Legal sports betting in Illinois was a long time coming. In the summer of 2019, however, Governor J.B. Pritzker officially signed SB 690 to make betting on sports legal in the state.
Now that the wait is over, there is no time like the present to sign up for the various Illinois sportsbooks. Here at ATS, we’ve ranked the operators based on a number of different factors, including deposit and withdrawal options, bonuses and promotions, ease of use and accessibility, and so much more.
With BetRivers, DraftKings, FanDuel, William Hill, and PointsBet among the major players in the state, there is something for everyone in the Land of Lincoln and we’re thrilled to show you the different options and our reviews of those places to legally bet on sports.
Sports is alive and doing well in Illinois. In fact, Chicago is home to some of the best sports teams across all leagues. These teams don’t disappoint on the field, and they will not disappoint on your sportsbook receipt, either. Here is an overview of the best teams to bet on in Chicago:
These are just some of the teams that you can bet on in Illinois. There are more professional and collegiate teams that you can also bet on, and they are just as impressive as these four.
This is actually a bit of a sticky subject. Like Iowa, Illinois passed sports betting legislation that required users to sign up in-person at the sportsbook of their choice with what is most commonly known as “in-person registration”. Detractors of this plan, who are correct in our estimation, have pointed to how restrictive that stipulation is because it limits who has access to what based on mobility and geographic factors.
The large market of Chicago is so expansive and there are quite a few casinos in the Chicagoland metro area, but a case could be made that it has just been a lot easier to go into Indiana, where “remote registration” is an option, sign up, and then just get over the border to be allowed to access your online account.
The COVID-19 pandemic forced lockdowns and shutdowns across the state of Illinois, including all of the gaming facilities. In the midst of the outbreaks, Governor J.B. Pritzker, who signed the bill for sports betting into law on June 28, 2019, relaxed the in-person registration requirement. That means that Illinois residents can sign up, deposit, and then wager from anywhere in the state.
If that is not the case, then registration will need to be done in-person. At the very least, you can sign up from home, but you need to show yourself and confirm your identity in order to gain full access to your betting account.
In the interim, even if you don’t deposit right away, it is very much in your best interest to download the apps and sign up for them while the in-person registration requirement has been suspended. If you don’t do it now, you may face the hassle of having to go and sign up in person and all of that jazz.
Our suggestion is that you take advantage of that right now.
Deposit and withdrawal methods vary from operator to operator in Illinois. Across the board, most sportsbooks will take Visa, Mastercard, prepaid card, PayPal, bank wires, electronic bank transfers (ACH/e-check), or cash at the casino cage. Other options may be available based on the sportsbook operator or based on your financial institution. Additional deposit methods may be available in the future as well.
The process of making a deposit is very easy. Once you sign up for a sports betting account and confirm/verify your identity, you will be able to go into your account profile and make your deposits. Step-by-step instructions are available on the websites of all of the operators and there are FAQ sections and additional instructions on the mobile apps as well.
This is a process that simply has to be streamlined. Frustrated users are going to move on to something that seems easier, so the apps have a lot of incentive to make this as simple to understand as possible. If you have any questions, customer service is always there to help.
Once you get signed up and registered, you can bet from anywhere. Geolocation technology will ensure that you are within the state borders in order to have access to your real money account. There are three racetracks and 10 casinos in Illinois, all of which will have retail sportsbooks and/or betting kiosks if you want that game day experience or just find yourself near one of those properties.
Otherwise, you can bet from the comforts of home on your computer or on your mobile device. All of these operators have websites that are mobile-friendly or you can download the betting apps. Keep in mind that Android users will have to download the apps from the websites themselves because the Google Play Store does not allow gambling apps to be listed. Apple (iOS) users can simply download the apps from the Apple Store.
Each retail location is partnered with a different sports betting operator. For example, BetRivers has its own Rivers Casino in Des Plaines. PointsBet has partnered with Hawthorne Race Course. DraftKings has partnered with the Casino Queen. William Hill has properties all over the state, including the Harrah’s in Joliet and Harrah’s Metropolis, as well as the Grand Victoria.
