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(4.5) Caesars review
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3 BetRivers
(4.5) BetRivers review
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4 FanDuel
(4.5) FanDuel review
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Illinois state symbol

Best betting sites in Illinois

  • DraftKings Illinois: Best betting site for promos
  • Caesars Illinois: Best betting site for NFL
  • BetRivers Illinois: Best betting site for smartphones
  • FanDuel Illinois: Best betting site for beginners
  • PointsBet Illinois: Best betting site for live wagering
  • Barstool Illinois: Best betting site for advanced players
  • BetMGM Illinois: Best betting site for MLB
📋 Betting site: Draftkings Illinois
🏅 Welcome Bonus: $200 in Bonus Bets
🤝 Retail location in IL: Casino Queen
📱 Allows mobile betting: Yes
📅 Live in Illinois since: 2020
DraftKings logo

DraftKings Illinois

DraftKings started in New Jersey but has since expanded to several states such as Illinois, Arizona, Michigan, Colorado, and Indiana, among others. Their mobile betting app in Illinois has been the main reason behind its success in the Prairie State.

Here, the betting operator has inked a deal with East St. Louis’s Casino Queen to offer both online and in-person sports wagering. You can register your DraftKings Illinois account online from anywhere in the state.

Best feature: Their reward program, called Dynasty Rewards, gives existing users bonuses that other operators can’t match.

Caesars logo

Caesars Illinois

This exciting betting site went live in August 2020 in Illinois. Caesars holds a license with the Illinois Gambling board and has a land-based partner in the state, the Grand Victoria Casino. Because of this, players are able to place bets online, via an excellent app, and in person.

Caesars Illinois has a strong theme and a simple layout making it easy to navigate and set sports bets. The betting site has an array of international and domestic sports markets on offer. And there is the Caesars Rewards scheme where you can earn additional bonuses.

Best feature: The ‘Watch and Bet’ function that lets you stream NFL for free.

📋 Betting site: Caesars Illinois
🏅 Welcome Bonus: $1250 in Bet Credits
🤝 Retail location in IL: Harrah’s Metropolis Hotel & Casino
📱 Allows mobile betting: Yes
📅 Live in Illinois since: 2020
📋 Betting site: BetRivers Illinois
🏅 Welcome Bonus: Up To $500 Free Bet
🤝 Retail location in IL: Rivers Casino Des Plaines
📱 Allows mobile betting: Yes
📅 Live in Illinois since: 2020
BetRivers logo

BetRivers Illinois

BetRivers is a division of Rush Street Interactive. In addition to Illinois, the betting site is also available in a number of states such as Michigan, Arizona, Colorado, Virginia, and Indiana. The list of betting lines and markets at BetRivers Illinois is huge. In every sport, you will find major leagues, international fixtures, and college leagues.

BetRivers was the first online betting site to launch in Illinois and have a partnership with Rivers Casino Des Plaines in order to offer in-person wagering to anyone who wants to place bets offline.

Best feature: Their app feels blazing fast and has many innovative functions.

FanDuel logo

FanDuel Illinois

FanDuel first launched its online betting site in the summer of 2009. The company made its way into the legal Illinois sports betting scene in July 2019 and is available in other various US states such as West Virginia, New Jersey, and Colorado.

FanDuel is famous for its Daily Fantasy Sports section, but they are nowadays a full-fledged betting operator that lets you wager on all of the popular sports in the US.

Best feature: Their desktop site looks modern and is very easy to use even for beginners.

📋 Betting site: FanDuel Illinois
🏅 Welcome Bonus: $200 in Bonus Bets
🤝 Retail location in IL: Fairmount Park
📱 Allows mobile betting: Yes
📅 Live in Illinois since: 2020
📋 Betting site: PointsBet Illinois
🏅 Welcome Bonus: $250 in Second Chance Bets
🤝 Retail location in IL: Hawthorne Race Course
📱 Allows mobile betting: Yes
📅 Live in Illinois since: 2020
Pointsbet logo

PointsBet Illinois

PointsBet opened its business in September 2020 and was the fourth sports betting site in Illinois to launch. It is an Australian operator that opened its doors after a partnership with Hawthorne Race Course, one of the three racetracks in Illinois.

