"This page contains references to products from one of our advertisers. We may receive compensation when you click on links to those products. Terms apply to the offers listed on this page. For an explanation of our Affiliate Policy, visit this page."
Illinois is not new to gambling action. The first wagers were cast when riverboat casinos were legalized in this state. So it didn't surprise us at all when Governor Pritzker signed the bill, SB 690, into law.
This move paved the way for what is now one of the biggest sports gambling markets in the United States. The online sportsbook handle for Illinois was over $600 million.
Two factors drive this massive demand for sports betting services in Illinois. First is the accessibility of gambling platforms, and the second is the wide range of markets you can bet in. Illinois plays host to some of the biggest names in sports betting.
The likes of DraftKings, FanDuel, BetMGM, and others have all set up shop. With such a wide variety of options, finding your ideal site will not be difficult.
Illinois is a fast-growing sports betting jurisdiction. More online sportsbooks are signing up to service this market and it's easy to see why. More still, are waiting on the fringes for their registration processes to complete.
We expect to see massive movement in Illinois sports betting with the granting of three mobile-only licenses later on in 2021. So far, the biggest brands in sports betting are already plying their trade here. DraftKings and FanDuel have already penned agreements with local establishments and built up a healthy customer base.
Bettors in Illinois have no problems when it comes to finding where to bet. The challenge is with the unfriendly, in-person registration requirements, which could do with a revision. But it looks as if this rule will die a natural death with the coming on board of mobile-only sports betting sites. Exciting things are ahead for sports betting in Illinois.
According to Illinois state law, bettors looking to place wagers need to register in person at their sportsbook of choice. However, they had to set aside this rule because of the pandemic, and bettors had been registering new accounts remotely.
But from April 2021, it is applicable once again. The law also states that online registration will only be allowed when mobile-only sportsbooks are opened in Illinois. According to concessions made when the current gambling bill was being crafted, fully online sportsbook licenses will be issued 18 months after June 2020, when the first online sportsbook was opened.
Unless Governor Pritzker comes up with another reprieve, it looks like in-person registration will be with us until December 2021. We will keep you updated if anything changes.
Now, even with the in-person requirement in place, registration on Illinois sports betting sites is a breeze. Some operators have even come up with ways to make it less of a hassle, allowing you to drive into the car park and register using a dedicated Wi-Fi connection.
The registration process in Illinois requires two steps. You can initiate the process on your phone or desktop, but in most cases, you will need to go into a land-based sportsbook to complete it. First, you need to download the sportsbook app onto your device. Remember, gambling privileges in the United States are location-specific, so you need to activate location services.
The sportsbook will ask for your full name, physical address, email, date of birth and social security number. Make sure you provide accurate information to avoid delays in verifying your account.
You then need to head over to the sportsbook with your government-issued photo id. They will verify your identity in person and activate your fully registered account.
If you have ever tried your hand at online gambling, you will have heard the term GeoComply. This is a geo validator, which means it's software that can figure out your location with precision. Many people use a range of applications to mask their actual location when transacting online.
Yes, this is a common practice, but it's not tolerated on online gambling sites in the United States. Geocomply can detect if your device is using virtual private networks (VPNs) or remote desktop programs. If it suspects any case of VPN fraud, it will automatically lock you out of the sportsbook.
So, how do you get GeoComply on your device? This is an important question because without it you cannot access online sports betting services in Illinois. Luckily, the process is straightforward, only requiring just but a few steps to complete.
If you are on your mobile phone or tablet, you need to turn location services on from the settings menu. Desktop users need to download and install a browser plugin first. Once you have it set up, you can access your sportsbook with no problems at all.
To some, even this simple process might seem unnecessary. Well it isn’t, and without it, you can't take part in online sports betting in Illinois. Some states in the US still outlaw gambling and don't take lightly to people sports betting within their borders.
GeoComply is necessary because it assures all stakeholders that the law is being adhered to. Even in jurisdictions where online sports betting is legalized, regulators want to ensure that the host state is benefiting from all wagering activity within its state lines.
Most of the land-based sports betting sites listed above have running sports betting apps. The ones that don't, have plans to open. But this is not the only expansion we expect to see in Illinois sports betting.
All the apps on the market so far are linked to a land-based sportsbook operator. Illinois law states that starting in December 2021, three fully mobile sports betting operator licenses will be issued.
Others may consider DraftKings’ entry into the sports betting market in Illinois as through the back door. The initial intention was to get a fully independent mobile operator sports betting license.
