On June 28, 2019, SB 690 was signed into law, legalizing Illinois online sports betting in the Prairie State. Illinois sports betting was officially implemented in January 2020 with bettors eligible to wager at one of the state’s nine brick-and-mortar sportsbooks and sign up for online sports betting in person at a physical location. As of March 5, 2022, the requirement to sign up for mobile betting at a retailer is no longer in effect, and new users can sign up from anywhere by downloading one of the sports betting apps.
The IL sports betting markets are home to many storied professional and college programs, so there’s no shortage of options available to sports bettors. With seven sportsbooks available online, wagering in the Prairie State is as easy as downloading the app, taking advantage of a new-user bonus, and betting on all your favorite teams.
Below, we’ll break down the best books, promotions, and sports teams Illinois has to offer.
Illinois Sports Betting Apps Available
Illinois sports betting market has nine major brick-and-mortar sportsbooks and seven mobile sportsbooks. The top Illinois sports betting apps are listed below, along with the physical location of each:
|Sportsbook||Promo||New Customer Offer||Physical|
|BetMGM||Claim Promo||$1,000 First Bet Offer||No|
|Caesars Sportsbook||Claim Promo||$1,250 First Bet Insurance||Grand Victoria Elgin, Harrah’s Metropolis, Harrah’s Joliet|
|BetRivers||Claim Promo||$500 2nd Chance Bet||Rivers Casino Des Plaines|
|PointsBet Sportsbook||Claim Promo||5 $50 Second Chance Bets||Hawthorne Race Course & PointsBet Sportsbook Stickney|
|DraftKings Sportsbook||Claim Promo||Bet $5, Win $200||DraftKings at Casino Queen East St Louis|
BetMGM is one of the more established brands in the sports betting industry. Despite not having a retail location for Illinois sports bettors, they still offer one of the best sports betting apps. The mobile app has a 4.8 rating on the App Store, so iOS users that have access to Illinois sports betting markets are in luck.
The $1,000 first bet offer is pretty standard in terms of sign-up bonuses. However, the BetMGM bonus code unlocks more than just a large free bet. There are so many betting features to choose from, including tons of daily odds boosts and even the Edit my Bet feature.
Caesars Sportsbook Illinois
Bettors in the IL online sports betting market looking for the best offers should turn to Caesars Sportsbook. Not only is their risk-free bet offer the biggest available, but they offer up to 50 odds boosts every single day!
The Grand Victoria Casino in Elgin is home to the Caesars Sportsbook Illinois retail location. Caesars was late to join the Prairie State, launching in August 2021. The brand has rapidly picked up steam in Illinois with all their great offers. They reward their loyal customers with free bets, however, their actual customer service helpline has been criticized by users.
Caesars Sportsbook Ohio is their most recent launch and have a specific offer for users over there. Apart from Maryland and Ohio, the Full Caesar offer is available everywhere.
BetRivers Illinois is a sportsbook that Prairie State bettors can call home to a certain extent. They are the official partners of the Chicago Bears and have their headquarters located in the state. The BetRivers sports betting app might not be the most desirable of all sportsbooks in IL, but they offer a rewards program that is quite unique to their brand.
BetRivers’ retail location is at Rivers Casino Des Plaines right next to O’Hare International Airport. Imagine, off the plane and straight to the sportsbook, a bettors dream! They’re currently offering a $250 deposit match bonus for new users who sign-up with the BetRivers promo code ‘OWNERSBOX’.
PointsBet was actually started in Australia but has done well in the North American markets. Their mobile app and interface are top-notch. Some users have even mentioned that this is the easiest Illinois sports betting app to use. The unique PointsBetting is a feature no other betting app has implemented, and definitely a factor that keeps users coming back for more.
The PointsBet offer, currently available for the Super Bowl is $250 in bet credits. Sign-up today and get five $50 second chance bets for five days. PointsBet’s retail location in the Prairie State is located at the Hawthorne Race Course in Stickney.
DraftKings Sportsbook Illinois
DraftKings Sportsbook Illinois has far and away been one of the more popular betting destinations for users in the Praire State. When IL online sports betting launched in March 2020, DK was one of the first movers as they started taking online bets in August. They currently have a retail location at the Casino Queen right next to the Missouri border and Mississippi River.
Not only was DraftKings one of the first sportsbooks to take wagers when Illinois sports betting launched, but they secured one of the first professional sports partnerships with the Cubs. Wrigley Field will offer a sportsbook on site as well.