The main selling point of PointsBet Illinois is its unique form of a high-risk and high-reward feature known as Points Betting. It offers new players a lucrative welcome bonus once they sign up. The betting site offers players a wide range of sports in which they can place their bets.

Best feature: The live betting function is well-designed and has many cool features, such as “Lightning bets”.

Barstool logo

Barstool Illinois

Barstool Illinois has a simple navy and black theme that’s very easy on the eyes. It’s also very easy to navigate around, with clear menus and an uncluttered design. As such, it’s straightforward to access any of the 20+ sports, check out the different odds, and create a betting slip in just a few clicks.

Barstool went live in Illinois in March 2021, making it the sixth sportsbook to do so. In accordance with the Illinois Gambling Board’s rules and requirements, the sportsbook has gotten a license from the state to operate. Part of this means that the betting site has to have a land-based partner. Barstool has three: Hollywood Casino’s Aurora and Joliet, as well as Argosy Casino Alton.

Best feature: Their flexible parlay builder called “Quick Pick 6” lets more advanced bettors build grouped wagers.

📋 Betting site: Barstool Illinois
🏅 Welcome Bonus: Risk-Free Bet Up To $1000
🤝 Retail location in IL: Hollywood Casino Jolie
📱 Allows mobile betting: Yes
📅 Live in Illinois since: 2021
📋 Betting site: BetMGM Illinois
🏅 Welcome Bonus: Up to $1000 Risk-Free Bet
🤝 Retail location in IL: Par-A-Dice Casino
📱 Allows mobile betting: Yes
📅 Live in Illinois since: 2022

BetMGM Illinois

Launched on March 7, 2022, BetMGM Illinois offers an array of betting options to players within the state. Importantly, it holds a license with the Illinois Gambling Commission, ensuring it is legal within the state. Additionally, it also partners with Par-A-Dice Hotel and Casino. Not only can players access the sportsbook in person and via a laptop, but there is also an excellent app compatible with both Android and iOS available for download.

BetMGM has over 20 different sports on offer, covering a wide range of events and tournaments. Odds are regularly updated, and there are live betting opportunities as well.

Best feature: BetMGM is an official partner of the MLB, making baseball betting extra interesting through constant promotions such as boosted odds.


Unibet Illinois (coming soon)

While Unibet has a very strong European presence, it’s currently still working to enter the US market on a wider scale. Currently, Unibet Illinois is not yet up and running though there is an expected launch date of the end of 2022 or early 2023.

When it does launch, though, Unibet is ready to unleash a wealth of exciting features. It has one of the biggest sports betting markets out there. Though not yet launched, Unibet already has a partnership in place with the Mississippi river-based Argosy Casino Alton.

Best feature: The live streaming function named Betstream covers plenty of different sporting events.

📋 Betting site: Unibet Illinois
🏅 Expected Bonus: $500 risk-free bet
🤝 Retail location in IL: Argosy Casino Alton
📱 Allows mobile betting: Yes
📅 Live in Illinois since: Not launched yet

Yes, online sports betting is now legal in the state of Illinois. As of 2019, the state passed a bill legalizing sports wagering under the leadership of Governor J.B Pritzker. In 2020, the first online sports betting sites to operate legally in Illinois was BetRivers, which was followed later by a plethora of other sportsbook brands.