Penn National (Barstool Sports) has the Argosy and the Hollywood properties in Aurora and Joliet. Jumers has partnered with Delaware North. Par-A-Dice is with Boyd Gaming. Arlington Park is with Churchill Downs (Bet America). Fairmount Park is aligned with FanDuel.
ATS.io is actually a perfect website when it comes to legalized sports betting in the United States. In fairness, we are a little bit biased, but not only do we provide sportsbook reviews and report on industry news, but we also have lots of free picks, betting tips, game and event previews, and a whole lot more on a daily and weekly basis.
In other words, we are a one-stop shop for legal sports betting content. Our affiliate partnerships with the different sports betting operators mean that we are able to offer the best sign-up and deposit bonuses in the industry to our readers. You’ll also find articles about special promotions and offers from the sportsbooks, including Odds Boosts, Free Bet Promotions, and a whole lot more.
The Chicagoland metro area allowed the state of Indiana to get off to a great start. Places like Ameristar East Chicago and Horseshoe Hammond sit about 45 minutes outside of downtown Chicago and it was clear from the betting handles at those two places that Chicagoans wanted to wager on sports. It was also clear that the state of Illinois needed to get up and running to stop losing money across the border.
Sports betting in Indiana started in a retail capacity in September 2019 and the first mobile sportsbooks went live October 3, 2019. While that was going on, the infrastructure for sports betting in Illinois was being deliberated. Governor J.B. Pritzker actually signed legislation into law in June, but it wasn’t until March 9, 2020 that Rivers Casino Des Plaines took the first sports bet.
What started with retail betting has now morphed into online and mobile wagering with BetRivers officially launching its online capabilities on June 18, 2020. Because of the COVID-19 pandemic of 2020, in-person registration, which was supposed to last for 18 months, was temporarily suspended, allowing Illinois residents to sign up remotely for sportsbooks. Depending on the success of the relaxed policy, perhaps Pritzker makes the change permanently.
The state of Illinois isn’t just the city of Chicago, obviously, but Chicago has the third-largest population in the United States and the Chicagoland metro area is the third-largest in the U.S. These are fertile betting grounds and operators are going to be flocking to the Land of Lincoln to set up shop.
The process has been smoother in a lot of states compared to Illinois. Tensions between DFS operators and the state’s former attorney general Lisa Madigan led to what industry insiders called a “penalty box” for “online-only” operators like DraftKings and FanDuel, but they seemed to find workarounds and got approved for their temporary permits in July 2020. Calling DraftKings and FanDuel online-only operators is kind of ridiculous, given that they’ve operated retail sportsbooks in virtually every state that they have been approved since PASPA was overturned on May 14, 2018.
In any event, with DraftKings and FanDuel approved alongside BetRivers and Penn National, who runs the sports betting for Argosy Casino, Illinois will have all of the heavy hitters as this process moves along. PointsBet has made its way to the Illinois sports betting market. There are retail Harrah’s properties, which are now part of the Eldorado Resorts family, so that means William Hill will also have strongholds in the state.
BetAmerica, Fox Bet, theScore Bet, and others are also going to set up shop in Illinois in due time.
Illinois certainly has a rich history of sports fandom and something of an unspoken history regarding sports betting, as it was a major town for illicit gambling activities in the heyday of the mob. With legalized sports betting now, everything should be on the up and up and Cubs, White Sox, Bears, Bulls, Blackhawks, Fire, Sky, and Red Stars fans will have all sorts of rooting interest.
While it has taken Illinois a little while to get up and running relative to other states, like bordering Indiana and Iowa, sports betting legislation started before PASPA was even overturned, so there has been a strong push for quite some time to get Illinois another revenue stream. There were five bills in total in 2018 that at least generated enough discussion for things to proceed forward.
The state legislature got sports betting in just under the wire at the end of the legislative session in 2019 and it was signed into law on June 28 by Pritzker.
Original language in the bill gave retail sports betting operators what appeared to be a leg up on the online operators, but DraftKings and FanDuel found their ways into Illinois anyway and will be at the forefront of the market. The language stipulated that only in-state casinos could get licenses, which is why DraftKings and FanDuel had to basically invest in two in-state properties to get approval.
Even though BetRivers was first, DraftKings is a well-known name for DFS reasons, but also because the Ameristar East Chicago property in Indiana is a DraftKings Sportsbook, so those that signed up there when Indiana went live will already have accounts.
