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Illinois Sports Betting

Joey Shadeck

Are you an Illinois resident who wants to bet on the Chicago Bears, Chicago Blackhawks, Chicago Cubs, or Chicago White Sox winning their next game? If so, you will need an online sports betting account.

Using a sports betting app, also known as an online sportsbook, is required to place bets. Residents of the Prairie State can bet on sports at brick-and-mortar casinos, or on their mobile phones or computers.

This guide will break down the best Illinois sports betting sites by comparing the total number of sports and bets offered, odds, live betting features, mobile apps, educational resources, ease of use, as well as current bonuses and promotions.

Best Online Sports Betting Apps in Illinois 2021

  • DraftKings Sportsbook – Best Overall for Beginners
  • FanDuel – Best Mobile App
  • PointsBet - Best New Bet Type
  • BetRivers – Best Live Betting
  • William Hill – Good Odds
fetchBrokerByName("draftkings-sportsbook"); ?> DraftKings Sportsbook

Best Overall for Beginners
5stars
DraftKings is the complete package for both new and experienced sports bettors and daily fantasy sports players. While the live betting, education, and mobile app are all great, I found the unique bets and pre-game statistics DraftKings offers to be the best in Illinois. Read full review

fetchBrokerByName("fanduelsportsbook"); ?> FanDuel Sportsbook

Best Mobile App
5stars
Like its closest competitors, FanDuel is one of the most well-rounded sports betting options available. The high-quality live betting, bets offered, and the odds are worth emphasizing for both new and experienced bettors. FanDuel is also one of two sportsbooks available that offers daily fantasy sports. Read full review

fetchBrokerByName("pointsbet"); ?> PointsBet

Best New Bet Type
4.5stars
PointsBet brings a new style of betting to the United States, and frankly, I'm a huge fan. PointsBetting is unique and fun enough to justify opening an account with PointsBet, regardless of whether you have other sports betting accounts. While some sportsbook functions, such as live betting, can be improved, PointsBet offers good odds and an excellent palate of bets to choose from. Read full review

fetchBrokerByName("betrivers"); ?> BetRivers

Best Live Betting
4.5stars
BetRivers is an excellent sports betting option for residents of Illinois. I enjoyed the wide variety of bets, easy to use mobile app, and great live betting experience, which focuses on streaming games and offering real-time bets. That said, the odds are just average. Read full review

fetchBrokerByName("williamhill"); ?> WilliamHill

Good Odds
3.5stars
William Hill offers competitive odds for various sports while offering all standard sports and bets on an easy to use mobile app. Bettors seeking daily odds boosts or a wider variety of bet types will want to consider other sportsbooks. Read full review


Best Betting Odds in Illinois

To determine which Illinois sports betting sites offer the best odds, I recorded and analyzed data from hundreds of games for spread, moneyline, and total bets. The sportsbooks that provide the best odds for each sport are listed below.

Feature DraftKings Sportsbook FanDuel Sportsbook PointsBet BetRivers Sportsbook William Hill
NFL Moneyline Best Best Average Below Average Above Average
NFL Spread Below Average Average Above Average Below Average Average
NBA Moneyline Above Average Worst Average Average Best
NBA Spread Below Average Average Above Average Below Average Average
MLB Moneyline Average Average Worst Average Average
MLB Spread Average Above Average Average Best Best
NHL Moneyline Best Worst Above Average Below Average Above Average
NHL Spread Below average Above Average Above Average Below Average Best
Soccer Moneyline Above Average Above Average Worst Best Above Average
NCAAF Moneyline Worst Below Average Above Average Best Below Average
NCAAF Spread Below Average Average Average Below Average Average



Deposit Options

Here is a comparison of deposit options amongst top Illinois sports betting apps.

