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1. DraftKings
81%
Instant Free Bet Up To $500

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3. Bet MGM
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14
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93%
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75%
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10
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New Customer Offer
7. Barstool Sports
84%
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"Barstool's sportsbook combines its flair for entertainment and comedy to create a one of a kind betting experience. Take advantage of unique offers and promotions and bet on great range of markets."
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74%
Up to $500 Risk Free Bet

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"WynnBet provides a more social experience where users can celebrate their wins with each other and is shaping up to be the one to watch in the US betting market. "
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10
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New Customer Offer Offer only available for the first eligible sports bet of $20 or more. If a patron’s first sports wager uses a boosted parlay or other form of offer, discount, or promotion, the Risk Free Sports Bet will be carried forward until an eligible sports wager is placed within ten (10) days after making a qualifying deposit or the Promotional Period
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80%
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15
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10. Unibet Sports
90%
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🏆 Best Overall Score:
93%
🎁 Largest Free Bet:
$1000
🤝 Highest Deposit Match:
100%
💵 Minimum Deposit:
$5

If you are looking for a wide range of betting options, promotions and sports, we would recommend signing up to DraftKings. Discover why it currently carries a lofty score of 81%.

Best Choice for Illinois
DraftKings
Rated 81%
Instant Free Bet Up To $500

Reviewed & verified by our team

"With pools, you can bet on anything from football games to your favorite show. Keep an eye out for special promotions, including free bets, odds boosts and more."
Deposit bonus: After a user’s first deposit, that user is eligible to receive up to $500 in bonus funds in the form of site credits that can only be used on DraftKings. Bonus amount is equal to 50% of the user’s deposit amount (min. $5), not to exceed $500 (the user must deposit $1,000 to be eligible to receive the maximum possible bonus amount of $500).

Why we recommend DraftKings for betting in Illinois

  • You can download the DraftKings sportsbook on both iOS and Android devices. Use it to wager on top-tier North American sporting leagues, boost your bets or redeem any one of its bonus offers. With an easy-to-navigate interface and sleek design, the DraftKings mobile app is one of the best.
  • There are a plethora of sports to wager on at DraftKings. From NFL, NBA and NCAA basketball to more niche sports such as table tennis and darts there’s plenty for punters to try out. Simply pull up the DraftKings app or visit its website to place your pre-game or in-play wagers.
  • DraftKings helps new customers kickstart their time at the betting site with a solid welcome bonus. Available to all new members, this promotion comes in the form of a deposit bonus worth up to $1,000. Note that you must deposit a minimum of $5 in order to claim this bonus.

If you’re already a member of DraftKings or you would prefer to try something else, BetRivers has a one time wagering requirement on all bonuses that allows you to cash out your bonus winnings after playing through said bonus only once. Alternatively, there’s also BetMGM which is a trusted sportsbook that boasts flexible deposit options and a rewarding loyalty program.

Illinois, also known as the Prairie State, is home to a wide number of major league sports teams including the NBA’s Chicago Bulls and the MLB’s Chicago Cubs. The state also contains one of America’s tallest buildings, the Sears Tower in Chicago. On top of this, Illinois is home to a flourishing gambling market with a variety of ways for residents to gamble. After several attempts, sports betting is legal and live in the state of Illinois.

Is it legal to bet on sports in Illinois?

Yes, sports betting is legal and live in the state of Illinois. In June, Illinois became the 17th state to legalize sports betting after Governor J.B Pritzker signed Illinois’ gambling expansion bill into law. The gambling package legalized land-based and online sports betting and allowed for the construction of six new land-based casinos and a large casino venue in Chicago.

Illinois’ sports betting market went live in March 2020 with the launch of BetRivers-branded sportsbook at Rivers Casino Des Plaines. The state has yet to outline plans for the launch of online sports betting.

In addition to traditional sports wagering, residents can bet on horse racing and fantasy sports in Illinois.

Illinois Sports Betting

IL Sports Betting

What sports can I bet on In Illinois?

Residents will be able to bet on a variety of professional and collegiate sporting events such as football, basketball, soccer, hockey, golf, tennis and baseball.