Anyone over the age of 21 can legally register and place bets with a betting site that has a license from the Illinois Gaming Board.

woman thinking

Facts about Illinois sports betting

Sports betting legal since: 2019
Number of online betting sites: 7
Number of retail sportsbooks: 12
Legal betting age: 21
Total betting handle 2022: $10 billion
Governing body: The Illinois Gaming Board

Professional sports teams to bet on in Illinois

The state of Illinois has a vast variety of successful teams in most major sports. The most popular teams include:

Chicago Cubs

The Chicago Cubs are one of the oldest and most popular teams in professional baseball. The three-time champion Cubs have existed since 1870 and are part of the National League Central division. They have played their games since 1916 at legendary Wrigley Field, and 51 former Cubs are enshrined in the National Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, NY.

Chicago Bears

The Chicago Bears are one of just two original charter members of the NFL still in existence. Before the 1970 AFL-NFL merger, the Chicago Bears were six-time champions and won their first and only Super Bowl in 1985. The Bears are part of the NFC North, have played their games since 1970 at legendary Soldier Field, and 30 former Bears are enshrined in the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

Chicago White Sox

The Chicago White Sox are one of the eight original Major League Baseball charter members and have won three world titles since 1900. They play their home games at Guaranteed Rate Field as part of the American League Central Division. Also, 39 former Chicago White Sox players are enshrined in the National Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, New York.

Chicago Blackhawks

The Chicago Blackhawks are one of the “Original Six” members of the National Hockey League and are six-time Stanley Cup Champions. Founded in 1926, the Blackhawks compete in the Western Conference Central Division and play their home games at the United Center with 33 former Chicago Blackhawks players enshrined in the NHL Hall of Fame.

Chicago Bulls

Founded in 1966, the Chicago Bulls compete in the Eastern Conference Central Division and have won six Larry O’Brien Championship Trophies. The Chicago Bulls were the first National Basketball Association franchise to win 70 games in a single season. They play their home games at the United Center and have 11 players enshrined in the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame.

History of Illinois sports betting

Since legalization in 2019, a lot has happened in the world of Illinois sports betting. Below is a walkthrough of the most important events:

  • January 24, 2023 – PointsBet launched its fourth retail sportsbook at the Crazy Pour Sports Bar in Villa Park, Illinois.
  • January 5, 2023 – Derek Stevens, the CEO of the popular Circa Sports, said that they are basically ready to launch in Illinois and are simply waiting for their retail partner, The Temporary by American Place Casino, to be opened first.
  • December 12, 2022 – Illinois took in more than $1 billion in sports betting revenue during October, with only three other states having passed this milestone.
  • October 31, 2022 – Illinois Gaming Board said it will restart the process for companies to apply for online-only betting licenses. Former license holder Tekkorp couldn’t find any partners so the process of finding will begin again.
  • March 5, 2022 – BetMGM launched its online betting site in Illinois, making it the seventh sports wagering website that is live in the state.
  • March 11, 2021 – Barstool Illinois’s sports betting site was officially released.
  • September 30, 2020 – Hawthorne Race Course announced the opening of its PointsBet sportsbook section.
  • September 15, 2020 – Caesars’ online sports betting site went live officially in Illinois.
  • September 10, 2020 – FanDuel’s retail betting location at Par-A-Dice Casino was opened to the delight of IL residents.
  • September 9, 2020 – PointsBet announced the launch of its online wagering site in Illinois.
  • August 24, 2020 – FanDuel launched its gambling site in Illinois.
  • August 20, 2020 – Barstool opened two more retail betting locations at Hollywood Casino Aurora and Hollywood Casino Joliet, taking the number of Barstool physical betting locations in IL to three.
  • August 5, 2020 – DraftKings became the second sportsbook to go live in Illinois, both its online betting site and its retail partnership at Casino Queen.
  • August 3, 2020 – Caesars’ physical betting location opened at Grand Victoria in Elgin. This was just the third physical sports betting location in IL at the time.
  • June 18, 2020 – After almost a year of online sports betting being legal in Illinois, it finally went live, with BetRivers being the very first online betting site to be launched and take bets in the state.
  • March 12, 2020 – The Barstool section of Argosy Casino Alton opened, making it the second physical location to bet on sports in Illinois.
  • March 9, 2020 – The first physical, legal sports bet in Illinois was finally placed at the BetRivers section of Rivers Casino.
  • June 28, 2019 – The Illinois Sports Wagering Act was passed, signed by Illinois Governor J.B. Pritzker, formally legalizing sports betting and opening the doors for online betting sites to apply for licenses to go live.