But upon realizing that this would only happen in December 2021 at the earliest, DraftKings went into partnership with Casino Queen. Now DraftKings sportsbook app is up and running, offering bettors a slick interface, live betting, pools, and a lot more.
FanDuel came into Illinois through an initial agreement with Fairmount Park race track. The co-branding agreement with Par-A-Dice Casino only came as a result of delays in Fairmount getting its license.
The FanDuel sports betting app is beautifully designed and carries betting options from a wide range of markets. Players also enjoy regular odds boosts to add to the overall winnings.
BetMGM is not live in Illinois yet. Its application has been in the pending period since 2020. This company is set to take over operations at Par-A-Dice after FanDuel transferred its license to Fairmount.
Judging by how popular the BetMGM app is in other states, bettors in Illinois will benefit. In Indiana, this app has consistently brought in the third-largest handle.
Unibet app is in the same boat as BetMGM. Its papers too are stuck in a protracted pending process. Unibet already has an agreement with Penn National for a sportsbook at Argosy Casino Alton.
When it comes online, you can expect to see a wide range of betting markets and straightforward bonus promotions.
Bet365 betting app is not yet available in Illinois. This operator has a huge presence in European jurisdictions, and its inclusion here will be a fantastic addition to sports betting. This Euro focus means popular betting options in the United States are not well represented on Unibet.
But the app does have tons of European markets on which you can bet. New Jersey already has a Unibet online betting sportsbook running, which shows that it is a reliable operator.
Adding or taking out funds in Illinois sportsbooks is effortless. You just need a few simple steps.
Let's look at depositing first:
Withdrawals follow an equally simple process:
The list of online payment services in regulated sites is unmatched. You have options spanning e-wallets, debit cards, credit cards and more. Whether you are depositing or withdrawing makes no difference at all. You have a plethora of options at your disposal.
Here is a list of the most popular payment services in Illinois sportsbooks.
Promotions are one of the main reasons you need to bet online. Sportsbook operators offer sign-up bonuses to all new players. This is a common way to get new customers through the door. But these offers are not for new customers only.
We have listed the most common types below.
This bonus is for new bettors registering in the sportsbook for the first time. You need to make a minimum deposit for you to qualify for this offer. The sportsbook will match your deposit with a set percentage of bonus cash.
You can't redeem bonus cash as real funds; you can only do this after completing wagering requirements. You can, however, use it to bet
You can place a bet in the sportsbook without depositing. All you need to do is open an account and claim a no deposit offer. Even though you get this bonus for free, you still need to deposit as part of completing the wagering obligations.
You cannot access your winnings until you complete these requirements.
Sportsbooks also have another way to entice you to bet without giving you bonus cash first. When you claim a risk-free bet, you wager on your desired event using your own funds. The risk-free bet kicks in if you lose.
You recover all your net losses up to a set maximum. However, there are restrictions to what you can bet on.
Illinois has a very active casino gambling scene; it is made up of multiple establishments. If sports betting is more up your alley, retail sports betting facilities are also available at most of these sites. Below, we list your land-based gambling options in Illinois.
Illinois is notorious for having some of the most stringent laws in sports betting. For starters, bettors are required to register in person at land-based sports betting sites. They will only lift this clause when fully independent mobile-only sportsbooks open. This move is unique to Illinois. Most jurisdictions did not provide for mobile-only sites.
All operators in these states need to be affiliated with a local gambling business. The gambling age in Illinois is 21 years. But even if you are well above this age, there are still limits to what you can bet on. Placing wagers on in-state college teams is illegal. You can bet on college sports, but not on events featuring college teams from this state.
Professional league matches are obviously open to everyone. Illinois gambling laws also dictate that sportsbooks should purchase official league data.
Illinois is not the cheapest jurisdiction to operate in either. It plans to give out a maximum of 23 master licenses and three mobile-only licenses. Takers of the mobile-only licenses will need to pay $20 million.
To protect local businesses, Illinois legislators also implemented the Penalty Box. This rule stipulates that mobile-only sports betting sites would be licensed after 18 months. The counter started when the first land-based linked online sportsbook opened its doors.
This is 18 months from June 2020. Professional teams and established casino sites looking to provide sports betting services need to fork out $10 million. These figures place Illinois up there with some of the most expensive jurisdictions to operate in the United States. The state only allows one mobile skin per provider. It also applies a standard tax rate of 15% on all earnings.
Content Updated: June, 2021