the MLB on the other side of the city at Guaranteed Rate Field. The White Sox have won three World Series like its city rivals.

Chicago Bulls

While the Chicago Bulls have not seen an NBA championship since Michael Jordan was the city’s king, it is still one of the best tickets in the NBA, playing its home games at the United Center.

Chicago Sky

Chicago Sky is the city’s WNBA team and plays its home games at Wintrust Arena. One of the most exciting teams in the WNBA, the Sky last won a championship in 2021.

Chicago Bears

Playing its home games at the historic Soldier Field, the Chicago Bears boast one of the most extraordinary NFL game experiences. It is well known for its cold winter games, as temperatures can get below freezing, and the winds can get crazy.

Chicago Blackhawks

One of the original six NHL teams, the Chicago Blackhawks plays its home games at the United Center. Winning three championships this century in 2010, 2013, 2015, it’s one of the most storied franchises in all of hockey.

Chicago Fire FC

Chicago Fire competes in the MLS (Major League Soccer). The team plays its home games at Soldier Field and has made a huge impact in the short history of the MLS. The Fire is one of the most successful franchises, with four US Open Cup championships and one MLS championship.

Chicago Red Stars

The Chicago Red Stars is an incredible NWSL team playing at SeatGeek Stadium. It won the league championship in its inaugural 2013 season and added a second championship in 2017.

 

Illinois Land-Based Sportsbooks

There are many excellent retail sportsbooks that you can visit all across Illinois. While there is no longer a need for in-person registration, many of the retail sportsbooks still offer a tremendous in-person experience with restaurants, bars, and the capabilities for watching games.

Name Location
DraftKings At Casino Queen 200 S Front St, East St Louis, IL 62201
Rivers Casino Des Plaines Sportsbook 3000 S River Rd, Des Plaines, IL 60018
PointsBet Off-Track Betting Facilities Crestwood: 13148 Rivercrest Dr, Crestwood, IL 60445
Oakbrook Terrace: 17W648 22nd St, Oakbrook Terrace, IL 60181
Prospect Heights: 1250 River Rd, Prospect Heights, IL 60070
Par-A-Dice (FanDuel Sportsbook) Riverboat Casino in East Peoria
Grand Victoria (Caesars Sportsbook) 250 S Grove Ave, Elgin, IL 60120
Argosy Casino Alton Sportsbook (Penn National Gaming) 1 Piasa St, Alton, IL 62002
Hollywood Joliet (Penn National Gaming) 777 Hollywood Blvd, Joliet, IL 60436
Hollywood Aurora (Penn National Gaming) 1 W New York St, Aurora, IL 60506
Harrah’s Joliet and Metropolis (Barstool Sportsbook) 151 N Joliet St, Joliet, IL 60432
PointsBet Sportsbook At Hawthorne Racecourse 3501 S. Laramie, Stickney/Cicero, IL 60804
 

FAQs

How do you register for an Illinois sportsbook?

You can register for an Illinois sportsbook in-person or online. When Illinois sports betting first launched in 2020, you needed to register in person. That is no longer the case, and now you simply have to be within the state’s border to register on any approved Illinois sports betting app or website.

Is sports betting legal in Illinois?

Yes, Illinois sports betting has been legal since legislation was passed in 2019. The first Illinois sportsbooks started operating in June 2020. This was made possible when the US Supreme Court overturned the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act of 1992 (PASPA). That allowed any state to legislate sports betting. Illinois moved quickly and legalized it soon after.

Can I bet on college football in Illinois?

Yes, you can bet on college football in Illinois. Previously, the state had laws in place preventing bettors from wagering on in-state college teams. This changed in 2021, but there is still a restriction that betting on in-state college teams can only be done before the game starts. No live betting on in-state college teams is allowed.

What can you not bet on in Illinois?

Bettors can bet on pretty much any sport when wagering in Illinois, and all major league sports have many betting markets. However, there are restrictions on betting markets like politics and award ceremonies. The Illinois Gaming Board can approve betting on specific e-sport events, but bettors can’t wager on e-sports in general. Apart from this, players are only limited by what sports the betting site they are using offers.

How old do you need to be to bet in Illinois?

While anyone that is over the age of 18-years old can legally buy lottery tickets at over 7,200 available retail locations, you must be over the age of 21-years old to legally bet. Many Illinois betting apps will require age verification before you can access all account features. You can do this by uploading copies of your photographic ID. This will prove your age and allow you to withdraw cash from Illinois betting site accounts.

Can I play daily fantasy sports in Illinois?

Yes, daily fantasy sports are legal to play in Illinois. Before the United States Supreme Court overturned the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act, daily fantasy sports was a hot-button topic all over the country. In Illinois, the state's Supreme Court rules that daily fantasy sports are contests of skill and are not illegal under state law. Now that Illinois sports betting is legal, it is a mute topic. Several of Illinois' betting apps also have daily fantasy sports offered on the same mobile app or website.

Can you bet on horse racing in Illinois?

Absolutely, betting on horse racing in Illinois is entirely legal. There are two horse racing tracks in the state where people can legally place a bet, Fairmount Park and Hawthorne Race Course. These tracks also offer multiple satellite locations for off-track betting throughout the state. There are 13 off-track betting locations when counting both of the primary race tracks together. People can also bet on horse racing online in Illinois. There are even daily fantasy sports games that incorporate horse racing games.

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