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Online Bookmakers States Online Sports Gambling in Illinois

Online Sports Gambling in Illinois

Author: Yan Zhylinski

Legal sports betting touched down in the State of Illinois in March 2020. Following a contentious negotiation process, lawmakers in Illinois finally managed to push for legalized sports betting through the state legislature. On June 28, Governor J.B Pritzker signed the bill and online sports betting, which had initially stood on its own, was wrapped into the bill in order to have it passed during a legislative session that had to be extended.

The positive aspect for Illinois sports betting residents and visitors alike is that, now, they have access to 6 of the leading Illinois sportsbooks that include BetRivers, BetMGM, Caesars Sportsbook, and PointsBet. Daily Fantasy Sports (DFS)-turned-sportsbook giants DrafKings and FanDuel have also managed to join in – and undoubtedly a lot sooner than originally expected. The new law also allows for sports betting apps Illinois, and now, the entire nation’s leading sportsbooks have their own dedicated mobile apps.

With that being said, this article touches on almost everything that you need to know about online sports betting in the Land of Lincoln.

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Online Sports Gambling in Illinois

Best Sportsbooks in Illinois

The State of Illinois consistently ranks among the top 3 online sports betting states in the U.S. After going live in June 2020, Illinois features amazing betting options and there’s hope for so much more to come. Are things currently are, Illinois sports bettors have a solid selection of online sports betting operators to choose from. The following are whom we established to be top sportsbooks currently operating in Illinois:

FanDuel Sportsbook

Measured in terms of online market share, betting handle, and total revenue, FanDuel has consistently remained to be one of the leading online sports betting providers in the State of Illinois. As of now, this bookmaker boasts of a huge sports betting market, especially following its purchase of an interest in Fairmount Park, along with rebranding the track to become FanDuel IL Sportsbook and Horse Racing.

FanDuel offers their customers $100 in free wagers the moment they sign up in person for a sports betting account in Illinois. Illinois bettors that make an initial deposit here automatically qualify for a risk-free bet of up to $1,000. Since opening its doors for business, FanDuel has been offering markets on hometown Illinois teams at extra-generous odds.

$1000
FanDuel Sportsbook

Caesars Sportsbook

Even though Caesars is widely known for their casino offerings, in the recent times, they have managed to expand their footprint and ventured into the sports betting industry. Now, Caesars sportsbook is now available in Illinois and offering its services to Illinois bettors.

One of the biggest selling points of Caesars Illinois Sportsbook is its native mobile sports betting app for Android and iOS. This sportsbook also offers its customers access to the Caesars Rewards loyalty program, an initiative that has several benefits for registered users.

Other selling points of Caesars IL Sportsbook include their responsive and intuitive platform, along with a robust online sports betting portfolio, especially when it comes to placing bets on major sports. All of this, coupled with Caesars Illinois king-sized promotional packages make this bookmaker a go-to bookmaker for residents of the Prairie State.

$1,001
Caesars Sportsbook

BetRivers Sportsbook

Owned and administered by Chicago-based Rush Street Interactive, BetRivers IL Sportsbook gives Illinois bettors nothing but a hometown sportsbook option. BetRivers comes along as another strong Illinois player, especially with their impressive sign-up offers and other key features such as odds boost and reward points.

At BetRivers Illinois Sportsbook, players get $250 Deposit Match instantly on the initial deposit. Therefore, if you make a deposit of $250, you’ll have $250 in cash plus another $250 in bonus bets. If you so wish, you can put your bonus on the Cubbies to emerge winners of the World Series or space it out over 10 or 25 wagers so as not to put all your eggs in one basket.

Illinois sports bettors with an account at Caesars Sportsbook are at an advantaged position as they are bound to enjoy other excellent benefits such as in-game cash outs, odds boosts, and assistance from attentive customer support reps.

$250
BetRivers Sportsbook

DraftKings Sportsbook

DraftKings fought a bit hard to join the shortlist of top online sports betting sites in Illinois – and won. DraftKings is a nationally recognized, respected and a trusted brand. DraftKingssports betting market coverage in Illinois speaks for itself. No any other online bookmaker equals them based on the range of odds, promotions and offers they have in store, as well as unrivaled top-of-the-range Daily Fantasy Sports (DFS) section.

