Best Illinois Sports Betting Sites & Sportsbooks in 2022

Legal sports betting in Illinois is live and thriving. There are currently six Illinois sports betting sites to choose from, including some of the best names in the business. Also, as of March 2022, in-person registration ends, meaning online sports betting is about to become a whole lot more accessible.

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Displaying Top Offers in Illinois

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Top Illinois Betting Sites

Despite launching amid a global pandemic, Illinois sports betting is booming. This is partly down to Illinois’ legendary professional sports teams around the Chicago area. The people of Prairie State sure love the Chicago Bears. The NFL team holds the record for the most players to make it to the Hall of Fame and NFL betting sites top option for bookmakers. Let’s not forget NBA betting and the Chicago Bulls, the Chicago Blackhawks, the Chicago White Sox and Chicago Cub fans will thank us for remembering their team!

To place bets on all these favorites and more, any Illinois resident has access to six top Illinois sports betting sites. At the moment, an in-person registration requirement makes signup a little tedious, but this ends on March 5, 2022. Then, signing up for all your favorite IL betting apps will never have been easier! Below are all your current options:

  • BetRivers Illinois Sportsbook
  • DraftKings Sportsbook
  • Barstool Sportsbook
  • Caesars Sportsbook
  • FanDuel Illinois Sportsbook
  • Pointsbet Illinois

Keep reading to discover more about these top IL betting sites and the thriving online gambling industry in general. Plus, we reveal all the best Illinois betting promo codes so you can boost your bankroll from the get-go! Have a read and pick one of the online sportsbooks from our recommendations - you won’t be disappointed!

Is Online Betting Legal in Illinois?

The overturning of PASPA (the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act) in 2018 allowed each state to pass its own sports betting legislation, with Illinois passing a bill that allowed legal sports betting back in June 2019. The ruling legalized both online and in-person betting, but players had to register for an online account in person under rules enforced by the Illinois Gaming Board. The first wager on sport was then taken in March 2020, with Illinois betting sites launching shortly after in June 2020.

However, it was hard for the Illinois sports betting industry to launch as it coincided with the global COVID-19 pandemic. To help, Governor JB Pritzker temporarily waived the in-person registration requirement, which encouraged many people to register for the top Illinois bookmakers and start betting online.

In April 2021, the Governor brought back the in-person obligation with coronavirus vaccines now widely available. But with HB 3136 signed in December 2021, online registration for Illinois betting sites will permanently return on March 5, 2022.

Best Illinois Sports Betting Promotions

Since the industry’s launch, Illinois has turned into a thriving and highly competitive market. To stand a chance against the competition, Illinois betting sites are putting on generous promotions for new and existing players. These offers aim to attract new customers while encouraging loyalty from existing players. Anyone looking for top IL bookmakers should absolutely make the most of these promotions!

The precise set of sports betting bonuses available varies between operators. Here are a few common promotional types you will find at the top Illinois betting sites:

  • Matched Deposit Bonuses: This is where the Illinois betting site will match a portion of your deposit. A 100% match bonus means you can instantly double your funds! Sportsbooks often give matched deposit bonus as welcome bonuses, such as BetRivers Sportsbook's current 100% up to $250 bonus. Top IL bookmakers will also offer promotions like these to existing players as reload bonuses.
  • No Deposit Bonus: Better than a deposit match bonus is a no deposit bonus. As the name suggests, Illinois sports betting apps reward you without requiring you to make a deposit! These bonuses are usually only seen for new players, thanking them for registering with online sportsbooks.
  • Risk-Free Bets: Risk-free bets are like insurance on your wager. Place a bet that wins, and you don’t receive a bonus (just your usual payout). But if it loses, you’ll get the entire value of your wager reimbursed. It is a great way to place riskier wagers that could be particularly profitable knowing that the IL betting site has you covered.
  • First Bet Match Bonus: Some Illinois bookmakers will match your first bet rather than your first deposit, which is known as a first bet match bonus. For example, you could wager $100 and get a $100 free bet in return. Again, these are exclusively for new players and will always be part of the welcome package.
  • Friend Referral Bonus: Every Illinois sports betting app hopes to grow its customer base. As such, top IL bookmakers often run friend referral offers for current players. These are great, as they can be claimed an unlimited number of times (if you have that many friends!) and keep existing players’ bankrolls ticking over.

