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.
|Tax rate||Regulator||Launch date||Registration|
|4.95%||Illinois Gaming Board||June 28, 2019||Allowed from anywhere in state|
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.
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.
|DraftKings Sportsbook||$50 free bet, plus a 20% deposit match up to $1,000||DraftKings at Casino Queen||August 2020|
|Caesars Sportsbook||$1100 bet insurance||Harrah's Metropolis||September 2020|
|FanDuel||Bet $5, get $150 free||FanDuel Sportsbook and Horse Racing (Fairmount Park)||August 2020|
|BetMGM||$1000 risk-free bet||Online License||March 2020|
|PointsBet||$2200 risk-free bets||Hawthorne Race Course||September 2020|
|BetRivers||$$250 deposit match||DraftKings at Casino Queen||June 2020|
|Barstool Sportsbook||$1,000 risk-free||Hollywood Casino Joliet, Aurora, Argosy Casino Alton||March 2021|
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 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 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.
Launched in March 2022, BetMGM is the first sportsbook in Illinois 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 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.
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.
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.
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.
A sports betting handle tells you how much was wagered in a state over a specific time period. Most betting handles will show you the monthly totals. A betting handle is a great way to see the interest in sports betting in a particular jurisdiction alongside the impact of certain rules and law changes. Check out the Illinois betting handle below, and see how the removal of in-person registration has boosted monthly totals.
|April 2020||— (Sportsbooks shut because of Covid-19)|
|May 2020||— (Sportsbooks shut because of Covid-19)|
There is one team in every major league sports league in Illinois, with most popular sports teams based in Chicago. The city has given all stadiums the go-ahead to operate a retail sportsbook at or near the stadium. Here are some of the most popular sports teams you’ll find in the city and the state.
The Chicago Cubs are a professional baseball team that competes in Major League Baseball (MLB) as part of the National League (NL) Central Division.
The team was inaugurated in 1870 under the stewardship of William Hulbert, a pioneer of professional baseball, and was initially known as the Chicago White Stockings. In 1876, Hulbert signed several star players to his new team, including Adrian “Cap” Anson and Albert Spalding, and joined the new National League as a charter member.The Cubs went on to win the league’s first pennant.
In 1881 Hulbert died, and Spalding, who had gone on to form Spalding Sporting Goods, took over the team. After the loss of Anson in 1897, Spalding revamped his side with several promising players, and the press nicknamed the franchise the Cubs. The team won back-to-back World Series in 1907 and 1908.
The team moved into a new ballpark in 1916 named Weeghman Park. Chewing-gum magnate Bill Wrigley bought the team in 1921 and renamed the field Wrigley Park, which remains the Cubs’ home to this day. The team reached the World Series under Wrigley’s ownership six times between 1929 and 1945. However, the team didn’t win a World Series during this period.
In the 1945 World Series, stadium officials ejected a man called William Sianis and his goat from the stadium. Sianis telegrammed the team owners in response that the Cubs would never win another World Series, beginning the “Curse of the Billy Goat.”
Despite various attempts to reverse the curse, the team failed to reach the World Series from 1945 to 2015. However, in 2016, the Cubs reached the World Series and beat the Cleveland Indians 4-3. This ended the longest drought without a World Series championship in MLB history.
The Chicago White Sox is an MLB team competing in the American League (AL) Central Division. Located on the South Side of Chicago, the team is known as the South Siders. Founded in 1900, the team was an AL charter member, winning the inaugural AL pennant.
The White Sox reached its first World Series in 1906, defeating crosstown rivals Chicago Cubs in six games. In 1910 the Sox moved to Comiskey Park and added a second win in the Fall Classic in 1917 when it defeated the New York Giants.
In 1919, the team lost to massive underdogs, Cincinnati Reds, fuelling speculation White Sox players had fixed the series. Eight of Chicago’s best players were banned, and the team didn’t win another pennant for 40 years. The team had a period of success from 1951-1967, the high point of which was winning the AL in 1959.
The White Sox declined from the late 1960s to the 1970s. Rumors began that the team would relocate to either Seattle or Milwaukee in the early 1970s. However, relocation was mooted in the late 1980s as owners sought a new ballpark on the site of Comiskey Park. A deal with the city of Tampa, Florida, was nearly agreed upon, and only a late deal from the Illinois State Legislature kept the team in Chicago. The new ballpark, “New” Comiskey Park, was opened in 1991.
In 2005 the team won its third World Series championship, sweeping the Houston Astros in four games to collect its first title in 88 years. This broke the second-longest drought for a team going without a World Series win.
