Illinois betting is on the rise, and there are now seven licensed and regulated sportsbooks in the state. The betting handle has soared over the past 12 months, and Illinois has realized the potential that sports wagering has to offer.
If you are looking to find the best sportsbooks to play at, we have reviewed the top operators, suggest the most popular operators, and shed light on mobile betting. Stay with us to find out more.
Illinois online sports betting sites are cropping up all the time. Generally, they will fare well across the key performance indicators. Most importantly, they will have competitive, but fair odds, so that bettors stand a good chance of returning successful wagers. Within that, those that will stand out will have odds boosts, so players can scoop bigger winnings from longer prices.
Ultimately, an Illinois sportsbook that will stand out will be user-friendly. It will be easy to navigate to your preferred section of the site and locate the markets of your choice with minimal fuss. The same will apply to the mobile betting product, which is something that we will discuss later in this guide.
Users will enjoy playing at Illinois betting sites that have a healthy range of banking options to make deposits and withdrawals, and this will cover traditional payment methods such as credit and debit cards, as well as e-wallets, such as Skrill and PayPal.
Oh, and the Illinois sports betting sites that have the best bonuses will be appealing to new players. Ideally, they will be targeting a matched deposit bonus or other bonus bets to get their teeth stuck into and kickstart their betting journey.
BetRivers is one of those sites that is always trying to push the needle, and it ranks as the best operator for online betting in Illinois, purely based on sports coverage. You will find over 20 sports listed in the main lobby, and that includes everything from Gridiron, baseball, and ice hockey to more niche sports (Jai-alai, anyone?).
The site boasts an array of odds, and for tennis matches, you will be able to access more than 40 markets for an ATP contest. You can also find plenty of props, and compiling a parlay is very easy to do.
Although they have labeled it as ‘Buy Out’, this is BetRivers’ equivalent of cash out, and it is available on selected markets for those who wish to retrieve their winnings early before the conclusion of a game. BetRivers also boasts a super app that is available for iOS and Android devices, and the app also included a geolocations feature to ensure a smoother experience in regulated states, such as Illinois.
Don’t forget to take the advantage of the welcome bonus — a 2nd chance style where if your first bet loses, you will be rewarded with a $500 bonus bet.
And when it comes to customer support, BetRivers is well versed in this area with a live chat facility, email, and phone number, and agents are usually responsive.
PointsBet may be one of the newer Iowa sportsbooks on the block, but one area it delivers is the quality of its odds. Lines are released promptly, and there is a raft of sports to choose from, including Aussie Rules, baseball, boxing, and soccer. There are a few unique features that appeal, such as ‘Name your Bet’, which is the equivalent of requesting a bet that isn’t readily available elsewhere.
The site is renowned for points betting, which essentially allows players to vie for rewards for every betting unit they commit to, and there is a stop loss slider, so you can view potential winnings as well as losses should your bet be wide of the mark.
PointsBet is well-versed in covering soccer, and you will find all of the top leagues, including Italy’s Serie A to wager on.
PointsBet facilitates parlay, and there is also live betting and streaming available if you have a registered account. The app is also streamlined, and with its red and black hue, it is well-optimized for mobile. It performs well, especially on iOS and Android devices.
New customers can tuck into an appetizing $500 bonus bet opening bonus, which is split into five $100 bets. You don’t need a promo code, and what’s even better about PointsBet, is that it has a rewards program, which is lacking at most other sportsbooks in Illinois.
FanDuel ticks a lot of boxes, and the welcome bonus which is a no-sweat $1,000 first bet offer, which will appeal to new bettors, who want some kind of second go at betting wif their first bet loses. On the sports side of things, virtually every sport is covered and the site is very inviting from a design perspective.
Odds boosts are part and parcel of the Illinois sports betting experience at FanDuel, and it excels when it comes to betting on golf. You will be able to drill down the markets, such as ‘Winner’ through to ‘Who will make/miss the cut?’ and ‘Round Leader’, and you can use the intuitive betting slip to fill in your selections.
In many respects, FanDuel is an engaging sportsbook to play at, and that translates to the betting app, which mirrors the desktop version, and it is high performing, so you will be able to enjoy the full in-play betting product while on the move.
FanDuel has undergone a few changes over the past few years, but it is strong across many areas. The fact it has so many deposit and withdrawal options for players helps it score extra marks, and it is a great site for betting in Illinois.
BetMGM is one of those iconic Illinois sportsbooks, and it is a revered operator for many reasons, one of which is for the quality of its live stream. As a registered user, you will be able to access a smorgasbord of matches that are available for live streaming. The product is crisp and devoid of any buffering issues.