Feature DraftKings Sportsbook FanDuel Sportsbook PointsBet BetRivers Sportsbook William Hill
Minimum Deposit $5 $10 $5 $10 $5
Total Deposit Methods 8 7 6 8 5
No Debit/Credit Card Deposit Fees Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Deposit Min/Max - Debit/Credit Card $5/$2,000 $10/Varies $5/Varies $10/Varies $20/$1,000
PayPal Yes Yes No No Yes
Deposit Min/Max - PayPal $5/$2,000 $10/Varies $10/Varies N/A $5



Withdrawal Options

Here is a comparison of withdrawal options amongst top Illinois sports betting apps.

Feature DraftKings Sportsbook FanDuel Sportsbook PointsBet BetRivers Sportsbook William Hill
Minimum Withdrawal $1 - $15 None Listed None Listed $10 $20
Total Withdrawal Methods 4 5 6 4 6
No Withdrawal Fees - Check Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Check Payout Speed is < 10 days Yes Yes Yes Yes No
Withdrawal Min/Max - Check $5/Varies $10/Varies $5/Varies $10/Varies N/A
Withdrawal Min/Max - PayPal $5/Varies $10/Varies $10/Varies N/A $20




Illinois Sports Betting Timeline

Here is a short timeline of how Illinois sports betting became a reality:

  • 2018 - Five bills surrounding sports betting were introduced in Illinois Congress. Not much progress was made on any particular bill in 2018.
  • 2019 - After many provisions in Illinois Congress, Senate Bill 690 was passed on June 2nd, with Governor Pritzker signing the bill shortly afterward. The bill legalized sports betting at Illinois casinos, online sports betting apps and websites, and Illinois professional sports stadiums. The bill also required residents to register for online sports betting accounts at casinos, instead of online, for 18 months. The purpose of this in-person registration was to give the in-state operators a head start over companies like DraftKings and FanDuel.
  • 2020 - Governor Pritzker lifted the in-person signup restriction in May at the apex of the COVID-19 pandemic. Pritzker then reinstated the restriction in June, only to remove it again just before the start of the 2020 NFL season. As of December 2020, there are five online sportsbooks available in Illinois.

Best Illinois Sportsbooks Summary

Below is a summary of the best online sportsbooks currently available in Illinois.

Feature DraftKings Sportsbook FanDuel Sportsbook PointsBet BetRivers Sportsbook William Hill
Overall 5 5 4.5 4.5 4
Sports & Bets Offered 5 4.5 0
Odds 3.5 4 4.5 3 5
Banking Options and Fees 4.5 4.5 4 4.5 3.5
Live Betting 5 5 3 5 3.5
Mobile Betting 5 4.5 4 4.5 4
Education 4 3.5 4 3.5 3.5
Bonuses & Promotions 0 0


DraftKings Sportsbook 5stars

DraftKings

DraftKings is the complete package for both new and experienced sports bettors and daily fantasy sports players. While the live betting, education, and mobile app are all great, I found the unique bets and pre-game statistics DraftKings offers to be the best in the state. Read full review

Minimum Deposit: $5

Who Choose DraftKings Sportsbook:


  • Great for beginners. Sports betting beginners will benefit from the education provided by DraftKings. Educational videos and articles explain how to bet and what different bet types are available. Sport-specific guides are also available, explaining common strategies for having the best chances of success.
  • Unique bets and contests. The variety of sports and bets offered, the outstanding education and statistics, and the excellent live betting experience combines to make DraftKings one heck of a sportsbook. I also found DraftKings to offer one of the largest selections of unique bet types and contests.
  • Bonuses: Promotions change throughout the year, but typically DraftKings offers risk-free bets up to $1,000 for new bettors, deposit matches, or other various offers depending on the time of year. Keep in mind there are typically rollover requirements attached to each bonus.

