5 out of 5
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There are strengths and weaknesses for every sportsbook available in Illinois, and finding the right one may come down to the features you value most. Use the table below to find our picks for the best overall sportsbook for each of the five features we know Illinois bettors value most. This will help you quickly find the best Illinois sports betting apps.
|Feature||Winner||Why it's Our Pick|
|Best Mobile App||⭐️ DraftKings Sportsbook||It was a close race for best mobile app in Illinois but DraftKings brings home the bacon because of their user-friendliness, variety of betting options, and sheer speed.|
|Best Bonus Offer||⭐️ FanDuel Sportsbook||FanDuel is the most generous book in Illinois when it comes to bonus offers. Right now, new bettors can get a $1,000 No Sweat First Bet!|
|Best Live Betting||⭐️ PointsBet||The PointsBet app is packed with outstanding features, but the live betting options beat every other Illinois sportsbook and are by far the best in the industry.|
|Best Rewards Program||⭐️ Caesars||Caesars Rewards is the best in the business. Every new Caesars player is eligible to earn a plethora of different prizes that are sure to make them smile.|
|Best Odds and Juice||⭐️ BetMGM Sportsbook||BetMGM checks all the boxes as far as juice and odds are concerned. You'll often find that BetMGM's juice is a few cents cheaper than rival sites like DraftKings and FanDuel. A little bit of savings in juice can go a long way!|
Illinois became the 15th state to legalize sports betting in early 2019, and the first bet was officially placed at a BetRivers sportsbook on March 9, 2020. In a controversial move, the state bumped up the timeline to allow mobile sports betting far earlier than originally planned. The move was made in response to the COVID-19 pandemic's effect on the gambling industry in IL.
There were six mobile sportsbooks ready for opening day in Illinois (BetRivers, DraftKings, FanDuel, PointsBet, Caesars, Barstool), and Unibet launched shortly after the start of the 2021 NFL season. Below is everything you need to know regarding the current state of legal sports betting in Illinois.
Illinois is a booming market for both online sports betting and retail sports betting. Folks in Chicago are hardcore sports fans and the overall numbers support that. Here are some fast facts about sports betting in Illinois.
|✅ Launch Date||March 9, 2020|
|📅 Legal Betting Age||21|
|🏬 Number of Retail Sportsbooks||7|
|📱 Number of Mobile Sportsbooks||7|
|💰 Total Illinois Handle (2021)||$7 Billion|
|📈 Total Illinois Handle (All Time)||$10.5 Billion|
|💸 Largest Sportsbook Handle||DraftKings|
Our pick for the best sportsbook app in Illinois is DraftKings Sportsbook. If you are a sports bettor in the state of Illinois, DraftKings is a must-have sportsbook app. Here are three of the features that we love about the DraftKings Sportsbook App.
Unbelievable Bonus Offer- DraftKings has a stellar reputation when it comes to rewarding new players with lucrative bonuses. The current bonus offer for new players in Illinois is incredibly generous. Right now, new players can get $200 in Free Bets when they make their first $5 wager, as long as their team wins! It's currently the top bonus offer in Illinois sports betting.
Odds Boosts - Here's another cool feature of the DraftKings App and website. Each day DraftKings offers various amounts of odds boosts. For example, let's say that the standard odds on a three-team MLB moneyline parlay is +600. DraftKings may choose to boost the odds by up to +750 to reward their winners with an even larger payout.
Variety of Betting Options - DraftKings offers more variety than any other IL sportsbook! Whether your pleasure is live betting, player props, or futures, there's something for every type of sports bettor at DraftKings.
Illinois sports bettors have a ton of options when it comes to signup bonuses. In a tight race, we gave the nod to FanDuel and their $1,000 No Sweat First Bet!
Getting in on the FanDuel bonus is easy as pie. Simply sign up on their website or app and enter your personal information. You don't even need a promo code!
Once you've made your first deposit, place your first bet. If it loses, FanDuel will give you Free Bets in your account to cover the loss. It's a Win-Win situation for folks in Illinois!
Our pick for the sportsbook with the best live betting options in Illinois is PointsBet. PointsBet was founded in Australia back in 2017 and they've made a big splash in the USA sports betting market in a short period of time. Each and every day, PointsBet posts a ton of live betting options for all of their respective players.
The live betting section can be found easily on the top left-hand side of the PointsBet website or app. Once you click LIVE, you'll be able to see all of the current sporting events that have live betting options. PointsBet also offers live streams at some of their live betting events, which is nice for sports bettors that are on the go!
