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Essential Information on Sports Betting in Illinois

You can wager on all major sports, but mobile bets on college games involving IL schools are not permitted. Bets on in-state schools must be placed in person, and betting on in-state school player props is prohibited.

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Table of Contents

Top Illinois Sportsbooks

BetMGM Illinois

As one of the latest entrants in the state’s sports betting scene, BetMGM offers new users up to a $1,000 deposit match with the exclusive promo code TWBSPORTS, or $100 in Bonus Bets for betting on NBA, NHL, or MLB using one of the promo codes listed below!

BetMGM Bonus:
Receive up to $1,000 in Bonus Bets!


Caesars Illinois

Caesars Sportsbook debuted in Illinois in March, coinciding with the start of online registration in the state.

Caesars Sportsbook Promo:
Wager up to $1250 and Get Refunded in Bet Credits if Your First Bet Loses.

Caesars Sportsbook Promo Code:

DraftKings Illinois

Originating from daily fantasy sports, DraftKings has developed a user-friendly sportsbook that is visually appealing and easy to navigate. This well-known brand offers Illinois sports bettors both fantasy and sportsbook options.

DraftKings Promo
Bet $5, Get $150 in Bonus Bets instantly

DraftKings Promo Code
No promo code is necessary to claim the DraftKings sign-up offer, but you do have to opt-in.

BetRivers Illinois

BetRivers boasts an impressive sportsbook with attractive sign-up offers and features such as odds boosts and reward points. New users can enjoy a 2nd Chance Bet up to $500. The BetRivers Sportsbook also offers perks like odds boosts and in-game cash-outs for existing bets.

BetRivers Promo
2nd Chance Bet up to $500

BetRivers Promo:

Potential Sportsbooks in Illinois

Unibet Sportsbook
Unibet may soon join the sportsbook scene in one of North America's largest markets. This globally renowned brand initially applied for an Illinois launch almost three years ago but reconsidered due to the in-person requirement. With the expiration of this requirement, the Malta-based book may revisit its plans to launch in The Prairie State this year.

Placing a Sports Bet in Illinois: A Step-by-Step Guide

Getting started with sports betting is simple for Illinois residents. Follow these steps:

Step 1: Choose your preferred sportsbook(s)
Select one or multiple sportsbooks based on your preferences (we suggest those with the best promotional offers) to begin.

Step 2: Register using appropriate promo codes
Sign up for your chosen sportsbook(s) with the relevant promo codes to claim promotional offers. Keep in mind that registration requirements may differ between sportsbooks. Some may ask for personal details to verify your identity, while others may require documentation for validation.

Step 3: Deposit funds into your account(s)
Each sportsbook may have varying deposit options, but most reputable ones offer convenient choices. Remember that most sportsbooks require a minimum deposit amount. Common deposit options include:

– ACH/eCheck
– Cash
– Debit or credit card
– Online banking
– PayNearMe
– PayPal

Usually, the same withdrawal options are available for users to cash out their winnings.

Step 4: Start betting
Once you’ve completed the registration and deposited funds, you’re ready to begin!

Illinois Sports Betting Regulations

Permitted Bet Types
Bettors can wager on various bet types, such as:

Point Spreads: Spread betting involves betting on the margin of victory or the point “differential.”

– Moneylines: Moneyline betting entails picking the game or event winner.

First Half & Second

– Half Bets: These allow bettors to treat the first and second halves as separate games.

– Totals: Also known as over/under, this is a bet on the combined score of both teams in a game.

– Futures: Future bets are wagers on events decided in the future (e.g., end-of-season results).

– Player Props: A “prop” bet, short for a proposition, is a wager not directly tied to the final score or outcome.

Legal Sports Markets

You can legally wager on the following sports using different bet types:

Football: NFL & CFL
Basketball: NBA, WNBA, European/international baseball league
– Baseball: MLB
– Hockey: NHL, international hockey leagues
Soccer: MLS, English Premier League, UEFA Champions League

– College sports EXCEPT mobile betting on games involving in-state schools

– Golf: PGA Tour, LPGA Tour, PGA Tour Champions, PGA European
– Auto Racing: IndyCar, NASCAR, Formula One

– Additional markets such as boxing, tennis, rugby, and more may be offered at in-state sportsbooks.