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FanDuel 5stars

FanDuel

Like its closest competitors, FanDuel is one of the most well-rounded sports betting options available. The high-quality live betting, bets offered, and the odds are worth emphasizing for both new and experienced bettors. FanDuel is also one of two sportsbooks available that offer daily fantasy sports. Read full review

Minimum Deposit: $10

Why Choose FanDuel Sportsbook:


  • Excellent mobile app. Focused on usability, I found the FanDuel Sportsbook app to be one the easiest to use and best designed apps overall.
  • Great for bettors. The high-quality of live betting, bets offered, and the odds are all worth emphasizing for both new and experienced bettors. I was left impressed.
  • Bonuses: Promotions change throughout the year, but typically FanDuel offers a risk-free bet up to $1,000, as well as several other smaller seasonal offerings. Keep in mind there are typically rollover requirements attached to each bonus.

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PointsBet4.5stars

PointsBet

PointsBet brings a new style of betting to the United States, and frankly, I'm a huge fan. PointsBetting is unique and fun enough to justify opening an account with PointsBet, regardless of whether you have other sports betting accounts. While some sportsbook functions, such as live betting, can be improved, PointsBet offers good odds and an excellent palate of bets to choose from. Read full review

Minimum Deposit: $5

Why Choose PointsBet:


  • You’re interested in PointsBetting. PointsBetting takes a spread, total, or prop bet and makes it a variable bet until the end of the game. The idea is, the more correct a bettor is, the more they win, and vice versa.
    For example, let's say you bet $10 on the Dallas Cowboys (-3) against the Jacksonville Jaguars (+3). If Dallas wins 24-20, you covered the spread and won by one point. For this example, you multiply your $10 wager by one, for a total win of $10. If Dallas wins 26-20, you covered the spread and won by three points. For this example, you multiply your $10 wager by three, for a total win of $30. If Dallas loses 17-20, you lost the spread by six points (the three Jacksonville won by plus the three Dallas was favored). For this example, you multiply your $10 wager by six, for a total loss of $60.
  • Bonuses: Typically, PointsBet offers two risk-free bets up to $500 on the first fixed odds bet and PointsBetting Bet, as well as various seasonal promotions. Keep in mind there are typically rollover requirements attached to each bonus.

BetRivers 4.5stars

BetRivers

BetRivers is an excellent sports betting option for residents of Pennsylvania. Although the odds are just average, I enjoyed the wide variety of bets, easy to use mobile app, and great live betting experience, which focuses on streaming games and offering real-time bets. Read full review

Minimum Deposit: $10

Why Choose BetRivers Sportsbook:


  • Terrific for live betting. BetRivers is one of a few sportsbooks to offer live streaming of sports games in-app. Live streaming is currently limited to tennis and soccer but has the potential to expand. BetRivers also provides a wide range of bets, in addition to instant bets (e.g., each point of a tennis match). I see instant bets becoming more popular in the years to come. For example, imagine being able to bet on key plays of a Steelers game.
  • Low-rollover bonus. The 100% deposit match promotion with a 1X rollover is the best bonus I have seen in Pennsylvania for 2020 thus far. If you are new to sports betting, a 1X rollover is a perfect way to dip your feet in the water while receiving a bonus.
  • Bonuses: Promotions change throughout the year, but typically BetRivers offers a 100% first deposit match up to $250. This bonus is unique because it only has a 1X rollover, where typical rollovers range from 3X – 10X.

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William Hill 3.5stars

William Hill


William Hill offers competitive odds for various sports while offering all standard sports and bets on an easy to use mobile app. Bettors seeking daily odds boosts or a wider variety of bet types will want to consider other sportsbooks. Read full review

Minimum Deposit: $5

Why Choose William Hill?


  • Good for spread bettors. For 2019 – 2020, William Hill offered the #1 odds on MLB spread bets, the #1 odds on NHL spread bets; the #2 odds on NBA moneyline bets, the #5 odds on soccer moneyline bets, and the #5 odds on NFL moneyline bets. For testing, data from 21 different sportsbooks was collected.
  • Simplicity. William Hill doesn’t offer any unique bet types or features compared to other sportsbooks such as DraftKings, PointsBet, and FanDuel.
  • Bonuses: Promotions change throughout the year, but typically William Hill offers risk-free bets up to $500 for new bettors. Keep in mind there are typically rollover requirements attached to each bonus.