Inaugurated in 1966, the Chicago Bulls are an American professional basketball team that competes in the National Basketball Association in its Eastern Conference Central Division. The Bulls were granted an NBA expansion franchise in 1966, becoming the third NBA side in the city after the Stags (1946-1950) and the Zephyrs (1961-1963).
Despite posting the best first-season record for an expansion team in NBA history and making the playoffs, the team subsequently struggled in its opening years. However, the Bull’s fortunes were transformed with the 1984 NBA Draft when Chicago selected Michael Jordan as the third overall pick. Jordan helped the Bulls form one of the greatest dynasties in major league sports, as the team won six championships between 1991 and 1998.
Since Jordan departed from the Bulls in 1998, the team has not reached the NBA Finals or won a Conference Championship. However, Jordan’s six triumphs in the 1990s leave Chicago with the distinction of never losing an NBA Finals series in its history.
A member of the Women’s National Basketball Association (WNBA)’s Eastern Conference, the Chicago Sky was founded before the 2006 WNBA Season. Michelle Williams from Destiny’s Child and Mathew Knowles, father of Beyonce, were announced as the initial owners of the team. Initially, the team struggled to make an impact in the WNBA, posting losing seasons in each of its first seven years. In 2013, the team finished first in the Eastern Conference, earning its first playoff berth. However, the Sky fell in the Conference Semifinals, losing to the Indiana Fever in two games. The team had a prolonged period of success following its first playoff berth, reaching the playoffs for four successive seasons.
After missing out in 2017 and 2018, Chicago returned to the WNBA playoffs in 2019, going out to the Las Vegas Aces and the Connecticut Sun, respectively. In 2021, the team finally won its first WNBA title, beating the Phoenix Mercury in four games.
Chicago Bears are a National Football League (NFL) member, playing in its National Football Conference North Division (NFC North). The team is one of the oldest professional football teams in the world, founded in 1919 in Decatur as the Decatur Staleys.
Two years after its founding, the team relocated to Chicago, playing at the home field of the Chicago Cubs, Wrigley Field. After winning its first NFL championship in 1921, the team changed its name to the Bears. During the 1930s, the team won two NFL championships and three divisional titles.
The 1940s were the golden age for the Chicago Bears organization. Throughout the decade, the franchise won four championship games in 1940, 1941, 1943, and 1946, and a divisional title in 1942. Most of this was down to the play of QB Sid Luckman, an elite long-range passer. The Bears claimed one more title in 1963 but struggled after this season, despite recruiting iconic running back Walton Payton.
The struggles finally ended when the organization recruited former Bears running back Mike Ditka as head coach in 1982. Ditka assembled one of the most famous teams of the 1980s on the gridiron, with a defense led by William “The Refrigerator” Perry in a then-revolutionary 46 defense. The team won its last Super Bowl in 1985, beating the New England Patriots 46-10.
Since 1981, the team has played its home games at the historic Soldier Field. It is well known for its cold winter games, as temperatures can get below freezing, and the winds can get crazy.
One of the “Original Six” National Hockey League (NHL) teams, the Chicago Blackhawks are a member of the Central Division of the NHL’s Western Conference. The team was founded in 1926 and was successful in its early years, winning the Stanley Cup in 1934 and 1938. The Blackhawks returned to the finals in 1944 but were defeated in four games by the Montreal Canadiens.
As the Original Six era began, Chicago struggled to break the dominance of the Toronto Maple Leafs, Montreal Canadiens, and Detroit Red Wings. The Red Wings owner James E. Norris held a controlling stake in the Blackhawks and used it to improve his Detroit team. Between 1945 and 1958, the team only made the top-four playoffs twice in a six-team league.
Norris’ son, James D. Norris, took over the club in 1950 and guided the team back to health, acquiring a new young team, including Bobby Hull, Stan Mitka, and Pierre Pilote. This returned Chicago to the playoffs in 1959. In 1961, the Blackhawks shocked the Detroit Red Wings in the Stanley Cup Finals to claim the trophy. However, this triumph marked the start of a series of near misses, with the team reaching the Stanley Cup Finals in 1962, 1965, 1971, and 1973, losing all four.
The team would win the Presidents’ Trophy for the first time in 1991 but had to wait until 1992 to reach another Stanley Cup series, losing to the Pittsburgh Penguins in four games. Chicago moved to the United Center in 1995, but the next great period in Blackhawks' history was the early 2010s when the team won the Stanley Cup in 2010, 2013, and 2015.
Chicago Fire is a professional soccer club that competes in Major League Soccer (MLS)’s Eastern Conference. Inaugurated in 1997, the team was the first MLS expansion franchise in league history, joining the league alongside Miami Fusion.