Sports Betting Laws to Keep in Mind

Wagering on In-State College Teams

Bettors can now place bets on in-state college teams. Initially, sports bettors were prohibited from betting on games involving in-state schools to protect the athletes. However, the new law includes a restriction: Bets on games featuring in-state schools must be placed at retail sportsbooks and not through mobile wagering. Additionally, no wagering is allowed on individual performances, such as player props, for games involving state schools.

State Sports Betting Limitations

❌ No bettors under 21 years of age

❌ No mobile betting on games featuring in-state schools

❌ No betting on individual performances like player props in games featuring in-state college teams

❌ No betting on high school sporting events

❌ Sporting officials (coaches, referees) or players with a vested interest in a game or season cannot bet on their events

Illinois Sports Betting History and Legalization Timeline

Illinois has experienced the most uncertainty and confusion regarding its sports betting market among states that have legalized it. This is primarily due to successful special interest lobbying (some might call it corruption). Major IL players like BetRivers, which owns casinos in the state, advocated for keeping national heavyweights like DraftKings and FanDuel out of the local sports betting market for as long as possible.

This was intended to protect local business interests and reprimand improper compliance behavior — the controversial “penalty box provision.” Initially, lawmakers agreed on 18 months of increased constraints. During that time, the only online operators allowed would be those that also own physical casinos across the state.

Other states require sites like FanDuel and DraftKings to partner with existing casinos to offer their products online. This approach has worked well in New Jersey — big online players get market access, and local casinos don’t get left behind because they can’t or won’t scale their online operations. However, the stricter restrictions are unprecedented and highlight the powerful political influence of casinos in the state. Rivers Casino took the first in-person sports bet in March 2020, then went live with BetRivers in June 2020.

Through skillful legal maneuvering, DraftKings was able to set up for an IL launch in July 2020. They managed to partner with Casino Queen in St. Louis — but due to legal restrictions, the casino brand must be featured in advertisements. A casino must own 80% of the business if another brand is used.

BetRivers was the first to offer online betting because its parent company, Rush Street Interactive, owns the Rivers Casino in Des Plaines, IL. William Hill and PointsBet, which entered a 20-year partnership with Hawthorne Race Course, are also available in IL now. Barstool Sportsbook has a presence due to the Penn properties Hollywood Casino, Aurora, Hollywood Casino, and Joliet being located within the state.

Licensing fees — up to $20 million for online-only operators and $10 million for land-based casinos to offer online betting — are among the highest of any state, which will deter smaller players from entering the market. It has already deterred USA Sports Gaming, which planned to launch BetChicago but turned its focus to Indiana instead.

Thanks to House Bill 3136’s passing, Illinoisans no longer have to follow the in-person registration requirement, which ended last year on March 5, enabling online registration for users located anywhere within the Prairie State.

The University of Illinois Institute of Government & Public Affairs (IGPA) released a report covering the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the local economy. Potential sports betting revenue may help drive policy revisions to maximize revenue in the near future and level the playing field for operators and bettors.

Here’s a comprehensive timeline of Illinois’s legalization process:


Legalization Update

March 2022

Online registration for sports wagering officially launches.

December 2021

House Bill 3136 amends the ban on in-state college sports wagering, making it legal to bet on IL college teams in person at participating retail locations.

October 2021

With House Bill 3136 passing, the need to sign up at a brick-and-mortar casino will soon be a thing of the past. Come March 2022, anyone will be able to sign up for a mobile sportsbook as long as you are located within state lines.

September 2020

Gov. J.B. Pritzker again reinstates the option for online sign-up for bettors.

August 2020

Gov. J.B. Pritzker reinstates his Executive Order, once again lifting the in-person registration rule for 30 days. DraftKings Sportsbook goes live, in partnership with Casino Queen.

June 2020

Gov. J.B. Pritzker lifts the in-person registration rule temporarily via Executive Order, but no books are live online yet.

March 2020

Rivers Casino opens the first sportsbook in the state, days before casinos shut down due to COVID-19, and before any online operators could get live.

December 2019

IL begins the sports betting license application process.

June 2019

IL lawmakers create a compromise between the two parties, allowing online-only operators to enter the market after 18 months. Gov. J.B. Pritzker signs the sports betting bill into law.

