Illinois Sports Betting: Complete Analysis (2023)

In recent years, the landscape of sports betting has undergone a significant transformation across the United States. With the repeal of the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act (PASPA) in 2018, individual states were granted the authority to legalize and regulate sports betting within their jurisdictions. Illinois, a state renowned for its rich sports culture, quickly embraced this opportunity and emerged as a major player in the world of sports betting. This comprehensive review aims to provide a detailed overview of retail and online sports betting Illinois, including its legalization, regulations, popular sports, online platforms, and the economic impact it has had on the state.




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Illinois Sports Betting Legalization

The legalization of sports betting in Illinois can be traced back to June 2019, when Governor J.B. Pritzker enacted the Sports Wagering Act. Under this legislation, both land-based and online sports betting became legal in the state. The Illinois Gaming Board was entrusted with the responsibility of regulating and overseeing the industry to ensure fair play and consumer protection.

Here are some of the other details about sports betting Illinois’ law:

  • License fees for sports betting are determined by 5% of the handle from the previous or current year, depending on when the license is issued. The maximum fee allowed is $10 million.

  • Online-only licenses, on the other hand, require a higher fee of $20 million.

  • All licenses are initially valid for four years and can be renewed for a fee of $1 million.

  • A tax rate of 15% is applied to the gross gaming revenue generated from sports betting activities.

  • Official league data is mandatory for live wagers.

Illinois Sports Betting License and Regulation

To operate legally in Illinois, sports betting operators must obtain a license from the Illinois Gaming Board. The licensing process is thorough and involves extensive background checks, financial scrutiny, and compliance with stringent regulations. The initial licensing fee is $10 million, and annual renewal fees are set at $1 million. Licensed operators are required to partner with established retail or Illinois online casinos or professional sports venues within the state to administer successfully.


10 Notable Facts About Illinois Sports Betting

  1. Sports betting was legalized in Illinois in June 2019.

  2. The first retail sportsbooks opened in March 2020, followed by the launch of the first sports betting app, BetRivers, in June 2020.

  3. Illinois sports bettors have placed bets totaling up to $840.4 million in a single month.

  4. Monthly revenue for Illinois sportsbooks has reached as high as $78.2 million.

  5. Online sports betting Illinois is available to individuals aged 21 and above.

  6. Players do not have to be Illinois residents in order to place bets, but they must be physically present within the state.

  7. Key sports personnel such as players, coaches, and referees are prohibited from betting on their own sports.

  8. Bets are limited to sporting events and cannot be placed on elections or award ceremonies.

  9. Wagering on in-state college teams is only allowed for pregame bets made in-person.

  10. Up until March 5, 2022, players had to finish their registrations in person at land-based casinos in Illinois.


Illinois Sports Betting History: A Summary

2019: Legislative Efforts and Law Signing

  • Numerous bills on sports betting were introduced, but lacked agreement in the Illinois General Assembly.

  • Rep. Bob Rita mediates the process and negotiates compromises with stakeholders.

  • Gov. J.B. Pritzker includes sports betting revenue in his budget, motivating lawmakers.

  • Bill signed into law by Pritzker in late June.

2020: Retail and Online Launch

  • First retail Illinois sportsbooks open in March but face closures due to COVID-19 pandemic.

  • In-person registration requirement suspended by Pritzker in May.

  • BetRivers becomes the first online sportsbook in Illinois in June.

  • Four additional online sportsbooks launch by the end of the year.

2021: Expansion and Record Wagers.

  • Sixth online sportsbook, Barstool Sports, opens in March.

  • Growing handle and revenue throughout the year.

  • Illinois bettors set a record with $840.4 million in wagers in October.

  • In-person registration requirement rescinded, allowing in-person pregame wagering on in-state college teams.

2022: Remote Registration and New Developments

  • In-person registration requirement ends on March 5.

  • Remote registration resulted in a record $971.3 million in handle for the first full month and created a heavy craze for Illinois online gambling.

  • Caliente was approved to launch as a new sportsbook in April, while Fubo does not meet qualifications.

