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By Jacob Johnson | Published On: Jun 30 2021

Illinois Sports Betting Guide

Welcome the the Ultimate Illinois Sports Betting Guide.

Illinois legalized sports gambling in a 2019 bill that was estimated to create $12 billion in economic stimulation; the bill presented sports gambling with multiple facets, headlined by a super-casino in Chicago.

The bill also concluded that casinos, racetracks, and sports venues could offer gambling in-person and online. However, online gambling required in-person registration for the first 18 months and a partnership with a land-based entity.

On June 26, 2019, Illinois Governor J.B. Pritzker signed the bill into effect, becoming the fifth state governor to do so that year and fifteenth in total.

Illinois is currently the largest state that offers legal online gambling and will likely hold the title until at least 2022, when the topic is set to appear on the Florida ballot.

Chicago has a long history associated with sports gambling, dating back to the days of the infamous gangster Al Capone. He and the Chicago Outfit gained notoriety around the country for their involvement in prohibition-era alcohol sales, large-scale crime operations, and underground gambling enterprise.

Nearly a century later, the first official sports bet in Illinois was placed on March 9, 2020, by former NHL center and Chicago Blackhawks announcer Eddie Olczyk, who wagered $100 on the Chicago White Sox to top the American League Central Division at +1600.

Illinois Sports Betting Guide – Gambling Status:

The legal gambling age in Illinois is 21, regardless of venue. Bets can be wagered on professional sports with US Sportsbooks, seven of which are in operation in brick and mortar establishments across the state. 

DraftKings partnered with Casino Queen to create “DraftKings at Casino Queen,” and the DraftKings sportsbook was launched on-site and online as a result. 

FanDuel forged a similar partnership with Fairmount Park Racetrack, a horse racing venue that has since been renamed “FanDuel Sportsbook and Horse Racing.” They will partner with TVG Network to bring back the St. Louis Derby, a $250,000 event that was last held fifteen years ago. 

This type of partnership was a first for FanDuel, who will enjoy a geographical location near the metropolitan area of St. Louis along the border of Illinois and Missouri. 

A total of 10 casinos, seven professional sports venues, and three racetracks could seek betting licenses if they are willing to pay the $10 million licensing fees to have sportsbooks available at their location. 

Bill SB0521 limits gambling on college tier-one bets, meaning that all wagers must be concluded before the game starts and must only deal with the final score. There are no prop bets available for in-state universities, and there will not be until at least July 2023, when the bill’s trial run is set to expire.

These sportsbooks are not limited to sports teams based in the United States, as Illinois-based operations are currently offering bets on the European Championships, an international soccer tournament involving 24 of the best nations in Europe. Wagers can be made before and during games all the way through the completion of the competition.

Top Casinos in Illinois:  

DraftKings at Casino Queen is a massive hotel-casino that includes a heated pool, fitness center, and an RV park. There are multiple dining options on-site, including a sports bar, steakhouse, buffet, and deli. 

Inside the casino, access to the DraftKings sportsbook allows patrons to gamble on multiple sports, professional and college alike. Slot machines and tables are also featured attractions and provide great fun to those interested in placing a few wagers, whether they are new or experienced.

Par-a-Dice is the second-largest casino in Illinois; located in East Peoria, this mega-yacht casino also offers a 202-room hotel and three dining options, including a steakhouse, bar and grill, and deli.

The backdrop of the Illinois river beautifully covers Par-a-Dice, where visitors can access slot machines and table games. FanDuel’s sportsbook is standard on-site and is also available to use for wagers.

Rivers Casino Des Plaines is another giant casino, located just a few miles from O’Hare International Airport in a northern suburb of Chicago known as Des Plaines. Rivers boasts over 65 table games, an expansive slot floor, and sports gambling at the BetRivers sportsbook.

There is a cocktail lounge called “Lotus” in the center of the casino floor, a coffee shop, and four restaurants in operation. Patio dining is also offered inside the BetRivers sportsbook area, where guests can throw down bets on the best sports on television.

Online Gambling: 

In case in-person gambling is not an option, Illinois allows access to sports betting online throughout state limits. 

BetRivers was the first company to become operational in Illinois and partnered with Rivers Casino Des Plaines to enable online betting on their site. BetRivers is operational in other states throughout the country and is quickly growing with its initiatives and expansion in the gambling industry.

They also offer up to $250 in rewards to new visitors and has a user-friendly interface that is easy to navigate and use, regardless of experience in the world of betting.

DraftKings was the second betting company to enter the market in Illinois and launched its app on August 5, 2020, under the official name DraftKings at Casino Queen Sportsbook. Rather than waiting for the proposed 18-month period, the DraftKings lawyers found a loophole and were able to break into the Illinois gambling scene before the waiting period had ended.