In January of 2022, PointsBet pushed the envelope even further when they announced that they would begin offering live same game parlays. Same game parlays are the fastest growing bet type in the Illinois sports betting market and, by becoming the first sportsbook to offer these in their live betting tool, PointsBet further extended its lead here.
If there's one thing that all Illinois sports bettors love just as much as winning, it's free perks. With Caesars Rewards, folks can enjoy the best customer loyalty program in the country.
For every dollar you bet on a game, Caesars will give you a certain number of Tier Credits and Rewards Credits. The more of these you accumulate, the greater the overall prizes.
Build up enough credits and you can cash them in for free hotel stays at any Caesars resort! You can also enjoy other fabulous perks like free dining and shopping!
Nothing will hurt a bankroll faster than paying too much juice on your plays or betting at the wrong odds. Luckily, sports bettors in Illinois won't have to worry about that with BetMGM Sportsbook.
Just one look at BetMGM's odds and folks in Illinois will be shocked as to how often they offer the most favorable odds. For example, most sportsbooks in Illinois may set the total in the Bulls game with the standard -110 juice. On several occasions, BetMGM will price that same total with -105 juice.
You may be thinking that saving 5 cents of juice isn't that big of a deal. However, just think about how much you'll save over the course of a whole season!
As we have seen with several other states, IL did place restrictions on what sports bettors can wager on. However, the list of restricted sports and events is much shorter than your typical US betting market.
Bettors are not allowed to wager on Illinois college teams, any minor league sports, or high school sports. That is tough news for any hardcore Illinois Fighting Illini or Northwestern Wildcats fan, but at least they can still bet on college sports. Every other sport, including e-sports, is eligible to be wagered on in IL.
Additionally, there are no wager types that are restricted in Illinois, but the state did make it clear that if a professional sports team thought a certain wager-type would put the integrity of their sport in jeopardy that they could request it be removed from IL sportsbooks. So far this hasn't happened, so Illinois sports bettors can still wager on their favorite Chicago Bears player to go Over a specific yardage prop.
As is the case in most of the US sports betting markets, Illinois requires online sportsbooks to partner with an existing Illinois casino in order to operate in the state. Below is a list of Sportsbooks, their IL casino partner, and the date the book launched. This list was updated on November 1, 2022.
|Online Book||Casino Partner||Launch Date|
|Barstool||Hollywood Casino||August 2021|
|BetMGM||Par-A-Dice Hotel & Casino||January 2022|
|BetRivers||Rivers Casino||June 2020|
|Caesars||Grand Victoria||September 2020|
|DraftKings Sportsbook||Casino Queen||August 2020|
|FanDuel Sportsbook||Fairmount Park Racetrack||September 2020|
|PointsBet||Hawthorne Race Course||September 2020|
Planning a visit to Illinois in the future? Not sure which casino to visit? Here's a bit more information on each of the casinos on this list.
If you're anywhere near Aurora, Hollywood Casino is a must-visit venue! They have a sportsbook, over 1,000 slot machines, craps, blackjack, and roulette. They also have 4 delicious restaurants on the property.
Address: 1 W. New York St. Aurora, IL, 60506
FanDuel may have moved out of this location, but luckily for sports bettors BetMGM has took its place. Par-A-Dice features luxury suites, an amazing fitness center, and all of the casino games you can handle.
Address: 21 Blackjack Blvd. East Peoria, IL 61611
For a superior dining and sports betting experience, you can't go wrong with Rivers Casino! BetRivers is one of the best sportsbooks in the business and this location has 6 different spots to eat or drink!
Address: 3000 S. River Rd. Des Plaines, IL 60018
The Grand Victoria is one of the best casinos in the Prairie State. Caesars Sportsbook at this location is open anywhere from 8 to 13 hours per day and folks will love Buckinghams Steakhouse And Bistro.
Address: 250 S Grove Ave, Elgin, IL 60120
Hardcore DraftKings fans will love this location in East St. Louis. The sportsbooks features 28 LED TVs, a 60-foot video wall, 5 betting windows, and 38 betting kiosks. Folks also rave about the wonderfully delicious stadium foods that they serve.
Address: 200 S Front St. East St. Louis, Illinois 62201
While 2020 was a crazy year for everyone in the US, it was particularly hectic for Illinois sports bettors and the legislators responsible for regulating the industry. Here is a timeline of exactly how legal sports betting came to be in Illinois and some things to watch out for as we move through 2022.
June 28, 2019 - Illinois state Governor J.B. Pitzker officially signs bill SB 690 into law. The law allowed for betting to take place in the state's retail casinos and race tracks. The first legal bet was officially placed in IL on March 9, 2020 at a BetRivers sportsbook.
