Illinois is the latest state to legalize sports betting, and as of March 5, 2022, residents can complete the entire signup process for an Illinois sportsbook account from anywhere in the state.

There are currently six licensed sportsbooks in Illinois, all of which are operated by the state’s casinos. Bettors can place wagers on NFL, college football, NBA, college basketball, MLB, NHL, and NASCAR.

The minimum age to place a wager in Illinois is 21, and residents are allowed to bet up to $10,000 per day. Online and mobile betting are both available in the state.

There are a few restrictions on what types of bets can be placed in Illinois. For instance, parlay and teaser bets are not allowed. Prop bets are available, but must involve only two teams or players.

The addition of Illinois to the list of states with legalized sports betting is good news for bettors in the state. Illinois sportsbooks offer a variety of betting options, and the minimum age to place a wager is lower than in some other states.

When will Illinois end in-person verification for mobile sports betting?

The Illinois General Assembly passed a new law on October 2021 to eliminate the in person registration requirement for Illinois sports bettors. The bill setting the date for the change is HB 3136.

Comparing top sports betting apps in Illinois

There are a few different options for online sports betting in Illinois, and it ultimately depends on what you’re interested in betting on and what works best for you. Illinois has around half a dozen sportsbooks available online, so it’s important to do your research to find the best one for you. 

  • Best sportsbook for Chicago sports: BetRivers. There are a number of sportsbooks that offer betting on Chicago sports, but BetRivers is one of the best. It offers a great selection of bets and a user-friendly interface. BetRivers offers betting on all of the major Chicago sports teams, including the Bears, Blackhawks, Bulls, Cubs, and White Sox.
  • Best sportsbook for a variety of sports: Caesars. Caesars is the best sportsbook for a variety of sports because of its deep lineup. This includes a wide range of options to bet on, as well as customer service that is second to none.
  • Best sportsbook for navigation: FanDuel. FanDuel is a user-friendly app that is easy to navigate. Its slick and simple design makes it easy to find the games you want and to monitor your wagers during the game. In a 2021 Eilers Krejcik independent study, FanDuel scored 46 out of 5 for the betting interface category, with high marks for user experience as well.
  • Best sportsbook for innovative or unique design: DraftKings. DraftKings is one of the most innovative and unique sportsbooks when it comes to design. They were one of the pioneers of the early cashout option in the United States, and they continue to offer a customized betting carousel when a player logs onto the site. The carousel suggests likely wagers for you based upon your stated preferences and betting history.
  • Best sportsbook for iOS and Android apps: FanDuel, DraftKings, PointsBet. If you’re looking for a top-rated sports betting app, you can’t go wrong with FanDuel, DraftKings, or PointsBet. All three of these apps consistently get positive reviews on Google Play and the App Store with particularly high marks for app speed and design.

1. DraftKings Sportsbook

DraftKings Sportsbook is one of the top sportsbooks in Illinois. It offers a great selection of sports to bet on, as well as a cashout option that allows bettors to close their tickets before the end of the game. This is a great feature that can help ensure that you don’t lose any money if your team starts to lose.

  • App rating: 4.8 (iOS), 4.7 (Android)
  • Key takeaway: Innovative app that offers customized experiences for each player.
  • Best feature: Betting carousel
  • IL bonus offer: $1,050

2. Caesars Sportsbook

Caesars Sportsbook is one of the most popular sports betting apps on the market right now. It is sleek, easy to use, and provides a great betting experience for customers. The app is affiliated with the Caesars corporate brand, which is well-known and respected in the casino industry. This gives customers confidence that they are dealing with a reputable and reliable company when they use the Caesars Sportsbook app.

  • App rating: 4.6 (iOS), 4.4 (Android)
  • Key takeaway: Solid sportsbook with competitive odds
  • Best feature: Copious odds boosts available at all times
  • IL bonus offer: $1,500

3. BetMGM Sportsbook

BetMGM is one of the top options in several legal betting markets. In the United States, BetMGM is partnered with the New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement and offers sports betting, casino games and horseracing. Internationally, BetMGM offers sports betting in the United Kingdom, Ireland, Spain and Italy.