Sports betting is live and legal in Illinois and is only going to continue to grow rapidly from here.
Anyone 21 Years or older and located within the physical borders of Illinois as of July 1, 2020 can now place a sports bet online or at a casino!
There weren’t many bright spots in 2020 with everything going on around the country and around the world, but Illinois sports betting became a thing that year. The COVID-19 pandemic even brought about a fundamental change to sports betting law in Illinois that helped expedite and facilitate growth in the state.
Originally, Illinois was set to be an In-Person Registration state like Iowa, its neighbor to the west. In-Person Registration means that those that want to bet on sports would be required by law to sign up in person to bet on sports. They would have to go into the retail sportsbooks or to the casino cage and have their identities validated.
Shutdowns and closures forced Governor J.B. Pritzker to relax the requirement, thus allowing residents of Illinois and neighboring states to sign up online or on their mobile devices for sports betting accounts. The comfort and convenience of betting from home allowed Illinois sports betting to have a better first year than expected and the hope would be that the requirement never gets re-enacted.
Even if it does, sports betting is alive and well in Illinois. If you’re new to it, or simply want more information, we’re here to help.
At time of writing, the In-Person Registration requirement was not active, so that means that Illinois residents can sign up for any sportsbook that they want, whenever they want. It also means that those in nearby states can sign up for sports betting accounts in Illinois as well.
It is important to remember that you can sign up, but you cannot make a deposit, request a withdrawal, or place a bet unless you are physically located in Illinois.
It is also important to remember that there are resources to help when it comes to problem gambling and most of the Illinois sportsbooks will have measures in place that will allow users to limit themselves on a daily, weekly, or monthly basis.
If Remote Registration is once again prohibited by the governor, you can download and sign up for a sportsbook, but you will have to show up in-person to validate your identity and finish your registration.
There are a lot of places around Illinois to bet. Some are in the Chicago metro area and others in along the state borders. As sports betting grows, more places will get involved, but for now, you still have options.
First, let’s look at how to get started:
Each sportsbook is different. Just like an auto manufacturer or a favorite brand or coffee or jeans, you will find something that you like. There is that initial period of uncertainty when you try something out, but we promise you will find a sportsbook that works for you.
Comfort and convenience matter a lot. Betting real money can be stressful and there are a lot of games, a lot of sports, a lot of events, and it can be overwhelming. Find a sportsbook that looks the way you’d want it to look. Some are busier than others. Some are easier on the eyes.
Read through our sportsbook reviews here at ATS.io to see which ones look the best for you. Look at screenshots of the software. Talk to friends that bet. Consider which sign-up bonus(es) make the most sense for you.
Maybe you like the dark grey color scheme with the hints of bright green from DraftKings Sportsbook at Casino Queen. Maybe the black and red of PointsBet is preferable. Perhaps you like betting with a global gaming giant in BetMGM. Maybe BetRivers, the original in Illinois, nestles into a soft spot in your heart.
Whichever sportsbook you prefer, do your research and make sure that you find the right fit.
2. Sign Up at the Sportsbook of Your Choice –
Once you’ve done the legwork and decide on your new place to bet on sports, you’ll have to sign up. As long as Remote Registration remains in place, the process is remarkably simple. Our referral links direct right to the sign-up page at the sportsbooks, so that will be the easiest way to find what you are looking for and to know that you will get a Welcome Bonus.
Basic personal information will have to be entered, but it won’t be anything you haven’t given out before to sign up for something. Each sportsbook has verification technology to make sure that you are who you say you are and that you are of legal gambling age in Illinois.
Personal information and financial information are kept safe behind multiple levels of encryption technology and cybersecurity measures. Consumer confidence means a lot with sensitive info and the sportsbooks don’t cut any corners with that.
3. Make a Deposit and Get Your Bonus
Once you’ve registered and signed up, then it will be time to make a deposit. Deposit methods vary from sportsbook to sportsbook, but the basic ones are available across the state of Illinois. Deposits can be made with credit card or debit card, e-check or ACH transactions, and most sportsbooks have set up Prepaid Cards or PayPal capabilities.