Illinois Betting Promo Codes

There are two ways in which you can claim promotions at Illinois betting sites:

  • Automatically: This is where the bonus is applied automatically to your betting account after you qualify for the offer. For example, some deposit match bonuses will be credited automatically once you make a qualifying deposit on the site.
  • Promotional Codes: Some bonuses will only be applied if you enter Illinois betting site promo codes on the cashier screen. You cannot claim the bonus offer without the promotional code, even if you meet the bonus requirements.

IL betting promo codes might sound like more hassle, but they’re super simple to use. Just enter the unique code when you make your deposit on the site. The bookmaker will then validate the code immediately and apply the bonus to your account. And to make sure you don’t miss out, we list all of the best Illinois betting site promo codes below. Click on the links to register for the IL bookmakers and claim your bonus today!

Illinois Free Bets

It is worthwhile talking about one other sportsbook bonus type: the free bet. The top Illinois betting sites will give an Illinois bettor plenty of opportunities to win free bets. For example:

  • Depositing a specific value or higher
  • Spending a certain amount within a designated timeframe
  • If you wager on a particular event

Like real money bets, if your free bet wins, you receive a payout. The value of the payout will depend on the odds of the wager you placed. The only thing to remember is that you don’t get the stake back with these bets (it was technically the IL bookmakers' stake), so the site gets to keep this. You are able to choose any number of regular or prop bets with these free bets. These promotions are great and can give your bankroll that boost it deserves.

Sports Betting Apps Available in Illinois

When talking about online sports betting in Illinois, we don’t just mean through the browser on your desktop or mobile. All the best Illinois betting sites have downloadable mobile apps often with great welcome betting offers for downloading. If there is space on your device, we always recommend downloading the IL sports betting app. That way, you can be placing wagers within seconds rather than navigating to the site and entering your login details each time.

Illinois sports betting apps are also designed to work on mobile, so they function effortlessly. From an intuitive layout to larger text and reduced graphics, online gambling on the go has never been easier. But if there is no storage space on your device or you simply don’t want to download an app, don’t despair! All the top Illinois betting sites are built using HTML5 technology, meaning they’re responsive and adapt to any screen size. Regardless of whether you have an iPhone, Android or Windows Phone device, you’ll still have access to it all.

Illinois Online Betting Payment Methods

  • Every Illinois betting site has its own set of accepted payment methods for deposits and withdrawals. However, the top IL bookmakers offer plenty of banking options for each and every Illinois resident of age, so there’s bound to be something that suits. Here is a look at some of the more common Illinois betting payment methods available:
  • ACH Payments: ACH payments offer a convenient way of funding IL betting apps, and bettors love the familiarity of the process. They also boast speedy deposit and withdrawal times. However, some banks won’t be accepted by your sportsbook, so this option might not be available for everyone.
  • Cash: There are two options if you want to pay with cash. Either you can head to the land-based bookmakers or pay using PayNearMe points located at 7-Eleven stores. Many people like cash as you don’t need to share personal information online. Plus, cash withdrawals from the retail Illinois bookmakers are instant.
  • Debit/Credit Cards: You can fund your Illinois sports betting app using credit and debit cards. They’re easy to use and don’t rely on any third parties. But some credit card companies will reject gambling deposits, and your bank may charge a fee for processing the transaction.
  • PayPal: PayPal is the world’s most popular e-wallet and is available for deposits and withdrawals at top Illinois betting sites. Its main perk is convenience - simply log in to your PayPal account and manage all your transactions from here. It is also one of the safest options, besides processing withdrawals at great speed.
  • PayNearMe: Pre-paid cards are a great deposit option, especially if you’re on a tight gambling budget. You can buy a card with a special code and top it up with money at 7-Eleven and other major convenience stores. After loading money onto the card, you can only spend this amount, nothing more. They’re also great for security-conscious players as you won’t need to share banking information directly with the Illinois betting sites.

What Sports Can I Bet on in Illinois?

