Illinois Online Gambling
Our comprehensive free guide to IL online gambling with iGaming news, reviews of Illinois gambling sites, and the best of IL online casinos, sportsbooks, and poker apps!
Looking for another state? Check out our US online gambling guide.
5 Best Illinois Online Gambling Sites
We have reviewed and ranked the top online gambling sites in Illinois.
1. BetMGM IL
- Risk-Free Initial Bet Offer
- Solid Market Selection
- PayPal Support
- 24/7 Live Chat Available
- Trusted Gambling Brand
BetMGM Illinois has a vast selection of sportsbook markets for their players that includes Illinois' most favorite sports such as the NFL, Basketball, golf, and even Nascar! While parlay is limited to certain sports bets, BetMGM has a dedicated tab that lets you find bets you can add to a parlay wager.
2. Caesars Sportsbook IL
- Exciting Welcome Bonus
- PayPal Deposits & Withdrawals
- Beginner-Friendly UI
- Outstanding Rewards Program
Caesars IL sportsbook covers lots of sports and has a great variety of markets available for its Illinois players. You can bet on popular sports games like football, MMA, hockey, baseball, table tennis, and soccer. The website features NCAA basketball and has a decent range of football markets as well. Caesars also offers odds for a broad range of prime European competitions such as Serie A, La Liga, and the UEFA Champions League. You can also expect promising soccer coverage from the sportsbook, i.e., Major League Soccer.
3. FanDuel IL
- Risk-Free Bet Offers
- PayPal Allowed
- 15 + Sports Markets Available
FanDuel IL offers a vast selection of games to bet on. You will have the option to bet on popular sports like baseball, NFL, basketball, NASCAR, etc. More obscure sports will also be offered including darts and college basketball. In terms of betting options, the sportsbook offers many; from all the obvious basics like money line and point spread bets, to more avant-garde options like outright and prop bets.
4. DraftKings IL
- Wide Array of Betting Options
- Welcome Bonus With Low Deposit
- Solid Mobile App
- PayPal Accepted
DraftKings IL boasts a broad range of sports games for Illinois residents to bet on. You can bet on games like baseball, basketball, motorsports, tennis, soccer, golf, and many more. Considering all players have different betting styles, the sportsbook also has an extensive list of betting options; a few worth mentioning are point spread betting, live betting, futures, and props.
5. BetRivers IL
- Wide Variety of Sports Betting Markets
- User-Friendly Website
- Deposit Match Bonus
- Solid Rewards Program
The first regulated sportsbook to launch in Illinois, BetRivers IL offers a commendable betting markets selection. On the platform, you can expect Australian rules, football, soccer, rugby union, baseball, and plenty more. While BetRivers does offer betting option basics like point spread and money line betting, the sportsbook does kick it up a notch with parlays, futures, and props betting all being available for their players in Illinois.
Legal Real Money Gambling In Illinois
Gamblers in Illinois may not be able to gamble on everything due to state laws, but online sports betting is most definitely open for business. Below are the kinds of activities from online gambling operators within the state.
IL Online Casinos
Online casinos have not been legalized in Illinois as of yet. Therefore there are no live dealer casinos, online slots, online casino games, or mobile casino apps in Illinois for players to enjoy. However, there are hopes that online casinos may be legalized soon considering they only recently made the decision to make online sports betting legal in 2019. Once online casino gambling in IL becomes legal, expect the top brands to offer a wide range of games that you would expect such as roulette, blackjack, craps, progressive jackpots, baccarat, and more.
IL Online Sportsbooks
All sportsbooks in Illinois now allow users to sign up online. Currently, there are seven legal sportsbooks operating in the state. Online betting has only recently been regulated in the state of Illinois so we can expect this number to grow. As of March 5, 2022, players from Illinois can register online instead of having to register physically. A vast majority of sportsbooks like BetMGM, Caesars, and DraftKings, have all made it into the market and already reached massive handles. Illinois is home to many major US sports teams, the most prominent of them consisting of the Chicago Bulls, Chicago Cubs, Illinois Fighting Illini, Chicago Blackhawks, and the Chicago Fire.
