Illinois Legal Sports Betting Overview
|IL Sports Betting Law Details||Status|
|📆 Retail Sports Betting Launch Date:||March 9, 2020|
|📆 Online Sports Betting Launch Date:||June 18, 2020|
|✅ Licensed Sportsbooks:||Barstool Sportsbook, BetMGM, BetRivers, Caesars, DraftKings, FanDuel, PointsBet|
|💵 Legal Wagering Options:||Futures, moneylines, parlays, point spreads, same game parlays, teasers, totals|
|🔞 Legal Gambling Age in IL:||21+|
|🏈 Sports to Bet On:||NFL, NBA, MLB, NHL, MLS, MMA, tennis, golf, boxing, motorsports, cricket, European soccer, college sports betting (In-state teams at retail sportsbooks)|
|🏦 Permitted Banking Options:||Mastercard, PayNearMe, PayPal, Play+, Skrill, Visa, Automated Clearing House (ACH), casino cage cashier, online bank transfers|
|⚖️ Illinois Gambling Regulator:||Illinois Gaming Board|
Illinois Sports Betting Summary
Governor J.B. Pritzker signed SB 690 in June 2019, as part of a cross-party plan for economic growth and recovery in Illinois. Among other measures, the bill legalized both retail and online sports betting in the state. However, legal sports betting in IL required in-person registration when it was first launched. Therefore, you needed to visit a retail sportsbook to sign up for an online betting site. With the in-person requirement in place, Illinois’ betting market launched with the opening of the state’s first retail betting location – BetRivers’ casino at Rivers Des Plaines – on March 9, 2020.
The legislation required 18 months to pass between an initial launch with a limited number of operators and a wider launch with major US sportsbooks, like FanDuel and DraftKings. However, the COVID-19 pandemic shut down retail betting venues, and BetRivers Sportsbook launched the first online sportsbook in June 2020. DraftKings and FanDuel joined a few months later, in August 2020. Now, there are seven online sportsbooks in the state, while there are also seven retail sportsbooks. Gov. Pritzker removed the need for in-person registration in March 2022, so you can sign up and place sports bets from anywhere in the state. Read our complete guide for all of the information you need about Illinois sports betting.
Chicago Bulls ace Zach LaVine made the All-Star team in 2021 and 2022 [Stan Szeto – USA TODAY Sports]
Illinois Online Sportsbooks Compared
With seven Illinois sportsbooks available, bettors in the Prairie State have plenty of options to choose from. Every sportsbook has its strengths so your choice is ultimately down to which bookmaker best suits you. We’ve compared these betting sites across some crucial areas to help you decide:
Best Mobile App – DraftKings
DraftKings features as our best mobile app provider in many states. You can download the DraftKings app on Android and Apple devices and benefit from its mobile-exclusive, high-quality live streaming. Not many sportsbooks in the US offer live streaming, but with this premium feature, you still get access to all the same account controls, markets, and customer support as on a desktop. In addition, bettors rate the DraftKings app highly because it's user-friendly and has fast connectivity.
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Best Welcome Bonus – PointsBet
The PointsBet sportsbook welcome bonus offers players two risk-free bets up to $2,000 in value. The first is for $500 on its fixed-odds markets. You can place a bet up to this amount, and PointsBet will reward you with free bets equal to your wager if it loses. You get the same reward of up to $1,500 with PointsBet’s exclusive ‘Points Betting’ feature. Any profit made from your free bets is yours, but your withdrawal won’t include the value of your free wager.
Best for Competitive Odds – BetMGM
BetMGM’s sportsbook offers competitive odds on every market, and sometimes these betting lines are the best in the Prairie State. In particular, you’ll see this on major league sports that partner with BetMGM like the NBA, where betting lines often pay out the highest of any IL sportsbook. BetMGM's standard betting odds are pretty impressive, but its frequent odds boosts really catch the eye. You can find these enhanced betting lines on the sportsbook’s main page almost every day.
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Best for Market Coverage – Caesars
Most Illinois sportsbooks offer bets on every sport regulated by the Illinois Gaming Board, but Caesars sportsbook provides the greatest depth across most sports. Even with niche markets like MMA and Formula 1, you can get plenty of bet types and live betting options. Also, Caesars is an official betting partner of the Chicago White Sox. Therefore, it provides exclusive odds and offers on the Sox, as well as other MLB teams and competitions.