  • App rating: 4.8 (iOS), 4.1 (Android)
  • Key takeaway: Huge menu of sports and bet types.
  • Best feature: Edit my bet and easy parlay.
  • IL bonus offer: $1,000

4. PointsBet Sportsbook

PointsBet is an Australian sportsbook that has been one of the notable success stories among overseas sports betting companies. The company was founded in 2017, and has seen rapid growth in its short history.

PointsBet offers a unique betting experience that allows users to bet on the outcome of games, as well as on various other aspects of the game. This gives users a lot more flexibility when it comes to placing bets, and makes the experience more engaging.

  • App rating: 4.7 (iOS), 4.5 (Android)
  • Key takeaway: Unique type of betting makes the app worth a try.
  • Best feature: Promotions and bonus offers
  • IL bonus offer: $2,000

5. BetRivers Sportsbook

BetRivers is a sportsbook located in the heart of downtown Chicago. Illinoisans have been flocking to the sportsbook to make bets on their favorite sports teams. With a selection of sports and markets to choose from, BetRivers is the closest thing to a home sportsbook that Illinoisans have.

The sportsbook has a live betting platform that allows customers to place bets while the games are happening. This is a great feature for customers who want to make last-minute bets on their favorite teams.

  • App rating: 2.5 (iOS), 3.2 (Android)
  • Key takeaway: Hometown app focuses energies on the Chicago community.
  • Best feature: News feed proclaiming big winners in the main lobby
  • IL bonus offer: $250

6. FanDuel Sportsbook

FanDuel Sportsbook has quickly become one of the best sports betting apps in Illinois. The app offers great betting options for all of the major sports, as well as a wide variety of betting markets. FanDuel Sportsbook also offers some great bonuses and promotions, making it a great choice for sports betting fans.

  • App rating: 4.8 (iOS), 4.7 (Android)
  • Key takeaway: Navigating a sports betting app has never been easier.
  • Best feature: Wide selection of same-game parlays
  • IL bonus offer: $1,000

New sports betting apps in Illinois

Illinois is one of the largest states to offer online sports betting in the country. The state has been working on a new sports betting bill that would allow residents to place bets on sporting events through their smartphones or computers. The bill is still in the works, but if it is approved, Illinois would be one of the largest states to offer online sports betting. The following businesses are likely to open up for betting in the near future:

Unibet Sportsbook, no timeline

theScore Bet, no timeline

How to get started with best Illinois sportsbook bonuses

You get to choose where you want to play, but each Illinois sportsbook app offers a welcome bonus to new users. Here are the top offers in Illinois.

  • DraftKings Promo Code: Get up to $1,050 with a new account.
  • Caesars Promo Code: Use promo code LEGAL15 to receive up to $1,500 in a risk-free bet.
  • BetMGM Bonus Code: Use bonus code PLAYBONUS to get your risk free bet up to $1,000.
  • PointsBet Promo Code: Use bonus code BETBONUS to get risk free bets up to $2,000, 1st fixed odds wager up to $500 & 1st pointsbetting wager for up to $1,500.
  • BetRivers Bonus Code: Use promo code PLAY250 to receive a 100% deposit bonus up to $250.
  • FanDuel Promo Code: Make your no sweat first bet up to $1,000.

Some common bonuses that online sportsbooks offer include the following:

  • Deposit bonus: A deposit bonus in betting provides a percentage of the deposited amount as a bonus to the player.
  • Free bets: Generally speaking, free bets are a great way to get started in online betting. They give you the opportunity to try out a new site or game without risking any of your own money. This is a great way to see whether you enjoy the experience and want to continue playing.
  • Risk-free bets: This bonus allows players to place a bet without any risk, as they will get their money back if they lose. This is a great way to try out new games or strategies without any risk, and can be a great way to increase your chances of winning.

