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Top online gambling sites in Illinois

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Best online gambling sites in Illinois

  1. DraftKings Illinois - Best for bonuses & promotion
  2. Caesars Illinois - Best for gambling on the NFL
  3. BetRivers Illinois - Best for mobile gambling
  4. PointsBet Illinois - Best for live gambling

We consider the options below to be the best online gambling sites at the moment in Illinois:

DraftKings logo

1. DraftKings Illinois

DraftKings began with a Daily Fantasy Sports platform that later evolved into online sports betting site.

In Illinois, you can bet on sports by using their online sportsbook. It includes all major US sports events as well as motorsports, tennis, MMA, golf, soccer and many others.

Their application is also well-designed and offers loads of good bonus promotions to existing users, including a rewards system. It is available for both Android and iOS. In Illinois, DraftKings has partnered up with Casino Queen in East St. Louis.

Caesars logo

2. Caesars Illinois

Launched in August 2020, Caesars Illinois has partnered with Grand Victoria Casino. Because of this, it's possible for players to access a wealth of different sporting events and tournaments in person, via a desktop, and even on their mobile devices. You can also stream NFL games for free when you have an account at Caesars.

For those using the app, it's compatible across all operating systems. However, it is important that players are within the state's borders to access it. The app will confirm this through geolocation software. Players accessing Caesars Illinois will also have access to the Caesars Rewards program, where rewards can be redeemed throughout the country.

BetRivers logo

3. BetRivers Illinois

BetRivers emerged from the split of Rush Street Interactive and teamed up with Rivers Casino Des Plaines and offers a wide range of betting markets for all major US and International sporting events.

BetRivers offers a unique gambling platform that can be accessed easily from both your computer and smartphone, but their gambling app gives you the best experience. BetRivers usually have great promotions for new players, giving them an extra advantage in comparison to their competition.

Pointsbet logo

4. PointsBet Illinois

PointsBet was the fourth gambling site to become available online in Illinois. They have signed a partnership with Hawthorne Race Course, one of the three racetracks in Illinois. They also work closely with International Basketball Hall of Famer Allen Iverson and Hall of Fame cornerback Darrelle Revis, as PointsBet's brand ambassadors in the USA.

In addition to their standard markets, PointsBet has a different kind of bet placement called “Points Betting”. It is a high-risk and high-reward system where you bet on a specific score or amount of a sporting event. It is a unique betting system that creates excitement and thrill compared to the more classic ones.

Other IL gambling sites to consider

Apart from the operators discussed above, there are three more online gambling sites available in Illinois:

FanDuel Illinois

FanDuel is a strong presence in the online sports betting industry. They offer all types of wagers for every US and global sport. FanDuel started as a Daily Fantasy Sports site and turned into gambling operator that offers both a sportsbook and a casino.

FanDuel usually offers good betting promos in Illinois to attract new players, such as free betting credits and welcome bonuses. You can download the app, which is very simple to use even without any previous experience. FanDuel has made a partnership in Illinois as well, with Par-A-Dice Casino in East Peoria.

Barstool Illinois

Launched in March 2021, Barstool Illinois holds an IGB license and is partnered with three separate land-based casinos — Argosy Casino Alton and the Hollywood Casinos in both Aurora and Joliet.

For those looking to play at Barstool Illinois, there are a lot of exciting features and functions for advanced gamblers, including the "Quick Pick 6" bet builder. The sportsbook has more than 20 different sports, both domestic and international. Barstool Illinois has simple navigation on both the desktop and app, and has various bonuses available too.

BetMGM Illinois

BetMGM went live on March 7, 2022, in Illinois. BetMGM Illinois offers players the option to play via desktop and mobile with an app for both Android and iOS. The operator is partnered with Par-A-Dice Hotel and Casino, enabling players to place bets in person.

BetMGM Illinois is fully licensed and registered by the Illinois Gaming Board. The site is packed with different sports from the US and abroad. You can bet on any Illinois sports team using BetMGM, but wagering on instate Illinois college teams is only available pregame at the Par-A-Dice Hotel and Casino.

Circa Sports Illinois

Circa Sports launched its gambling site in Illinois in September 2023 after more than a year of waiting since the start of the application process. It is the eighth website to enter the IL market, joining Barstool Sportsbook, BetMGM, BetRivers, Caesars Sportsbook, DraftKings, FanDuel, and PointsBet.