Be sure to enter the promo code for your bonus or to click one of our affiliate links here at ATS so that you don’t get shut out and leave your bonus behind. Sign-up bonuses are a great way to get a head start on your bankroll, but to also have some free money with which to feel your way around the site.
You’ll have to meet rollover requirements before you can withdraw, but you’ll be surprised with how quick you can meet those.
4. Start Betting and Have Fun!
Like we mentioned above, make sure that your betting doesn’t become a problem. Never decide between paying a utility bill and placing a bet. If you want to be a more serious bettor, determine that right away so that you can get in the proper mindset. If you just want to have fun, that is a much different kind of mindset.
If you want a few bucks on the Bears, Bulls, or Blackhawks to have a little more than fandom on the line, that’s perfect! Just know what your goals are when you start placing wagers. If it’s about fun, keep it that way. If it’s about trying to make some extra money, keep that in mind.
Illinois is still in the process of growing as a state with legalized sports betting. More operators will flood the market as the years pass and as more people start to dabble in legal wagering.
Feel free to read up more on our reviews, but here are some top-rated Illinois sportsbooks:
DraftKings Sportsbook at Casino Queen has been the biggest benefactor of the relaxed registration requirement. The Casino Queen property is out in East St. Louis on the Missouri border and that can be a hike from Chicago depending on the traffic and the weather.
Because Remote Registration allows users to sign up from anywhere, the Chicago metro area doesn’t have to drive to East St. Louis. Signing up from home with DraftKings is a breeze.
You can get up to a $1,000 Welcome Bonus from DraftKings Sportsbook at Casino Queen with a split between a Risk-Free Bet and a Deposit Match Bonus.
BetRivers was the first sportsbook to launch in Illinois. The Rivers Casino in Des Plaines holds the BetRivers license in Illinois. March 9, 2020 was the historic day for Illinois and the first bet was placed the same week everything shut down.
BetRivers has a good look and offers all the goods, with all of the industry standard bet types and fair odds on the major pro and college leagues.
You can take advantage of a 100% Deposit Match Bonus up to $250 at BetRivers.
PointsBet Sportsbook took a different route into the Illinois sports betting market through a partnership with the Hawthorne Race Course. A retail sportsbook and the innovative PointsBet Sportsbook app give residents a lot of different options
PointsBet has offered a lot of Illinois-specific promotions to give users options to increase their bankrolls and will be a major player in this state for a long time to come with the groundbreaking higher-risk, higher-reward PointsBetting system.
Two different bonus options are available with a Deposit Match Bonus up to $250 or up to $1,000 in Risk-Free Bets with up to $500 Risk-Free on your first Fixed Odds wager and up to $500 Risk-Free on your first PointsBetting wager.
William Hill is up and running in Illinois with a license through the Grand Victoria Casino. This is a global sports betting operator with a big presence in the United States in multiple states. The sportsbook opened in August 2020 and should continue to grow over the years.
William Hill is publicly traded on the London Stock Exchange and has a reputation to uphold, so it will be a safe and secure place to bet on sports for a long time to come.
You can get up to $500 with your William Hill sign-up bonus.
FanDuel has been running since November 2020 with a license through Par-A-Dice Casino.
More are soon to come.
As long as the Remote Registration capabilities continue, it will keep being very simply and straightforward to sign up and start betting. Even if the In-Person Registration requirement comes back, you can sign up with a promo code for a bonus, but you’ll just have to verify your account in-person at the retail sportsbook.
Operators like BetRivers, DraftKings Sportsbook at Casino Queen, PointsBet, William Hill, and the others that come down the line all provide a safe and enjoyable sports betting experience with money lines, spreads, totals, props, futures, and in-game live betting. You can’t go wrong with any of these sportsbooks, but we certainly encourage you to do your research and find the right fit for you and your betting budget.
The winds of change that blew through the Windy City when Governor J.B. Pritzker relaxed the In-Person Registration requirement have taken Illinois sports betting from a slow, rolling boil to an outright explosion. Outside of New York City or Los Angeles, no city in the United States would benefit more from online and mobile sports betting from the convenience of home than Chicago.
How to bet on sports in Chicago went from “Sign up and then drive an annoyingly long way to a sportsbook anyway” to “Sign up and bet from home” in the blink of an eye.