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Best for Beginner Bettors – BetRivers
BetRivers sportsbook offers an easy-to-use betting platform on both desktop and mobile, with straightforward navigation for beginners. The bet slip splits your stake from what you win, making American odds simple. You can also enjoy BetRivers live streaming on selected events, so if you’re a novice bettor, head to BetRivers and sign up to start your betting journey.
Get your BetRivers Sportsbook promo code for Dec 2023.
Best for Payout Speed – FanDuel
Most sportsbooks process withdrawals within a few days, but many FanDuel sportsbook transactions are carried out faster than those of other bookmakers. While the sports betting site may take a few days to process your first withdrawal due to extra checks being required, e-wallet requests are usually completed instantly.
Withdrawals with bank cards can also be completed in hours, although they may need a few days to land in your account. Bank transfers can still take several days, and bank providers carry out extensive checks before permitting payments. But at the end of the day, if you are looking to cash out fast, FanDuel is your best choice.
Get your FanDuel Sportsbook promo code for Dec 2023.
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How Does Illinois Compare to Other States?
The Illinois Gaming Board approves which sports betting sites in IL can cover, and the options are very similar to most other US states. However, Illinois is more welcoming to college betting than states like New Jersey as it expanded to include in-state teams as Gov. Pritzker signed HB 3136 in December 2021. Unlike states like Pennsylvania and Michigan, you can’t bet on in-state teams online. Illinois regulations only allow you to place these bets by visiting a retail sportsbook.
Competitive Odds & Prices
Most top US sportsbooks operate in Illinois, which provides some of the best prices and betting lines. Comparing what these operators offer in IL compared to other states, we saw no noticeable differences in odds. Yet, some major league franchises have partnered with sportsbooks, like the Chicago White Sox with Caesars, to provide exclusive offers and odds.
The Illinois Gaming Control Board imposes a 15% tax on all sportsbook revenue, comparable to states like New Jersey (14.25%). It is also much lower than other states like New York (51%) and Pennsylvania (36%). Currently, the state has the fifth-highest handle in the US since the launch of sports betting, at $11,422,530,899, as of June 2022. From this betting handle, sportsbooks have made a revenue of $808,691,164. That means Illinois has benefitted from $130,357,535 in taxes from sports betting.
If you make any gambling winnings, you must declare them while filing your taxes with the IRS. If your sports betting earnings are over $600, you may also need to complete a W-2G form. Your sportsbook should send you this form if you are eligible. Sportsbooks can also hold up to 24% of your gambling winnings for tax purposes.
The Internal Revenue Code applies taxes to all sportsbooks in the US, regardless of state regulations. Those taxes include a $50 fee for every employee involved in accepting bets. There is also an excise tax of 0.25% of a sportsbooks betting handle.
The Chicago Bears have played more NFL matches than any other team [Matt Marton – USA TODAY Sports]
How to Place a Bet in Illinois
There has never been an easier time to start betting now that Illinois sportsbooks allow online registration. Follow our step-by-step guide below to sign up with a sportsbook and place your first bet in minutes:
Select one of our recommended Illinois sportsbooks and follow the link to visit that bookmaker’s website.
Use the sportsbook’s mobile website, or download the betting app from the operator’s website or the app store for your Apple or Android device.
Enter your full name, phone number, email, date of birth, address, and the final four digits of your Social Security number to sign up. Enable your device’s geolocation services to prove you are in Illinois.
Many welcome bonuses require you to make a minimum deposit with your first deposit before redeeming. Head to the cashier, use a qualifying payment method, and choose a deposit amount to earn the bonus. This is also the time to use a sportsbook promo code, if applicable.
Select a betting market for your first wager. Add it to your bet slip, choose how much to bet, and place the bet.
Illinois sports betting laws require sportsbooks to verify your identity before allowing withdrawals. Email or upload copies of your photo ID, proof of address, and proof of payment method.
Revisit the sportsbook’s cashier and follow the instructions to request a withdrawal.
