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Bonus bets in Illinois

If you're looking for bonus bets in Illinois, you've come to the right place. On this page, we will guide you on how to maximize the value out of this type of promotion.

Table of contents

What is a bonus bet?

A bonus bet lets you make a wager without the fear of parting with your hard-earned money. A bonus bet is not the same as real cash. Instead, it's a credit that can be used to place a bet on the platform. If the bet wins, the stake (the value of the bonus bet) is not returned, but the winnings are.

What happened to the term "free bet"?

Regulatory bodies in various states in the US began to view the term "free bet" as potentially misleading.

This is because, in many cases, to access a "free bet," customers had to first make a deposit or place a bet with their own money. Thus, it wasn't truly "free."

To comply with these regulations and avoid potential penalties, many sportsbooks started using terms like "bonus bet" or "bet credit" instead.

Different types of bonus bets provided by IL sportsbooks

Bonus bets come in various shapes and sizes. It's essential to understand their nuances to maximize their benefits. Explore the diverse bonus bets available in Illinois sportsbooks below:

No deposit bonus bet

The allure of the no deposit bonus bet lies in its name – there's no need to front any cash. Simply identify a reputable sportsbooks that offers this, register, and key in your no deposit bonus bet code. However, some bookmakers might attach certain stipulations.

For example, this bonus might be limited to specific sports or events. Moreover, no deposit bonus bets often come with a modest amount, typically around $5. It's worth noting that some betting sites might exclude this stake from any winning returns. Also, there's usually a time frame within which you must utilize the no deposit bonus bet.

Bonus bet on first deposit

For the bonus bet on the first deposit, an initial deposit is mandatory to access the bonus bet. A specific bonus amount will then be appended to your initial deposit.

However, this type of bonus bet comes with certain prerequisites. For instance, you might need to place a certain number of wagers using your deposit before you can withdraw any earnings from your bonus bet.

Matched bonus bet

A matched bonus bet mirrors your deposit. For instance, if you deposit $30, you'll receive an additional $30. This type of bonus bet is primarily extended to newcomers upon registration with a bookmaker.

However, a handful of sportsbooks might offer this to existing members, albeit with a higher qualifying stake. While this bonus bet variant isn't widespread outside UK markets, it can be a lucrative option. Always keep an eye out for bookmakers offering this.

Second chance bonus bet

Numerous bookmakers proffer a welcome incentive known as a second chance bet, especially in the US market.

With this, if your wager wins, the winnings are yours to keep. However, if your wager doesn't pan out, you're reimbursed either in the form of site credit or a bonus bet to place another wager with the sportsbook. Some platforms might even return the amount as fully withdrawable cash to your account.

How to claim a bonus bet

Primarily, there are two avenues to claim a bonus bet: either by using a betting bonus code or by navigating through links to exclusive offers.

  • Using a promo code: In Illinois, claiming bonus bets via a promo code is a straightforward affair. You can discover the most recent bonus bet promo codes on this page. Once you've registered and keyed in your code, your bonus bet becomes active.
  • Following a link: An alternative method to claim bonus bets is by tracing our links to exclusive deals. We consistently scout for the most enticing sports betting promotions and list them on our site. Occasionally, all that's required is to follow these links to claim your bonus bet offer.

Maximizing bonus bets in Illinois

Armed with a comprehensive understanding of how bonus bets function, it's time to learn how to optimize these offers and reap maximum benefits.

Enroll on multiple sportsbooks

Given that most Illinois online sportsbooks have a finite number of bonus bets, extracting substantial value from them can be a challenge. Hence, consider enrolling on several sports betting platforms.

For instance, you might register on a mobile sports betting app that provides lucrative bonus bets for soccer and another that specializes in horse racing. This strategy lets you enjoy bonus bets across diverse sports.

Furthermore, you can diversify your wagers across two platforms focusing on the same sport. For example, you might bet on one team winning on one platform and against it on another. This ensures that regardless of the match outcome, you secure a win on at least one platform.


Certain betting sites might furnish you with a code that, when used by someone for registration, earns you a bonus bet.

This often serves as an enticing proposition for newcomers and simultaneously rewards you with bonuses.

Loyalty and rewards programs

Subscribing to loyalty and rewards schemes on bookmakers can further enhance your chances of securing the best bonus bets in Illinois.

This is because many bookmakers reserve their choicest bonuses for their VIP clientele.

Pros & cons of bonus betting

While bonus betting offers numerous advantages, it's also accompanied by certain drawbacks. It's essential to weigh both sides before diving in.


  • Honing your skills: For newcomers, it's imperative to grasp the intricacies of sports betting. Bonus bets provide the perfect training ground since there's no real money at stake.
  • Experimenting with strategies: For seasoned bettors, bonus bets present an opportunity to test new betting strategies without the risk of monetary loss. If you're contemplating a change in your betting approach but are apprehensive about potential losses, bonus bets are your best bet.
  • Sheer entertainment: The thrill of wagering on your favorite teams without the risk of financial loss is unparalleled. Moreover, the exhilaration of winning a bet without staking your own money is unmatched. However, it's essential to make informed decisions and understand the specific type of bonus bet you're using to avoid any confusion.


  • Rigorous stipulations: Occasionally, bookmakers might impose stringent conditions that bettors must meet before enjoying the fruits of their bonus bets. For instance, you might be compelled to place multiple wagers before you can cash out your bonus bet winnings. This might eventually require you to wager with real money to access your bonus bet earnings.
  • Restricted market access: When wagering with bonus bets, bookmakers might steer you towards markets with limited betting options. This could potentially curtail the full spectrum of sports betting experiences when using bonus bets.


Why do IL sportsbooks offer bonus bets?

IL sportsbooks offer bonus bets for different reasons. First, they offer it to attract new players, increasing traffic to their website. Also, they want to give players a chance to learn how to make the right calls when betting before they can start using real money.

Which sportsbooks in Illinois have bonus bets?

Examples of sportsbooks in Illinois that offer bonus bets are DraftKings and Caesars. You should compare the bonus bets type and amounts offered by these bookmakers and choose one that works for you.

Can I withdraw winnings from a bonus bet?

Yes, you can withdraw winnings made from a bonus bet. However, you often need to fulfill the requirements set by your chosen bookmaker in order to do so.