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Illinois state symbol

Best Illinois sportsbooks

  1. Caesars Illinois: Best for boosted odds
  2. DraftKings Illinois: Best for promos & rewards
  3. BetRivers Illinois: Best for mobile betting
  4. FanDuel Illinois: Best for beginners
  5. BetMGM Illinois: Best for MLB betting

Caesars Illinois logo

1. Caesars Illinois

  • Welcome bonus: Second Chance Bet Up To $1000
  • Retail location: Grand Victoria Casino Elgin
  • Live in Illinois since: 2020

This online sportsbook went live in August 2020 in Illinois. Caesars holds a license with the Illinois Gaming Board and has a land-based sportsbook at 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 make sports bets. The betting site has an array of markets available all year round, and there is the Caesars Rewards program that provides ongoing bonuses.

Best feature: The daily odds boosts that pump up the payouts on winnable props and parlays.

GET BONUS

DraftKings Illinois logo

2. DraftKings Illinois

  • Welcome bonus: Second Chance Bet Up To $1500
  • Retail location: Casino Queen
  • Live in Illinois since: 2020

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 has been the main reason behind its success in the Prairie State.

Here, the Illinois sportsbook 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.

GET BONUS

BetRivers Logo

3. BetRivers Illinois

  • Welcome bonus: Second Chance Bet Up To $500
  • Retail location: Rivers Casino Des Plaines
  • Live in Illinois since: 2020

BetRivers is a division of Rush Street Interactive. In addition to Illinois, the sportsbook 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, so there are many options.

BetRivers was the first online betting site to launch in Illinois and it has 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.

GET BONUS

FanDuel illinois logo

4. FanDuel Illinois

  • Welcome bonus: Bet $5 Get $150 in Bonus Bets
  • Retail location: Fairmount Park
  • Live in Illinois since: 2020

FanDuel first launched its daily fantasy 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 many other states.

FanDuel built on its popularity as a daily fantasy sports provider to attract an immediate player base. It has grown continually, and this operator is in a truly elite category.

Best feature: Their desktop site has a modern look and is very easy to use, even for beginners.

GET BONUS

BetMGM illinois logo

5. BetMGM Illinois

  • Welcome bonus: Second Chance Bet Up To $1500
  • Retail location: None
  • Live in Illinois since: 2022

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 Gaming Board. Additionally, it also partners with Par-A-Dice Hotel and Casino, but it does not have a retail sportsbook location at the facility.

BetMGM has over 20 sports on its betting menu, covering various 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.

GET BONUS

Other IL sports betting sites

In addition to our preferred Illinois betting sites discussed above, there are some others:

ESPN Bet illinois logo

ESPN Bet Illinois

ESPN Bet is the newest sportsbook to enter the Illinois market, launching on November 14, 2023. Converting from the Barstool Sportsbook platform, ESPN Bet is very easy to navigate around, with clear menus and an uncluttered design. Users will find it straightforward to access any of the 17 sports, check out the different odds, and create a betting slip in just a few clicks.

In accordance with the Illinois Gaming Board’s rules and requirements, the sportsbook has gotten a license from the state to operate. Given ESPN’s standing as the “Worldwide Leader in Sports,” you can expect ESPN Bet Illinois to prominently feature content from the channel’s on-air personalities.

Best feature: The Penn Play Program will reward players with loyalty points for every wager made on the site. Rewards can include perks ranging from betting bonuses, luxury items, hotel stays and travel accommodations, annual cruises, and more.

Pointsbet illinois logo

PointsBet Illinois

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

The main selling point of PointsBet Illinois is its unique high-risk and high-reward wagering option known as Points Betting. It offers new players a lucrative welcome bonus once they sign up, and this sportsbook offers players a wide range of sports on which they can place their bets.

Best feature: The live betting function is well-designed and has many cool features, such as their “lightning bets” that provide instant action.

Circa Sports illinois logo

Circa Sports Illinois

Circa Sports has entered the Illinois sports betting market through a partnership with Full House Resorts, operators of the American Place Casino, with the first wagers accepted in late September 2023. The operator saw a lengthy license application process, as Circa first tried to obtain clearance to operate in Illinois in May 2022.

Despite the delayed launch, Circa Sports has been worth the wait. With higher betting limits at both the mobile and brick-and-mortar locations, Circa has carved out a niche in a crowded Illinois market as an excellent option for high-rollers.

Best feature: Depending on the sport, Circa accepts wagers as high as $50K on game day for most markets.

Fanatics illinois logo

Fanatics Illinois (Coming Soon)

From its humble beginnings as an e-commerce company, Fanatics has officially launched itself into the U.S. sports betting space under Fanatics Sportsbook. They acquired PointsBet’s US operations for $150 million in May 2023, they gained access to every state where PointsBet was operating – which includes Illinois.