Banking Methods Available in Illinois
As sportsbooks try to provide the same level of service across US states, payment methods in Illinois are very similar to those in other legal betting states. This includes Visa and Mastercard for deposits. You can make online bank transfers, but some providers may block transactions with sports betting sites. You should check your provider’s policy if you use online bank transfers or ACH.
E-wallets like Skrill and PayPal let you make quick withdrawals from sportsbooks. Also, by using a partnered sportsbook, you can use a Play+ card to make deposits and withdrawals. Using PayNearMe, you can top up your account using PaySafeCards at retailers like 7-Eleven and CVS. Alternatively, you can make transactions by visiting a casino cage cashier at your sportsbook’s partner casino.
Who is Not Eligible to Bet in IL?
If you are over the age of 21 and playing within the state’s borders, you can wager on sports legally in Illinois. However, the Prairie State limits certain people from placing bets due to positions they hold or government restrictions, including:
College sports coaches, athletes, and staff.
Anyone associated with a sports team with authority to influence athletes (e.g., professional sports coaches, athletes, and staff).
Anyone who holds a stake with a sports team.
Anyone who can access a sports team’s non-public information that could affect the outcome of sports events (e.g., player medical records).
Referees employed by college or professional leagues or athletic competitions.
Anyone prohibited from wagering on a state or federal level (e.g., due to criminal history).
Employees of organizations licensed by the Illinois Gaming Board to provide sports betting (e.g., key staff members, officers, owners, and directors).
Individuals that have voluntarily excluded themselves from gambling activities.
The Chicago White Sox failed to defend their American League Central division title in 2022 [Orlando Ramirez – USA TODAY Sports]
Latest Illinois Sports Betting Updates
Current Sports Betting Status in Illinois
Online and retail sports betting are both legal in Illinois. Retail sports betting launched first in March 2020, with online betting sites going live soon after in June 2020. Initially, you had to register with a sportsbook in person before you could play online. However, as of March 5, 2022, players can sign up with sportsbooks online. You can bet on college teams, including in-state teams. However, you must place bets on in-state teams at retail sportsbooks.
Timeline for Sports Betting in Illinois
March 5, 2022: The requirement for in-person registration ends in Illinois.
December 17, 2021: Gov. Pritzker signs HB 3136, which legalizes wagering on in-state college teams and ends the requirement for in-person registration for sportsbooks.
April 2021: To reflect the easing of COVID-19 restrictions, Gov. Pritzker reintroduces the in-person sign-up requirement.
June 18, 2020: BetRivers is the first online sportsbook to launch in Illinois.
June 8, 2020: Gov. Pritzker signs an executive order to temporarily suspend the in-person registration requirement for sportsbooks.
March 16, 2020: Gov. Pritzker orders all casinos to shut in response to COVID-19.
March 9, 2020: The first retail sportsbook launches at Rivers Des Plaines Casino, operated by BetRivers.
June 28, 2019: Gov. Pritzker signs SB 690, a cross-party economic bill that includes legalizing retail and online sports betting.
May 2018: The United States Supreme Court overturns the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act of 1992 (PASPA). Ultimately, this allows states to legalize sports betting.
Illinois Sports Betting Background
While there wasn’t much demand for the legalization of sports betting until the US Supreme Court struck down PASPA, Illinois has a rich history with sports betting. Charles K. McNeil, a math teacher and securities analyst whose students included John F. Kennedy, changed sports betting forever after his experience wagering at sports games. In the 1940s, he opened his own sportsbooks in Chicago, which offered his innovative “wholesaling odds”. Wholesaling odds are more commonly known as point spreads, which you can now find at every sportsbook in Illinois and the US.
The Chicago Cubs are a founding member of baseball's National League [David Kohl – USA TODAY Sports]
Future of Illinois Sports Betting
With the end of the in-person requirement for sportsbook sign-ups, operators should be able to launch in the state easier. The Illinois Gaming Control Board has licensed both Bally Bet and Circa Sports to start operating in the state. It’s expected both sites will launch towards the end of 2022.
