Covering the Land of Lincoln

Illinois Online Sports Betting in 2021

Is sports betting legal in Illinois?

Yes, sports betting is legal in Illinois. Governor J.B. Pritzker signed bill SB 690 — an enormous gaming expansion and capital bill — on June 28, 2019, and sports betting was deemed legal as a part of the 816-page document.

Rivers Casino Des Plaines accepted Illinois’ first legal retail sports bet on March 9, 2020, while BetRivers launched the state’s first online sportsbook on June 18, 2020.

Check our USA legal tracker to monitor each state’s sports betting progress. 

Who can bet on sports in Illinois?

All bettors, 21-years of age and older, must visit a retail sportsbook to complete registration in person.

Here are some key considerations and features that will help you to navigate Illinois’ sports betting landscape: 

Legal age

You must be at least 21-years old to bet on sports in Illinois, whether you are placing a wager online or in person at one of Illinois’ casinos or racetracks.

21plus Mobile betting

Legal online sports betting can take place on a mobile phone, tablet, or desktop computer. The Illinois Gaming Board regulates all online and casino gambling in the state of Illinois.

21plus Remote registration

April 3, 2021, marked a turning point in the state’s recent turn to legalized sports betting. Sports betting registration must now be completed in person at an Illinois retail sportsbook.

Previously, a 2020 executive order by Gov. Pritzker had allowed bettors to register remotely, but the order has not been renewed.

globe Within state borders

All sports gamblers must be physically present in the state of Illinois when placing a wager. While bettors are not required to be residents of Illinois, online sportsbooks are required to use geotagging software to verify users’ locations.

bank Retail sportsbooks

Seven of Illinois’ ten casinos currently operate retail sportsbooks. FanDuel Sportsbook and Horse Racing — formerly Fairmount Park — and Hawthorne Race Course are now licensed to offer live betting as well. Hawthorne also operates an off-track betting site in Crestwood, IL.

percent Taxable winnings

Sports bet winnings over $600 are subject to a 15% tax rate in Illinois. It’s also standard procedure for casinos in Illinois to withhold 25% of winnings for federal tax purposes.

Players are able to deduct amounts wagered and lost — but may not deduct wagers on winning bets.

 

Illinois: Top 3 best sports betting sites

We have identified several sportsbooks that offer the best features, bonuses, and the most comprehensive list of sports and bet types available to Illinois residents.

DraftKings

The DraftKings sportsbook leverages a clean and easy-to-navigate mobile and desktop interface. Apps are available to download free via the Apple App Store and Google Play Store. The sportsbook accepts deposits via credit card and PayPal and boasts advanced security features, making it a smart choice for an online sports betting platform.

William Hill

As one of the more established sportsbook operators, William Hill, leads the way when it comes to sharp odds and bet types. The operator has released terrific, free mobile betting apps available to download free for Android and iOS devices. 

FanDuel

FanDuel took a mobile-first approach with its online sportsbook, available for free download for iOS and Android devices. The slick mobile interface allows players to easily navigate its features, including live betting and a live chat customer service function that is supported 24/7. 

The pros and cons of IL sports betting

While only a handful of online sportsbooks exist in Illinois today, the sports betting market is expected to continue to grow in the Prairie State. Sports gamblers are also given few limitations when it comes to what wagers can be placed on.

However, a complex registration process can make for an inconvenient betting experience in Illinois. College sports fanatics may also be less inclined to get in on the betting action as Illinois college teams have been deemed off-limits.

Illinois sports betting

Pros

  • Few events are off-limits
  • Significant growth potential
  • Access to online and retail sportsbooks

Cons

  • Inability to bet on local college teams
  • High barrier-to-entry means fewer choices for bettors
  • No remote registration

How to start betting in Illinois

Bettors in the Prairie State are now required to visit a retail sportsbook to complete the registration process. Once registered, you can place wagers in person or online via sports betting apps.

1

Select a sportsbook

Choose the sportsbook that best suits your betting needs. Check out some reviews and consider betting opportunities, customer service, current promotions, and the ease of financial transactions.

2

Register online

Most of the registration process can be completed on a sports betting website or app, but registration must be completed by verifying an account in-person at a retail sportsbook in Illinois.

3

Claim a bonus

New players in Illinois can benefit from a number of different promotions when opening up a new account with an online sportsbook. Although online options may be relatively limited in Illinois, bettors can still benefit from some nice bonus offers. Here are the most popular types of offers in Illinois:

  • Risk-free bets: Place your first wager without risk. If you lose your bet, sportsbooks will replace your funds with site credit or cash.
  • First deposit bonus match: Some sportsbooks will match your first deposit — up to a specified amount. Play-through requirements will usually be attached to this type of offer.
  • No deposit bonus: This is a free credit that’s given to new users. It must be wagered before it can be withdrawn.

4

Choose your bet

The most popular bets in Illinois include the point spread, moneyline, Over/Under (totals), parlays, and futures. Live betting is also an option since sports betting sites have access to real-time data and can offer updated odds and new betting opportunities for Illinois sports bettors.