The above isn’t all about DraftKings IL. This bookmaker has a very strong $1,000 sign-up offer in place. DraftKings understand everything to do with Illinois sports betting quite well. It’s easy to locate different markets, and players can quickly withdraw funds from their accounts whenever they wish. Without a doubt, DrafKings Illinois sportsbook continues to enhance and subsequently diversify what’s available.

$100
DraftKings Sportsbook

PointsBet Sportsbook

PointsBet is another standout bookmaker serving bettors in the Land of Lincoln, and for numerous reasons worth noting. PointsBet Illinois have in place a brilliant depth and breadth when it comes to the sporting events that you can wager on and the markets that are on offer within those sports. They also do an amazing job when it comes to existing customer offers in place with a particularly strong suite of promotions for the 2021/22 NFL season.

PointsBet boasts of some of the best sign-up offers, along with several other creative options meant to keep Illinois bettors engaged. PointsBet opened their doors for business just in time for college football and the NFL, as well as the rest of MLB, NBA, WNBA AND golf.

New players that join PointsBet, stand a chance of a risk-free bet up to $2,000. PointBet goes a step further to offer a unique high-risk, high-reward PointsBetting format. Here, bettors can win or lose more or less than their original bet, depending on how wrong or right their bet is. This excellent feature plus a wealth of local promotions makes PointsBet one of the top Illinois sports betting sites.

$2,000
Pointsbet Sportsbook

Barstool Sportsbook

Another top online sportsbook serving Illinois bettors, Barstool arrived in the Land of Lincoln in March 2021. Barstool is one another popular sports media brand that keeps on expanding its online sports operations, and now, it’s live and legal in the State of Illinois. They use Barstool personalities to make selections and often offer their customers significant odds boosts on sporting events that involve Chicago-based pro teams.

Even though they are still new across Illinois sports betting market, in the short time that they’ve been around, Barstool has managed to win over the hearts of a majority of fans in the State of Illinois. Attractive bonuses, the assurance of player security, and several ways to reach the support reps are some of the reasons that make Barstool IL Sportsbook to stand out from the rest.

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Barstool Sportsbook

IL Online Sports Betting Sites: A Comparative Analysis

Online Sportsbook Bonus Offer Owner Launch Date
FanDuel $1,000 risk-free bet William Stiritz and Associates Aug. 28, 2020
Caesars $300 risk-free bet Caesars Entertainment Aug. 3, 2021
BetRivers $250 deposit bonus Rush Street Gaming June 18, 2020
DraftKings $1,050 bonus DraftKings Aug. 5, 2020
PointsBet $2,000 in risk-free bets Hawthorne Race Course Sept. 12, 2020
Barstool $10 sign-up bonus Hollywood Casino Joliet March 11, 2021

Illinois Mobile Sports Betting Apps for iOS and Android

All the above 6 online Illinois sportsbooks have their own dedicated mobile sports betting apps for iOS and Android mobile devices. Better yet, players can download these apps without having to incur any costs at all. Here’s a brief look at all IL sportsbooks apps:

  • FanDuel Illinois App – FanDuel has one of the best mobile sports betting apps, with an interface that’s player-friendly and quite easy to navigate. With the app, Illinois bettors are assured of a wide range of deposit options, lightning speed payouts, and the ability to place several in-game bets.
  • Caesars Illinois App – Caesars is an iconic gambling name that successfully penetrated Illinois sports betting scene immediately after purchasing William Hill, another global sportsbook giant. Caesars brings one of the best sports betting apps Illinois bettors can take advantage of when betting. Caesars Illinois app offer players a deposit match up to $5,000, along with an enrolment into a loyalty rewards program.
  • BetRivers Illinois App – Along with its industry-low bonus money playthrough requirement, among other things, BetRivers Illinois app is full of many in-play betting options in addition to live streaming. Their mobile sports betting app offers bettors a huge menu of sporting events to wager on.
  • DraftKings Illinois App – DraftKings is one of the most top-performing names when it comes to online sports betting. This bookmaker boasts of one of the highest rated mobile app of the entire Illinois sportsbooks apps. Besides offering bettors a chance to enjoy daily fantasy sports, those that use the app qualify up to a deposit bonus of $1,000, along with a useful stats hub to aid in making selections.
  • PointsBet Illinois App – Along with its PointsBetting format, PointsBetIllinois sports betting app offers bettors several industry’s interesting promotions, such as Good Karma Refund for wrong/bad bets and EPL soccer games where players can cash out if the team the wager on leads by 2 goals.
  • Barstool Illinois App – Barstool is another popular sportsbook that’s expanding its online sports betting operation at a faster rate. In terms of their betting app, Barstool enables place to place their bets from anywhere within the state of Illinois. Their app have several features ranging from different betting options to team statistics, and player profiles among others. The app is easy to install, register, and play.
Step 1

Pick a Legal Illinois Sportsbook – Before you can place your online sports bets in Illinois, you need to ensure that you have your preferred online Illinois sportsbook in mind. Here, you needs to dig slightly deeper and find a legit IL sportsbook with a license to operate in Illinois.