Users have been loyal to the DraftKings brand. With their easy-to-navigate mobile app, it’s a no-brainer why IL sports bettors are drawn to this sportsbook.
What Illinois Online Sportsbook Should You Choose?
There’s no one-size-fits-all answer to this question. Choosing the best Illinois online sportsbook for you is all about personal preference, so bettors should make their choice based on the following criteria:
- New customer bonuses: How attractive are they, and how much money can you make on them?
- Promotions: Once you’re in, how likely are you to stay? Does the sportsbook regularly offer odds boosts, free bets, or other attractive promos?
- Types of sports you like to bet: How diverse are the sports offerings?
- Types of bets you like to make: How diverse are the betting options? Do you prefer to wager traditionally with moneyline, spread, and point total bets, or are player props more your speed?
- Variety vs. specialization: Are you a specialist in one or two sports, or do you like to wager on as many different sports as possible?
- Odds: Does the book typically offer favorable lines on the sports you like to bet on?
- Customer support: How easy is it to reach someone, and how responsive are they in resolving your issue?
- Ease of withdrawal: You want your money, and you want it now.
- Application user experience, including interface and navigation: How easily can you get started on the application and figure out how to use it effectively?
- Trust and reputation: Are you comfortable depositing and wagering money using the application?
- Secure and safe login and deposit processes: Is your personal information, including payment methods and demographics, safe?
What Illinois Sports Betting Apps are Legal?
Barstool Sportsbook, BetMGM, BetRivers, Caesars Sportsbook, DraftKings, FanDuel, and PointsBet are all legal Illinois sports betting apps available in the state.
What Sports Can You Bet on in Illinois?
Football – This is a no-brainer. The National Football League (NFL) is unbelievably popular, and residents of Illinois will surely be throwing down some cash on their beloved Chicago franchise. Say it with me, “Da Bears!”
Soccer – Soccer is without a doubt the most popular sport in the world and the sport with the most youth participation in the United States. Thanks to the growing popularity of Major League Soccer (MLS) and the return of the World Cup in November 2022, Illinois residents won’t want to miss out on the action.
Baseball – Outside of Boston and New York, is there any more revered baseball town than Chicago? Home of the down-on-their-luck Cubs and the scandalous White Sox, Chicago is home to two of the oldest franchises in Major League Baseball.
Basketball – Take a trip to United Center and glance at the statue out front to be reminded of just how much professional basketball means to Chi-Town. Michael Jordan won six rings and established himself as arguably the greatest player of all-time while in a Bulls uniform in the 80’s and 90’s.
Golf – The US Open and Masters always attract plenty of interest from bettors, and most major sportsbooks offer favorable odds boosts, rewards, and other bonuses for these tentpole events.
College Sports – Illinois has a great selection of college teams to bet on, and Illinois bettors can get in on the action and excitement of March Madness and Bowl season.
Hockey – The Chicago Blackhawks have a loyal fanbase, despite recent disappointments. Illinois residents can bet on the Blackhawks and any other hockey team.
Illinois Teams You Can Bet On
Illinois Fighting Illini – The football program hasn’t been successful in years, but the basketball program is a different story. The Fighting Illini men’s basketball team went 68-27 over the last three seasons behind the excellent play of Ayo Dosunmu and Kofi Cockburn. Dosunmu is in the NBA, and Cockburn has declared, so the team will look much different in 2022-23. Important Note – Illinois online sports betting markets prohibit bettors from wagering on college teams, however, retail locations will take bets.
Loyola Chicago Ramblers – The Ramblers burst onto the national stage in 2018 with an improbable Final Four run as the No. 11 seed and Sister Jean, the nonagenarian celebrity nun cheering them on. Loyola’s basketball team has stayed consistent, winning at least 20 games in each of the last five seasons and capturing three MVC titles in the process.
Chicago Bears – The Bears usually play in the shadow of their NFC North rivals, the Green Bay Packers, but that doesn’t stop Chicago faithful from packing Soldier Field even in frigid temperatures. The Bears’ best quarterback Sid Luckman retired in 1950, and the team has been searching for an answer ever since. Jim McMahon, Jim Harbaugh and Jay Cutler had some great moments, but this is one of the NFL’s only teams without a history of notable signal-callers. Maybe Justin Fields will finally be the guy?