  • DraftKings and the Chicago Cubs plan to open a retail sportsbook at Wrigley Field in the coming year.

How to Wager on Sports in Illinois

There are two ways to bet on sports in Illinois: in person at a retail sportsbook or online sports betting Illinois.

  • To bet on sports in person, you must be 21 years of age or older and have a valid government-issued ID. You can find a list of approved retail sportsbooks on the Illinois Gaming Board website.

  • To bet on sports online, you must also be 21 years of age or older and have a valid government-issued ID. You can create an account with a licensed sportsbook operator and deposit funds using a variety of methods, including credit cards, debit cards, and PayPal.

Illinois Sports Betting Popular Sports

Illinois is a sports-loving state with a passionate fan base for various professional and collegiate sports. Some of the most popular sports for betting in Illinois include:

  • Basketball: Illinois residents have a deep-rooted passion for basketball, with the Chicago Bulls being a source of immense pride. The NBA and college basketball tournaments, such as March Madness, draw significant betting interest.

  • Football: The NFL and college football enjoy widespread popularity in Illinois. The Chicago Bears, the state’s beloved NFL team, attract a large following, creating a vibrant betting environment during the football season.

  • Baseball: Illinois boasts two Major League Baseball teams—the Chicago Cubs and the Chicago White Sox. Baseball enthusiasts can wager on MLB games, including regular season and playoff matchups.

  • Hockey: The Chicago Blackhawks, a renowned NHL franchise, have a loyal fan base in Illinois. Betting on NHL games adds to the excitement of the fast-paced sport.

  • Soccer: With a diverse population, soccer has a growing fan base in Illinois. Major international tournaments, such as the FIFA World Cup and the UEFA Champions League, generate substantial betting activity.

Online Sports Betting Platforms

Online sports betting platforms have revolutionized the way people engage in sports wagering. In Online sports betting Illinois, several reputable platforms offer a convenient and user-friendly betting experience. Some notable online sportsbooks available to Illinois residents include:



  • Known for its user-friendly interface and extensive sports coverage, DraftKings offers a wide range of betting options, including live betting and daily fantasy sports.
Caesars Sportsbook logo

Caesars Sportsbook

  • Caesars Sportsbook is a high-quality sports betting app associated with a prominent brand. It offers a wide range of daily odds boosts, with over 50 options available at a time. While it may not have flashy design features, Caesars focuses on delivering a straightforward and reliable sports betting experience.


  • Another popular platform, FanDuel provides a seamless and intuitive betting experience. It offers competitive odds, a variety of sports markets, and promotions to enhance user engagement.
BetRivers Sportsbook logo


  • As the official betting partner of the Chicago Bulls, BetRivers holds a strong presence in Illinois. It offers an array of betting options, including in-play betting and a loyalty program.
BetMGM Sportsbook logo


  • BetMGM, the self-proclaimed “King of Sportsbooks,” revamped its Illinois betting app in late 2022. The new app offers streamlined navigation, live streaming, and supports various banking methods. Users can earn BetMGM rewards points and claim up to $1,000 in bonus bets without needing a promo code for the welcome offer.


  • PointsBet is a unique online sportsbook that offers an innovative and interactive betting experience. It is known for its “PointsBetting” feature, which allows users to win or lose more based on the accuracy of their wagers. PointsBet also provides traditional fixed-odds betting and a variety of sports markets to choose from.

Illinois Sportsbook Bonuses and Promotions

Getting started at an online sports betting Illinois is simple with these top offers:

  • DraftKings: Use the promo code to get up to $1,200 with a new account.

  • Caesars: Enter promo code LSRFULL for up to $1,250, 1000 Tier Credits, and 1000 Reward Credits.

  • BetMGM: Apply bonus code PLAY1000 to receive up to $1,000 in bonus bets.

  • BetRivers: Use promo code LSRRIV for a 2nd chance bet up to $500.

  • FanDuel: Get up to $1,000 No Sweat First Bet.

  • PointsBet: Receive up to $250 with 5 second chance bet credits up to $50 each.

