Illinois Sports Betting News
Illinois Sports Betting News
Legal betting rules
The Illinois General Assembly just closed their spring session. On the books are landmark changes to the state's gambling industry. Most notably, sports betting is now legal in the land of Lincoln. Continue reading to get the specifics of this historic day for sports fans.
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Illinois Sports Betting Online

Looking to place bets on your favorite sports or IL teams? Your wish is about to come true. Illinois sports betting is now a reality thanks to SB 690. This bill legalized gambling for both land-based and online operations. In addition, sports betting will be allowed at sports arenas as well as many of the casinos and OTBs within the Prairie State.

IL Online Sports Betting Bill

This bill allows for Illinois sports betting but is restricted to just that. Other forms of gambling, including poker, were not included within the bill. These kinds of operations are still allowed at riverboat casinos around the state, but there was no provision to expand these operations, even on mobile applications, unless one lives in the city of Chicago.

In fact, the new Illinois sports betting law greatly limited online gambling. While big name internet companies like DraftKings and FanDuel will be allowed to offer Illinois residents the ability to bet on sporting events, they may have to wait for 18 months before they are able to offer online and mobile options to residents.

A provision demands that only those who hold “Master Licenses” will be allowed to take wagers for the first 18 months. It also demands that those seeking an online license pay $20 million and that each of these companies must undergo a lengthy process. This is expected to take some time before the license is awarded.

Illinois Sports Betting

Photo credit: szeke on Visualhunt / CC BY-SA

Illinois Sports Betting Online

Despite potential delays, the best sports betting sites are ready to work their way through the red tape to offer the very best experience to consumers. This looks like it will be a reality sooner than later as the legislature approved Illinois sports betting in the state, even for online sports betting.

According to the new bill passed by lawmakers, the gaming provisions authorize casinos to be opened in Chicago and for both retail and online sports betting to be made legal. It is hoped that by offering sports betting Illinois will see over $200 million in additional tax revenue each year.

The passing of this law has been a game changer for Illinois residents. To really make this a smart decision, online and mobile sports betting is a must. Look no further than New Jersey, where in January NJ took almost $400 million of wagers with 80% of that coming from online or mobile betting.

This is why many have used some of the more popular sports betting apps available. The hope is that they will be willing to turn to the apps and local establishments to place wagers once they become available. That should become a big revenue boon for the state.

Best IL Online Sports Betting Sites

Now that the law has passed that will allow for online sports betting, here are the locations within the state that are expected to receive licenses.

Casino Queen

  • Will Offer New User Bonuses
  • Referral Bonuses

Grand Victoria

  • Large area for viewing will be available
  • First-time bonuses for new users


  • Mobile sports wagering
  • Large viewing area at the casino

Hollywood Casino

  • Established reputation in multiple states
  • Bonuses available for new customers

Rivers Casino

  • Large sports betting area with bar, food service
  • Referral and first-time player bonuses

Possible Illinois Sports Betting Sites

There are a number of websites that already offer Illinois residents the ability to make online sports wagers. This, despite the fact that they are not directly located within the state and have not received direct licensure from the state of Illinois. These are some of the best online sportsbooks available today.

However, it is going to be the locally run casinos that will afford users the greatest opportunity. Especially right off. Not only will they be able to place bets at local casinos, but will be able to do so using sports betting apps.

Right now, casinos in Illinois are lobbying to gain the master license. Here are likely to be five casinos that will offer sports betting websites to Illinois residents.

Casino Queen

In Illinois, Casino Queen has been in business for generations and has a well-established reputation. They also have the resources to be able to establish themselves as a premier location for sports wagering.

Additionally, the fact that they have multiple locations likely benefits them. The fact that they have multiple locations will be good for customers who want to place a bet, as they will be able to find a location closer to themselves.

Grand Victoria

The Grand Victoria Casino was the first venture by Gold Strike Resorts outside of Nevada. They are now owned by Circus Circus, but this is also the only casino establishment outside of Nevada that they own as well.