Illinois sports betting laws allow sites to offer incredible sports coverage, which is excellent news for players. There are bound to be plenty of events you are interested in. US leagues are well covered, so there will be some exciting wagers on the Chicago Bears, who last went to the Super Bowl in the 2006 season, and other state favorites. Bettors can also partake in horse racing betting with FanDuel Sportsbook at Hawthorne Race Course. But the top Illinois betting sites offer thrilling bets on events further afield as well, including several international leagues. Just some of the sports available at Illinois bookmakers include:

  • NFL
  • NBA
  • MLB
  • NHL
  • Soccer
  • Golf
  • NASCAR
  • MMA
  • Tennis
  • Cricket
  • Boxing
  • Horse racing

Collegiate sports are also available in Illinois, but you cannot bet on any in-state teams. Ultimately, if the event is happening inside IL, you cannot place a bet on it. However, if the event is happening anywhere else in the US, it is legal. This will be changing on March 5, 2022, and players can bet on Illinois college teams. Bear in mind that there is an in-person stipulation and you will not be able to place these wagers via Illinois betting apps.

How to Sign Up at an Illinois Betting Site

Under the current legislation, you can only register for Illinois betting sites in person. To do so, you have to visit the land-based partner of the sportsbook you’d like to join. Make sure you bring a photographic ID with you to prove you are of legal gambling age. You’ll have to provide other personal information, and the friendly staff will get your online account all set up.

However, if you don’t live anywhere near a land-based venue, don’t worry; the in-person registration requirement is set to end soon! As of March 5, 2022, you can register for all Illinois bookmakers online. To do so, follow these simple steps:

  1. Browse the many Illinois betting options at Bookmakers and head to your chosen Illinois betting site via the handy link on our website.
  2. Click on the “Signup” button (usually located in the top corner of the screen) and fill in the registration form. Illinois bookmakers will require your name, email, address, date of birth and telephone number.
  3. Verify your IL betting site account by providing a photographic ID and a utility bill. The precise methods will vary between sites, so check with each for more information. You’ll be notified once the sportsbook has successfully verified your account.
  4. You can then head to the cashier screen to make your first deposit using your preferred Illinois betting payment method. Make sure you deposit enough to qualify for the welcome bonus and enter the IL betting promo codes if required.
  5. You’re now good to go and bet on your favorite teams and sports such as MLB betting's Chicago White Sox! You should have funds in your account and can now place any bets you wish. Have a browse through the available markets and see what sparks your interest.

Casinos in Illinois

Many avid sports betting fans are also keen to play at online casinos. Sadly, Illinois has not yet legalized online casino sites. There is pending legislation, but if the bills are passed, it will likely not be in 2022. For now, you’ll have to head to brick-and-mortar casino properties to try your luck at slots and table games.

Responsible Gambling

We are all for online sports betting! It is entertaining, enjoyable and can be extremely rewarding. But before you sign up for any Illinois betting sites, you need to understand the concept of responsible gambling. It can help you stay in control of your finances and prevent gambling from taking over other areas of your life. It is also crucial in stopping players from developing gambling problems.

All the best IL betting sites offer resources on responsible gambling to players, including links to support groups and online tools to help limit your spending. Always check these out before you get started. Here are a few of our tips to help you keep the enjoyment in sports betting:

  • Never bet more than you can afford to lose.
  • Never borrow money for gambling.
  • Avoid using credit cards to fund your account.
  • Place smaller wagers at IL bookmakers to spread your losses.
  • Set yourself a limit on both time and money.
  • Always make time for other hobbies and activities.

If you do think you have a gambling problem, you can contact the Illinois Gaming Board (IGB) by calling 1-877-YOU-QUIT or get more information on its website. The IGB has also developed a site full of help and support about problem gambling called We Know The Feeling. You can call the organization on 1-800-GAMBLER or text ILGAMB to 53342. Both of these services are available 24/7.

Frequently Asked Questions
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Adam has worked in online betting for pretty much his entire adult life. Having spent over a decade working for some of the biggest online bookmakers in their operations and content teams, Adam is now Content Manager at Bookmakers.com. NFL and fantasy NFL are Adam's main focus, but there's always room for some golf, horse racing and soccer, particularly soccer card markets.