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Illinois Sports Betting Locations
There are ten land-based casinos in Illinois, and seven of these locations provide in-person sports betting. Yet, you can only place legal bets on in-state college teams at retail sportsbooks according to Illinois betting laws.
DraftKings at Casino Queen
Address: 200 S. Front Street, East St Louis, IL 62201
Phone Number: (618) 874-5000
The DraftKings sportsbook at Casino Queen provides a 60-foot video wall, more than 28 LED TVs, and a real-time odds board, so you don’t miss a second of the action. The sportsbook covers 6,000 square feet, and there are 38 betting kiosks and five betting windows you can use to place bets. You can also enjoy food and drinks from the bar menu.
River Des Plaines
Address: 3000 S. River Road, Des Plaines, IL 60018
Phone Number: (847) 795-0777
Rivers Des Plaines is the official casino partner of the NFL’s Chicago Bears. Therefore, you can wager on the Bears and other Illinois major league franchises at the BetRivers retail sportsbook. The sportsbook is open from 09:00-00:00 every day and features an LED high-definition wall. You can also earn points towards your Rush Rewards account or play video poker at one of 26 bartop games.
Grand Victoria Casino
Address: 250 S. Grove Avenue, Elgin, IL 60120
Phone Number: (847) 468-7000
Based right on the casino floor, the Caesars retail sportsbook at the Grand Victoria Casino launched in August 2020. You can place wagers from 12:00-20:00 Monday to Thursday, 10:00-23:00 Friday, and 09:00-23:00 Saturday to Sunday. Placing bets earns you Caesars Rewards points. You can redeem these points for betting boosts and real-life prizes. Aside from the sportsbook, the casino offers 860 slots, 24/7 table games, and a poker room.
Other Illinois Land-Based Casinos
|Argosy Casino Alton||1 Piasa Street, Alton, IL 62002||(800) 711-4263||Barstool Sportsbook|
|Hollywood Casino Aurora||1 W. New York Street, Aurora, IL 60506||(630) 801-1234||Barstool Sportsbook|
|Hollywood Casino Joliet||777 Hollywood Boulevard, Joliet, IL 60436||(888) 436-7737||Barstool Sportsbook|
|Par-a-Dice Casino||21 Blackjack Boulevard, East Peoria, IL 61611||(309) 699-7711||FanDuel|
Illinois Lottery Locations
The Illinois Lottery started in July 1974 and is currently operated by Camelot Illinois. The Camelot Group operates the lottery draws in the UK and IL. However, the Illinois Lottery has no connection to any sportsbook operator. As such, you cannot place sports bets at lottery retailers.
Off-Track and Stadium Betting Locations
Since all retail sportsbooks must partner with a land-based casino in Illinois, you won’t find any sportsbooks at stadiums or horse racetracks. However, off-track betting is legal in the Prairie State. There are two horse racetracks in Illinois, Fairmount Park Racetrack and Hawthorne Race Course. The Illinois Racing Board, established in 1933, oversees all horse racing and off-track betting (OTB) locations. Each OTB location provides the chance to place pari-mutuel wagers while enjoying other amenities.
