Sports betting was legalized in Illinois in 2019, and the first online sportsbook app launched in 2020.
Now there are seven online sportsbooks available in the state, and bettors can register online to start placing bets immediately. Illinois sports betting apps regularly offer sign-up bonuses, promotions, and other deals that new bettors can take advantage of.
Here’s everything you need to know about online sports betting in Illinois, including what sportsbooks are available, who can bet, and how to bet responsibly.
Details About Sports Betting in Illinois
- Online sports betting was introduced in Illinois in June 2020 with the launch of the BetRivers mobile sports betting app.
- Bettors in Illinois were originally required to appear in person at a casino or retail sportsbook to register for a mobile sports betting account, but this requirement ended on March 5, 2022. Individuals can now complete the registration process online.
- There are currently seven online sportsbooks available in Illinois. Six are partnered with in-state casinos, while one (BetMGM) is only available online.
- Illinois does allow individuals to bet on in-state college games; however, betting is limited to pregame wagers made in person. You cannot bet on in-state college games online.
- More online sportsbooks are expected to launch in Illinois in the near future, including Circa Sports later in 2022.
Recent Sports Betting News in Illinois
After legalizing sports betting in 2019, online sports betting finally went live in 2020. Since then, the Illinois sports betting market has grown rapidly and is expected to continue to do so. Here are some of the most recent developments in the Illinois sports betting industry:
- May 19, 2022: Circa Sports announces it will open its sportsbook in Illinois in the fourth quarter of 2022. Circa Sports is partnered with Full House, which is opening a casino in Waukegan.
- May 12, 2022: Sportsbooks in Illinois took in a record $971.3 million in bets during March. This is likely due to the end of the in-person registration requirement, which made online sports betting less accessible to the general public.
- May 5, 2022: Caesars Sportsbook announces its partnership with the Chicago White Sox. Caesars will be the team’s exclusive casino partner going forward.
- April 28, 2022: Tekkorp Digital was deemed qualified for a mobile-only betting license and will launch its sportsbook in Illinois under the Caliente brand if it’s awarded a license.
- April 12, 2022: The Illinois Gaming Board reports a $286.2 million handle for March Madness 2022. This marks a substantial increase from the $176.8 million handle for March Madness 2021.
- March 5, 2022: Illinois ends the in-person registration requirement for online sports betting. Bettors can now register for online sportsbooks completely online.
- Feb. 16, 2022: Illinois sportsbooks took in over $60 million in bets for the Super Bowl, marking a 32.7% increase from 2021. Mobile sports betting accounted for more than 90% of all bets.
- Feb. 1, 2022: FanDuel announces its plans to open a sportsbook at the United Center in Chicago; however, the company still needs to work out its license approval details.
Online Sports Betting Apps Available in Illinois
Bettors can choose from seven online sportsbooks to bet on sports in Illinois. Six of these sportsbooks are partnered with Illinois-based casinos, while one is exclusively online. Here’s an overview of all the online sports betting apps available in the state:
|Sportsbook||Partner||Tech Supplier||Venue||Launch Date|
|Barstool Sportsbook||Hollywood Casino Aurora, Hollywood Casino Joliet||Kambi||Hollywood Casino Aurora, Hollywood Casino Joliet||March 11, 2021|
|BetMGM||N/A||Entain||Only available online||March 5, 2022|
|BetRivers||Rivers Casino||Kambi||Rivers Casino||June 18, 2020|
|Caesars Sportsbook||Grand Victoria Casino Elgin, Harrah’s Joliet, Harrah’s Metropolis||Scientific Games||Grand Victoria Casino Elgin, Harrah’s Joliet, Harrah’s Metropolis||March 9, 2022|
|DraftKings||DraftKings at Casino Queen||SBTech||DraftKings at Casino Queen||Aug. 5, 2020|
|FanDuel||Par-a-Dice Casino||IGT||Par-a-Dice Casino||Aug. 28, 2020|
|PointsBet||Hawthorne Race Course||PointsBet||Hawthorne Race Course||Sept. 12, 2020|
Are Daily Fantasy Sports Apps Legal in Illinois?
Daily fantasy sports (DFS) apps let you create fictional teams and compete against teams created by other users in daily contests for cash and other prizes. Some states consider DFS contests to be skill games, while others see them as gambling.
In Illinois, daily fantasy sports apps are legal. The legality of these apps was under question for several years until the Illinois Supreme Court declared some DFS contests to be games of skill. Now, residents can register with apps like DraftKings and FanDuel to participate in DFS contests.
How to Place Responsible Sports Bets in Illinois
Betting on sports in Illinois is as easy as choosing one of the seven legal sports betting apps available in the state, registering, verifying your age and identity, and placing your first bet.
If you want to start betting on sports online, it’s important to do so responsibly to avoid developing a problematic gambling habit and suffering significant financial damages.
Responsible sports betting practices:
- Set and stick to a strict gambling budget to avoid spending more than you can afford to lose.
- Set time limits for sports betting apps. If you find you can’t control how much time you spend gambling, you should stop altogether.
- Take breaks or quit if sports betting is starting to affect other aspects of your life.
- Never bet while under the influence of alcohol or other drugs.
- Treat sports betting as a form of entertainment — not a legitimate way to earn income.
Gambling addiction can have a serious impact on your personal life, career, relationships, and mental well-being.
Even if you are betting responsibly, it’s important to remember that gambling addiction can happen to anybody. If you think you may be addicted to gambling, you should stop immediately and contact the National Council on Problem Gambling hotline at 1-800-522-4700 for assistance.
Illinois Sports Betting FAQs
|Is online sports betting legal?||Yes|
|Is mobile sports betting legal?||Yes|
|Is betting legal at retail locations?||Yes|
|Minimum legal gambling age||21|
Editor’s Note: Information accurate as of June 2022.