DraftKings offers up to $1,050 in free bonuses and rewards upon sign-up and has been committed to the growth and development of sports gambling in America, making them a fun company to work with. They are always on the front line in mobile wagering, have launched in 12 states thus far, and are still striving to increase the scale and availability of gambling in the country. 

FanDuel became a licensed operator in Illinois during the summer of 2020, like DraftKings, partnering with Par-a-Dice Casino to enter the market. FanDuel has the greatest name recognition and has turned the most profit of all sports gambling companies in America.

They also offers up to $1,000 in rewards and utilizes a function that allows bettors to gamble on in-progress games while streaming the action live. Why not take a look at the online sportsbook list of legal states for betting.

Other Gambling Providers

PointsBet entered the Illinois scene in September of 2020, becoming the fourth company to do so. The Australia-based company inked a deal with Hawthorne Race Course, one of the oldest race tracks in America, to officially gain access to online betting.

The company offers a unique twist to betting, whether on the spread or total, by allowing bettors to predict a specific scoring mark and assigning prizes based on how close the predictions were. This not only raises the potential payout for an accurate premonition but increases the intrigue of the spectacle itself.

William Hill joined Illinois’ online betting scene in the later part of 2020, capitalizing on the full calendar of major sports (football, basketball, baseball) in their first year in Illinois. William Hill is regarded as a classy company that is omnipresent in the betting world and great to frequent.

One of the standout features of William Hill’s mobile app is that it provides real-time updates on major events and the results of bets, providing bettors with the latest news in the sporting world.

Popular Sports to Bet On: 

Professional sports teams available to bet on in Illinois are all based in Chicago and include the Chicago Bears, Chicago Blackhawks, Chicago Bulls, Chicago Cubs, Chicago Fire, and Chicago White Sox.

The sports that receive the most significant interest from bettors are football, golf, and baseball, though football is the clear standout. 

The Chicago Bears just drafted their franchise quarterback, Justin Fields, with the 11th pick in the 2021 NFL Draft, and these numbers could be up even more if the Bears can get the fans to rally behind them and throw down some money in support.

Golf is not exclusive to any state or country, for that matter, but Illinois natives have thrown a lot of money towards predicting the outcomes. Eight Americans are in the top-10 worldwide, and retaining the interest of bettors should be an easy task if this continues.

Over five million people attended the Chicago Cubs’ parade after they won the 2016 World Series, showing the loyalty of Illinois residents to their team. The White Sox are also on top of the American League Central Division, and it is unlikely that baseball bets will slow down any time soon. This BParlay Illinois Sports Betting Guide has included some useful FAQ’s below:

Frequently Asked Questions: 

Is online betting legal in Illinois? 

Yes, licensed sportsbooks have been in operation since 2020 and offer rewards for creating an account. However, potential gamblers must validate their account at an in-person location that offers their sportsbook before they can place online bets.

Can I bet in-state if I am not an Illinois resident? 

There is no requirement for bettors in Illinois to be Illinois residents. As long as they are over the age of 21, inside state lines, and not on a self-exclusion list, any visitors will be allowed.

Where can I bet on sports in Illinois? 

Gamblers can find odds on multiple sportsbooks online, or they may travel to in-person locations at any number of casinos and land-based venues like racetracks and professional stadiums. Different sportsbooks are used at different locations; that information can be found online. This Illinois Sports betting guide has been created to cover queries like this and many others that are unknown to other people.

What sportsbooks are legal in Illinois? 

BetRivers, DraftKings, FanDuel, PointsBet, and William Hill are the major sportsbooks that are operational in Illinois, and Barstool Sportsbook figures to be a player in the future as well.

Is there a tax on sports betting in Illinois? 

Companies are charged a 15% tax of their net profit, or the amount of money left after they have paid the earnings to the winning bettors. Odds and lines are predicated around this tax as a result.

Can I Play Daily Fantasy Sports? 

Yes— a 2020 decision in Dew-Becker v. Wu allowed daily fantasy sports betting, so long as certain mathematical requirements are met to guarantee that the game is still skill-based and not luck-based.

Can I use offshore sportsbooks in Illinois? 

The use of unregulated offshore sportsbooks is illegal in Illinois and many other states. It violates local and federal laws and is thereby subject to penalty through legal action.

Can I use my phone to place bets? 

Yes, as long as your phone is within Illinois’ state boundary. A phone may be used to visit the online site or mobile app, both of which are valid locations to place a wager, as long as it is done with an approved source for sports gambling in Illinois.

Who Regulates Sports Betting in Illinois? 

Sports gambling in Illinois is regulated by the Illinois Gaming Board, composed of five members that are appointed by the Governor and approved by the state senate.

Do I have to go to a casino to bet? 

No; in addition to online availability, betting spots can be found at racetracks and professional sporting venues.

The team hope you have found our Illinois Sports Betting Guide useful.

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