There are plenty of leagues and sports to bet on in the Prairie State. Below is some of the most popular ones:

NFL Betting

There is no denying how important football is in Illinois, and this gives you a chance of betting on your favorite team. Illinois betting apps will provide you with different markets for live or upcoming football games.

NHL Betting

If you’re a hockey fan and understand how the market works, you should be confident enough to place a bet on NHL using Illinois betting sites, as there are multiple ways to wager on the sport.

NBA Betting

The NBA has a cult-like following across the country, leave alone in Illinois. Sports betting sites in Illinois provide a variety of betting markets for NBA and other basketball-related events.

MLB Betting

Baseball doesn’t get any bigger in Illinois, and you can see that from the crowds routing for Chicago Cubs and White Sox. You can also get a piece of this action by placing your wager on your favorite team using an Illinois betting site.

Horse Race Betting

It’s perhaps the oldest sports event, but horse race betting in Illinois has never gone out of fashion. With hundreds of events taking place around the year, you will always find something to wager on related to horse racing.

Betting bonuses & promotions

All the best sports betting sites in Illinois has a vast variety of betting bonuses they give to their members. For new members, you can usually take advantage of a deposit bonus or a risk-free bet.

There are also other bonuses offered to existing members, such as commemorating the day you joined the site or on your birthday. The most popular sportsbook bonuses in Illinois include:

How to register at an IL betting site

With a higher number of Illinois gambling sites, creating an account is easier and faster than ever. Here is how you register to an IL sports betting site in three easy steps:

Pick a betting site from our list

Once you have chosen your preferred Illinois betting site, the next step is signing up with your credentials. First, you’ll be required to fill in your full name, address, email address, and a strong password.

Verify your account information

When you have created your account, you will need to verify it. This is usually done by either email or SMS, but sometimes the operator might ask you to send your documents in order to verify your identity.

Make a deposit & start wagering

You can use one of the methods of banking offered by the online sportsbook to deposit money into your account. The most popular banking options include PayPal, debit cards, and online banking.

Should I sign up for multiple betting sites?

As the number of online sportsbooks in Illinois currently available is seven, it can be hard to decide which one to sign up for. However, there are many benefits to signing up for multiple operators at the same time. Here is a list of some of the best reasons to do so:

Have different betting options

There is a great benefit to trying out different operators because different sites will have various types of betting options, depending on the sport, team, and player. Special bets will also vary a lot between different sites, so you can always be sure that you’ll find a bet type that interests you.

Get the best odds

Different websites can have different odds for the match that you want to bet on, so being able to compare the odds between various operators can give you the best deal possible when you wager on your chosen match or event.

Claim welcome bonuses

Possibly the greatest benefit of signing up to multiple Illinois betting sites is that most sportsbooks try and entice new customers by offering bumper sign-up bonuses, giving you different types of boosts to your betting experience.

Get a feel for different betting sites

You can also benefit by signing up for multiple betting sites by simply seeing how they all look, feel, and work while you’re wagering. This can help you make a decision on which operator you prefer and want to stick with if you decide to do so in the future.

Betting operator laws and regulations in Illinois

The passing of the Illinois Sports Wagering Act opened the door for sports wagering companies to apply for licenses, both for online betting on sports and for retail betting establishments in the state.

There are three exclusively-online licenses available, and the application process is open for companies to apply for them in 2023.