|Black-Eyed Susan||17030 Torrence Avenue, Unit G, Lansing, IL 60438||(630) 783-8253|
|Blono Pizza Co.||1304 Cross Creek Drive, Normal, IL 61761||(309) 829-3300|
|Bookie Magee’s||2450 Jefferson Street, Joliet, IL 60435||(815) 744-6500|
|Bullpen Bar & Grill||3225 N. Dries Lane, Peoria, IL 61604||(309) 832-0671|
|Capital Teletrack||1766 Wabash Avenue, Springfield, IL 62704||(217) 546-2111|
|Corliss OTB||11203 S. Corliss, Chicago, IL 60628||(773) 995-8238|
|Crazy Pour||105 E. North Avenue, Villa Park, IL 60181||(630) 758-0099|
|Crestwood OTB||13148 Rivercrest Drive, Crestwood, IL 60445||(708) 489-4700|
|Don Carter Lanes||4007 E. State Street, Rockford, IL 61108||(815) 398-2300|
|Evergreen Park||2517 W. 95th Street, Evergreen Park, IL 60805||(708) 400-7226|
|Furlong’s Sports Grill||1304 Cross Creek Drive, Bloomington Normal, IL 61761||(309) 829-5777|
|Oakbrook Terrace OTB||17W648 22nd Street, Oakbrook Terrace, IL 60181||(630) 627-8238|
|Players Pub & Grill||1250 S. River Road, Prospect Heights, IL 60070||(847) 693-7323|
|Post Time Sports Bar & Grille||13860 Rockland Road, Green Oaks, IL 60048||(847) 367-7170|
|Route 3 OTB||2400 Mississippi Avenue, Sauget, IL 62201||(618) 274-6468|
|Salerno’s Pizzeria and R Bar||621 Ridgeview Drive, McHenry, IL 60050||(815) 344-0742|
|Stoney Point Grill||19031 Old LaGrange Road, Mokena, IL 60448||(708) 478-1670|
|The Piazza||85 Executive Drive, Aurora, IL 60504||(630) 423-4057|
|The Saddle Room||2559 Pratum Avenue, Hoffman Estates, IL 60192||(847) 645-7501|
|The Turf Room||650 Randall Crossing Lane, North Aurora, IL 60542||(630) 906-9300|
Teams to Bet on in Illinois
Chicago Bears: Holding the record for most players in the Football Hall of Fame and the most victories of any NFL franchise, it’s surprising the team has only one Super Bowl to its name. That came in 1985 with victory over the New England Patriots.
Chicago White Sox: The White Sox have won three world series titles since forming in 1900. The 87 years between championships in 1917 and 2005 is the second-longest barren spell in MLB history.
Chicago Cubs: The unwanted title of longest MLB championship drought falls to the Chicago Cubs. After winning the World Series in 1908, Cubs fans had to wait until 2016 for a championship victory.
The Chicago Blackhawks have won the Stanley Cup six times to date [Thomas Salus – USA TODAY Sports]
Bradley Braves: Bradley University is famous for its basketball program, which has been to nine NCAA Division I Men’s Basketball tournaments, including two national championship games.
Chicago State Cougars: Famous Chicago State University graduate Willye White was the first US Olympian to participate in five Olympic games. She won silver in the long jump at the 1956 Melbourne Olympics.
DePaul Blue Demons: Representing DePaul University, the Blue Demons play most sports in the Big East Conference.
Eastern Illinois Panthers: The Panthers have reached the NCAA Division I Men’s Tournament for both basketball and football several times. However, no Eastern Illinois University team has won an NCAA Championship.
Illinois Fighting Illini: The University of Iowa ranks as the 37th most-successful school for NCAA Championships. The Fighting Illini have won 18 titles in sports like men’s gymnastics.
Illinois State Redbirds: Winning only one NCAA Division II Championship in baseball, no sports program at Illinois State University has won a championship at Division I level.
Loyola Ramblers: The Loyola University Chicago Ramblers have won a national championship for men’s basketball and two for men’s volleyball.
Northern Illinois Huskies: The only national championship the Northern Illinois University Huskies won was for football in 1963.
Northwestern Wildcats: The women’s lacrosse program at Northwestern University is one of the most successful, winning seven NCAA Championships from 2005 to 2012.
Southern Illinois Salukis: The Salukis have picked up five NCAA Division I Championships, with four in gymnastics. The Southern Illinois University Carbondale’s football program also won a championship.
SIUE Cougars: The only NCAA Division I Championship won by a Southern Illinois University Edwardsville team was the soccer championship in 1979.
UIC Flames: The University of Illinois Chicago soccer team has produced several talented players, like former Vancouver Whitecaps FC and Watford captain Jay DeMerit.
Western Illinois Leathernecks: Most sports programs at Western Illinois University compete in the Summit League.
Jay DeMerit graduated from the University of Illinois Chicago [Greg Bartram – USA TODAY Sports]
Chicago Sky: The Sky play in the WNBA and claimed their first national championship in 2021.
Chicago Red Stars: Playing in the National Women’s Soccer League, The Red Stars were runners-up in the NWSL Championship in 2019.