Missing the start of the 2023 NFL season could hurt the early handle numbers, but Circa should still be in good shape by launching before the start of the 2023-24 NHL and NBA seasons. Circa's high-limit platform should also help to narrow the gap on competition.

Fanatics Illinois (Coming soon)

Fanatics is continuing its takeover attempt of all things surrounding sports by expanding into the online gambling space. After taking over PointsBet’s U.S. gambling operations, Fanatics will be converting online gambling platforms at a rate of three states per month from August 2023 to May 2024.

Illinois bettors will be able to earn “FanCash” with every bet, allowing users to earn credits toward bonus bets as a percentage of each real-money wager.

ESPN Bet Illinois (Coming soon)

ESPN Bet hasn’t yet launched in Illinois, but it will act as the new branding for PENN Entertainment’s online gambling platform.

PENN actively holds an Illinois betting operator’s license and launched Barstool Sportsbook, though they abandoned the Barstool brand and sold the company back to founder Dave Portnoy in August 2023 before announcing the ESPN partnership.

Because Barstool had a retail location at the Hollywood Casino Aurora, ESPN Bet will likely carry over the in-person location following the conversion.

Bally Bet Illinois (Coming soon)

Bally Bet paused all activity on its gambling website in late June 2023 and is actively undergoing a platform change to Kambi. While no new launch date has been announced, the new rollout will likely take several months, and it could be 2024 before the new gambling site is ready.

The shutdown came before Bally Bet had its initial IL launch, but the operator has been deemed “preliminarily suitable” by the Illinois Gaming Board and could start things up right away following the changeover.

Betway Illinois (Coming soon)

Betway is on track to become the first online-only gambling operator in Illinois after being awarded a license from the Illinois Gaming Board in July 2023. The Betway gambling site will provide players with a fresh option to explore.

So far, Betway’s gambling website is live and licensed in Arizona, Colorado, Indiana, Iowa, New Jersey, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Virginia.

Unibet Illinois (Coming soon)

An all-in-one gambling operator, Unibet offers a variety of online gambling services. Unibet has already obtained a license to launch its gambling site in Illinois and is eyeing a late 2023 opening.

When the site goes live, Unibet will likely offer a $500 second chance bet to its players. The layout will be rather simplistic but very intuitive, with players of all experience levels finding the gambling website to be navigable and comfortable.

Online gambling is legal in Illinois, but only some forms of it. Online sports betting is legal, but online casinos are not. It is also legal to bet on horse races, play the lottery and participate in Daily Fantasy Sports contests.

The bill that legalized online betting sites in Illinois included a section for online casinos too. But until today, they are not legal.

Type of gambling

Legal in IL

Sports betting


Online casinos




Horse race betting


Daily Fantasy Sports


Land-based casinos




Illinois online gambling laws explained

Illinois online gambling laws explained

So, it might be strange that online sports betting is legal, but online casinos are not. How does the state explain the halfway legitimization of online gambling?

At first, only horse racing was legal, much because it became very popular in the 1920s. Up to recently, all the other forms of gambling were illegal. After the legalization of physical casinos and sportsbooks, it was high time to legalize them in their online form as well.

As aforementioned, in 2019, online sportsbooks finally became legal. The Illinois Gaming Board was responsible for presenting to the State House the bill, the 2019 Illinois Gambling Act — SB 690.

Below we explain how the online gambling laws of Illinois work at this moment:

  • Online sports betting. You can bet on sports online in Illinois. Anyone over 21 and within state borders can register for an online sportsbook and place bets on sports. It is also possible to place wagers in physical establishments around the state.
  • Online horse race betting. You can bet on horse races online in Illinois. By visiting a licensed online racebook such as TVG, BetAmerica, or NYRA, you can wager on horses. You can also visit any of the racetracks or OTBs in the state to place your bets.
  • Online lottery. You can participate in online lottery games in Illinois. By registering at the Illinois Lottery, you can buy lottery tickets to popular games such as Mega Millions, Powerball, or Lotto. Anyone over 18 can play lottery games, and you don't need to visit any physical location to participate.
  • Online casinos. You can not play at online casinos at the moment in Illinois. Bills like HB3142 tried to legalize online casino games, but the attempts have not been successful so far.
  • Daily Fantasy Sports. You can play Daily Fantasy Sports in Illinois. Operators like FanDuel and DraftKings accept players from Illinois in their DFS sections.