Here are some quick facts about the laws and regulations regarding betting operators in Illinois:

  • The fee that companies have to pay for sports betting licenses is up to $10 million and 5% of the total revenue of either the previous or current year, depending on when the license is issued by the IGB. The exclusively-online licenses, however, require a fee of $20 million.
  • There is a four-year validity period for both types of licenses and can be renewed for $1 million if the operator chooses to. There is no penalty for not renewing the license.
  • Currently, there is a 15% tax on gross revenues from sports betting for operators.
  • It is mandatory to use official league data when providing live betting features.

List of all online betting sites & retail partnerships in IL

Below is a list of all legal and licensed online betting sites that operate in Illinois, together with their retail partnerships throughout the state.



How many sports betting sites are available in Illinois?

There are 7 online sports betting sites in Illinois and 12 physical betting locations. However, more are expected to join, now that the state has legalized sports wagering.

What is the age requirement for sports betting in Illinois?

You have to be 21 years of age to be allowed to wager on sports in Illinois. The age requirement is the same for both online and retail sports betting.

What is the revenue of Illinois sports betting?

In 2021, the state of Illinois recorded over $7.02 billion in handles from sports betting, where 30% of that went to the federal government as tax payment. The figure is expected to go higher in the coming years, with many people taking part in mobile sports wagering.

Do I have to pay taxes on sports betting winnings in IL?

All winnings from online sports bettings falls under the personal income tax, which is 4.95% in Illinois. You should declare your winnings when filing taxes, even when you haven't received a form from the sportsbook. You can also deduct the losses as itemized deductions.

Are there any physical sports betting locations in Illinois?

Yes. Retail sports betting locations in Illinois allow people to walk in, analyze the day’s games, and place their wagers. As an example, DraftKings has a retail betting location att the Casino Queen in East St. Louis, Illinois.

Who regulates sports betting in Illinois?

Sports betting is regulated by the Illinois Gaming Board. The Board regulates all aspects of sports betting and online gambling activities, including licensing, taxation, and enforcement. It also works to protect the interests of both players and operators by ensuring fair and honest gambling practices are followed at all times.

How does sports betting in Illinois compare to other states where it is legal?

The Illinois sports betting industry is one of the largest in the US compared to other states where it is legal. In some states, you need to register in person to bet online. This is not the case in Illinois.

Can I wager on college teams that are located in the state of Illinois?

Yes, you can bet on college teams that are located in Illinois but only at retail sportsbook locations. This includes teams like the Illinois Fighting Illini and the Northwestern Wildcats. Betting on in-state college games at online sportsbooks is still illegal.

Who can apply for a sports betting license in Illinois?

Any registered and licensed gaming company can apply for a sports betting license in Illinois. They have to pay up to $10 million if they are awarded a normal license and $20 million if they are awarded an online-only license.

Can I bet online in Chicago?

Yes, you can bet online in Chicago. Sports betting has been legal and live in the whole of Illinois, including Chicago, since March 2020. There are currently seven online sportsbooks to choose from if you want to bet on sports online in Chicago, including FanDuel, DraftKings, and BetRivers.

Do I still have to register in person if I bet online in Illinois?

No, you do not need to register in person when betting online in Illinois anymore. This rule was rescinded in March 2022, so you can now register online if you want to use betting apps in IL.

Can I participate in Daily Fantasy Sports contests in IL?

Yes, you can play Daily Fantasy Sports contests in Illinois. DraftKings and FanDuel are the two biggest DFS platforms in the state, and they provide top Daily Fantasy Sports betting for Illinois residents.

What do I need to open an online sports betting account in Illinois?

In order to create an online sports betting account in Illinois, you need proof of identification, a physical address, an accepted payment method, an email address, and potentially a phone number, depending on the operator.

Do I have to be within Illinois state lines to bet on a betting site?

Yes, you have to be within Illinois state lines to bet on a betting site. This is part of the Illinois Sports Wagering Act that was passed in June 2019. You don’t have to have permanent residency in IL, but you do have to be in the state in order to bet on sports online at Illinois betting sites.