Illinois is now a Remote Registration state, which means that you can sign up for a sports betting account from anywhere and it will be validated and registered virtually. Under the past provision, you could sign up from anywhere, but you could not make a deposit or place a bet until you went in-person to the retail sportsbook to have your identity and account verified.
Nobody wants to sit in Chicago traffic to go to the BetRivers Sportsbook at Rivers Casino in Des Plaines to finish registration. Nobody wants to commute all the way out to DraftKings Sportsbook at Casino Queen in East St. Louis to validate a betting account. A trip to Hawthorne Race Course in Cicero for a PointsBet Sportsbook account even seems like a hassle.
Fortunately, you don’t have to do that anymore.
The COVID-19 pandemic has not had many silver linings to speak of, but one for Illinois residents, including Chicagoans, is that lockdowns, shutdowns, quarantines, and an unwillingness to leave the house or apartment for non-essential reasons forced the governor’s hand into ending the In-Person Registration requirement.
Frankly, it was a shortsighted and ludicrous provision to begin with. What helps sports betting grow into an entity that generates a lot of tax revenue for the state is an open, mostly unrestricted market. For the foreseeable future, Illinois has one of those with sports betting.
Now, Chicagoans can bet on sports from home or from the bar or from Wrigley or from Guaranteed Rate, or from the UC, or from work, or in class at UIC. It doesn’t matter where you are and it doesn’t matter which sportsbook you use. As long as you are in the state of Illinois, you can place legal sports bets.
How to bet on sports in Chicago has become so remarkably easy that it is a simple three-step process:
You can’t bet unless you’re signed up. As mentioned, you used to be able to sign up online or mobile, but you still had to go to the physical sportsbook location to have your identity verified and validated.
Not anymore. Now you sign up online or mobile and you are good to go. State-of-the-art technology will validate your identity, approve your account, and then keep your personal information safe. All you have to do is make a few mouse clicks or push the right stuff on your smartphone.
Once you’re all signed up and your account has been approved, it is time to make a deposit. That could be with a credit card or debit card, an electronic bank transfer like an e-check, an ACH payment, or a bank wire, or some sportsbooks even accept third-party payment processors like PayPal.
Be sure that when you are ready to sign up, you do so through one of our affiliate links at ATS.io. That will unlock special sign-up deposit bonuses and other welcome offers. You can also enter the designed ATS promo code to get your bonus.
Don’t sign up without a sign-up bonus. You’re leaving opportunity on the table when you do.
It is important to know what your goals are when you are ready to start betting. If it’s entertainment and fun money, treat it that way. If you are looking to supplement your income, well, that’s a lot harder to do, but it can be done.
Whatever you do, bet responsibly. Don’t bet what you don’t have. Don’t pick between the rent money and placing a bet. Gamble safely and responsibly.
We’re glad you asked! There are a lot of sportsbook options in Chicago and across the state of Illinois. Some are near and some are far. If you really want the BEST online sportsbook experience, you can get it, but only at certain places. If you want access to all of the major sportsbooks in Illinois, you can do that from the comfort of home or the convenience of your smartphone on the go.
Pritzker’s relaxation of the in-person requirement may not be a permanent thing, but it is a great opportunity for right now. If it becomes permanent, more sportsbooks may move into Illinois to take advantage of the large population of the Chicagoland market.
For now, you still have more than enough excellent options as places to you can go for legal sports betting in Chicago:
BetRivers was actually the first online sportsbook in Illinois through the Rivers Casino in Des Plaines. This is probably the most familiar brick-and-mortar place for Chicago residents in the gaming realm. BetRivers is an excellent sports betting app with a great look, lots of betting options, and it has a little bit of that local feel as a company that really got a start throughout the Rust Belt that extends from Chicago through Pittsburgh.
BetRivers has a 100% Deposit Match Bonus up to $250 for new sign-ups and runs a lot of good promotions and offers on a regular basis.
2. DraftKings Sportsbook
Everybody knows the name DraftKings from the way it ascended in the sports gambling sphere because of daily fantasy sports. DraftKings Sportsbook at Casino Queen in East St. Louis is the full name for DK in the state of Illinois. Had it not been for the end of the in-person requirement, it would have been a lot tougher for Chicago residents to get with DraftKings.
