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Illinois Online Sports Betting Laws

Chicago is “my kind of town” and Illinois is our kind of state. Sports betting went live in March 2020, with online sports betting following three months later. Which is great news for the many sports fans in the sixth biggest state in the US.

Written by OnlineBetting.com staff.

Fact Checked
Jennifer Gaynor Bio

Jennifer Gaynor

Administrative law and government relations attorney

Jennifer has a degree in Journalism from Northeastern University in Boston, Massachusetts, and graduated from George Washington University Law School, Washington, D.C, in 2005. She's been living in Las Vegas helping clients in the casino and gaming industry, as well as other regulated businesses, across Nevada for over 15 years.

She has authored and co-authored numerous articles and books on US gaming law, including most recently, The Law of Regulated Gambling: A Practical Guide for Business Lawyers, American Bar Association (2020), and That (Expletive) Broad: Women Who Broke Barriers in the Casino and Gaming Industry (2020).

Is Sports Betting Legal in Illinois?

Yes. Illinois sports betting was legalized in March 2020.

Is Online Sports Betting Legal in Illinois?

Yes. Illinois online sports betting went live in June 2020.

How Old Do I Have to be to Place a Bet in Illinois?

You have to be aged 21 or over to be able to enjoy Illinois sports betting.

How do I Start Betting in Illinois?

  1. In-person registration is required in Illinois for online sports betting accounts, so start by choosing an Illinois sportsbook you want to use and visiting one of the state’s licensed retail locations.

  2. Register for an account; you will need proof of ID and age.

  3. Put some money in the account and take advantage of any sign-up offers.

  4. Make your first selection and start betting.

Is Sports Betting Legal in Illinois?

Illinois Legalizes Online Sports Betting
Remote Registration and Geolocation
Online Sports Betting Licenses
Are Illinois Gambling Winnings Taxable?

Who Is Allowed to Bet on Sports in Illinois?

You Must Be At Least 21 Years Old to Bet in Illinois
You Must Be in Illinois to Bet
Restrictions Apply to Certain Sports Employees

What Can’t I Bet on in Illinois?

In-state College Sports
Non-sports Events

Daily Fantasy Sports in Illinois

Long-running confusion over the legality of Daily Fantasy Sports (DFS) in Illinois led to some protracted wrangling around the legalization of sports betting in the state.

Illinois’ attorney general had issued an opinion finding that DFS was illegal gambling in late 2015. This lead to some DFS operators to end or avoid operation in the state, although several continued to offer DFS in Illinois despite the opinion. Five years later, the state’s supreme court ruled that at least one form of DFS was partly skill-based, in a case deciding whether the loser of a $100 head-to-head matchup could recover their losses based on a theory that the matchup was illegal gambling.

Because it only considered one type of DFS matchup, this case does not completely clarify whether DFS is considered illegal gambling in Illinois. However, leading DFS operators such as DraftKings and FanDuel have continued to operate within the state without any legal repercussions, taking advantage of the enormous passion for sport among the people of Illinois.

Games around football, basketball, baseball, and hockey all have healthy followings in the Prairie State.

Top Sports to Bet on in Illinois

Sport is absolutely massive in Illinois. Some of the biggest names in US sport are located here, and as a result interest in betting on sports is enormous – and sure to rise as time goes by.

Football

The Chicago Bears are the state’s NFL team and they enjoy huge support from the people of Illinois. So do the many top-level college teams in the state, including the Northwestern Wildcats and the Fighting Illini from the University of Illinois.

Responsible Gaming in Illinois

It’s essential that there is a strong focus on responsible gambling in the Windy City and beyond. The Illinois Gaming Board oversees several resources to help anybody who believes they may be developing an unhealthy relationship with sports betting.

The board has a long-standing self-exclusion program. When sports betting was made legal, it was incorporated into this program. There is also a voluntary, confidential problem gambling registry on offer.

The state has also launched a website to focus specifically on issues caused by problem gambling. It offers help, support and advice, as well as a 24/7 helpline and text service. You can also access national and local support through organizations such as Gamblers Anonymous, the National Council on Problem Gambling and Gam-Anon.

Timeline of Sports Betting in Illinois

2018

Five bills are introduced into the state legislature to test the appetite for legalization.

2019

After much legal wrangling, a bill is passed to legalize sports betting and signed into law on June 28.

2020 - March

Sports betting commences at casinos in the state – which are almost immediately closed down because of the Covid-19 pandemic.

2020 - May

State governor J. B. Pritzker lifts the restriction on in-person registration – only to re-impose it a few weeks later, before lifting it again in time for the NFL season. It was extended on a month-by-month emergency basis but reimposed in June.

Where Can You Bet in Illinois?

There are currently seven locations, plus two racetracks, where you can enjoy Illinois sports betting in person. All have online sportsbooks associated with them.

It is expected that more locations with sportsbooks will become available soon. A full up-to-date list can be found here.

Casino/Retail SportsbookRetail Sportsbook PartnerAddressOnline Sportsbook Partner
Rivers Casino Des PlainesBetRivers3000 S River Road, Des Plaines IL 60018BetRivers
Argosy Casino AltonPenn National1 Piasa Street, Alton IL 62002Barstool
Grand Victoria Casino ElginWilliam Hill250 S Grove Avenue, Elgin IL 60120William Hill
Hollywood Casino AuroraPenn National1 W New York Street, Aurora IL 60506Barstool
Hollywood Casino JolietPenn National777 Hollywood Boulevard, Joliet IL 60436Barstool
Casino Queen Inc.DraftKings200 S Front Street, East St Louis IL 62201DraftKings
Par-A-Dice CasinoFanDuel21 Blackjack Boulevard, East Peoria IL 61611FanDuel
Hawthorne Race CoursePointsBet3501 S Laramie Avenue, Stickney IL 60804PointsBet
Fairmount Park RacetrackFanDuel9301 Collinsville Road, Collinsville IL 62234FanDuel

Illinois Betting FAQs

Where can I place a bet online in Illinois?
Can you bet online in Illinois?
What sports betting sites are legal in Illinois?
Is Bet365 legal in Illinois?