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What Illinois Casinos Offer in Person Sports Betting?

Residents of Illinois can bet on sports in-person at the following casinos.


How do I bet online in Illinois?

  1. 1. Create an account. Every online sportsbook has an online website as well as a mobile app. To create an account on the app or website, you will need your name, address, phone number, and email address. Some sportsbooks might ask for more information such as social security number; which is normal.
  2. 2. Fund the account. Deposit money into your newly created account. In Illinois, standard banking methods include credit/debit cards, PayPal, ACH (e-check), Bank Transfers, Play+ Cards, and PayNearMe.
  3. 3. Add your bet(s) to the betslip. To do this, click on the bet that you want to place.
  4. 4. Select the wager amount. Enter the amount of money you want to wager. The bet slip will display your total wager and potential payout. Keep in mind, the potential payout includes the money that you are wagering. For example, in the screenshot below, you are betting $10 to win $8.80. Thus, the potential payout is $18.80 (total wager $10 + potential winnings $8.80).
  5. 5. Finalize the bet. Place your bet and set an alarm for game time!

  6. Gallery



    What types of gambling are legal in Illinois?

    Illinois has a large selection of online gaming products to choose from. Here are the forms of gambling legal in Illinois:

    • Online sports betting - Legal (launch - May of 2020)
    • Online horse betting - Legal
    • Daily fantasy sports - Legal
    • iGaming (online slots) - Not Legal
    • Online poker - Not Legal
    • Online lottery - Legal
    • Offshore sportsbooks - Not Legal

    Sports betting at stadiums: Illinois has one of the most unique sports betting laws in the country. One of the more interesting provisions of Illinois sports wagering is the sports facilities' ability to offer betting.

    Stadiums such as Wrigley Field and Soldier Field can apply for a master sports wagering license. A master license grants stadiums access to offer sports betting in-house or within a five-block radius of the facility. It is unclear whether this type of sports betting would be done by a betting kiosk, mobile app, or another medium. Licenses cost 5% of gross gaming revenue, up to a maximum of $10 million in four years. At the time of publication, no stadiums have applied yet for a masters license.

    Sports betting at racetracks: Illinois racetracks will be able to add slot machines and table games to their facilities, in addition to sports betting.

    New casinos: The Illinois sports betting bill also cleared the way for six new casinos throughout the state. These casinos will be located in Chicago, Danville, Rockford, Waukegan, and Williamson.

    Popular Illinois Sports Teams

    Illinois is fortunate enough to have eight professional sports teams. Residents of Illinois can bet on all professional teams, which includes the following:


    What sports leagues can I bet on in Illinois?

    Illinois sports wagering laws prohibit betting on games with Illinois schools involved, meaning you will not be able to bet on Illinois college teams such as Northwestern. Aside from that, almost all domestic and international leagues are available to bet on with Illinois sportsbooks:

    • Football - NFL, NCAA, CFL
    • Basketball - NBA, NCAA, WNBA, International Leagues
    • Soccer - English Premier League, MLS, International Leagues
    • Baseball - MLB + International Leagues
    • Hockey - NHL + International Leagues
    • Golf - PGA Tour, LPGA Tour, International Leagues
    • Tennis - All Major U.S. Tournaments + International Matches
    • Other Sports - UFC/MMA, Motor Sports, Boxing, Cricket, etc.

    How to Read Odds

    Odds represent the likelihood of an outcome occurring. In sports betting, each team is assigned odds that represent the likelihood of them winning the game. American odds are what you will see displayed on every U.S. sportsbook and sports betting app.

    The first thing you will notice when reading odds will be that:

    • Odds have either a plus or minus in front of them.
    • Odds are in terms of 100.