IL Horse Racing Betting
Betting on horse racing competitions is legal for Illinois residents, granted they are 18 years of age or older. The IRB (the Illinois Racing Board) is responsible for overseeing live racing as well as all forms of parimutuel wagers throughout the state. IRB was inaugurated in 1933, its main responsibilities included granting licenses to advance deposit wagering (ADW) providers providing betting online, ensuring the fairness of parimutuel wagering, tax collecting, and more. The state is home to three permanent racetracks and three state fairs with tracks. Illinois has numerous horse racing tracks, the Arlington Race Track a notable mention among them aside from many other off-track betting locations (OTB). Betting at OTB parlors has been legal in the state for a while. Illinois residents are experiencing an expansion of the state's preexisting racetracks into the sports betting markets. IL horse racing betting sites are growing fast as punters prefer placing bets from their homes or phone. Some Illinois racebooks offer horse racing mobile apps for punters to place wagers. Bettors can carry out their business with their respective racebooks by using the horse race betting applications, from signing up, to cashing out winnings.
IL Daily Fantasy Sports
The legal status of Daily Fantasy Sports in Illinois is still unclear. While all prominent operators allow players from the state, according to a state attorney general in 2015, DFS violated state gambling laws. With sports betting being legalized recently in the state, there is hope that DFS will (clearly) be legalized.
IL Online Poker
Aside from sweepstakes poker, online poker has not yet been legalized in Illinois. However, since 2013, several efforts have been made to legalize online poker as well as other not-yet-legal forms of gambling. Real-money IL poker sites are not yet legal in the state of Illinois; however, it is possible to take part in sweepstakes poker until the state laws change and online poker becomes legal.
Illinois Lottery is the most available form of gambling in the state. Illinois Lottery provides several instant-win and draw-style games, but players can also expect tickets for multi-state games. The lottery is overseen by the Illinois Department of Revenue. Other IL online lotteries are not yet allowed to legally operate in the state.
How We Rank Top Online Gambling Sites In Illinois
When we pick the best IL online gambling sites, we base our opinions on the crucial elements that can affect a player's experience. Below are some of the factors we use to review each sportsbook, poker room, casino, horse book, or any other gambling site.
Safety & Licensing
The most important thing to consider when you are gambling online is that the site you are using is safe and holds all the appropriate federal and state licenses. We will never suggest a site that we aren't sure is 100% legitimate. We strongly recommend you never wager on offshore gambling sites and instead favor IL gambling apps in order to be protected in case of problems arising with your funds.
Welcome bonuses are a big factor when deciding to sign up for a site. Almost every site offers them but not all of them carry the same value. For a site to pass our criteria a welcome bonus must be large and not have unrealistic wagering requirements, this would mean that you can actually stand to gain some advantage from using the bonus.
Odds & Markets
Players from Illinois might be betting to have a good time but they are also betting to make money. If the odds are poor, however, a punter's ability to make money from their gambles is diminished. Therefore for a site to pass our criterion a gambling site must have fair and competitive odds as well as great bet types (e.g., parlays, multiples, props, live and in-play betting).
A casino is nothing without the games it has to offer. In the end, the quality of their games and their software is ultimately what a site will be judged on. For a gambling site to rank high in Illinois, we will assess how many sports are available to bet on, and the number of markets within these sports. At the time of writing, online poker and online casino gaming are not legal in the state of Illinois so we are only making judgments on the markets available within legal IL sportsbooks.
Deposits & Withdrawals
Even though banking methods can vary from sportsbook to sportsbook, sports betting in Illinois comes with several deposit and withdrawal methods also common and trusted in other US states. We recommend you choose a casino that has a wide variety of banking options. The possible banking options in Illinois include Skrill and other digital wallets, paper checks, PayPal, PayNearMe, Visa, Mastercard, prepaid debit cards, and occasionally ACH and bank transfers.
