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Illinois Sports Betting Guide 2022 – BestAppBet

The wait is finally over and sports betting is now legal in Illinois. If you live in the state, or even just came for a visit, you can go to a brick and mortar sportsbook and place your bets in person. Or better yet, go online and sign up to one of the state-licenced sportsbooks. Place your bets and dive into the excitement and action of sports betting. The best sportsbook operators in the country are now offering online and mobile betting – also in Illinois.

So if you are over 21 and anywhere in the state you can download an Illinois sports betting app and install it on your mobile device. This way you are never far away from the action. As long as you are in the Lincoln State, you can place your bets and check your wins 24/7 from anywhere.

Our betting experts at wrote this complete guide to Illinois sports betting. It covers legality of betting in the state, reviews of the best bookies and how to bet online. We also find for you the best free bets and bonuses. So read our guide for everything you need to know about sports betting in Illinois.

We constantly update our site with news, bonuses and promotions. Bookmark this page and visit us regularly, so you never miss on the best Illinois sports gambling offers.   

Illinois State Seal

Illinois Legal Sports Betting   In June 2019, Illinois Governor J.B. Pritzker signed into law Bill S 690 which allows Illinois sports betting to be offered on riverboat casinos, horse race tracks and sports venues. And so, on March 9, 2020 Rivers Casino Des Plains took the first legal slots wager in the state.

Online Sports Betting in Illinois

Illinois online sports betting went live shortly thereafter, with BetRivers becoming the first online sportsbook to lunch in Illinois on June 18, 2020. Currently, there are five online betting apps and websites available in the Lincoln State:

  • BetRivers
  • FanDuel Sportsbook
  • PointsBet
  • DraftKings Sportsbook
  • William Hill
DraftKings Logo

DraftKings Sportsbook

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FanDuel Logo

FanDual Sportsbook

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BetMGM Casino Logo

BetMGM Sportsbook

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In-Person Registration

Although the law permits anyone over 21 that is based in Illinois to place bets, the original law requires you to register your account in person. Meaning, that you need to travel to the casino or race track associated with the online sportsbook you are looking to sign up for. However in response to the coronavirus pandemic, Gov. Pritzker issued an executive order that suspended the in-person registration requirement. Currently, Illinois sports betting punters can open an account online from anywhere in the state. This can end however on September 19 unless the governor extends the remote-registration order.  

18-Month Head Start to Illinois Operators

The Illinois legal gambling bill gave an 18-month grace period for the state’s land-based casinos and their associated partners. During 2021, the first three online-only sportsbook licences will become available for online operators that don’t have brick and mortar presence in the state.   

it’s safe and secure!

So if you are looking to join the excitement of sports betting online in Illinois, pick the best sports-betting app for you, download, install and join the exciting world of mobile sports betting. And with risk-free bets and bonuses you have nothing to lose.  But you do have a chance to win big!! it’s safe, and secure!

Illinois Current Online Sports Betting Operators

DraftKings Sportsbook & Casino Queen

Daily Fantasy Sports giant DraftKings broadened its scope beyond DFS a long time ago, to become one of the leading sportsbook operators in the country with both land-based and online presence in many states. It partnered with Casino Queen in East St. Louis and operates under its licence. 

FanDuel Sportsbook & Par-A-Dice Casino

Par-A-Dice Casino is located on the Illinois River off Route 150 in East Peoria. It partnered with the country’s second DFS Giant that turned to a sportsbook operator. FanDuel which also offers some of the top sportsbook websites and apps in the US. Initially it was unclear on when these two partners will launch their Illinois online sportsbook. But the suspension of the in-person registration requirement pushed the launch ahead.

PointsBet & Hawthorne Race Course

Based in Stickney near Chicago, Hawthorne Race Course opened in 1891 and is the oldest, continually family-owned and operated racetrack in North America. It went into a partnership with Australian bookie PointsBet which became famous for its unique points-betting system (which is based on spread betting). Since then, PointsBet became one of the prominent online sports-betting brands in New Jersey, Pennsylvania and more regulated states. 