The odds are competitive at BetMGM, and they have an odds boost area entitled Lions Boost, so you can take advantage of this or tackle a same-game parlay, which is available for all major sports, including the NBA.
BetMGM has its finger on the pulse when it comes to mobile betting, and there are some exciting loyalty bonus options for existing players, such as the Money Monday Club where you have to opt-in, and place qualifying wagers.
The opening bonus is extremely generous, as it comprises a $1,000 first bet wager, and bettors will find this site one of the safest to use. All in all, there are few things to dislike about BetMGM and using it for sports betting in Illinois.
The finest Illinois sportsbooks are no longer prepared to rest on their laurels. One of the ways they try to keep new bettors on side and retain their loyalty is through the quality of their opening bonus. Promotions will come in all forms and guises, but the most noticeable will be the matched deposit deals, which is a common sight at most leading sportsbooks.
Naturally, these types of offers come with their own set of disadvantages and drawbacks which we have highlighted below:
Mobile and online betting for Illinois residents makes it easier and more convenient for players to sign up for sportsbooks. For the past couple of years, players don’t have to visit land-based locations to complete the sign-up process. To bet in Illinois, you must be 21 years or older to place a bet online or via mobile betting apps inside of the state borders.
All licensed sportsbooks will be approved by an official gaming body. Illinois Rep Bob Rita has recently introduced an amendment to the state’s Sports Wagering Act, which would see two sports wagering exchanges.
New Jersey is the only state that permits betting exchanges. Among the proposed changes would see an exchange trade wagering to be taxed at 15%. Also, an initial license fee would cost $500,000, lasting four years, and a license renewal would cost $100,000 for the Illinois sportsbooks.
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Illinois has a rich sporting pedigree, and below, we have run through some of the most popular sports you can bet on in the state:
The NFL always attracts throes of fans during the regular season, and in Illinois, many will have a soft spot for the Chicago Bears. Typically, at sites like BetMGM, you can form same-game parlays if the Bears were playing the San Francisco 49ers. This could entail a player producing the most rushing yards or providing the most touching yards in a game.
BetMGM will also have futures advertised during the offseason, so you can find odds for teams to reach the playoffs or win the Super Bowl.
Illinois is home to the revered Chicago Red Bulls, and each week, you will find a raft of odds for their Eastern Conference games. At Illinois sports betting sites, such as FanDuel, you can pinpoint odds for player props, such as X player to score 26.5 points or over in a game, or even the total points over/under. NBA games are generally high scoring.
The Chicago Blackhawks are the team that most Illinois residents will follow quite closely, and the action is usually frantic on the ice. PointsBet is great for in-play betting on the NHL, and aside from a host of spreads and boosted odds, the points betting feature will spice up your NHL wagering experience.
The MLB has a local rivalry involving the Chicago Cubs and Chicago White Sox. And at sites such as BetRivers, this is where MLB comes into its own. You will be able to tuck into a variety of run lines, and there is an intuitive in-play betting section complete with all the latest stats as the action unfolds.
Illinois sports betting wouldn’t be complete nowadays without mobile wagering. All of the sportsbooks we have referred to in this guide will have worked tirelessly to create native apps that are high performing, and are compatible with iOS and Android devices.
Generally, the finest betting apps in the state will load pages quickly, and they will be responsive. So, if you wish to locate particular betting markets, you will be able to do so with minimal fuss. They will be slick and eye-catching in terms of design, and they will enhance the user experience for Illinois players.
Although BetMGM incorporates live streaming, we were particularly impressed with FanDuel. It is extremely user-friendly, and everything is well presented. With FanDuel, there were no lagging issues or unnecessary pop-up ads that flash up, and it provides a seamless experience for mobile bettors.
Illinois has become a hub for sports betting, although there are fewer online sportsbooks to register for than you may have first imagined. Nevertheless, whichever site you sign up for, you will be guaranteed a great experience.
However, we think BetRivers should be your first port of call. Aside from facilitating in-play betting and having a great first-bet offer for new users, it is very comprehensive in its sports coverage. It is a site that will continue to go from strength to strength, so sign up today to see why we rate it so highly.
Players must be 21 years of age or older or reach the minimum age for gambling in their respective state and located in jurisdictions where online gambling is legal. Please play responsibly. Bet with your head, not over it. If you or someone you know has a gambling problem, and wants help, call or visit: (a) the Council on Compulsive Gambling of New Jersey at 1-800-Gambler or www.800gambler.org; or (b) Gamblers Anonymous at 855-2-CALL-GA or www.gamblersanonymous.org.
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