Illinois Responsible Gambling Resources
Illinois Council on Problem Gambling – The Council organizes events and meetings for people struggling with problem gambling. It also provides a helpline, email contact, and resources for those in need. (800) 522-4700
Illinois Gaming Board – Operates the statewide self-exclusion program, answers frequently asked questions, and guides people to responsible gambling resources. (877) 968-7848
We Know The Feeling – Illinois Department of Health backed organization providing facts, information, and first-person accounts of problem gambling. Guides people to further help. (800) 522-4700
Like many states in the US, Illinois offers a statewide self-exclusion program. If you sign up for this, you will be prohibited from using any sportsbook or gambling site in Illinois. Under this program, sportsbooks are also not allowed to send you promotional material. The self-exclusion program started in 2002 for casino players and expanded to include sports betting with the 2019 Sports Wagering Act.
As part of their licensing requirements, IL sportsbooks offer an extensive safe-gambling section that provides responsible-gambling resources, tools for managing your bet limits and bankroll and contact information to local problem-gambling support groups.
Who Oversees Sports Betting in Illinois?
Gambling, sports betting, and online sports betting are all overseen by the Illinois Gaming Board. It is responsible for testing betting sites that want to launch in the state for player security, safer gambling measures, and credibility. Once these operators receive a license, the Illinois Gaming Board continues to check these betting sites to ensure regulations are being upheld. The Board is also responsible for collecting sportsbook taxes, fines and overseeing the implementation of new protocols.
The Board comprises five members, each selected by the Governor with assistance and confirmation from the Senate. One of these Board members serves as the administrator.
Is betting legal in Illinois?
Yes, sports betting is legal in Illinois. Governor J.B. Pritzker signed SB 690 into law in June 2019 as a part of a cross-party plan to rebuild Illinois. You can download a licensed sportsbook app and place bets anywhere in the state.
Who governs sports betting in Illinois?
The Illinois Gaming Board oversees all sports betting in Illinois. Every legal sportsbook in the state has met the Board’s regulatory requirements and paid a licensing fee.
How old do you have to be to bet in Illinois?
You must be at least 21 years old to bet in Illinois, and sportsbooks will verify your age before you can cash out your winnings. Email or upload copies of your photo ID to confirm you are playing legally.
When did sports betting launch in Illinois?
Retail sports betting launched in March 2020, with BetRivers at Rivers Des Plaines the first sportsbook to start operating. Online sports betting launched in June of the same year, and once again, BetRivers was the first to go live.
What sportsbooks are legal in Illinois?
Bettors have seven Illinois sportsbooks to choose from. They are BetMGM, DraftKings, FanDuel, Caesars, PointsBet, BetRivers, and Barstool Sportsbook.
Are sportsbooks in Illinois safe?
Yes, sportsbooks in Illinois are safe. Any betting site licensed by the Illinois Gaming Board has been tested for player safety and financial fairness.
Do I have to pay taxes on betting winnings in Illinois?
You must pay tax on your gambling winnings to the IRS. Sportsbooks may also hold up to 24% of your profits for tax purposes.
Can you play DraftKings in Illinois?
Yes, you can play with DraftKings in Illinois. The sportsbook is partnered with DraftKings at Casino Queen to provide a retail sportsbook and its online betting site. Check out our DraftKings promo code for Dec 2023.
Can you play FanDuel in Illinois?
FanDuel holds a license with the Illinois Gaming Board to provide sports betting. It also offers its Daily Fantasy Sports game to eligible IL players. See our FanDuel promo code for Dec 2023.
Can you play BetMGM in Illinois?
Yes, BetMGM is licensed and regulated in Illinois. Any bets you place can earn you MGM Rewards points you can redeem for real-life prizes. Take a look at our BetMGM Sportsbook promo code for Dec 2023.
Can you play Caesars in Illinois?
You can wager with Caesars in IL, Caesars sportsbook app is available on the Apple and Android app stores, and you can also register an account online. View our Caesars promo code for Dec 2023.
Can you play TwinSpires in Illinois?
No, you can’t use TwinSpires in Illinois. The sportsbook does not hold a license with the Illinois Gaming Board.
Which sportsbooks will be available in Illinois in the future?
Both Bally Bet and Circa Sports have received licenses from the Illinois Gaming Board. The sportsbooks are expected to launch before the end of 2022.