No doubt that if they are going to expand their market, this has to be a location where they can be one of the premier establishments for sports betting Illinois has to offer. The owning of one of these master licenses seems like a necessity. Being locked out will definitely not allow them to expand, not even in Illinois.


Harrah’s is one of the most well-known names in the world when it comes to sports betting. They are one of the best betting websites on the market. With casino operations already available in the state, it is likely that they will quickly receive one of these master licenses.

Harrah’s is already known to have a rather extensive lobbying group behind them. It shouldn’t be difficult for them to acquire one of these licenses.


Hollywood Casino has a national reputation that will make it likely that they receive one of these licenses. Because of their success across the country, it would be surprising if they did not get approved to offer sports wagering.

This is another casino operation with a great PR team that should help to promote their bid. They have a proven track record of success as well that should boost their efforts.

Rivers Casino

They may not have the name of Harrah’s or Hollywood, but this is an establishment that has built up quite a reputation within Illinois. They should have no problem acquiring one of the master licenses.

Plus, Rivers Casino in Pittsburg, PA, was one of the first casinos to offer sports betting in the Keystone State. Add to that their impressive mobile sports betting app and you can expect Rivers to dominate the Illinois online sports betting field.

IL Sports Betting Apps

It may be a little premature to start talking about what casino operations will be allowing users to use their sports betting sites and sports betting apps, but when other states have approved sports wagering these are some of the more common online sports sites that have swooped in to establish themselves.


We know DraftKings is already working with Hollywood Casino in West Virginia, and it is likely that the two will collaborate on a sports betting app in Illinois as well. The combination of two of the most recognized businesses in the gambling industry will make it the perfect combination.

Caesars Sportsbook

This is the app owned and run by Caesars. Since Caesars owns Harrah’s, it only makes sense that their sports betting app will become a part of the Illinois sports betting world. This is already available in New Jersey,  making it easy to set up in Illinois as well.


The casino launched their own sports app in December of last year and has been offering a number of incentives. This includes a bonus program. They were also offering a 100% match for new users when they deposited their initial amount, and it wouldn’t be surprising to see this happen once they are available in Illinois.

Illinois Sports Betting Payment Options

Most of the betting websites you will find make it quite easy for you to be able to deposit and withdraw funds from your account. They don’t want to do anything that stands in the way of you using their services, so you will find the process to be fairly simple.

Deposit Methods

Most sports betting apps accept deposits in one of two ways. This is either done by direct transfer from your bank account or by using your credit card. Funds that are deposited usually take no more than 15 minutes to appear on your account, with some being even shorter than that.

With the rise of digital currencies, you may find that you can even use your cryptocurrency, such as bitcoin or Ethereum to deposit funds into your account. You will have to check with the sports betting sites of your choice to see if they accept digital currencies.

Many prefer to use cryptocurrencies because of the new blockchain technology that is being employed to protect transactions. Many banks are using this for everyday transactions, which is good for those who intend to use their bank account or credit card, but the rise of digital currencies has led to this new technology. This will help you to feel more confident that your deposit is protected, as well as your account.

If you check with most sports betting sites you will see that they will list the protective measures they employ to protect deposits. This should help to alleviate any concerns you may have.

Withdrawal Methods

Generally, it’s simple to withdraw funds as you desire. Most often, sports betting apps prefer to deposit funds directly into a person’s bank account, thus avoiding the potential for fraud.

Because digital currencies are new and it is not exactly known who will be accepting these kinds of currencies, how money is withdrawn is not known. Speculation would be that there may be some challenges based upon the exchange rate. Customers may be required to wait a few days before the money is deposited into their digital wallet.

It should be noted that some online sports betting sites can take between three and five business days before funds are deposited.

IL Online Sports Gambling Promotions

While Illinois sports betting is brand-new, you can be sure that there are going to be some common promotions that are going to be offered. Many casinos and sports betting sites offer users promotions such as matching the initial amount deposited, bonuses for referrals, and loyal customer incentives.