BetRivers is a famous brand across many US states and is known to be pioneer and early entrant into states as soon as online gambling is legalized. It was therefore no surprise that BetRivers was the first sportsbook to open its virtual doors as soon as Illinois legalized sports betting. Operated by Rush Street Interactive that is part of Chicago-based Rush Street Gaming, BetRivers online sportsbook operates under the licence of affiliated brick and mortar Bet Rivers Casino Des Plains, which is located near Chicago.

William Hill & Grand Victoria Casino

William Hill is one of the biggest retail and online sportsbook operators in Europe. Initially founded in the UK, it was recently bought by Caesars Entertainment and is now spearheading Caesars’ online sports-betting expansion in the US. William Hill operates under the licence of Grand Victoria Casino in Elgin, which is a riverboat casino also owned and operated by Caesars.

Illinois Gambling History

For long, gambling has been part of Illinois history and culture. Throughout the years, Illinois state legislators were quick to realize the benefits and profits of Illinois legal gambling. To capitalize of those benefits, the state has pioneered gambling legislation in several occasions.

The first known gambling activities in Illinois date back to the 1800s, where numerous casino riverboats attracted gamblers from the state and beyond. Even though Illinois gambling was still illegal then, it became widely popular in many social circles. Having gambled themselves and seeing the potential profits to public funding, state politicians were quick to propose gambling legislation in several occasions.

In 1927 the Illinois General Assembly legalized pari-mutuel horse racing. This was part of the fast-growing industry of tourism and revenue streams around race courses. Notably, in tracks like Arlington Park, which is now owned by Churchill Downs Incorporated. Horse racing and horse race betting still remains hugely popular in Illinois. Currently the Illinois Racing Board regulates horse racing at the state’s three racetracks.

Fast forward nearly half a century, when Illinois became the first state to legislate a state lottery in 1974. In 2019, the Illinois State Lottery generated approximately $3 billion in revenues. From this total, $2 billion was paid in prizes and $18.5 million was paid to the Capital Projects Fund. Illinois State Lottery also paid that year $731.2 to the Common School Fund.

Another milestone for Illinois legal gambling was the Riverboat Gambling Act of 1990. With the state-licenced first riverboat casino opening in 1991 in Alton. In 1999 riverboats were allowed to dock permanently in Illinois, until then they were required to move along waterways while offering gambling. Today, nineteen licenced casinos operate throughout the state.

The state’s Video Gaming Act that was signed into law in 2009 further expanded gambling in Illinois by allowing Video Gaming Terminals (VGTs) to operate in over 6,200 locations across the state.

June 2019 saw a new era in Illinois gambling history, where the state joined a group of pioneer states that legalized sports betting in both land-based casinos and sports venues, and online via websites and mobile sports betting apps. On March 2020 the first sports bet was taken in a brick and mortar casino, followed by the first online wager taken online in August 2020.

Illinois Legal Betting Options

Anyone who is over 21 years of age, present within state lines and not on the gambler self-exclusion list can place a bet in Illinois. You do not have to be a state resident in order to enjoy legal sports betting in the state. Betting can only be placed on sports events, but not on non-sporting events or competitions (for example betting on the elections is not allowed). People involved with sports such as athletes, coaches and staff cannot bet on their own sports. And it is prohibited to bet on any high-school sports, or in-state collegiate teams. 

Popular Betting Markets in Illinois

With approximately 12.6 million people, Illinois is the sixth most-populated state in the US. It has several major sports franchises that are popular by fans in the state, across the country and around the world. It seems as if the state has a representative team in every major US league, so whether you are for or against the Illinois teams, there is always great sports-betting action coming from the Lincoln State.

NBA Betting in Illinois

Chicago Bulls is probably the most famous basketball team in the world, and with it of course the greatest athlete the game has ever seen – Michael Jordan who led the Bulls to six NBA titles in his 13 years with the team. But the ‘Last Dance’ was back in the ‘90s, and since then the Bulls only made it once past the conference semifinals.