Step 2

Sign Up – Now that you’ve selected a legit Illinois sports betting site, it’s now time to sign up with them. Most Illinois sportsbooks will ask you to submit your personal details so that they can verify your details. At this point, you need to fill out all the required fields, especially if you are a first-time bettor.

Step 3

Deposit – You’ll have to fund your online sports wagering account before you can begin placing bets. Fortunately, there are several deposit options accepted by Illinois sportsbooks. Make sure that you factor in the minimum and the maximum deposit permitted.

Step 4

Place your bet(s) – The final step is now placing your bet(s). You can do so from the site or from a mobile app. That’s how you go about placing online bets in the Land of Lincoln.

Different Bonuses & Promotional Offers at IL Bookies

In an ever-dynamic world of online sports betting, bonuses and promotions are necessary. Bookmakers in the State of Illinois understand that in order to attract new customers and retain real ones, they have to offer bonuses and certain recurring promotional offers. Illinois sportsbooks offer their customers several types of bonuses and other promotions worth noting.

New customers that sign up with Illinois bookies and make a deposit are assured of a welcome bonus to get started. BetRivers, for instance, offers new customers a $250 welcome bonus. Apart from the welcome bonus, Illinois bettors can also find several risk-free bets to use. PointsBet offers its customers 2 risk-free bets up to $2,000.

Other operators in Illinois rewards its return customers with reload bonuses. Players that get to top up their online betting accounts on a regular basis can claim their reload bonuses at several IL sportsbooks. Other bonuses that you can find available at Illinois Sportsbooks include Free Bets, Comp Points (VIP Loyalty programs), Insurance Offers, and Free-to-Play Pools.

Payment Options Available for Illinois Players

Even though deposit and withdrawal methods may vary from one bookmaker to the next, Illinois sports betting in general offer players a good number of banking methods, most of which are safe and highly convenient. Some of the most common banking methods available for Illinois bettors include:

  • Skrill
  • Paper check
  • PayNearMe
  • Online banking
  • ACH (eCheck)
  • PayPal
  • Site-specific prepaid debit card
  • Visa / MasterCard credit and debit cards

Different Sports Bets Offered by IL Bookmakers

Something rather ideal that makes wagering on sports great is that there are plenty of bet types to make in a game. You aren’t compelled to wager on who will emerge the winner of an event, but you can also wager on the total number of points that will be scored or the margin of victory, to mention but a few. Online sportsbooks Illinois do offer their customers a chance to choose several types of bets to make. Depending on the sport that you choose, you can find several bet types that range from the following:

  • Moneyline bets
  • Point Spread
  • Totals (Over/Under)
  • Parlay Bets
  • Teasers
  • Prop Bets
  • Middle Bets
  • Futures Bets
  • Live Betting
  • Points Betting

Live betting & In-play Wagers

A live bet is a wager that you get to place after the game has commenced or is already underway. Among several other things, what makes the whole idea of live betting to be fun and enjoyable is that the odds keep changing depending on what’s happening in the game. Besides being able to place live bets on traditional bets, such as spreads, moneyline, and totals, you can go ahead and place live bets on other specific bets, such as the result of the next possession.

In-play betting is alive in the State of Illinois, and all the sportsbooks we mentioned earlier offer their customers this option. If you fancy wagering while the games are already underway, Illinois is the best place to be. All the sportsbooks we mention here offer live betting at some of the most competitive odds possible.

Sports Games and Leagues to Wager on in Illinois

Being the 6th most populous state in the U.S., Illinois boasts of a good mix of sports games and leagues that you can wager on as a bettor. At Illinois, you can be sure to find a good combination of local leagues to wager on and plenty of other international sports games offered by a host of Illinois sportsbooks.