East St. Louis is a 4.5-hour drive or so from the heart of Chicago on a good day, let alone a bad one. That would have made it extremely hard to validate an account. In fact, it would have been easier to go to Ameristar East Chicago in Indiana, but then you would have to physically be in Indiana to place bets.
Instead, now you can just sign up for DraftKings Sportsbook at Casino Queen right from home and that is a huge development for both bettors and the operator.
DraftKings offers up to $1000 in value with a new user sign-up bonus.
3. FanDuel Sportsbook
FanDuel Sportsbook partnered up with Par-A-Dice Casino in East Peoria, Illinois to offer sports betting in the state. That isn’t that bad of a trip for Chicago residents, but, again, the end of the in-person requirement makes it so easy and it is in your best interest to sign up before Pritzker has a change of heart.
FanDuel was originally known as a daily fantasy sports operator, but they’ve become the sportsbook with the largest market share in the country. That doesn’t happen by accident. FanDuel was thought to be holding on until the in-person requirement ended, but they were ready to flip the switch and launch and did when Pritzker’s announcement came down.
FanDuel offers a Risk-Free Bet up to $500 for new sign-ups.
4. PointsBet Sportsbook
This is one of our favorites here at ATS.io. PointsBet Sportsbook just has so much to offer. In order to gain access to the Illinois market, they partnered with the Hawthorne Race Course in Cicero, a harness racing track. PointsBet offers a ton of daily and weekly promotions, including Illinois-specific offers, and has the innovative PointsBetting system that carries more risk, but more reward, paying bettors out based on how “right” they are. Of course, the downside risk is that you lose more if you are wrong by a lot.
Nevertheless, PointsBet is growing by leaps and bounds in the US and has made a major marketing commitment in recent months to pair with a lot of different sports teams for more access to fans.
PointsBet offers a 100% Deposit Match Bonus up to $250 or a couple of Risk-Free Bets worth up to $1000 in value as their two sign-up bonus options.
5. William Hill Sportsbook
William Hill Sportsbook has been open and operating since 1934 and is publicly traded on the London Stock Exchange. William Hill US has been in operation since 2012 and the company has a license and a partnership through the Grand Victoria Casino. William Hill is a trusted operator with a presence around the globe and a great place to bet on sports.
You can get up to a $500 Risk-Free bet when you sign up at William Hill Illinois.
Additional options will come as sports betting in Chicago and in Illinois continues to grow. These are great options with something for everyone and are among our top-rated sportsbooks.
|BetRivers||Rush Street Gaming|
|Grand Victoria||William Hill|
|Harrah’s Joliet Eldorado (Caesars)||William Hill|
|Harrah’s Metropolis – Eldorado (Caesars)||William Hill|
|Hollywood Aurora||Penn National|
|Hollywood Joliet||Penn National|
|Arlington Park Racecourse||Churchill Downs Inc. (BetAmerica)|
|Hawthorne Race Course||PointsBet|
Sports betting in Illinois is allowed for anyone 21 or over, they can place bets in the following Illinois Sportsbooks & Casinos:
|Casino Queen||200 South Front Street, East St. Louis, Illinois 62201|
|Hollywood Casino Aurora|
1 W New York St, Aurora, IL 60506
|Hollywood Casino & Hotel Joliet||777 Hollywood Blvd, Joliet, IL 60436|
The Illinois sports betting bill allows for the following
Yes, the first legal sports bets were taken at Betrivers in Illinois on March 9, 2020
Illinois will collect 15% tax from the licensed sportsbooks. This sports betting revenue will go into a “Rebuild Illinois” Fund.
FanDuel & Draftkings Online Sportsbook and Mobile sports betting apps are were supposed to be in a 18 month penalty box but negotiations cleared the way to allow them to operate.
The legal age to place a sports bet is 21. Restrictions in place apply to athletes, coaches and team owners
Yes the Illinois Sports betting law allows all Division 1 sports. Colleges located in Illinois along with High school and amateur sports are prohibited.
Illinois sportsbooks offer the standard bet types, straight bets, totals, moneylines, futures, parlays, player and game props, teasers, round robins, in play and live wagering