However, under the state’s sports betting laws wagering on collegiate sporting events that are held in the state will be prohibited. The sports leagues will also have the ability to place restrictions on certain types of bets in the state.

Where can I bet on sports in Illinois?

Under the state’s sports betting law, residents and visitors can bet on sports in person at land-based sportsbooks at casinos, racetracks and lottery locations in the state. Online and mobile betting is also permitted under state law.

At the time of writing, the only venue to offer legal sports betting is Rivers Casino Des Plaines. More venues are expected to launch sports betting operations in the coming months.

Other Gambling Options

IL Gambling Options

What else can I bet on in Illinois?

A variety of gambling activities are legal in Illinois, including online lottery games and fantasy sports, betting on horse racing and a number of riverboat casinos. The casinos in Illinois offer a variety of casino games, including:

  •    Slots
  •    Blackjack
  •    Craps
  •    Roulette
  •    Poker (Three Card, Ultimate Texas Hold’em)
  •    Baccarat

There are 10 casinos that operate in the state.

Casino Name Location Contact Email Opening Hours
Casino Queen and Hotel 200 S Front St, East St Louis, IL 62201, USA +1 618-874-5000 Online form Sunday – Wednesday: 8am – 4am
Thursday – Saturday: 8am – 6am
Harrah’s Joliet 151 N Joliet St, Joliet, IL 60432, USA +1 815-740-7800 Not available 24 hours
Harrah’s Metropolis 100 E Front St, Metropolis, IL 62960, USA +1 618-524-2628 Not available 24 hours
Hollywood Casino Aurora 1 W New York St, Aurora, IL 60506, USA +1 630-801-1234 [email protected] Sunday – Wednesday: 8:30am – 4:30am
Friday – Saturday: 8:30am – 6:30am
Grand Victoria Casino Elgin 250 S Grove Ave, Elgin, IL 60120, USA +1 847-468-7000 Online form Everyday: 8:30am – 6:30am
Hollywood Casino Joliet 777 Hollywood Blvd, Joliet, IL 60436, USA +1 888-436-7737 [email protected] Everyday 7:30am – 5:30am
Argosy’s Alton Belle Casino 1 Piasa St, Alton, IL 62002, USA +1 800-711-4263 Not available Everyday 8am – 6am
Rivers Casino 3000 S River Rd, Des Plaines, IL 60018, USA +1 888-307-0777 [email protected] Everyday 9am – 7am
Par-A-Dice Casino 21 Blackjack Blvd, East Peoria, IL 61611, USA +1 309-699-7711 Online form Sunday – Thursday: 8am – 4am
Friday – Saturday: 8am – 6am
Jumer’s Casino and Hotel 777 Jumer Dr, Rock Island, IL 61201, USA +1 800-477-7747 [email protected] Everyday 7am – 5am

Offshore

Are offshore gambling sites legal in Illinois?

The legality of offshore gambling sites in Illinois falls into a grey area. Article 28 of the Illinois Criminal Code appears to prohibit playing poker and wagering games, although it does not specify whether its for online or land-based games. While no one in the state has been prosecuted for online gambling, we recommend steering clear of offshore gambling and sports betting sites. These offshore sites don’t have a license to operate in Illinois, which means they aren’t subject to strict regulatory standards when it comes to protecting vulnerable players or protecting players’ funds.

You can spot offshore gambling sites by looking at the website’s domain name. If you see a domain that ends in .EU or .AG it does not hold a license to operate in Illinois and therefore should be avoided at all costs. If Illinois does choose to regulate sports betting, there could be some legal online sports betting sites available further down the line, which would be much safer than offshore sites.

Responsible Betting in IL

Is it safe to bet on sports in Illinois?

Although Illinois is fairly relaxed in its approach to gambling law and regulation, the state has managed to implement strong and effective gambling regulation. The state regulator has published strict and tight regulations for sports betting to help ensure the activity is fair and safe for bettors. However, it’s also up to punters to gamble responsibly and avoid betting more than they can afford to lose to keep gambling fun. Both the Illinois Council on Problem Gambling and the Illinois Alliance on Problem Gambling have a variety of resources available to help those who suffer from problem gambling and people who have loved ones that may need help. The National Council on Problem Gambling also has a number of resources to help those who suffer from problem gambling.

