Best Illinois Sportsbooks November 2022 – How To Bet On Sports In Illinois

Illinois has a well-established sports betting market that started back in 2019. People in the state of Illinois have the opportunity to wager with all the top sportsbooks and enjoy some great promos and bonuses as a result.

Illinois has a passion for sports and is home to Chicago, which has a long, proud history in all four of America’s biggest sports and has a major presence in collegiate sports as well. Here’s all you need to know about sports betting in Illinois.

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Is Online Sports Betting Legal in Illinois?

Yes! Online sports betting is legal and fully operational in the state of Illinois. Illinois became the 15th state in the United States to legalize sports betting, with the legislature pushing it through in 2019. It was fully legalized in June 2019 and retail sportsbooks were operational in Illinois by March 2020. Though it was an awkward time for American sports in March 2020, business has picked up in the years since with loads of online and retail sportsbooks opening in the state.

Best Online Sportsbooks in Illinois?

Sports betting has been operational for a few years now in Illinois, and many of the largest sportsbooks have already set up shop in the state. Here are some of the best online sportsbooks residents have to choose from and what they offer.

FanDuel Online Sportsbook

FanDuel has made a huge push to establish itself as one of the biggest online sportsbooks in the United States, and it planted its flag in Illinois early through Fairmount Park. The race track hosts a retail FanDuel Sportsbook and enables the online version to be accessible in the state.

FanDuel Online Sportsbook sets itself apart from the competition by being one of the most user-friendly experiences in sports betting. This includes easy depositing and simple navigation that should be inviting to newcomers. Keeping things interesting beyond that is Same-Game Parlay Plus betting and frequent promos. It also has a particularly strong welcome bonus for newcomers:

BetMGM Sportsbook

MGM Resorts International is behind some of the biggest casinos in the United States. That success let the company segue easily into sports betting once it became legal, and Illinois sports betting hopefuls can enjoy BetMGM Sportsbook. This is despite the fact that MGM doesn’t have a physical presence in the state.

BetMGM is a strong destination for fans of any sport. Alongside strong welcome bonuses like the one below, it has a rolling promo offering to go alongside its large prop bet offering.

Caesars Sportsbook

  • Tech partner: William Hill
  • Full sportsbook review: Caesars Sportsbook
  • Retail partner: Harrah’s Metropolis, Harrah’s Joliet, Grand Victoria Casino

Caesars is one of the most recognizable brands in gaming, with a number of recognizable casino chains across the country. It was well established in Illinois before sports betting was legalized through its two Harrah’s locations, but things have only gotten better since.

Caesars Sportsbook combines two of the most trusted brands in gaming with Caesars Entertainment partnering with British bookmaker William Hill. Reputation isn’t the only thing this duo offers though, with a strong assortment of promos. The Caesars Sportsbook rewards program is also tied to its casinos, making it a natural fit for anyone that frequents any Caesars-operated establishment.

DraftKings Sportsbook

DraftKings and FanDuel have been leading the charge on popularizing sportsbooks in America and also on pivoting from daily fantasy sports to sports betting. Illinois gets to enjoy both the online version of the DraftKings Sportsbook and a retail sportsbook located at the Casino Queen.

Promos are the name of the game when it comes to DraftKings. Regardless of which sport is in season at any given moment, DraftKings gives regular bettors something to play with. On top of this is a focus on usability that makes the app intuitive for new and veteran bettors alike. Here’s an exclusive promo for new users:

BetRivers

  • Tech partner: Kambi
  • Full sportsbook review: BetRivers
  • Retail partner: Rivers Casino

BetRivers is the sports betting arm of the Rivers Casino brand, which may be familiar to gamers in Illinois based on its location in Des Plaines. The Rivers Casino also has a retail BetRivers established on-site, allowing customers to juggle slots, table games, and sports betting.

The online sportsbook is possibly the best option for people who expect to be making regular sports bets of any size. BetRivers offers a very strong loyalty program for users and regular winnings boosts and promos to keep bettors coming back. They also offer a strong welcome bonus, but the fun lasts well beyond that.

PointsBet

  • Tech partner: PointsBet
  • Full sportsbook review: PointsBet
  • Retail partner: Hawthorne Race Course

PointsBet is a growing sportsbook in the United States, with a presence in many states. In Illinois, it has an operational online sportsbook and a retail sportsbook located at the Hawthorne Race Course.