Online lottery & horse race gambling in Illinois

Besides sports betting, there are a few other forms of online gambling that are available in Illinois. These include lottery and horse racing.


The Illinois State Lottery was founded in 1974, but it started selling tickets for Powerball and Mega Millions only in 2010. It constitutes a part of the state’s $3 billion in the annual lottery. The online lottery provides standard tickets, multi-state, raffles, and instant games.

If you are a resident of Illinois, you can buy your tickets online. However, note that it is illegal to participate in a lottery held in a foreign country. The Illinois lottery is generous in offering promotions to returning customers. The only thing you have to do is to sign up at the Illinois Lottery and start playing.

Horse race betting

Horse race betting has a long tradition in Illinois. It dates back to the 1920s. Today, horse racing takes place in five local racetracks and 37 off-track betting (OTB) venues.

Luckily, you do not have to visit these places in order to place a bet, you can do it online. That way, you will find many options available, not just for races that take place in the state but also for bonuses, different sportsbooks, odds, etc.

There are a few rules when it comes to online betting on horse races. First of all, you can bet only in racebooks that have a license from the Illinois Racing Board. Second, you have to be 18 years old or older to bet on horses. Third, there is a minimum bet of $2. However, it does not apply to all cases, as there are wagers that cost only $1. Finally, the maximum payout you can get is $2,10 for every $2 bet you have placed.

When will Illinois completely legalize online gambling?

There is still unfortunately no news on exactly when online gambling will become fully legal in Illinois, with House Bill 3142 being rejected in 2021 and sports betting already being legalized in 2019. There is a legislative period in IL in 2023, so there is some hope that online gambling will be legalized this year, but it’s not certain to happen.

Some experts believe that it will, like Richard Schwartz, the CEO of the huge gambling company Rush Street Interactive, who claimed that “they already have regulators in place”, implying that IL is already gearing up for legalization.

The American Gaming Association produced a report about illegal online gambling which said that “Americans bet more than $510.9 billion a year with illegal and unregulated operators. This costs the legal industry $44.2 billion in gaming revenue and state governments $13.3 billion in lost tax revenue”.

This massive lost revenue and the growing pressure to pass online gambling in the state should mean that a bill will be presented this year as the legislative session in Illinois resumes. If a bill is passed, then we could expect to see online gambling in Illinois go live as early as 2024.

The future of online gambling in IL

While it is still unclear what will happen in Illinois in the world of online gambling, it is expected that it will become legalized at some point in the future due to the sheer amount of tax revenue that is not being collected by the state.

There are already plenty of gambling sites that are preparing to make their entry into the Illinois market, such as DraftKings, FanDuel, BetRivers, and Barstool, who already have online and physical sportsbooks live in the state.

If legalization takes place, Illinois can expect a huge boost in revenue, as the fiscal year of 2022 brought in record revenues of nearly $1.9 billion in gambling generally. This includes sports betting, lottery, and video gaming, so online gambling becoming legal would surely boost that figure by quite some way.

This year, 2023, brings a new legislative session in Illinois, so there will probably be a new bill seeking to legalize gambling online, and we will know more about what kind of provisions this bill will include if and when it gets proposed. We will have to wait and see.

Online gambling games to become legal in IL

If the new bill of 2022 becomes a reality, new forms of online gambling may soon become available in Illinois. These include different type of online casino games and poker.

Online casino games

Online casino games include slots, roulette, blackjack, baccarat, and live dealer games. All these games are based on luck and do not need any specific skills. Some of them, such as blackjack, require you to learn a few rules, but they are pretty simple. Slots and table casino games are the most exciting ones.

Slots are easy to play because all you do is press a button. You can find many variations of slot games with different visual and sound features that make them interesting. They do not require any skills. Also, you do not have to bet a large amount of money, as the minimum wages are very low.

When it comes to table games, there are thousands of tables available to join. There is no waiting line, nor do you have to buy your seat. They are more fast-paced than regular casinos because all the dealings happen automatically. Moreover, there are hundreds of variations.