Fanatics Sportsbook offers a wide range of betting types, including live in-game wagering, as well as early cashout features on select bets.

Even though a retail location for Fanatics in IL has not been specified just yet, their sports betting website should still see a lot of attention from avid sports bettors in the state.

Bally Bet illinois logo

Bally Bet Illinois (Coming soon)

Bally Bet is one of the most trusted sports betting brands in the United States, offering users a top-notch online interface on their online sportsbook and a dedicated loyalty program. Unfortunately, their promotional offering is a bit slim, but that may change by the time Bally reaches Illinois.

Bally Bet is expected to launch in IL by the end of 2024. When we approach launch day, this section will continue to be updated with any relevant information regarding the sportsbook.

Hard Rock Bet illinois logo

Hard Rock Bet Illinois (coming soon)

Hard Rock is a long-standing brand with a lot of positive name recognition in the United States.

In Illinois, they operate the Hard Rock Casino Rockford, and they have been awarded a sports wagering operator license. As a result, they will install a retail sportsbook at the facility, and Hard Rock Bet has received a license to operate online.

List of Illinois sportsbooks

Below is a full list of all legal sportsbooks in Illinois, together with the date they got their license approved:

Sportsbook

Company name

Legal since

BetRivers

Rush Street Interactive LLC

2/21/2020

PointsBet

PointsBet Illinois LLC

7/14/2020

Caesars

American Wagering Inc

5/4/2020

BetMGM

BetMGM LLC

1/27/2022

DraftKings

Crown IL Gaming LLC

7/17/2020

ESPN Bet

Penn Sports Interactive LLC

11/14/2023

FanDuel

Flutter Entertainment plc

8/28/2020

Circa Sports

FHR-Illinois LLC

6/15/2023

Facts about Illinois sports betting

Sports betting legal since: 2019
Number of online betting sites: 8
Number of retail sportsbooks: 13
Legal betting age: 21
Governing body: The Illinois Gaming Board

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 site to operate legally in Illinois was BetRivers, which was followed later by a plethora of other betting brands.

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

woman thinking

Latest events in Illinois sports betting

There is always something new happening in the world of Illinois sports betting. We keep a finger on the pulse of evolving events and share them here. This timeline is updated on an ongoing basis, so you can check back with us periodically to stay up to date:

  • April 16, 2024 – FanDuel is opposing Illinois Governor JB Pritzker’s proposed tax increase on sports betting from 15% to 35%, citing potential negative impacts on competition and consumer behavior.
  • April 1, 2024 – An Illinois House proposal introduced by Rep. Kam Buckner aims to legalize video gambling in Chicago to generate new revenue.
  • March 15, 2024 – Former Bears offensive lineman Kyle Long made the first bet at the newly opened DraftKings Sportsbook at Wrigley Field, marking a significant moment for sports betting in Chicago.
  • February 22, 2024 – Illinois Governor JB Pritzker proposes increasing the state’s sports betting tax from 15% to 35% to generate an additional $200 million in revenue for his $52.7 billion fiscal year 2025 budget.
  • February 13, 2024 – Illinois set a record in December 2023 with the highest monthly sports betting revenue ever, surpassing $1 billion in total revenue for the year, aligning with New York and New Jersey as one of the top three revenue-generating states in the U.S.
  • January 20, 2024 – Bally’s Chicago revises its River West casino design to address a logistical challenge involving city water lines, aiming for a 2026 opening while facing revenue shortfalls in its temporary location.
  • January 17, 2024 – Illinois Gaming Board reports show that in November 2023, Illinois sportsbooks set a record with $1.3 billion in bets, led by FanDuel and DraftKings, with parlays accounting for 60% of their revenue.
  • January 3, 2024 – Caesars Racebook has launched in Illinois as the 21st state, offering a unique rewards program and a launch bonus, adding to the state’s already robust options for online horse race betting.
  • December 6, 2023 – Bally’s is under federal and local investigation regarding the acquisition of its Chicago casino license, amidst allegations of irregularities in the licensing process and criticism of the city’s handling of the casino proceedings.
  • November 29, 2023 – PENN Entertainment announced a groundbreaking ceremony for the new $360 million Hollywood Casino Aurora, aiming to create 1,400 jobs and replace their riverboat casino.
  • November 24, 2023 – Illinois Gaming Board reports show that in September 2023, Illinois residents set a record by wagering $1.09 billion on sports betting, with DraftKings handling over $400 million.
  • November 14, 2023 – ESPN launched its new online sportsbook, ESPN Bet, in Illinois among other states.

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.

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

NFL Betting

There is no denying how important football is in Illinois, and betting takes the excitement to another level. Illinois betting apps will provide you with different markets for live or upcoming football games. Read more about NFL betting in Illinois.