June 18, 2020 - The first legal wager was placed in Illinois just days before casinos and race tracks were shut down due to the COVID-19 pandemic. In an effort to minimize the impact of the pandemic on casinos and state revenue, the state passed an amendment to push up the timeline for mobile sports betting. The first online sports bet was placed on June 18, 2020.
Total Numbers - So how big is sports betting in Illinois? In less than two years, residents of the Prairie State have wagered nearly $7 billion on sports! This has resulted in tax revenues of over $104 million for the state.
2022 Outlook - Since mobile registration returned to the state in March of 2022, Illinois has seen a major uptick in activity this year. The state saw a large amount of action on the NCAA Tournament and next football season should be huge!
Illinois sports bettors have a wide variety of sportsbooks available to them, which means a wide variety of promo code offers. These offers typically come in one of two forms: a deposit bonus or a free bet. Here is what you should know about each offer type.
Deposit bonus - State operators like BetRivers, BetMGM, DraftKings, and Unibet offer a deposit bonus that is paid as a percentage of your initial deposit. These offers can range from 100% at most books to 20% at DraftKings and can cap anywhere between $250 to $1,500.
Free bet - Several books choose to offer their bonus in the form of a free bet. This is the case with Caesars, PointsBet, and FanDuel. However, in FanDuel's case, they guarantee you don't lose your first bet (refund) rather than offer a free bet. The free bet caps at $1,000 at FanDuel and $2,000 at PointsBet.
Our staff compares all of the available promotions in Illinois on a weekly basis to determine which offer is best for new players in the market. As of this November, our top-rated offer in Illinois comes from FanDuel. Register using the promo code listed at the top of this page to receive a $1,000 No Sweat First Bet.
Alternatively, you can always check out our entire list of sportsbook promotions to find the offer that fits your deposit best. Shopping promotions and shopping lines are an essential part of becoming a successful sports bettor so we highly encourage our readers to do so.
Now that the Illinois sports betting law removed the in-person-only requirement, it's super easy to register with all of your favorite Illinois sports betting apps. The main perk now is you can sign up with your phone or laptop as long as you're within the Illinois state lines. Here's how to get started with any Illinois online sports betting app.
It is always exciting to see new sports betting markets have the sort of success Illinois has. The state has had $8.9 billion in sports betting handle and $653 million in revenue in just less than 2 years! That number should only continue to rise as devoted fans of the Chicago Bears, Chicago Bulls, Chicago Cubs, Chicago White Sox, and Chicago Blackhawks sign up for new online sports betting apps.
That being said, the size of the handle should also concern members of the industry because it represents a lot of money coming from first-time sports bettors. The FAQs below should help new Illinois bettors as they try to navigate the state's betting rules and regulations, and find the best sportsbook for their action.
Yes, Illinois legalized sports betting in March of 2020 and in January of 2021 that the first bet was placed.
Yes, Illinois bettors can place wagers both online and in-app at any of the state's licensed sportsbooks. The top downloaded mobile sports betting apps in Illinois over the past six months belong to FanDuel, DraftKings, and PointsBet.
No, you do not have to be an Illinois resident to bet on sports. You simply need to be within the state lines when placing your bets. All of the sports betting apps use geo-locating technology to confirm your location.
The minimum age to bet on sports in Illinois is 21. This is on par with the rest of the US sports betting industry as every state currently has the age requirement set to 21. Illinois is one of the few states in the US that may lower this age as the lottery and horse racing age requirements are both 18.
No, unfortunately, there aren't any Illinois sportsbooks that are currently offering any type of no deposit bonus. However, our current Top 3 sportsbooks in the state are offering nice bonus offers with a very low deposit requirement. Check out FanDuel, BetMGM, or DraftKings.
Illinois sports bettors can wager on all professional and collegiate sporting events with one exception. It is illegal to bet on any event that includes an Illinois college or university. There are no restrictions on prop betting or in-game betting in Illinois. Residents can track betting laws by visiting the state's gaming board website.
At the moment, we have FanDuel rated slightly higher than competitors BetMGM and DraftKings. While all three offer state-of-the-art sportsbooks, FanDuel offers more player props and live betting options than any other sportsbook in Illinois.
We currently have the PointsBet $2,000 in Risk-Free Bets offer rated as the top promotion available in Illinois. We will update this on a daily basis as new promotions come out. We also factor in the terms and conditions for each offer when ranking them. PointsBet not only has a better offer than any other IL sportsbook, but the terms are extremely player-friendly with No rollover requirement.