The sportsbook has very strong football lines, which is of particular value for those looking to bet on the Chicago Bears or other NFL teams. On top of that is PointsBet’s unique Points Betting style of wager. This allows you to make high-risk, high-reward wagers on prop bets. In Points Betting, if you bet the Chicago Bulls will score over 90 points in a game you’ll win more if they score 110 than you would if they score 100. Click on our exclusive welcome bonus below to get in on the action.

Barstool Sportsbook

  • Tech partner: Kambi
  • Retail partner: Hollywood Casino Joliet, Hollywood Casino Aurora, Argosy Casino Alton

Barstool Sportsbook may seem like a relative newcomer to the sports, but that’s not actually the case. The controversial sports blog partnered with Penn Entertainment, the company behind dozens of casinos across the United States, to launch its sportsbook, helping it to get established from coast to coast.

While many sportsbooks offer a variety of promotions for both new and established users, Barstool Sportsbook is set apart by its offering of custom promos for each user. This makes for an interesting experience that doesn’t always throw promos at you for sports you’re not interested in.

How to Register for an Online Sportsbook in Illinois?

Whether you live in Illinois, or just passing through, want to get started on sports betting? You can get started by clicking on the promotion links above. This will bring you to a sportsbook that is legally operating in the state of Illinois. From there, you can begin the registration process.

The registration process will require you to submit personal information. Be sure to give accurate personal information as it ensures safe and legal betting.

After finishing registration, you can go on to make a deposit. Each sportsbook has a number of different familiar payment options available. Visa and Mastercard are the most common payment methods and are accepted by every notable sportsbook in Illinois. Beyond that are multiple alternative payment methods. Paypal, eChecks, bank transfers, and Venmo are accepted by many different sportsbooks. 

Making deposits is also possible in-person. Retail sportsbooks operated by online bookmaker may allow you to make deposits to your online account with cash. There is also the PayNearMe service, which can facilitate a cash deposit to a sportsbook account through retail chains such as CVS Pharmacy and 7-Eleven. If you intend to use one of these payment methods, make sure to consult the sportsbook review to ensure your option will accept it. 

Once the deposit is made, it’s time to get started on making bets. For review, here’s the step-by-step process:

  • Go over the list of sportsbooks above and choose which you’d like to join
  • Click on the accompanying link
  • Begin registration process
  • Complete registration and opt into your preferred promos
  • Make a deposit using one of the available payment methods
  • Start betting!

Is Retail Sports Betting Live in Illinois?

Retail sports betting is officially live in Illinois. It’s currently only available in established casinos and horse tracks across the state. While other states have sports betting at sports stadiums and even certain sports bars, that’s not the case in Illinois at this time. Here are some of the retail sportsbooks operating in Illinois:

DraftKings at Casino Queen 

  • Location: 200 S Front St, East St Louis, IL 62201
  • Retail Sportsbook: DraftKings Sportsbook
  • Other Features: Slots, table games

The Casino Queen is a strong choice if you’re in Illinois looking for some gaming action. The Casino Queen is a riverboat casino with 38,000 square feet of gaming space and will celebrate its 30th birthday in 2023.

The property was rebranded as DraftKings at Casino Queen in 2020, a deal that saw the property renovated and a sportsbook added. The Casino Queen is expanding and will also start operating slots at the Fairmount Park Racetrack in the near future, something that will see the company grow its footprint in Illinois betting and gaming.

Caesars Sportsbook at Harrah’s Casino, Grand Victoria

  • Location: IL-53, Joliet, IL 60436
  • Location: 100 E Front St, Metropolis, IL 62960
  • Location: 250 S Grove Ave, Elgin, IL 60120 
  • Retail Sportsbook: Caesars Sportsbook
  • Other Features: Slots, table games

Caesars Sportsbook has become one of the United States’ largest sportsbooks. This largely stems from the sheer size and reach of the Caesars Entertainment conglomerate. 

The company runs casinos across the United States and owns the Harrah’s chain of casinos, which has two locations in Illinois. Alongside Harrah’s, Caesars also operates the Grand Victoria Casino, another riverboat casino that runs along the Fox River and is based in Elgin. All three of the casinos also have a Caesars Sportsbook retail location.

BetRivers at Rivers Casino

  • Location: 3000 S River Rd, Des Plaines, IL 60018
  • Retail Sportsbook: BetRivers
  • Other Features: Slots, table games, poker

BetRivers and SugarHouse are the sports betting arms of the Rivers Casino chain. Alongside two locations in Pennsylvania, it also has one in Des Plaines, Illinois.

Naturally, the Rivers Casino in Des Plaines operates a BetRivers retail sportsbook location. It also has a huge 147,000-square-foot gaming floor with over 1,400 slot machines as well as table games and poker to suit anyone’s gaming tastes.