However, there are additional promotions that it would not be surprising to see offered in Illinois. These include, but are not limited to:

No Deposit Bonus

Like many casinos offer, simply signing up to use an online sports betting site may earn you an initial bonus. Like casinos will offer new customers free meals or money to use on their casino card, expect to find this kind of promotion as well. It is a great marketing tool that has been quite successful in gaining new customers to casinos across the country, and so it should be no surprise that it would be used here as well.

First Deposit Bonus

The initial deposit offered is a common bonus for sports wagering sites. These betting websites will offer to match whatever the initial deposit is of the user up to a certain amount.

This is a great way to earn some additional money to use in your wagers. Consider this free money, however, with sometimes significant wagering requirements or other terms and conditions. Regardless, these bonuses boost your account funds to wager more right off the bat.

Risk-Free Bet

A risk-free bet is exactly what it sounds like. This allows you to place a wager or two, maybe even more, without any risk of loss whatsoever. Many of the best online sportsbook sites want to give you the opportunity to use their site so you understand how it works, making it more likely that you will return and use it once you have had a victory or two.

This seems like a foolish idea for an online sports betting site to do, but they understand that customers who bet money of their own that is lost right away are less likely to return. By letting a user make some wagers at no risk to themselves, it allows them to see that they can make some money and to learn the systems. This entices them to return.

Illinois Gambling Laws

It was in early June that the Illinois legislature first passed SB 690. This made Illinois sports betting legal. All establishments and government agencies that will be overseeing sports betting will be required to follow the guidelines of this law.

If you have questions related to the law, you can visit the Illinois state legislature website to find out any and all information related to the law. It will also be likely that as regulations are created and licenses are granted that there will be a lot of news provided by local media outlets. It will be to the advantage of potential users to spend time watching their local news programs were reading the newspaper to see how these regulations have been developed and implemented.

The important thing to consider is that you don’t want to do anything to be in violation of the law. If you have questions, the Illinois state legislature will have representatives that can assist you in understanding the law itself. Contact your local representative if you have questions.

Sports betting in Illinois has just been passed in the state’s General Assembly. It will be part of a huge gambling expansion that will add retail casinos to Chicago and elsewhere. Sports betting licenses would be available to all existing and new casinos. Even horse racing tracks and sports venues would have access to a license to bet on sports.

Illinois Sports Betting FAQ

What happened with PASPA?

The decision to rescind the Professional & Amateur Sports Protection Act by the Supreme Court now permits every state to decide its own laws in regards to sports betting.

Illinois has just passed a bill that revamps the gambling industry in the state. Sports betting will be allowed and licenses are up for grabs at casinos, horse tracks, and sports venues. It’s unclear whether online and mobile sports betting will be included. However, that’s what is expected because the state can capitalize on the extra tax revenue mobile wagering brings.

Is it legal to bet in Illinois?

It is now perfectly legal to bet in Illinois, although there are no live sportsbooks yet. The law has been changed but has to be officially implemented. Furthermore, the sportsbooks need time to get built, have staff trained, and begin operations. Expect sports betting to go live by NFL season in September. While we hope IL online sports betting will come in time, it’s likely that we’ll have to wait until early 2020.

Online horse race betting, however, is legal and active in IL. TVG is the best online horse racing book for residents in IL.

Online Sportsbooks in IL

The online sports betting market needs time to get established. However, now that regulations are no longer a hurdle, look for big sportsbooks scramble into Illinois. It won’t be long before you can bet on sports online in the Land of Lincoln.

How to Find Safe Betting Websites

Even though there are no IL online betting sites just yet, you should know how a respectable brand looks. To make smart choices when gambling, it can literally pay to be informed.

  1. Make sure the site is secure. Look for “https://” at the beginning of the site URL. That “s” means the website is secure and people are unable to steal any personal information you might enter into the site.
  2. Check the odds. A good brand will have a variety of odds that cater to many interests. If a brand does this, it’s a good assumption that they’re in it for the long haul rather than a quick buck.
  3. Shop around. Once more betting sites kick off in Illinois, find the best one with the odds that you like. Don’t settle for sub-par odds, you might stand to win more money by placing the same wager at a different bookie with better odds!
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