Some of the popular leagues to wager on include the MLS, NBA, NFL, NHL, and MLB. Besides, you can wager on other sports games such as swimming, soccer, boxing, cricket, rugby, tennis, cycling, MMA/UFC, volleyball, and netball. Illinois sportsbooks also gives you a chance to wager on several other niche sports such as snooker, bandy, darts, and triathlon.

Professional Sports Teams to Bet On in Illinois

All of Illinois professional sports teams have their bases in and around Chicago. Illinois is home to a number of professional sports teams, some of which are well known in several other states across the U.S. As a bettor in Illinois, you can wager on the following pro sports teams every time they are in action:

  • Chicago Bears
  • Baltimore
  • Chicago Bulls
  • Chicago Cubs
  • Chicago White Sox
  • Chicago Blackhawks
  • Chicago Sky
  • Chicago Fire
  • Chicago Red Stars

Responsible Sports Betting In Illinois

Even though sports betting and gambling in general can be fun, unfortunately, in some people, such an act can turn out to be a compulsive behavior, affecting them badly. Problem gambling is very real and destructive to many players. Problem gambling doesn’t discriminate ethnicity, age, wealth or gender. Anybody can develop gambling addiction. Illinois sports betting scene has had its fair share of problem gambling.

Fortunately, the State of Illinois promotes responsible gambling. In partnerships with civic bodies, the State of Illinois provides helpful resources for those struggling with gambling addiction. These organizations provide to help addicts safeguard themselves from the risks of compulsive gambling. All the available programs meant to help problem gamblers are, largely, free without any charges at all. That’s quite helpful, as many problem gamblers tend to suffer from serious financial risks.

The Legality of Online Sports Betting in Illinois

Illinois sports betting is live and legal with 6 sportsbooks and their dedicated apps allowed to operate legally in the state. Even though the move towards legalized sports betting in Illinois was long and tedious, now, you can engage in sports wagering from anywhere in the Prairie State or along its borderlines.

On October 28, 2021, the Illinois assembly passed a sports betting bill that would include an end to in-person registration by March 5, 2022. The sports betting law also permits for pregame and in-person wager on in in-state colleges. The Illinois Gaming Board regulates everything to do with sports betting in the state.

To be able to place bets in Illinois, a player needs to be 21 years of age or above. Underage betting is highly discouraged here. Sports betting revenue in the state of Illinois is subjected to a 15% tax, with an additional 2% tax on bets placed within Cook County, a part of Illinois that includes the city of Chicago.

Online Casinos in Illinois

Unlike other states where you can easily find online casinos, the case is slightly different in Illinois. By the time of writing, we established that the state is full of several Illinois sportsbooks, but no online casinos. Currently, online casinos aren’t legal in Illinois, as there’s no law, regulatory body, or licensing that’s currently in place for online casinos. It therefore means that you cannot wager on table games, slots, and other forms of online casino games.

DFS in Illinois

At the moment, daily fantasy sports head-to-head competitions are considered legal in Illinois. A few years back DFS was considered illegal by the state. However, after four years of deliberation, the Supreme Court ruled that DFS was a legal sport. Illinois has 2 major sportsbooks (DraftKings and FanDuel) known for their unrivaled provision of DFS.

Sports Betting in Illinois FAQs

What is the legal age of gambling in Illinois?

You have to be at least 21 years and above to be able to place bets in the State of Illinois.

Must I be a resident of Illinois to be able to wager online?

Yes. Your bets cannot be accepted if you wager outside the State of Illinois. You have to be physically be in Illinois.

Can I place bets my iPhone in Illinois?

Absolutely! All mobile sportsbooks that we mention allow you to place bets from literally any mobile and smartphone device, iPhones being one of them.

Is any other form of gambling legal in the Land of Lincoln?

All forms of gambling are considered illegal, unless the state, through a law or a statute deems it legal.

Is Bovada, MyBookies and BetUS bookies legal in IL?

There’s no law that prevents offshore bookies from serving Illinois bettors. As such, all these bookies (considered offshore in IL) are legal in Illinois.

Will my winnings from gambling be subjected to taxes in Illinois?

You will have to pay a 15% tax on your gambling winnings.

Is DFS legal in IL?

A few years back, daily fantasy sports were not legalized sports in Illinois. However, it was later deemed legal following a Supreme Court ruling.

How safe and Illinois sports betting sites?

Most of them are legit and licensed to operate in the state. The ones we mentioned are completely safe, reliable, and trustworthy.

Published: 12/17/2021

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