March 2019

Neil Bluhm, a casino mogul who owns Rivers, begins the charge to keep FanDuel and DraftKings out of the state. He argued that their DFS operations had been running against state law for years, and this should be punishment.

February 2019

IL begins to hammer out details for a sports betting bill.

August 2018

IL lawmakers hold first hearing on legalized sports betting.

Pro Teams in Illinois

Chicago Bears: NFL

Chicago Blackhawks: NHL

Chicago Bulls: NBA

Chicago Cubs: MLB

Chicago White Sox: MLB

Chicago Sky: WNBA

Chicago Fire: MLS

Illinois Sports Teams & Sportsbook Partnerships

Latest Sports News in Illinois:

– The Bulls are tied with OKC for the chance to get the 11th pick in the NBA Lottery on May 16th. They still have an 8.5% chance of getting a pick in the top 4, where 19-year-old Victor Wembanyama is the coveted star. (5/5)

– The White Sox ended their losing streak by taking the three-game series against the Minnesota Twins. (5/5)

– The Chicago Cubs lost the series against the Nationals, winning only one out of four games. (5/5)

What to Keep an Eye on:

– The Chicago Fire tied 1-1 at home with the New York Red Bulls last weekend, making them 2-5-2 in the MLS this season so far. Can they bring home points from Nashville this upcoming weekend? (5/5)

– The 10-22 White Sox travel to Cincinnati for a three-game series against the Reds. Can they get a series win? (5/5)

– Will the 15-16 Chicago Cubs win their series against the Miami Marlins this week? (5/5)

Pro Sports Teams in IL

All professional sports teams are based in and around Chicago. While a pro team in the state is not a requirement to have a betting market for a sport, it certainly helps momentum.


Chicago Bears and BetRivers: The Bears in June 2021 announced a partnership with Rush Street Interactive, Inc., the company that owns BetRivers. The Monsters of the Midway are a founding member of the NFL, one of two remaining franchises founded in 1920. The Bears play their home games at the historic Soldier Field in Near South Side, Chicago.


Chicago Bulls and FanDuel: The Bulls and FanDuel announced a new partnership in last January. With a legacy talent like Michael Jordan, it’s no surprise that Chicago has been called the “basketball capital of the world.” The Bulls won six NBA championships in the 90s with Jordan and Scottie Pippen, who were celebrated in ESPN’s award-winning 2020 documentary “The Last Dance.”


Chicago Cubs and DraftKings: The Cubs and DraftKings are partnered up for a multi-year agreement. The Cubs have played in the National League since 1876. The Boys in Blue won back-to-back World Series in 1907 and 1908 but then went a full 108 years as the Lovable Losers before winning it all in 2016. That was their first World Series appearance since 1945.

MLB Game Odds: Miami Marlins vs. Chicago Cubs
Below is a selection of odds for the upcoming MLB game: Updated May 05, 2023 – Odds Provided by BetMGM – Subject to Change

| Team           | Spread | Moneyline | Total |


| Miami Marlins  | TBA    | +135      | TBA   |

| Chicago Cubs   | TBA    | -165      | TBA   |

Chicago White Sox and PointsBet

The White Sox and PointsBet have been in a partnership since 2020. The White Sox are one of the American League’s charter franchises and have been playing ball since 1901. The Sox played at Comiskey Park for nearly a century but now play at Guaranteed Rate Field on the South Side.


Chicago Blackhawks and PointsBet.
PointsBet is also the official sports betting partner of the Blackhawks. The Blackhawks are one of the “Original Six” teams in the NHL, competing on the ice since 1926. The team plays its home games at the United Center on the Near West Side of Chicago, an arena they share with the Bulls basketball team.


Chicago Sky – No Sportsbook Partner.
Chicago’s second basketball team plays on the women’s side. The Chicago Sky were founded in 2006 and have played in the Eastern Conference ever since. The Sky have played in five playoffs and reached the WNBA Finals in 2014. They play their home games at the new Wintrust Arena in the Near South Side of Chicago.


Chicago Fire FC – No Sportsbook Partner.
The Fire were one of the first expansion teams in the MLS in 1998, and they won the MLS Cup and the U.S. Open Cup in their inaugural season. The Fire play their home games at Soldier Field, home of the Bears, on the Near South Side.