We would advise everyone to be aware of casinos that offer limited or restricted options for depositing or withdrawing. Some illegal sites for example only have Western Union as an option, this should be seen as a red flag as payments made through here can't be traced.
With all of this in mind, we recommend that you only bet on sites that offer a wide range of payment options for its Illinois locals. Only ever use payment options that have fraud protection such as e-wallets and credit cards. We advise against using cryptocurrencies until they become common amongst licensed IL gambling websites.
If you for whatever reason incur any problems while you are on a gambling site the last thing you want is for it to be a nightmare to talk with the customer service. Every Illinois player deserves someone to have their back!
The importance of great customer service is a major factor for us when we are considering which casinos to recommend to players in Illinois.
For a betting site to meet our high standards of service, it should offer email, phone, and live chat support. Those who are truly available 24/7 receive the highest mark. The average response time also has a big influence on how we rate customer support. The best online casinos in IL will have a support team that can reply nearly instantly to a chat message or to an email within 12 hours.
Casino players in Illinois will like the rest of the world be in the habit of using their phones for almost anything and gambling online should be no exception. The truth is all big legitimate online casinos should have an app. Even if they do, however, some mobile apps are better than others, and for us to recommend a mobile app it needs to be very easy to navigate.
As with most online products and services, we care a lot about what other Illinois players have loved and hated about a specific brand. Bad experiences happen with every gambling operator, it's inevitable. But how poor experiences are turned around can make or break an online gambling site. Review sites, online chatter, Facebook Groups, Reddit, and inbound emails, are all materials we use to assess the reputation of a gambling brand.
How To Start Gambling In Illinois
Creating an account to start betting in Illinois is an easy process. Here below are the steps you should follow if you want to start betting in Illinois.
Pick a gambling site
The casino or sportsbook you bet with is the most important thing you should consider when you are gambling in Illinois. If you want to bet on legitimate sites that offer the best sporting odds we recommend that you choose from the list of fantastic online casinos above. These sites are the best available in the state of Illinois.
Find an available bonus
When signing up to use a casino for the first time you will be eligible to take advantage of a welcome bonus. The IL casino sites we have recommended all offer very competitive welcome offers for their players from Illinois.
Once you have chosen what site you would like to play on you will first need to sign up. For residents of Illinois, you will need to provide some personal information, such as your full name, D.O.B, and the address you are currently residing in. They may also ask you to verify the account through some formal identification such as a passport.
Deposit money into your account
If you choose one of the betting sites we have recommended then you will have a wide range of deposit options available to you. So, choose which deposit method will be the most convenient for you then deposit the amount you want into your account. It is worth noting that if you want to take full advantage of a casino site welcome offer you should deposit the full amount the promotion requires.
You are going to want to bet on a sport you are familiar with. Remember if you want to win big, take your time and consider if the odds you are receiving are fair and competitive. The Illinois sportsbooks that we recommend offer the most competitive odds available on the market.
Cash-out on your winnings
If you win an amount of money you are satisfied with then you will want to cash out your winnings. All of the Illinois casino sites listed above have been chosen because the sites are very easy to withdraw from and you won't be waiting too long for the money to land in your account!
Legal Gambling Promotions In Illinois
Licensed gambling operators in IL often use various sign-up bonuses to attract new local players. Bonuses remain the best strategy to encourage new and existing patrons to spend money on their apps and platforms.
IL New Deposit Bonus
Welcome bonuses will be offered by almost all online gambling sites in Illinois. These new sign-up promotions are likely to come in the form of free bets. For example, you can bet $250 and receive $250 of free bets in return.
IL No Deposit Bonus
A no deposit bonus is when you are given money to play on an Illinois casino site without actually depositing any money. This amount is usually small and will probably include wagering requirements but it is a free bonus so it is worth trying to take advantage of.