    Betting Odds are written in terms of 100 as an industry standard. The easiest way to think of the plus and minus signs is as follows. If it is a plus, you will receive more than a $100 payout on a $100 bet. If it is a minus, you will have to bet more than $100 to win a $100 payout.

    Thankfully, you can view your potential winnings on each bet before placing it at an online sportsbook. That said, it is beneficial to understand the betting odds.

    Keep in mind for both spreads and totals that if the game ends in a draw for the bet, you get your stake back but do not win or lose any additional money.


    What is a Moneyline bet?

    A moneyline bet is a wager on which team will win the game outright. Both the favorite and the underdog are given odds to win the game. View example bet slip.

    Moneyline Odds How to Read it What it Means
    Lions +130 Lions plus 130 By betting $100 you will win $130 if the Lions win
    Packers -150 Packers minus 150 To win $100, you must wager $150 on the Packers to win

    What is a Spread bet?

    A spread bet is a wager on which team will cover the spread or point spread. Underdogs will be given additional points with the spread, while the favorite will have to win by a certain amount of points to cover the spread. View example bet slip.

    Spread Odds How to Read it What it Means
    Lakers + 5 (-110) Lakers plus 5 points at minus 110 odds The Lakers must win the game, or lose by less than 5 for you to win your bet
    Rockets -5 (-110) Rockets minus 5 points at minus 110 odds The Rockets must win the game by more than 5 points for you to win your bet. A tie is a push, meaning you don't win or lose.

    What is an Over/Under (Total) bet?

    An over/under bet focuses on how many points are scored, regardless of who wins the game. After a total point score has been set, bettors can wager whether the game's actual score will be over or under the preset point score. View example bet slip.

    Total Odds How to Read it
    Over 7 (-115) In order to win $100, you must bet $115 on the overall combined run score to be higher than 7
    Under 7 (-110) In order to win $100, you must wager $110 on the total combined run score to be less than 7

    More of a visual person? Here's a YouTube video covering moneyline, spread, and total bets.

    What is a Parlay bet?

    A parlay bet is a group of bets, typically spread, moneyline, or total bets, combined into one bet to increase the payout odds. For the parlay to win, each separate bet has to win. View example bet slip.


    What is a Future bet?

    A futures bet is a bet on an event that takes place in days, weeks, or months. The most common future bets are placed on what team will win the finals before the season starts. View example bet slip.

    What are Bonus Rollover Requirements?

    Rollover requirements are requirements bettors MUST fulfill before they can withdraw the bonus money. Each type of bonus has different terms and conditions, which you should examine before accepting.

    Rollover requirements for sports betting often range between 1X-10X, with some extreme requirements going all the way up to 15X. For example, let’s say you deposit $100 and receive a $50 bonus with a 5X rollover. Before you can withdraw the $50 in bonus funds, you have to wager $750 (($100 + $50)x5). Clearly, the $50 bonus is a lot harder to obtain if you don’t bet frequently.

    This table gives you an idea of how much you will have to wager before withdrawing your bonus at multiple rollover rates. We will assume each deposit made is $100.

    Bonus Percentage ($100 Deposit) Bonus Amount Bonus Withdrawal with 1X Rollover Bonus Withdrawal with 3X Rollover Bonus Withdrawal with 5X Rollover Bonus Withdrawal with 10X Rollover
    25% Deposit Match $25 (100+25)x1 = $125 (100+25)x3 = $375 (100+25)x5 = $625 (100+25)x10 = $1,250
    50% Deposit Match $50 (100+50)x1 = $150 (100+50)x3 = $450 (100+50)x5 = $750 (100+50)x10 = $1,500
    100% Deposit Match $100 (100+100)x1 = $200 (100+100)x3 = $600 (100+100)x5 = $1,000 (100+100)x10 = $2,000



    Is Sports Betting Legal in Illinois?

    Sports betting is now legal in Illinois at retail locations and online. Residents of the Prairie State can bet on sports at brick-and-mortar casinos, or on their mobile phones or laptops.