NHL Betting

If you’re a hockey fan and understand how the market works, you should be confident enough to place bets on the NHL using Illinois online sportsbooks, as there are multiple ways to wager on the sport. Read more about NHL betting in Illinois.

NBA Betting

The NBA has a huge following across the country, and it is especially popular in Illinois. Sportsbooks in Illinois provide a variety of betting markets for NBA and college basketball. Read more about NBA betting in Illinois.

MLB Betting

Baseball is a longstanding tradition in Illinois, with countless loyal fans of the 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. Read more about MLB betting in Illinois.

Horse Race Betting

It’s been around for decades, but Illinois horse race betting has never gone out of style. With hundreds of events taking place around the year, you will always find a thrilling horse race to bet on using on of the Illinois online racebooks.

Betting promos & bonuses

All the best Illinois sportsbooks in Illinois have a vast variety of betting promos they give to their players. For new users, you can usually take advantage of a deposit bonus or a second chance bet.

There are also other bonuses offered to existing members to keep things interesting. The most popular Illinois sportsbook promos include:

  • No deposit bonuses – Get a bonus without having to make a deposit.
  • Bonus bets – Place wagers with bonus bets provided by the site.
  • Second chance bets – Place a wager and get a bonus bet second chance if you lose.
  • Deposit match bonuses – Get your deposit matched by a certain percentage.

How to register at an IL sports betting app

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

Pick a betting app from our list

Once you have chosen your preferred Illinois betting operator, 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 wagering site to deposit money into your account. The most popular banking options include PayPal, debit cards, and online banking.

Guides for beginners

Are you new to sports betting? Have a look at our guides for beginners created by our betting expert Phil Naessens.

Should I sign up for multiple sportsbooks?

As the number of Illinois online sportsbooks currently available is 8, 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 wagering sites try and entice new customers by offering sign-up bonuses, giving you different types of boosts to your betting experience.

Get a feel for different sportsbooks

You can also benefit by signing up for multiple sportsbooks in Illinois 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.

Deposit & withdrawals on IL sportsbooks

Illinois online sportsbooks offer a great variety of banking methods for you to choose from. Besides the basic ones, such as credit cards and bank transfers, they also include different kinds of eWallets.

Credit & debit cards

Payment method

Deposit time

Withdrawal time

VISA

Instant

1-5 day(s)

MasterCard

Instant

1-5 day(s)

American Express

Instant

No withdrawal

Discover Card

Instant

No withdrawal

eWallets

Payment method

Deposit time

Withdrawal time

PayPal

Instant

2-7 day(s)

Skrill

Instant

1-5 hour(s)

Neteller

Instant

1-5 hour(s)

Venmo

Instant

2-5 day(s)

Online banking

Payment method

Deposit time

Withdrawal time

Wire transfer

1-3 day(s)

1-3 day(s)

Direct online transfer

Instant

Instant

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.

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.

Retail sportsbooks in Illinois

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

FAQ

questions

How many sportsbooks are available in Illinois?

There are 8 online sports betting sites in Illinois and 13 physical betting locations. However, more are expected to join the party.

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.

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

All winnings must be reported when you file personal income taxes. You should declare your winnings when filing taxes, even when you haven't received a form from the Illinois betting site. You can also deduct the losses as itemized deductions.

Which online sportsbooks are legal in Illinois?

The legal online sportsbooks in Illinois are: DraftKings, FanDuel, Caesars, BetRivers, BetMGM, PointsBet, ESPN Bet, and Circa Sports.

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.

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 wagering locations. This includes teams like the Illinois Fighting Illini and the Northwestern Wildcats. Betting on in-state college games at online betting sites 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 standard 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 8 online sports betting websites to choose from if you want to participate in Chicago sports betting, 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, and depending on the operator, you need proof of identification, a physical address, an accepted payment method, an email address, and potentially a phone number and/or bank statement matching the address on the ID.

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.

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 at the Casino Queen in East St. Louis, Illinois.

Can I exclude myself from Illinois sportsbooks?

Yes, you can exclude yourself from Illinois sportsbooks by enrolling in the Illinois gambling self-exclusion list, which also applies to casinos and other betting venues in the state.

Which sportsbook in Illinois has the fastest payout?

FanDuel is known to have fast payouts that usually take under 24 hours. However, all online sportsbooks in Illinois have relatively fast payouts, and the difference between them isn't that great.

Is it safe to wager on IL sportsbooks?

Yes, Illinois sportsbooks are safe to bet on. The sportsbooks that we have provided in our list all have security systems that make them very safe to bet on, and all have licenses from the Illinois Gaming Board to operate in the state.

Fact checked by: Phil Naessens