IL Risk-Free Bets
Risk-free bets are a popular means for sportsbooks in Illinois to welcome onboard new users. Once a new user makes an initial deposit, they can place their initial wager risk-free up to a predefined amount which often goes as high as $1,000.
IL Reload Bonus
Gaming companies offer to reload bonuses every once in a while. The user redeposits funds into an already registered account and receives website credit for it. The credit is usually awarded as matched bonuses or free bets. The sites we have recommended tend to be quite generous with their reload offers.
IL Odds Boost
An odds boost is a promotion that allows you to improve the odds of one of your selections. For example, if you are betting at odds of 5.0 an odds boost might boost this selection to 5.5. Meaning that you would win more money if your selection is successful.
IL Loyalty Programs
Major IL casino sites like to reward their loyal customers by giving out rewards. These rewards can appear to be random to the user but if you have put in a certain amount of hours on one site you are likely to receive emails on occasion with your free bet information contained.
IL Gambling Laws
Illinois is one of the US states open to online sports betting but strictly against online casinos and poker platforms. The state legalized and opened the market to private operators years ago; whilst other states are only recently playing catch up.
|Casino||Land-based casino and riverboat gambling are legal in Illinois pursuant to the Illinois Gambling Act (230 ILCS 10) signed to become law on June 28, 2019.||Online casino gaming is not yet legal. However, online sweepstakes casinos are allowed to operate. As of 2021, HB3142 was passed in the House, which will legalize both online casinos and online poker.||The use of casino mobile apps is still not allowed in Illinois. (The IGA does not state any provision on the legality of online casinos and apps, therefore considered as illegal.)|
|Sports Betting||As per Illinois' sports wagering act, retail sports betting in casinos, racetracks, and other licensed venues is legal.||Online sports betting is legal (SWA).||Using sportsbook mobile apps is allowed, but requires prior online registration with a retail casino.|
|Horse Racing||Horse racing is legal in Illinois as per the Illinois Horse Racing Act of 1975, regulated by the Illinois Racing Board.||Illinois online horse racing is legal (IHRA).||Horse racing apps are legal to use and available in Illinois (IHRA).|
|Poker||Land-based poker is legal (IGA).||Online poker is not yet legal and is regulated. As of 2021, HB3142 was passed in the House, which will legalize both online casinos and online poker.||Real-money poker apps are illegal. Instead, players in Illinois can enjoy sweepstakes or social play money poker apps. (The IGA does not state any provision on the legality of online poker sites and apps, therefore considered as illegal.)|
IL Gambling Regulators
Illinois Gaming Board (IGB) is a gaming board in Illinois that controls the state's gaming industry. The Board controls a regulatory and tax collection for video gaming and riverboat casinos. The Board has five members, selected by the Governor and approved by the Senate.
Timeline of Events
Let's understand how gambling laws have evolved over the last century in The Prarie State.
1920 - Legalization of Gambling
The state legalized horse race betting at local racetracks. This was a significant moment for the gambling industry, bringing forth tourism and revenue for the state. From that point onwards, the popularity of gambling escalated, with horse racing still being very popular in Illinois today.
1975 - Illinois Horse Racing Act
Organization proprietors were authorized to provide wagering on horse races like standardbreds, quarter horses, and thoroughbreds. However, that did require the approval of the IRB in writing. The Illinois Horse Racing Act also issued conduct criteria on the wagering of historical-breed horse races.
1990 - Riverboat Gambling Act
The Riverboat Gambling Act allowed Illinois to inaugurate its first-ever riverboat casino in the city of Alton. At one point, it was obligatory for riverboat casinos to keep moving along the waterways as gambling took place. Later on, in 1999 new law allowed casinos to be docked permanently.
2019 - Illinois Gambling Act
The Illinois Gambling Act allowed for the six casinos to be built and licensed in Illinois, the sixth one to be located in Chicago. Approved by Governor Pritzker, this particular act made substantial changes and alterations to gambling law in the state.