NFL Betting in Illinois

The state’s NFL team Chicago Bears made it to the playoffs only one time in the past decade. It appeared twice in the Super Bowl and won it once in 1985 under legendary coach Mike Ditka. Not that much for a team that has been playing for 101 season (since 1920), but for football bettors and fans in Illinois, it’s always going to be Da Bears.

MLB Betting in Illinois

Many sports betting punters in Illinois will either love or hate the Chicago Cubs, but even those who hate the Cubs, respect them after breaking the record 108-year championship drought and winning the 2016 World Series. On the other side of town are the Chicago White Sox that came into attention after winning their first World Series in 88 years in 2005. So sports betting enthusiast in Illinois have a lot of baseball to bet on.

NHL Betting in Illinois

Winning three Stanley Cups in the last 11 years, the Chicago Blackhawks are one of the most successful sports teams in Illinois right now. Although they haven’t made it to the playoffs in the last three seasons, Illinois fans and sports bettors have a lot of high hopes for hockey in the state.

More Betting Markets in Illinois

In addition to major American sports, there is a huge selection of local and international markets to bet on. From minor league baseball to NCAA football and basketball, motorsports, tennis, golf, MLS and international soccer, and even Rugby and Aussie Rules. There are many more sports and leagues, so the list goes on and on. If you are in Illinois and looking to place your bets, read our reviews and go to one of our recommended sports books and check the markets you would like to wager on.

Illinois Fantasy Sports

Unlike casino and sports betting, the legality of Daily Fantasy Sports (DFS) in Illinois isn’t clear cut. The state has been trying to regulate DFS since 2015, including trying to make it part of the sports betting legislation in 2015. However there was no success and since Illinois former Attorney General Lisa Madigan concluded that DFS constitutes illegal gambling under state law, DFS is considered in the grey area. However in April 2020, the Illinois Supreme Court ruled that some forms of DFS are based on skill and are therefore not considered illegal gambling. To date, the top DFS operators like DraftKings, FanDuel and Yahoo! are still active in Illinois. 


Illinois Horse Race Betting

Illinois has a long history of horse racing and horserace betting. Currently three race tracks operate in the state: Arlington International Racecourse. Fairmount Park and Hawthorne Race Course. With Hawthorne’s claim to fame (or shame) being gangster Al Capone often attending races in the 1920s and ‘30s. Pari-mutual betting was legalized in Illinois in 1927 and there are many licenced betting facilities in the state, both on and off track. Illinois also lets residents and visitors to bet on horse races online through licenced sites such as BetAmerica, TVG and TwinSpires.

Gamble Responsibly

The exciting and fun world of sports betting is now legal and available to anyone in Illinois that is over 21. But keep in mind that fun and excitement is what it’s all about, and sports betting is a form of gambling that should never be seen as a safe way to earn money. Set budgets and timelines, and keep a close eye on your bankroll. If you are losing too much take a break and seek help if things are getting out of control. Always gamble responsibly, so you can keep coming back for more exciting Illinois sports betting.

Illinois Betting FAQs

Yes it is. Since 2019 sports betting became legal in Illinois. Currently 5 operators are licenced by the state to offer sports betting.

As long as you are using one of the state’s licensed and supervised online sportsbook sites or apps, it is safe. However beware of illegal offshore sites that may be a scam. We only recommend on sites that are licenced by the state and fully legal.

Simply go to the app store or the sportsbook’s website to download and install the app. While at it, don’t forget to claim one of the generous bonuses offered to BestAppBet visitors.

At the moment online casino is not legal in Illinois. However you can go and visit one of the state’s fantastic 19 brick and mortar casinos.

Illinois sports betting apps offer a variety of safe and easy online banking methods that let you deposit funds and withdraw winnings. These include credit and debit cards, cash at the casino cage, e-Wallets like Neteller and PayPal, pre-paid cards and more.

No you don’t. As long as you are over 21 and within state borders, you can legally use Illinois online sports betting sites and apps. This includes state residents and visitors as well.