You can contact the National Council on Problem Gambling via:

Phone: 1-800-522-4700

Text: 1-800-522-4700

online chat

You can contact the Illinois Council on Problem Gambling via:

Phone: 1-217-652-9611

Email: [email protected]

You can contact the Illinois Alliance on Problem Gambling using an online form on its website.

 

Who regulates gambling in Illinois?

Gambling activity in Illinois is regulated by the Illinois Gaming Board. When it comes to horse racing, the Illinois Racing Board is tasked with overseeing 30 horse racing tracks and off-track betting parlors across the state.

How old do I have to be to gamble in Illinois?

The legal age to play the Illinois state lottery and wager on horse racing is 18, but you must be 21 years old to play casino games.

IL Betting Timeline

The journey to legal and regulated sports betting in Illinois

Illinois has yet to legalize sports betting and that state lawmakers are still considering legislation. We will continue to update this page as the situation develops.

1800s – Gambling in the state of Illinois was initially a very small activity but grew throughout the 1800s with an influx of illegal riverboat casinos. These riverboat casinos thrived and many still operate in the state of Illinois to this day.

1927 – The state of Illinois legalized and regulated gambling on horse racing.

1974 – In an attempt to generate some much-needed state funding, Illinois became the first US state to permit a state lottery.

1986 – Illinois passed the Charitable Games Act which permitted charity gambling games under existing lottery legislation.

1991 – The state moved to legalize riverboat casinos. Under the Riverboat Gambling Act, the riverboat casinos in the state were authorized to offer gambling activities as long as the riverboat casinos moved along the river.

1992 – Congress passed the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act (PASPA) prohibiting sports betting across US states. Four states were made exempt from the law: Nevada, Delaware, Oregon and Montana. These states had legal sports betting regulations in place.

1999 – The Riverboat Gambling Act was amended, and riverboats no longer have to travel along the river. This meant riverboat casinos were docked at permanent spots across the state.

2001 – Illinois expanded its lottery offerings and became the first state in the US to offer lottery tickets online.

2009 – Licensed venues were given authorization to install video gambling terminals. However, this was met with criticism from various anti-gambling parties that argued video gambling terminals would hurt local communities where the terminals were installed. On top of this, there was also the perception that permitting video gambling terminals would contribute to social issues such as gambling addiction and higher crime rates. Once the first video gambling terminals had been rolled out some parties argued that the state regulatory body lacked the capacity to oversee the activity.

2011 – The state passed the Casinos Act SB744. This allowed land-based casinos to operate and also permitted race tracks to expand their gambling offerings to patrons.

2018 –  In preparation for the Supreme Court’s ruling on the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act (PASPA), January 2018 saw the introduction of the Sport Betting Consumer Protection Act. The bill was sponsored by Senator Steve Stadelman.

On 14 May, the Court reached a decision. In a 7 – 2 vote it was agreed that one of the clauses in PASPA violated the Tenth Amendment, as it commandeered power from states to regulate their own gambling industries. This paved the way for all US states to decide whether or not to legalize sports betting. In the weeks after the repeal of PASPA a number of US sportsbooks launched across the country.

In October 2018, Illinois lawmakers explored the possibility of legalizing sports betting in a sports betting hearing. Although sports betting was not legalized it appeared that lawmakers were intrigued and willing to explore the topic further.

2019 – In July, Governor J.B Pritzker signed Illinois’ gambling expansion bill into law, making Illinois the fifth state to legalize sports betting in 2019. As well as legalizing sports betting, the bill allowed for the launch of six new land-based casinos and a large casino venue in Chicago.

2020 – In March legal sports betting went live in Illinois with the opening of a BetRivers sportsbook at Rivers Casino Des Plaines

For more updates on sports betting in Illinois, Compare.bet has got you covered.

The people behind this page

Compare.bet's online gambling content experts helped write, edit and check the content on this page:

Jake is a gambling content specialist for Compare.bet, with a focus on the regulated US market. He is responsible for producing news content for Compare.bet News, state guides for Compare.bet US and has interviewed several senior executives within the gambling industry. Jake previously wrote for Gambling Insider and LGBT+ news site PinkNews.