5

Deposit

Sports bettors in Illinois are required to visit a retail sportsbook to confirm their identity and make their first deposit.

6

Start betting

Sports bettors should research the types of wagers that best fit their needs and goals. It’s important to understand the risk associated with each bet.

Different sportsbooks may offer slightly better odds than others, so line shopping definitely has its benefits as well.

7

Withdraw

Withdrawals typically take a bit longer to process, so keep this in mind when planning to access your winnings. It’s also a good idea to keep an eye on the terms and conditions of each sportsbook, as some methods may include higher fees for gambling transactions.

odds icon Odds explained

American odds are the default option for most sportsbooks. Favorites are accompanied by a minus (-) sign and indicate the amount you have to wager to win $100. For example, -150 odds indicate you’d need to bet $150 to take home a $100 profit.

Underdogs are accompanied by a plus (+) sign and indicate the amount you’ll win if you bet $100. For example, +200 odds suggest you’d take home $200 in profit when placing a wager of $100. Underdogs are less likely to win, and the larger payout reflects this.

Moneyline odds are displayed for futures odds and props as well. Players who are accustomed to decimal odds may be able to view odds this way with some Illinois sportsbooks. Use our odds converter to adjust from American to decimal or fractions easily.

Illinois sports betting handle

Illinois sports gambling operations were suspended on March 16, 2020 —  one week after it had become legal in the state — due to the coronavirus pandemic. Online and in-person wagering resumed on July 1, 2020. Despite the abrupt interruption, it has bounced back in a major way. 

We compiled the financial figures to illustrate the breakdown from sports betting revenues in Illinois:

Yearly breakdown

Year

Total handle

Revenue

Hold percentage

Tax revenue

2020

$1.88B

$125M

6.1%

$20M

Monthly handle

Month

2021

2020

January

$581M

N/A

February

$509M

N/A

March

$633M

997K

April

$537M

N/A

May

$507M

N/A

June

$476M

$8M

July

$369M

$52M

August

$140M

September

$305M

October

$434M

November

$449M

December

$491M

Total

$3.51B

$1.88B

What you can’t bet on in Illinois

While the state does allow sportsbooks to offer odds on collegiate sports, Illinois sports betting laws prohibit wagers placed on in-state college teams. The law is codified and clearly states: “A licensee under this Act may not accept a wager for a sports event involving an Illinois collegiate team.”

Money Icon Politics

The Illinois Gaming Board, similar to other U.S. states, does not permit betting on political events including Presidential elections.

Money Icon College sports

Bettors may only place wagers on out-of-state teams. Placing wagers on Illinois college teams is prohibited.

Money Icon Esports

The Illinois Gaming Board has not yet authorized esports betting to be available in Illinois. Esports are neither banned nor included in the state’s sports betting law, so the door has been left open for the future.

What about the NFL Draft?

The marquee offseason event has steadily increased in popularity and that applies to betting markets, too. Illinois is one of only a handful of states to permit betting on the NFL Draft, meaning you can cash in on all seven rounds.

Legal sportsbooks in Illinois

Illinois sports bettors may place wagers on sportsbooks’ mobile apps or betting sites. In-person betting can be done at retail sportsbooks, any of the state’s 10 riverboat casinos, or its three racetracks.

Illinois’ online and mobile sportsbooks

Online sportsbook operator

Mobile app

Odds provider

Online casino

Retail partner

Barstool

Yes

Kambi

No

Hollywood Casino Joliet

BetRivers

Yes

IGT

No

Rivers Casino

DraftKings

Yes

SBTech

No

DraftKings at Casino Queen

FanDuel

Yes

Flutter

No

FanDuel Sportsbook & Horse Racing

PointsBet

Yes

PointsBet

No

Hawthorne Race Course

William Hill

Yes

William Hill

No

Harrah’s Joliet and Metropolis

Land-based IL sportsbooks

To open any mobile account at an Illinois betting site, you will first need to visit one of these retail locations to complete your registration.

Sportsbook

Venue

Address

Phone number

Odds provider

Joliet Sportsbook (Barstool)

Hollywood Casino Joliet

777 Hollywood Blvd, Joliet, IL 60436

(888) 436-7737

Kambi

The Sportsbook (Barstool)

Argosy Casino Alton

1 Piasa St., Alton, IL 62002

(800) 711-4263

Kambi

The Sportsbook (Barstool)

Hollywood Casino Aurora

1 W. New York St. Bridge, Aurora, IL 60506

(630) 801-1234

Kambi

BetRivers Sportsbook

Rivers Casino

3000 S River Rd, Des Plaines, IL 60018 (847) 795-0777

IGT

DraftKings at Casino Queen

Casino Queen

200 S Front St., East St. Louis, IL 62201 (800) 777-0777

SBTech

FanDuel Par-A-Dice Sportsbook

Par-A-Dice Casino

21 Blackjack Blvd., East Peoria, IL 61611 (309) 699-7711 Flutter

FanDuel Sportsbook

FanDuel Sportsbook & Horse Racing (Fairmount Park)