DraftKings Logo


Daily fantasy sports giant DraftKings gaining momentum as one of biggest sportsbooks in America.  DraftKings Sportsbook is one live and legal in New Jersey, Pennsylvania and many more states, now also live in West Virginia with DraftKings live sportsbook, as well as mobile sports-betting app.  Open an account now with DraftKings state-of-the-art sportsbook and you can get a free bonus just for signing up.

FanDuel Logo


FanDuel, the biggest fantasy-sports operator in the world launched its sportsbook in 2018, and has since been busy becoming one of the country’s most successful sports-betting operators.  Following great success in New Jersey, Pennsylvania and more states, FanDuel is now also legal and live in West Virginia, offering a great website and even greater mobile app that lets you gamble online safely and legally from anywhere in the state.  

BetMGM Casino Logo


Entertainment and gambling powerhouse MGM International extends the excitement of its legendary land-based casinos, enabling you to now place your bets and play on its sportsbook brand BetMGM via their website or mobile app.  After a roaring success in New Jersey, BetMGM is now available in Indiana, West Virginia and soon in Colorado.  It is safe and legal to play from anywhere in West Virginia, so join the BetMGM sportsbook excitement. 


Sports betting has always been an exciting way for fans to buy into the sport, in a way participate and add another dimension of thrill and excitement to the competition, match or any sporting event. With the evolution of remote betting first to phone, and later on to online betting, remote sports-betting not only became available to a wider audience, but also added a whole new level of excitement and magic to sports betting. Today’s mobile sports betting apps, which are readily available on both Android and Apple, are on the front line of technology, and alongside an exceptional slick and user friendly interface, opens to sports betting punters an entire universe of sports events, odds, games and features such as live streaming and in-play betting. Are you into NFL? Are you an NBA fan? Maybe your thing is baseball so you would like to bet on MLB? Or perhaps you are into world sports and want some European Premier Soccer betting? The mobile sports betting apps bring all of this amazing action to your mobile device, so you can bet on what you want, from wherever you are, at any time you choose to.


Are you a casino player? Did you always love casino, the atmosphere, the thrill and excitement, and most importantly the dream and sometimes reality of big winnings? You no longer need to wait for your next trip to Vegas, or wherever it is you are planning to go to a casino. Mobile and remote casino gambling has now entered to US, and it is here to stay. Already live in New Jersey, and closely followed by other states, Americans can now join the fun, download a casino mobile app from one of the top, legal and certified US casinos, and have all the magic of casino from their mobile device. Are you a BlackJack player? Or maybe you are into Roulette? Maybe Baccarat or Craps are your game, or are you a fan of slots? Whichever game is for you, you will find it on the mobile casino apps that are now becoming legal and regulated across states, and enable you to have your own private casino on your mobile device. It is legal, it is exciting, and it is magic.


For many, slot machines are the most thrilling part of the casino. The lights, animation, sounds and action take you into another dream world, where you can win huge prizes, jackpots, bonus rounds and what not. The Mobile slot apps that are now available in the US provide the world’s premier slots, all made regulated and fully compliant with the US regulations and laws. So you can safely and securely download the slots mobile app to your mobile device (where it is legal to do so), and have the most amazing slot game experience coming to life on your mobile phone. Are you into progressive slots where you get a chance at winning an amazing jackpot, or perhaps you are into an animated video slot that has branded content with your favourite movie, TV or music stars? All of these amazing titles are just a swipe away, all available on your mobile phone by downloading the mobile slot game app.     


A lot has changed since the first games of poker were played along the Mississippi River in the 1800s, with Poker becoming a worldwide phenomenon, crossing the boundaries of a card game and considered by many a sport, with tournaments, leagues and champions. Being a game with friends or a professional tournament, the online revolution turned poker to be a game that is played and followed by billions all over the world. And then the latest stage of the poker uprising which is the mobile poker apps, which enable you to access any kind of level, tournament and game from your mobile phone, no matter where you are in the world, and what time it is, you can join in the poker fun and excitement and play against other poker enthusiasts like you around the globe. Poker is now coming home again, and becoming legal to play remotely state after state in the USA also. So now Americans can already download a safe and legal mobile.