Chicago Red Stars – No Sportsbook Partner.
The Red Stars were founded in 2009 and have bounced around various women’s professional soccer leagues as they’ve come and gone, competing in the National Women’s Soccer League since 2013. The Red Stars are named after the four iconic six-pointed red stars that adorn the city’s beloved flag. The Red Stars are the only NWSL team to have made the playoffs in five consecutive years.

College Sports Teams

Both Illinois and Northwestern have proud sports traditions and longstanding rivalries inside and outside the state. We expect big bets to be placed on these college games in the future.

College Football Betting

Notre Dame Fighting Irish Football

Even though Notre Dame is technically in Indiana, folks in Chicagoland think of the Fighting Irish as the local team. From the iconic golden-dome helmets to the larger-than-life Touchdown Jesus mural overlooking Notre Dame Stadium, the university is steeped in rich tradition and football history. Players slap the “Play Like a Champion Today” sign as they exit the locker room and head out onto the field where “Rudy” made his name in the eponymous movie.

Illinois Fighting Illini Football

Football hasn’t been its finest program in recent years, but the university has a long, proud pigskin tradition. Illinois claims five national championships and 15 Big Ten titles. Few universities can match Illinois’s pair of incredible Hall-of-Fame football players in alumni Red Grange and

Northwestern Wildcats Football

Northwestern has finally escaped a long period of futility that extended from the 70s into the mid-90s, but the university had reached No. 1 in the polls in 1936 and 1962. Under head coach Pat Fitzgerald, the Wildcats have improved mightily. Northwestern plays its home games at Ryan Field in Evanston.

Northern Illinois Huskies Football

Northern Illinois plays in the Mid-American Conference (MAC). The Huskies have won their conference 11 times and claim one national championship in 1963. NIU plays its games at Huskie Stadium in DeKalb.

College Basketball Betting

Notre Dame Fighting Irish Men’s Basketball

Notre Dame is the local “home” team to many in Chicagoland, even though the Irish play their home games in the Purcell Pavilion at the Edmund P. Joyce Center in South Bend, Indiana. Notre Dame plays in the Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC) in basketball. The Fighting Irish have been led by coach Mike Brey every year this century.

Notre Dame Fighting Irish Women’s Basketball

Notre Dame’s women’s basketball team has recently risen to national prominence at the highest level. The Irish have made nine Final Fours, including seven over the past decade, and won national championships in 2001 and 2018.

Illinois Fighting Illini Men’s Basketball

Illinois has risen to prominence as a basketball school in the Big Ten in recent years, and the Illini were one of the top teams in the nation during the 2020-21 season with Ayo Dosunmu and Kofi Cockburn leading the way. Illinois plays its home games at the State Farm Center in Champaign.

DePaul Blue Demons Men’s Basketball

DePaul basketball plays in the newly opened Wintrust Arena in Chicago’s Near South Side. The Blue Demons compete in the Big East Conference. They reached their peak in the 1970s and 80s, including a Final Four in 1979, one of two such appearances.

Northwestern Wildcats Men’s Basketball

Based out of Evanston, the Northwestern Wildcats are often regarded as “Chicago’s Big Ten Team.” Northwestern is the second piece of representation Illinois has in the Big Ten, even though their history is not as decorated as the Illinois Fighting Illini.

Loyola Chicago Ramblers Men’s Basketball

The Loyola Chicago Ramblers are a basketball team that play in the Missouri Valley Conference. Sister Jean and the Loyola Chicago Ramblers have made news in recent years at the NCAA Tournament.

Other Sporting Events

During non-COVID-19 times, Illinois normally plays host to several other sporting events throughout the year, including:

The John Deere Classic

The John Deere Classic is an annual PGA event hosted in Silvis, Illinois at TPC Deere Run, a Midwest golf destination. The event is a final chance for a player not already exempt to earn entry into The Open (traditionally scheduled a week later in Britain) if he finishes in the top five out of the tournament. High stakes make the JDC of particular interest to golf enthusiasts and sports bettors alike.