If you still want to have human interaction, you can opt for live casino games or live dealer games. That is there is a real dealer that you can see through your camera that deals the cards or chips. You can also talk to the other players. If you do not feel comfortable turning your camera and mic on, though, you can talk to them in the chat room.

Online poker

Online poker is widely considered to be the most difficult one. In order to become an experienced poker player, you must exercise your skills a lot, play lots of games, and try out and learn different strategies. This is the case for online poker or video poker, as it is most commonly known.

You have the option of playing live video poker as well. Moreover, video poker has many variations. However, each variation has different rules, so you have to learn them in order to understand the game and join. Luckily, there are free video poker games available in online casinos, so you can practice for as long as you feel you need to.

The tax rate on online gambling winnings in Illinois

All winnings from online gambling fall under the personal income tax, which sits at 4.95% in Illinois. Moreover, you also have to report your winnings as income to the IRS.

In this case, your gambling tax percentage is calculated based on your total income and if you are filing as an individual or as a married couple. Federal taxes are usually between 10% and 37%. Gambling winnings can put you in a higher tax category.

Reporting winnings to the IRS

If your winnings exceed a certain amount, the gambling operator will provide you with a W-2G form on which you report your winnings to the IRS.

It doesn't matter if the winnings come from sports betting, lotteries, slots, or other casino games in Illinois. It is crucial for you to report your online gambling winnings to the IRS.

Below are some general guidelines regarding when you should report your gambling winnings during a full year to the IRS:

Winnings on bingo or slot machines (not reduced by the wager) Threshold: 1.200$
Winnings on poker (reduced by the buy-in) Threshold: 5000$ 
Winnings on keno (reduced by the wager) Threshold: 1500$
Winnings on other types of gambling (reduced by the wager) Threshold: 600$
Winnings when the amount is at least 300 times the wager Threshold: 600$

Licensed gambling sites in Illinois VS offshore sites

In order to offer its services to the citizens of Illinois, a gambling operator must get a license from the Illinois Gaming Board. This means that licensed gambling sites are approved by the state of Illinois and can be considered safe.

Offshore gambling sites do not hold licenses from the state of Illinois or any other gambling commission. This means that players are less safe using these sites since they do not need to follow the gambling laws set up by the state.

However, the state law does not consider them illegal when operating in other countries, nor does it mention clearly that the residents of Illinois will be prosecuted if they get caught using one.

In any case, it is not advised to play on offshore sites. It is better to play on licensed sites, and if you want to play in online casinos, have a little patience and visit a physical one until the online ones are available.

Who regulates gambling in Illinois?

The Illinois Gaming Board regulates all forms of gambling in Illinois. It controls the regulatory and tax collection for video games, riverboats, and regular casinos, as well as online sportsbooks.

In 1990, the state became the second one to legitimize riverboat casinos with the Riverboat Gambling Act. The first riverboat casino opened in September 1990. Since 2020, there have been ten operating casinos in Illinois.

In July 2009, The Video Gaming Act was approved. The act permitted up to five Video Gaming Terminals (VGTs) to function in authorized Fraternal and Veteran Companies, Truck Stops, and Retail Establishments. Ten years later, Governor J.B.Pritzker signed the Illinois Gambling Act.