9301 Collinsville Rd., Collinsville, IL 62234 (618) 345-4300 Flutter

PointsBet Sportsbook

Hawthorne Race Course

3501 S Laramie Ave, Stickney, IL 60804 (708) 780-3700 PointsBet

PointsBet Sportsbook

Prospect Heights Off Track Betting

1250 S. River Rd., Prospect Heights, IL 60080 (847) 537-3043 PointsBet

PointsBet Sportsbook

Crestwood Off Track Betting

13148 Rivercrest Dr., Crestwood, IL 60445 (708) 489-4700 PointsBet

William Hill Sportsbook

Grand Victoria Casino

250 S Grove Ave., Elgin, IL 60210 (847) 468-7000 William Hill

Home team advantage: Illinois sports

Although Illinoisans are not permitted to bet on their state’s college teams, they’re free to place wagers on Chicago’s pro clubs but it doesn’t mean they should.

It’s important to avoid laying bets on your favorite team until you’ve determined your research supports your decision. Brush up on the basics of sports betting with our how to bet guides.

NHL

Chicago Blackhawks logo

Chicago Blackhawks

Chicago Bulls logo

Chicago Bulls

Chicago Bears logo

Chicago Bears

Chicago Cubs logo

Chicago Cubs

Chicago White Sox logo

Chicago White Sox

Timeline of sports betting in Illinois

In the spring of 2019, the Illinois state legislature passed a bill that permitted sports betting at riverboat casinos, horse racetracks, and select sports facilities. Legalization was the result of the U.S. Supreme Court’s (SCOTUS) ruling against the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act (PASPA) of 1992. The high court’s decision to upended the federal ban on single-game wagering authorized Illinois to legalize both online and retail sports betting.

This timeline provides a snapshot of Illinois’ sports gambling history:

 

Other types of gambling

Illinois boasts nearly a dozen casinos, three racetracks, and a number of live and online poker rooms. Daily fantasy sports were also legalized with the Lawful Internet Gaming Act of 2019.

casino Casino

There are currently ten casinos in Illinois: seven riverboat casinos and three that are land-based. There are no online casinos operating in Illinois as of yet, but the Internet Gaming Act would bring online table games, online slots, and online poker to the Prairie State. The bill, introduced in February 2021, seeks to allow casinos and racetracks to offer regulated internet gaming.

For now, Illinois gamblers can enjoy a multitude of table games and a variety of slot machines at one of the state’s riverboat locations. Reel slots, progressive slots, and video poker are available at each of Illinois’ ten casinos.

poker Poker

Poker can be played in person at many of Illinois’ major casinos. Online poker was not included in Bill SB 690, but you can visit Global Poker — the only legal online option available in Illinois — and gamble using virtual cash.

Horse and jockey Horse racing

Illinois is home to three racetracks — Arlington International Racecourse, FanDuel Sportsbook and Horse Racing, and Hawthorne Race Course.

Currently, Hawthorne Race Course and FanDuel Sportsbook and Horse Racing (formerly Fairmount Park) are licensed to offer sports betting in Illinois. You can also bet on horse races online with TVG, BetAmerica, and TwinSpires.

Horse and jockey Daily fantasy sports

Major DFS sites FanDuel and DraftKings are currently operating in Illinois despite a lack of clarity concerning the legality of their presence in the state. While the Attorney General continues to insist it is illegal in Illinois, there have been several recent attempts to license and regulate DFS in the state.

Responsible gaming in Illinois

The Illinois Gaming Board (IGB) created a self-exclusion policy for problem gamblers in 2002, and this is now a part of Illinois’ gambling law. This includes the Statewide Casino Voluntary Self-Exclusion Program (SEP) and the Problem Gambling Registry.

Those with gambling problems may voluntarily enroll in both or either of these programs at an IGB office in any Illinois casino.

Similarly, the Responsible Gambling Database houses a list of individuals who voluntarily prohibit themselves from betting online in Illinois.

Legal U.S. sports betting markets

Sports betting legislation at the state level has already produced a number of additional legal betting markets. These states now offer legal sports gambling: Arizona. Colorado, Connecticut, Indiana, Iowa, Michigan, Mississippi, New Jersey, New York, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Virginia, Washington, West Virginia, and Wyoming.

Illinois sports betting FAQs

Is sports betting legal in Illinois?

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Do you have to live in Illinois to bet online?

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Where can I bet on sports in Illinois?

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How do you place a sports bet in Illinois?

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Can you bet on Illinois-based teams in Illinois?

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How much money does Illinois make on sports betting?

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What are the biggest sports betting cities in Illinois?

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Is Draftkings legally allowed to operate in Illinois?

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Does FanDuel operate legally in Illinois?

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When was the first online bet placed in Illinois?

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When was the first in-person wager made in Illinois?

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