FanDuel Sportsbook and Racing at Fairmount Park Racetrack

  • Location: 9301 Collinsville Rd, Collinsville, IL 62234
  • Retail Sportsbook: FanDuel Sportsbook
  • Other Features: Live horse racing

Fairmount Park is one of Illinois’ two active horse racing tracks, featuring thoroughbred flat racing with ample seating for fans. Since 2020, the track has been rebranded as FanDuel Sportsbook and Racing.

As the name suggests, the location now boasts a FanDuel Sportsbook. Slot machines may also be added to the property in the future, courtesy of Casino Queen which boasts a rival retail sportsbook operated by DraftKings.

PointsBet at Hawthorne Race Course

  • Location: 3501 S Laramie Ave, Cicero, IL 60804
  • Retail Sportsbook: PointsBet
  • Other Features: Live horse racing

FanDuel isn’t the only sportsbook option for those who also like to take in horse races. In Cicero, Illinois, PointsBet boasts a retail sportsbook at the Hawthorne Race Course.

Sports bettors are able to take in some races while also betting on sports including basketball, football, and baseball. A casino is also in the works at the location, which will make it a one-stop gaming shop in the near future.

Barstool Sportsbook at Hollywood Casino and Argosy Casino Alton 

  • Location: 777 Hollywood Blvd, Joliet, IL 60436
  • Location: 1 W New York St, Aurora, IL 60506
  • Location: 1 Piasa St, Alton, IL 62002
  • Retail Sportsbook: Barstool Sportsbook
  • Other Features: Slots, table games, poker

Barstool Sportsbook has a nationwide partnership with the Hollywood Casino chain. This means there are loads of retail locations for Barstool Sportsbook, and it has two of them in Illinois through that partnership in Joliet and Aurora.

Alongside the two Hollywood Casino locations are another in Alton at the Argosy Casino. All three of the casinos offer the traditional roundup of slots, table games, and poker.

What Sports Can I Bet on in Illinois?

Illinois sports bettors have almost all of the traditional options when it comes to betting, but there are two big asterisks. First and foremost, Illinois has a ban on betting on in-state collegiate sports. This means that Illinois sports bettors cannot bet on collegiate sports involving Illinois-based schools, but can bet on NCAA contests in any other state. 

The other is that esports betting is in limbo in Illinois. Though it’s not actually illegal, it hasn’t been explicitly approved. This keeps it off the table for the time being. Here are some of the sports Illinois spots bettors can wager on:

  • NFL
  • NBA
  • NHL
  • MMA
  • Boxing
  • MLB
  • Soccer
  • PGA
  • Tennis
  • Racing
  • Darts
  • Lacrosse

Available Bet Types in Illinois

Moneyline

Moneylines are what most people imagine when they first think of sports betting. You bet on the team you expect to win and get money based on how the match was expected to go beforehand. No other considerations are made outside victory, making this the simplest style of betting.

Spread

“The spread” is often referred to when discussing sports betting, but what is it? Other regions refer to it as a handicap, which spells it out clearly. The favorite to win the match has to win by a certain number of points in order to have a bet on them hit. This can result in you winning a bet when a team loses, or losing a bet when your team wins. The actual number of points required is explicitly stated before placing the wager.

Live betting

Live betting is betting that takes place during a game. Even after a game officially starts, bettors can keep wagering on its outcome. The lines are adjusted based on how the action is unfolding, which cna make for some big payouts if you accurately predict a comeback.

Over/Unders

Oddsmakers will make a prediction regarding how many points a team will score during a game and allow bettors to wager whether the team’s final score is over or under that prediction. These lines are presented in decimal fashion, where the line will be set at 24.5 to have the under come in as 24 points or fewer while the over is 25 points or more.

Totals

Totals have the most straightforward name in sports betting. They’re the total combined points scored by both teams during a game. These are usually presented in a fashion similar to an over/under, but include the points scored by both teams.

Prop bets

Prop bets are bets that look at things beyond just points scored and the winner of the match. These can relate to statistics, like how many yards a quarterback will throw, or specific happenings like a boxer receiving a point deduction for fouls. Each sport has its own popular prop bet categories, and larger events can receive special prop bets.

Parlays

Parlays group together multiple bets as one. Many bookmakers have “same-game parlays” that group together bets from the same match. Parlays carry higher risk since all the bets need to hit in order to result in a win, but have greater potential rewards as well.