Possible ‘Chicago Bowl’ (College Football)

The Chicago Bowl is a proposed (aka yet to ever happen) NCAA Division I Football Bowl Subdivision college football bowl game to be played in Chicago at Wrigley Field. Negotiations for the bowl game had been tabled for now until an agreement can be reached with the Big Ten Conference on a higher ranking team’s entrance into the bowl.

NASCAR Cup Series Race at World Wide Technology Raceway

The 2023 Cup Series will include NASCAR’S first-ever street race course in Chicago. Additionally, the NASCAR Cup Series Event that took place last summer will be hosted annually at the World Wide Technology Raceway in Madison, Illinois. Check out our NASCAR page for more updates.

More Reading on Illinois

Sports Wagering Act (SB3432)

To dive into the specifics of Illinois’ Sports Wagering Act (SB3432), you can reference materials from the Illinois State Assembly directly.

Public Commentary on Illinois Sports Betting Bills

Illinois’ public had a powerful and impassioned response to the state’s sports betting bill on both sides. You can read public comments here.

ProPublica Illinois and WBEZ Chicago Insights

Read a thorough overview of the evolution of the broader gambling market in Illinois to date in Chicago: Illinois Is Poised to Become the Gambling Capital of the Midwest.

Gambling Support & Resources

Illinoisians have expressed concerns about sports betting. Todd Hefferman, who covers SIU Athletics for The Southern Illinoisan explores some of the “social costs” he fears sports betting will bring to the state. He recommends a firm investment in education and prevention plans.

Illinois is serious about bettor protection and behavioral support, including the following resources:

The Illinois Gaming Board supports a self-exclusion program via the Problem Gambler Registry. The Illinois Council on Problem Gambling (ICPG) is the statewide resource in Illinois for awareness and education related to problematic issues. Finally, the Illinois Alliance on Problem Gambling (IAPG) is an organization that aims to raise awareness, coordinate resources, and prevent underage gambling.

Illinois Sports Betting FAQ

Commonly asked questions about sports betting in The Prairie State.

A: Yes, online sports betting is legal in Illinois.

Q: How old do I have to be to bet?

A: You must be 21 years old to bet on sports in Illinois.

A: Bovada is an illegal offshore sportsbook that operates without jurisdiction by any governing body. It’s not legal in Illinois and won’t be necessary to use soon with legal operators coming online.

Q: Can I bet if I’m in Illinois, but don’t live there?

A: Anyone inside the state borders can bet.

Q: Where can I make a sports bet in Illinois?

A: For now, anywhere inside state borders will do if you use the app or bet online. You can also bet at one of the state’s 10 casinos or at seven select sporting venues.

Q: Can I bet on my favorite college teams that are located in Illinois, such as the Illinois Fighting Illini or Northwestern Wildcats?

A: No, you cannot place wagers on any college teams that are located in Illinois while you are betting within Illinois state lines.

Q: Who can apply for an Illinois sports betting license?

A: The licensing rules are complicated. Online-only operators will pay a $20 million fee and can only enter the market after 18 months. Any company that owns a land-based casino can begin offering online sports betting right away and must pay up to a $10 million license.

Q: Do I have to be within Illinois state lines to place a bet?

A: Yes. Because sports betting is legalized and regulated at the state-wide level, each state implements geo-tracking technology to restrict bets just to bettors within state lines. That’s true for Illinois sportsbooks as well. But you don’t have to be an Illinois resident to bet. That means if you’re from California but in Chicago for a business trip, you can download a betting app, sign up, and bet while you’re in the state. You can withdraw from anywhere.

Q: Can I bet on my favorite college players that play for college located in Illinois?

A: No, if you are placing bets while located in Illinois you cannot wager on players that play for a college located in Illinois.

Q: Can I sign up, deposit, and withdraw online?

A: Yes and no. You currently have to visit a brick-and-mortar casino to sign up for mobile sports betting apps. However, new legislation has passed that allows new users to register completely online as of March 5, 2022.

Q: Will Illinois ever get rid of the in-person registration requirement for mobile bettors?

A: Yes! House Bill 3136 was passed in October 2021. This bill eliminates the need for first-time bettors to sign up at brick-and-mortar casinos. The bill took effect on March 5, 2022. Illinois mobile bettors are now able to fully register and bet online.

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