10 quick facts about Illinois sports betting

  1. In June 2019, Illinois became the first state in the U.S. to legalize sports betting. 
  2. In March 2020, the first retail sportsbooks opened in Illinois. In June 2020, the first sportsbook app, BetRivers, arrived.
  3. Illinois bettors have wagered a lot of money in a month- 8404 million to be exact.
  4. Illinois bettors have wagered a lot of money in a month- 8404 million to be exact.
  5. Any person 21 years or older in Illinois can participate in sports betting.
  6. Players can bet on sports while inside of Illinois, but they do not need to be Illinois residents.
  7. Employees of key sports organizations, players, coaches, referees, etc. are not permitted to engage in any form of betting on their own sports.
  8. Bets must not occur on elections or award ceremonies.
  9. Preliminary wagers on college football games are legal only in-person.
  10. Players who want to continue playing at Illinois land-based casinos must complete their registrations in person by March 5, 2022.

What to expect at a legal Illinois sports betting site

The legalization of sports betting in Illinois has created a lot of excitement in the state, with many people wondering what to expect from the new legal sports betting sites. While there is still some uncertainty about how the new sites will operate, here is what we know so far about what to expect at a legal Illinois sports betting site.

One of the most important things to know is that only residents of Illinois who are 21 or older will be able to place bets at the state’s legal sports betting sites. In order to place a bet, you will need to create an account with the site and then fund your account with cash or credit.

Illinois sports betting law and regulations

In June 2019, Illinois became the latest US state to legalize sports betting, with the passage of SB 690. The law allows for online and retail sports betting in the state, with retail facilities cleared to offer sports betting including the state’s casinos, racetracks, and larger sports venues. The law also provides for three online-only licenses to be awarded in 2021.

The legalization of sports betting in Illinois has been seen as a positive development by the state’s gaming industry. “We’re excited about the opportunity to provide sports betting to our guests,” said Eric Holler, a spokesperson for Rivers Casino in Des Plaines. “We believe it will be a popular addition to our offering and will create new opportunities for our team members.”

Opponents of the law, meanwhile, have raised concerns about its impact on consumers. “This is a terrible bill that will lead to widespread gambling addiction and financial ruin for many Illinois families,” said State Rep. Martin Moylan, a Democrat from Des Plaines.

Despite these concerns, the law has been generally well-received, with Illinois becoming the latest in a growing number of states to legalize sports betting in the wake of the US Supreme Court’s 2018 decision to overturn the federal ban on the practice.

Full list of legal sports betting apps in Illinois

There are currently 7 sports betting apps available in Illinois, BetRivers being the first to launch in the state in 2020. Each app is partnered with a casino located in the state. Here are the legal sports betting apps in Illinois:

  • Barstool Sportsbook (Hollywood Casino Aurora/Hollywood Casino Joliet)
  • BetMGM Sportsbook
  • BetRivers Sportsbook (Rivers Des Plaines)
  • Caesars Sportsbook (Grand Victoria Casino Elgin/Harrah’s Joliet/Harrah’s Metropolis)
  • DraftKings Sportsbook (DraftKings at Casino Queen)
  • FanDuel Sportsbook (Par-a-Dice Casino)
  • PointsBet Sportsbook (Hawthorne Race Course)

Popular sports to bet on in Illinois

Illinois has a wealth of major sports teams for people in the state to support and bet on. Thanks to the language of Illinois sports betting law, bettors will soon be able to place wagers at the stadiums of many of these teams.

In Illinois, there are many popular sports to bet on:

  • NBA — Chicago Bulls
  • MLB — Chicago White Sox
  • MLB — Chicago Cubs
  • NHL — Chicago Blackhawks
  • MLS — Chicago Fire FC
  • NFL — Chicago Bears

There are a variety of leagues and sports to bet on in addition to the Chicago teams, including leagues for sports like March Madness and the Olympics. There are also leagues for more individual-focused sports, like tennis, mixed martial arts, golf, and motorsports.