Illinois Sports Teams

Chicago Cubs

The Chicago Cubs were long Major League Baseball’s lovable losers with their century-long World Series pennant drought becoming the stuff of legends. The signing of Boston Red Sox general manager Theo Epstein in 2011 kicked off a years-long rebuilding of the franchise that resulted in steady improvement for the club and culminated in a 2016 World Series victory, ending the Cubs’ curse after 108 years.

The team has been solid in the years since then, making the playoffs on multiple occasions. Though the team doesn’t look to be winning the World Series again any time soon, it has the pieces in place to return to contendership.

Chicago White Sox

The Chicago Cubs are more popular nationally, but they’re not the only Chicago MLB franchise. The Chicago White Sox are an iconic team in their own right, and were generally the better team until the Cubs took the World Series in 2016.

The Cubs have largely fallen off since 2016, but the White Sox are regular contenders. The team is in the playoff hunt more often than not and gives Chicago baseball fans something to look forward to in October.

Chicago Bears

The Chicago Bears is one of the NFL’s most storied franchises. The team’s notoriously stiff defense is still the benchmark to this day, and the 1985 Monsters of the Midway are widely regarded as one of the greatest NFL teams of all time.

Things haven’t been as great for the franchise in recent years. The team made just six playoff appearances between 2000 and 2022, with its only notable run during that time being a 2006 Super Bowl defeat at the hands of the Indianapolis Colts. Da Bears’ faithful still continue to pack Soldier Field, though.

Chicago Bulls

The Chicago Bulls are one of the most recognizable brands in American professional sports. Much of that stems from the immortal Michael Jordan and the franchise’s decade-long dynasty in the 1990s.

Much like the Chicago Bears, that reputation doesn’t quite sync up with modern results. The team has missed the playoffs more often than not in recent years but a solid 2021-2022 NBA season is enough to inspire confidence in the team’s prospects in the coming years.

Chicago Blackhawks

The Chicago Blackhawks were one of the Original Six NHL franchises, giving the team loads of history and plenty of banners to hang from the ceiling of the United Center. The team has been up and down throughout its history, but was a dynasty-caliber franchise after coming under the control of owner Rocky Wirtz. 

In the seasons after Wirtz became principal owner, the Blackhawks ushered in a modern dynasty by winning three Stanley Cups between 2009 and 2015. The team has been on a downturn since, which wasn’t helped when a significant controversy in 2021 forced the general manager to resign.

Illinois Fighting Illini

The University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign is one of two major NCAA forces in the state of Illinois. The school has 21 varsity teams, competing primarily in the Big Ten conference.

The most notable team for the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign is its men’s basketball team, which has made multiple appearances in recent NCAA Tournaments. That said, the school boasts competitive teams in a number of sports including a top-notch wrestling program that produced the fearsome Isaiah Martinez. 

Northwestern Wildcats

Northwestern University is another prominent NCAA Division I school in Illinois. It’s one of the chief rivals of University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, competing in the Big Ten conference. 

For betting purposes, the team to focus on is Northwestern’s football team, which has been a force in football in recent seasons. The team has earned regular bowl appearances and has come out on top of most of them. It’s also a serious threat at the top of the Big Ten’s western division.

There are many other NCAA programs in Illinois and plenty of other pro teams that call the state their home. Here are some of the most notable:

  • Northern Illinois Huskies
  • Illinois State Redbirds
  • Western Illinois Leathernecks
  • Southern Illinos Salukis
  • OpTic Chicago
  • Chicago Sky
  • Chicago Fire FC
  • Windy City Bulls
  • Chicago Dogs
  • FC United
  • Chicago Red Stars
  • Rockford IceHogs
  • Chicago Wolves

History of Sports Betting in Illinois

Sports betting in Illinois became a hot topic following the 2018 decision by the United States Supreme Court to reverse a nationwide ban on sports betting. Individual states began broaching the subject in the months and years that followed, but differences in local laws required each one to take a different approach to the matter.

In 2019, the Illinois Sports Wagering act was put forward which allowed the state’s legislature to overturn existing laws against sports betting and legalize sports betting. The motion passed in June 2019, with the process toward legalization rolling on from there. This included the groundbreaking on new establishments as well as the issuing of licenses.

Sports betting was officially opened in Illinois in March 2020 with the first wagers being placed at the Rivers Casino in Des Plaines. More retail and online sportsbooks opened from there, making Illinois a sports betting destination in the United States.

Illinois Sports Betting FAQ’s

The Illinois sports betting bill allows for the following

  • 23 Master License
  • 3 Mobile Only Licenses – These sites must wait 18 months after the start of retail or mobile/online sportsbooks tethered to a retail sportsbook

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