The history of gambling in Illinois

  • 1927 – Illinois General Assembly approves pari-mutuel wagering on horse racing.
  • 1971 – legalization of Bingo games.
  • 1974 – launch of the Illinois Lottery. Governor Dan Walker signed the legislation, which was passed by the Illinois General Assembly. The Lottery distributed its first tickets to 7,000 retailers across the state.
  • 1982 – launch of Illinois Pick3 lottery game.
  • 1984 – launch of Illinois Pick4 and Lotto games.
  • 1986 – state approval of games of chance for non-profit organizations for charity reasons.
  • 1990 – legitimization of riverboat gambling in Illinois. It was the second state in the US to make it happen. The riverboats were obliged to cruise if they wanted to operate.
  • 1991 – the first riverboat opens in Alton. A reservation was required, the admission was charged, as well as the parking. Also, long lines were waiting to board, as the casinos had to cruise.
  • 1999 – Governor George Ryan signed the Riverboat Gambling Act that no longer obliged riverboat casinos to cruise. All riverboats stopped cruising and became land-based, tied to the docks.
  • 2003 – the Lottery launched Pick ‘n Play, a new online game.
  • 2005 – Illinois Gaming Board canceled Emerald Casino's license due to rising questions about its connections with organized crime.
  • 2009 – Illinois General Assembly passed the bill, HB 255, the Video Gaming Act, which legalized the use of video games in licensed establishments, such as truck stops, fraternal, and veteran’s establishments.
  • 2009 – Rockwell Wirtziled, the Chicago Blackhawks owner and liquor distributor filed a suit, stating the unconstitutional nature of the Video Gaming Act due to its many provisions, which included taxes on candy and liquor, establishing video games, and funding studies on public lotteries.
  • 2011 – The First Circuit Court of Appeals rules that the Video Gaming Act is indeed unconstitutional. The same year, the bill SB744 passes. It authorized a Chicago casino and additional casinos, and slot games at O’Hare and Midway Airports. In addition, horse racing tracks became land-based casinos with slot machines at each track. Furthermore, the 10th riverboat license was finally operated by launching the Rivers Casino in Des Plaines. Finally, in August of the same year, Illinois Supreme Court decided that the Video Gaming Act did not violate the constitution.
  • 2019 - The Illinois Gaming Board presents to the State House the Gambling Act of 2019, SB 690. The bill passed and legalized online sports betting and online sportsbooks.
  • 2022 - A new bill, H 3142, is presented to the State House. If it passes, it will legalize all online casinos in Illinois. The bill is under discussion as the parties try to figure out how the regulations will apply to online casinos.

Gambling responsibly in Illinois

Responsible gambling in Illinois

Gambling responsibly in Illinois means understanding the risks of gambling, setting limits, and seeking help if needed. It is important to always gamble within your budget and know how much you can afford to lose. Additionally, it is important to set a time limit for your gambling activities and to not gamble when under the influence of drugs or alcohol.

If you think you or someone you know has a gambling problem, the Illinois Gaming Board provides a list of resources to get help. The Illinois Department of Human Services provides a 24-hour confidential helpline (1-800-GAMBLER) and website to help gamblers and their families.

The Illinois Council on Problem Gambling is another resource and offers free online, telephonic, and in-person counseling to individuals and their family members. For those seeking in-person counseling, the Council on Problem Gambling also has a list of certified problem gambling counselors in Illinois.

In addition, Gamblers Anonymous is a 12-step program available to those affected by problem gambling and offers support groups throughout Illinois. Furthermore, the Illinois Alliance on Problem Gambling is a coalition of organizations that works to reduce the prevalence of problem gambling in the state. They provide prevention, education, and treatment programs for gamblers and their families.

Gambling responsibly in Illinois means understanding the risks and setting limits. If you or someone you know has a gambling problem, there are numerous resources available to help.

Best gambling bonuses in IL

DraftKings Bet $5 Get $200 in Bonus Bets
21+ and present in IL. Gambling Problem? Call 1-800-GAMBLER
Caesars Second Chance Bet Up To $1000
21+ and present in IL. Gambling Problem? Call 1-800-GAMBLER
BetRivers Second Chance Bet Up To $500
21+ and present in IL. Gambling Problem? Call 1-800-GAMBLER
PointsBet Second Chance Bets Up To $1000
21+ and present in IL. Gambling Problem? Call 1-800-GAMBLER


Are there any mobile online gambling apps in Illinois?

Yes, there are mobile gambling apps in Illinois, but you can only use them to bet on sports. These include DraftKings, FanDuel, PointsBet, and BetRivers. Most of them have online casinos operating in other states.

What is the age requirement for online gambling in IL?

The age requirement is at least 21 years old in order to be allowed to gamble online in Illinois. If you are younger, you are not permitted to gamble, and if you do so, you run the risk of being prosecuted.

Will Illinois legalize online poker?

It is unclear whether online poker will launch in Illinois. There was a bill in 2021 that was rejected in the House, and even though there might be a bill presented this year, it is not guaranteed to pass.

Are Illinois online gambling sites safe and secure?

Yes, Illinois online gambling sites are safe. All of the ones we have included on our list use the most up-to-date security software to ensure the safety of your funds and make your betting experience as stress-free as possible.

Fact checked by: Phil Naessens