    Illinois passed sports betting legislation at the 11th hour of their 2019 legislative session, surprising many people who doubted the bill would reach the Governor's desk. Members of the Illinois General Assembly worked overtime to get Senate Bill 690 passed on June 2nd, 2019. Governor J.B. Pritzker signed the bill shortly afterward.

    One unique provision with Senate Bill 690 is that sports betting operators will be mandated to purchase official league data for all in-play wagers, alongside wagers that aren't dependent on the event's final score. As a consumer, this could ultimately limit betting options and make lines more expensive. On the other hand, league data could offer new types of bets based on next-gen stats. It will take time to see whether or not this mandate benefits or harms consumers.

    How old do you have to be to bet on sports in Illinois?

    Anybody who is 21 years or older can bet on sports in Illinois. As long as you are 21 and within state lines, you do not have to be a resident of Illinois to bet on sports.

    If you live in Illinois and travel to a state that does not have legal betting, you will not be able to bet. Your phone or laptop uses geo-technology to make sure you are within state lines. The only people prohibited from betting on sports include athletes, coaches, refs, and other related personnel.


    Do you have to pay taxes on sports betting in Illinois?

    According to the IRS, “Gambling winnings are fully taxable, and you must report the income on your tax return.” Form W-2G is used to report gambling winnings and gambling losses, which may be deduced if adequately itemized.

    For online gambling winnings, residents must send in Form W-2G when certain winning thresholds are reached. For example, if a player wins more than $600 or at least 300 times the wager amount, the form must be filled out.


    Is it legal to bet on horse racing in Illinois?

    It is legal to bet on horse racing in Illinois. Residents can bet with legal online providers such as TVG, BetAmerica, and TwinSpires. You can not bet on horses from Illinois sportsbooks.


    Does Illinois offer an online lottery?

    Yes, the Illinois Lottery does offer online lottery games. Games offered include jackpot games such as Mega Millions and daily games such as pick three. Illinois Lottery money goes to the following causes: 64% is paid to winners, 5.5% is paid to retailers as commissions, 25% is transferred to the Common School Fund, Capital Projects Fund, and Specialty Tickets, and 5.5% goes towards operating expenses.


    Is DraftKings sportsbook legal in Illinois?

    DraftKings is a safe and legal sports betting option for residents of Illinois. DraftKings obtained its license from Casino Queen.


    Is FanDuel sportsbook legal in Illinois?

    FanDuel is a safe and legal sports betting option for residents of Illinois. FanDuel obtained its license from Par-A-Dice Casino.


    Is Bovada legal in Illinois?

    Bovada, BetOnline, and MyBookie are considered offshore sportsbooks and are illegal. These sportsbooks are not approved by the Illinois Gaming Board, which regulates all legal Illinois sportsbooks.


    Methodology

    For the first BettingBuck.com annual best online sportsbooks review a total of 2,300 data points were collected over six months and used to score 18 sportsbooks.

    Sports betting sites were scored across seven core categories to compute an overall rating: sports and bets offered, odds, live betting, mobile apps, educational resources, ease of use, and bonuses and promotions.

    Additionally, odds data was collected on over 1,400 bets to give each sportsbook a comparative odds ranking. We collected odds for spread, moneyline, and total bets for over 75 NFL games, 75 MLB games, 75 NBA games, 75 NHL games, 75 Soccer games (various leagues), 75 NCAA Football games, and 75 NCAA Basketball games. When collecting odds, we made sure to collect the same games at the same time for each sportsbook, ensuring data accuracy.



    Learn more about how we test.

Continue Reading


Joey Shadeck

About the author: Joey Shadeck is the lead writer for BettingBuck.com and content strategist for Michigan-based Reink Media Group. He has closely tracked sports betting in the United States for the last two years, compiling hundreds of data points across dozens of sportsbooks. He has 5 years of online betting experience with hundreds of bets placed during that time.




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