The city had previously been home to the two-time North American Soccer League (NASL) champions Chicago Sting, who were the only side other than New York Cosmos to win multiple championships. Chicago Fire continued the soccer tradition in the city, making history in its first season, winning a “double” of the MLS Cup and US Open Cup. Chicago continued to be competitive, winning the 2000 US Open Cup.
Due to the renovation of its home, Soldier Field, in 2002, the team moved to Naperville to play at Cardinal Stadium. Returning to Chicago in 2003, it won the Supporters Shield and its third US Open Cup. In 2006, the team moved to a soccer-specific stadium, SeatGeek Stadium, and won its fourth US Open Cup in its first year at its new home. Finally, in 2019, the team returned to Soldier Field, citing the need for a downtown Chicago venue.
A founding member of both Women’s Professional Soccer (WPS) and the National Women’s Soccer League (NWSL), the Chicago Red Stars were founded in 2013 and play games at SeatGeek Stadium in Bridgeview.
The team has been a prominent professional women’s soccer team since the founding of the WPS. When the WPS struggled at the end of the 2011 season, the Red Stars joined the Women’s Professional Soccer League (WPSL).
It founded the WPSL’s Elite division in 2012 to transition the remaining WPS teams before the founding of the NWSL, which US Soccer backed. The team won the US Women’s Open Cup and reached the championship game of the WPSL Elite.
Since the founding of the NWSL, the team has yet to win a championship but finished runners-up in 2019 and 2021. It also finished runners-up in the NWSL Challenge Cup in 2020.
The Fighting Illini has been successful across all sports, with the wheelchair basketball program being the oldest in the US. It is also one of the most successful, with 29 claimed national championships between the men’s and women’s teams.
However, the football team draws the most attention, playing at the 60-000 capacity Memorial Stadium. The program has five claimed national championships, four of which came under the coaching of Bob Zuppke. During his tenure, he coached many top players, including Hall of Famer Red Grange, who played for the Chicago Bears.
Following the Zuppke era, the Illini won its fifth and final national title in 1951. The team went 8-0-1 over the season, then triumphed in the Rose Bowl over Stanford University Indians 40-7.
Along with the football program, Illinois also won a tennis championship in 2003.
The football program at Northwestern University has seen a high level of success over the years, competing in the Rose Bowl in 1948 and 1995. These games added to its tied record with Notre Dame for the longest losing streak in bowl games in history. However, the Wildcats beat this nine-game slide in 2013 by beating the Mississippi State Bulldogs in the Gator Bowl.
Northwestern has also won seven national championships in women’s lacrosse across a period of dominance from 2005 to 2012.
The Huskies have only won one national championship in history, claiming the men’s cross country title in 1958. However, the football program has been fairly competitive, winning the Mid-American Conference six times. The team was ranked No.1 in the US in 1963 and had a 10-0 record with George Bork at QB.
The Blue Demons helped set up the Great Midwest Conference in 1991 before moving to Conference USA, then the Big East. The basketball program at DePaul has been fairly successful, reaching the Final Four of the NCAA Tournament twice. Both of these triumphs came under legendary head coach Ray Meyer, who coached the team from 1942-1984.
The Loyola University basketball program won the national championship in men’s basketball and is remembered for a significant matchup on the way to that triumph. The season came during the civil rights movement when many teams didn’t have more than two black players. However, Loyola had four black starting players.
The Ramblers met the Mississippi State University Bulldogs in the second round of the NCAA Tournament. The Bulldogs had an all-white team and had been prohibited from playing teams with black athletes. However, the program went against the wishes of the Mississippi Governor and lawmakers to play the Ramblers. The game is now known as the “Game of Change”, which Loyola won 61-51.
In addition, to its national championship in basketball, Loyola has also won two men’s volleyball championships.
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.
|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\nOakbrook Terrace: 17W648 22nd St, Oakbrook Terrace, IL 60181\nProspect 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|
The Illinois Gaming Board implements a state-wide self-exclusion program, which allows bettors to ban themselves from Illinois casinos and sportsbooks. The program was already in place when sports betting launched, and the Sports Wagering Act added sports betting.
You’ll need to visit one of the Illinois Gaming Board locations which allow you to join the program. You will also need a valid driver’s license to complete the process, which usually takes between 30 and 45 minutes. While most locations are in Illinois, you can also find some locations in Iowa which allow you to join the self-exclusion list.
In addition to the self-exclusion program, the Illinois Gaming Board requires sportsbooks to provide problem gambling help resources. These include account tools like deposit limits and time limits. Many betting sites also supply guidance to third-party support organizaions, and information on problem gambling.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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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