Common bonuses offered by Illinois sportsbook apps include deposit bonuses, no deposit bonuses, odds boosts, and first bet offers. Deposit bonuses match a portion of your deposit, while no deposit bonuses provide credits or bet vouchers upon account creation. Odds boosts increase potential payouts, and first bet offers refund a percentage of a lost bet in site credits.

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Illinois Sports Betting Banking Options


Credit/Debit Cards:

  • Common options include Visa, Mastercard, and American Express.

  • Instant deposits with most sportsbooks.

  • May be subject to issuer restrictions.

Bank Transfers:

  • Directly transfer funds from your bank account to the sportsbook.

  • A secure and reliable option.

  • It usually takes a few business days for the transfer to complete.

Prepaid Cards:

  • Sportsbooks offer branded prepaid cards for depositing funds.

  • Can be loaded with a desired amount and used for betting.

  • Easy to manage and monitor spending.



  • E-wallets like PayPal and Skrill allow quick and secure withdrawals.

  • Fast processing times compared to other methods.

  • May requires verification and account setup.

Bank Transfers:

  • Transfer winnings directly to your bank account.

  • Reliable and widely accepted withdrawal method.

  • Processing times typically range from a few business days to a week.


  • Sportsbooks may offer the option to receive winnings via a physical check.

  • Slower compared to other methods, as it involves mailing the check.

  • Suitable for those who prefer a traditional method.

Prepaid Cards:

  • If you used a prepaid card for deposits, some sportsbooks allow withdrawals to the same card.

  • Convenient if you want to keep funds on the prepaid card for future use.

  • Withdrawal processing times vary.

Illinois Sports Betting Responsible Gambling Measures

As with any form of gambling, it is crucial to promote responsible betting practices. Illinois has implemented several measures to ensure the well-being of its residents:

  • Age Verification: Strict age verification processes are in place to prevent underage gambling. Online platforms employ robust identity verification systems to ensure that only individuals of legal age can participate.

  • Self-Exclusion Programs: Sports betting Illinois offers self-exclusion programs that allow individuals to voluntarily exclude themselves from participating in sports betting. These programs provide support and resources to those who may be at risk of developing gambling-related problems.

  • Problem Gambling Helpline: A dedicated helpline is available in Illinois to provide assistance and support to individuals struggling with gambling addiction. The helpline offers counseling services, information on support groups, and referral to treatment programs.

  • Responsible Gambling Messaging: Sportsbooks and online platforms display responsible gambling messaging, promoting healthy betting habits and providing information on resources for problem gambling.


sports betting with open arms, experiencing the economic benefits and increased fan engagement that come with it. The legalization and regulation of sports betting have provided a safe and regulated environment for individuals to enjoy wagering on their favorite sports. With popular sports like basketball, football, baseball, hockey, and soccer, Illinois residents have a diverse range of options to bet on.

Furthermore, the availability of reputable online platforms has made sports betting easily accessible to a wide audience. As the industry continues to evolve and grow, it is essential to prioritize responsible gambling measures to ensure the well-being of individuals and maintain the integrity of sports betting in Illinois.


Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

You can bet on any professional or college sport that is legal in the United States. This includes the NFL, NBA, MLB, NHL, NCAA football, and NCAA basketball. You can also bet on individual games, series, and tournaments.

The sportsbook determines the odds for each bet. The odds will tell you how much you can win if your bet is successful. For example, if the odds for a bet are +100, that means you will win $100 for every $100 you bet.

There are limits on how much you can bet on each individual bet and how much you can bet in total each day. These limits vary from sportsbook to sportsbook.

There is a 12% tax on all sports betting revenue in Illinois. This tax is paid by the sportsbooks, not by the bettors.

Yes, sports betting is safe in Illinois. The state’s gaming board regulates all sportsbooks, and they are subject to strict security measures. Your personal information and financial information is safe when you bet on sports in Illinois.

Yes, sports betting is legal in Illinois. It was legalized in June 2019, allowing residents to engage in sports wagering both online and at retail sportsbooks.