Chicago White Sox – The Cubs might have been a laughing stock for years due to their championship drought, but the White Sox have been so bad that they weren’t even worth a joke. The team has made the playoffs just 11 times in 118 professional seasons and last won a World Series in 2005.
Chicago Cubs – The Cubs finally ended a 71-year drought with a World Series win in 2016. The team has made the playoffs five times and won six playoff series over the last 10 seasons, proving to be the only competent team in the city.
Chicago Blackhawks – The Blackhawks won the Stanley Cup in 2010, 2013, and 2015, but they’ve missed the playoffs in each of the last two seasons. The team started a franchise-worst 0-9 this season, but that didn’t stop fans from coming out to root for the beloved franchise.
Chicago Sky – Illinois online sports betting markets give users the ability to wager on their defending champion Sky, who defeated the Phoenix Mercury in four games to claim the franchise’s first title in 2021.
Chicago Fire FC – Fire FC was a major contender in the early 2000’s, but the Major League Soccer franchise hasn’t won a playoff game since 2009. Still, Illinois sports bettors can wager on them as often as they’d like.
Chicago Red Stars – The National Women’s Soccer League franchise is a big deal in Illinois thanks to current and former star players such as Megan Rapinoe, Carli Lloyd, and Julie Ertz. The Red Stars have made the NWSL in each of the last seven seasons and appeared in two championships in that span.
What Bets do Illinois Online Sports Betting Markets Take?
Moneyline – This is the simplest bet you can make. Either your team wins or loses, straight up. There are no spreads or point totals here. If you bet the Cubs to beat the Red Sox on the moneyline, the Cubs just need to win for that bet to cash.
Total – The total of a game refers to the combined points that the participating teams will score. If the Bulls are facing the Bucks in the first round of the playoffs, the point total might be set at 223.5. If Milwaukee blows out Chicago 134-90, the total points scored in the game are 224 which is over the total. Bettors looking to bet on a game’s point total will often see this wager called an “over/under.”
Spread Bet – If you make a spread bet, you’re betting on how close the game will be. Sportsbooks assign point spreads to teams in order to make the game even on paper, so if a team is a 7.5-point underdog, that means the book thinks they need a 7.5-point headstart in order to make that game even. That’s why you’ll see the underdog listed as +7.5 and the favorite listed at -7.5. If you bet Chicago to cover the spread as 7.5-point underdogs against Green Bay, the Bears will need to win outright or simply lose by seven points or less. For Green Bay to cover the spread, the Packers would need to win by at least eight. Bettors often search out advantageous spreads and wager on them rather than betting the moneyline.
Parlay – A parlay is a group of wagers combined into one bet for longer odds and bigger profit than making those wagers individually. Each individual wager is referred to as a “leg,” and each leg of the parlay must hit in order for the parlay to win. Parlays can combine any number of wagers and sports, and bettors can combine a Bulls moneyline wager with a White Sox spread wager and a Justin Fields passing yards prop into a single parlay.
Teasers, Boosted Odds – Teasers and boosted odds are just a couple of the many promotions that sportsbooks offer to keep bettors interested and engaged. Teasers allow the bettor to buy or sell points for a more advantageous line, while boosted odds wagers take existing wagers and make the odds longer to offer a bigger payday.
Futures – The name says it all. You’re making a wager on the future outcome of an event, player performance or award. Futures usually aren’t settled for weeks or months, but technically you can make futures wagers that are settled within days. Popular futures bets include Super Bowl winner, league MVP, Most Improved Player, and World Series champion.
Are Illinois Sports Betting Apps Legal?
Yes, they are, and as of March 5, 2022, you can sign up from your phone rather than doing so in-person through a retail sportsbook. Although this wasn’t exactly an online sports betting launch in a new region, apart from the Ontario online sports betting launch, this is the newest state to allow online sign-ups.
One thing to keep an eye on is the state of the Kansas sports betting launch. The bill has been approved for July 1st, just depends on when and which sportsbooks enter Kansas to start accepting online wagers.
Is it Legal to Online Sports Bet in Illinois?
Yes! Illinois sports betting markets allow you to wager on live sporting events at one of the nine brick-and-mortar books or through one of the seven sports betting apps.
Are Daily Fantasy Sports Available in Illinois?
You can play daily fantasy sports in Illinois, including OwnersBox. OwnersBox recently launched MLB Superflex DFS for the MLB season, and residents of Illinois will not want to miss out!