2019 - Sports Wagering Act
Online sports wagering was legalized in the state, with the very first legal wager placed on the 9th of March in 2020. The Sports Wagering Act allows players aged 21 or above to legally place real money wagers on live sports events.
2021 - Legalization of Internet Gaming
The Internet Gaming Act was introduced in February 2021. This act makes it legal for casinos or racetracks to provide online gambling. There are high expectations that it could lead to the legalization of online casinos in the state in 2022.
IL Gambling History
Illinois, much like other US states, has a rich history in gambling, which officially dates back to 1920. That was when horse race betting was legalized at the state's local racetracks. After that, the state went through numerous changes in terms of gambling.
Riverboat Casinos In Illinois
Illinois became the second US state to legalize riverboat casinos, after the inauguration of the Alton Belle casino in 1991. To be more precise, in 1999, a new Riverboat Gambling Act was signed by then-governor George Ryan, allowing gambling to stay in operation on riverboats remaining dockside.
The Illinois Penalty Box
The Penalty Box period barred prominent online gaming operators like DraftKings and FanDuel for 18 months from applying for sports wagering licenses worth $20 million. The main aim behind this 18-month delay was to offer local casinos an edge over online operators.
Banning of Illinois College Sports Betting
Although sports betting has been legal in the state since 2019, it was not legal for Illinois residents to bet on in-state basketball or football teams online. However, Governor Pritzker signed a bill in December 2021, easing the ban on in-state college sports betting (with a few conditions put in place).
Responsible Gambling in IL
Gambling should always be for the purpose of fun and should not be seen as a pursuit for financial gains. If you are not in control of your gambling habits this can lead to deeply problematic financial, career, relationship, and family issues. Players from Illinois who are requiring assistance are advised to contact the following organizations.
|National Council on Problem Gambling Illinois||800-522-4700||a helpline assists Illinois residents with problem gambling|
|Illinois Council on Problem Gambling||217-652-9611||statewide resource in Illinois for awareness and education about Gambling Disorder|
If you have doubts, read and learn more about problem gambling and gambling addiction.
IL Gambling: FAQ
Answers to common questions from gamblers in Illinois about their state's position on various gambling topics.
Is online gambling legal in Illinois?
Online casino gaming is not yet legal. However, online sports betting has been legal in Illinois since 2019. If you want to bet online as a player in Illinois we have recommended several online gaming sites selected after meticulous research.
What is the legal age for gambling in Illinois?
To gamble in Illinois the player must be at least 21 years of age. However, minors can still enter the establishment as long as they do not participate in any of the games on the floor or drink alcohol.
Who is regulating online gambling in Illinois?
The Illinois Gaming Board (IGB) is responsible for regulating online gaming in the state. The IGB is a five-person board assigned by the state Governor.
What casinos currently operate in Illinois?
Currently, there are ten casinos legally operating in Illinois. The Hollywood Casino Joliet and Harrahs are two of the most noteworthy casinos in the state.
Should I wager on offshore gambling sites from Illinois?
Offshore gambling sites should never be considered as they are often located in suspicious jurisdictions. They also offer very little protection in case of issues for American players, including those located in the Land of Lincoln.
Is it safe to use IL gambling sites?
It is completely safe to use licensed IL gambling sites that are regulated by the state authorities. All of the sites we recommend are 100% legal and legitimate. It is very important that you never use a site you aren't one hundred percent sure is the real deal. If you keep your wits about you and seek advice online from experts you should never run into any issues.
How are IL casino winnings taxed?
If you're a full-time Illinois resident, you should report your gambling winnings on Form IL-1040. If you won cash or a prize gambling within Illinois, you would need a Schedule M and a Schedule IL-WIT.
When will online casinos be legal in IL?
Unfortunately, there is no timeline for when online casinos will be legal in Illinois. However, there is some hope that considering they legalized sports betting only in 2019, soon IL online casino sites might follow. A trend throughout the U.S will also contribute to this being more likely.