This is our comprehensive Chicago City (IL) sports betting and gambling guide 2020. Check the gambling sites, legal sportsbooks (bet now at Rivers Casino Des Plaines), mobile apps (Betrivers IL coming soon). Read about Chicago casinos, gambling locations, racetracks and more.
Betting in Chicago
There is no doubt that Chicago is one of the biggest sports betting cities in America. Two professional baseball teams, a professional basketball team, football team, and soccer team compete in Chicago, and the fanbases truly embrace these teams. With Illinois legalizing sports betting in the spring of 2019, Chicago will become a real hotbed for betting and wagering on sports.
The teams in the city have all seen great success throughout history. No athlete has grown more popular than the Chicago Bulls superstar Michael Jordan who ruled over the NBA bringing six championships to the city. The Bears, Cubs, White Sox, and Blackhawks have all brought home championships as well. With all of these teams to root for, it’s no surprise that the city has a very passionate fanbase and even throughout the down seasons, the city sticks by their teams!
In the Chicago sports betting guide below, we will be going over everything you need to know about betting on sports, casinos, and online gambling in Chicago. We will cover all of the teams that compete in the city, the casinos you can visit, horse tracks, and the laws that surround it. Like most cities, the laws and regulations surrounding gambling and sports betting are likely to be changed around since the nationwide ban on the activity was lifted. With that being said, we will do our best to go over everything as it currently stands in the city.
As with any city, we first need to take a look at what is legal and what is not. We will look at all the options for gambling, sports betting, lottery, horse racing, and everything else that you can and can’t do in the city of Chicago.
What Gambling is Legal in Chicago
First, we are going to look at what gambling is legal to do in Chicago. Everything in this next section is free and clear and will not expose you to any fines. So, let’s take a look!
Charitable gaming, like in most places, is legal in the city of Chicago, and there are plenty of events that can be attended for winning prizes. These charitable events are put together to raise money for worthy causes, and there are websites online dedicated to finding when and where these games are going down. This includes all kinds of raffles, bingo events, as well as poker games and tournaments.
Horse and Dog Racing
Horse racing in Chicago goes way back to the early 1830s, and at one point the city had more race tracks than any other metropolitan area. So, as you can imagine, horse racing is legal in the city of Chicago, and there are a few options for anyone trying to hit the track for a race. This includes venues like Hawthorne Race Course as well as Arlington International Race Course.
Land-Based Casinos & Sportsbooks
Not only are land-based casinos legal in the state of Illinois, but a bill has been passed to add up to 6 more potentially in the very near future. However, for Chicago residents, the closest casino actually falls in the state of Indiana with the Horseshoe Casino being the top destination for playing casino games. Some of the other options available for Chicago residents to play casino games are as follows:
- Ameristar Casino Hotel East Chicago
- Rivers Casino Des Plaines – sportsbook is live, operated by Betrivers
- Horseshoe Hammond Casino
- Majestic Star Casino
- Harrah’s Joliet Casino near Chicago
- Lottery Betting
We will be covering all of these casinos in more depth below, so read on!
Poker rooms are completely legal in the state of Illinois, and plenty of options for live poker and cash games exist for Chicago residents. You can easily walk into any of the casinos listed above and get involved in games of poker at any time of the day. However, unlike typical casinos staying open 24 hours, Illinois casinos actually do close, so make sure to pay attention to the operating hours.
Sports Betting in Chicago, IL
Chicago residents can rejoice as Illinois has joined the growing list of states to legalize sports betting. The state legislature has passed a bill that will not only allow for physical sportsbooks in the state but also online sportsbooks as well. This happened in the spring of 2019, and if all goes as planned, you should see sportsbooks opening up at a variety of different casinos and horse racing tracks across the state by 2020.
Now you can place bets at Illinois Rivers Casino Des Plaines. Mobile app by Betrivers is coming soon.
Off Track Betting
Off-track betting is definitely legal and a great option for anyone that doesn’t have the time or means of travel for spending a day at the racetrack. After all, cars are not necessary when living in such a massive town like Chicago. So, throughout the state of Illinois, you will see highway signs informing you of all the OTB locations for you to pull over and enjoy.
What is Not Legal
Now that we have covered what is legal, let’s take a look at what will absolutely get you into trouble. While the state of Chicago does provide you with great options for wagering, the state does have some limitations that you need to look out for. Let’s dive in.
Online Gambling is not legal for Chicago residents yet
While you can go online and play the lottery in Illinois as well as head to approved websites to bet on horse racing, there are no state-regulated online casino or poker sites available to Illinois residents. There have been several attempts to legalize online poker and casino sites; the bills have never made it out of the house. There is the potential for this opening up soon, as Chicago residents can just cross their fingers and hope for the best as the state explores these options. For now, however, offshore websites are the only options available for the people of Chicago. Check all available sports betting apps in the state.
Chicago Sports Betting Sites and Gambling Locations
As we stated above, laws for sports betting in Chicago are awaiting a welcomed change, and it is online sports betting will be available to residents of the city in the very near future. Until then, however, the only options for making sports bets in the entire state of Illinois are with offshore websites.
With that being said, some possible gambling locations for sportsbooks in Chicago once the law has been passed are the casinos that make up the city. In the section below, we will go over some of the best locations to play casino games when you are visiting Chicago!
Physical Gambling Locations near Chicago
Ameristar Casino Hotel East Chicago
The Ameristar Casino Hotel East Chicago is one of the best casino and gaming options for Chicago residents featuring everything you would find in your classic Vegas-style casino. The Ameristar house over 1,700 state of the art slot machines and has denominations ranging from a penny to upwards of 100 dollars!
The casino also features over 72 action-packed table games with a friendly atmosphere that will keep you comfortable and relaxed. Play all of your favorite games like Craps, Blackjack, Roulette, Mississippi Sut, EZ Pai Gow, Three-Card Poker, and Blazing 7’s. There is also a wide variety of high stakes action to take part in including all the popular table games as well as massive jackpots!
Rivers Casino Des Plaines
The Rivers Casino Des Plaines has everything a casino player and gambler needs to get their fair share of wagers and win big! The casino houses some of the newest and most action-packed slot machines in the state with over 1,000 options ranging from 50 cents to 100 dollar denominations. All the best games are included such as
- Wonder 4
- Crystal Star
- Wonder 4 Wonder Wheel
- Lucky 88
- Double Strike
- Ming Warrior
- Double Gold
- Black Diamond
If table games are more of your style, then look no further than the Rivers Casino Des Plaines 50 games that include the likes of:
- Texas Hold ‘Em
- Spanish 21
- Mississippi Stud
- Pai Gow Poker
- 3-Card Poker
The casino also has a high limit gaming room for the most serious gamblers hunting for the biggest cash prizes.
Horseshoe Hammond Casino
The Horseshoe Hammond Casino is actually located outside of Illinois in the neighboring state of Indiana. However, this is the closest option for a casino night for anyone residing in the Chicago area. The Horseshoe Hammond Casino is awesome. It has some of the finest dining and drink options of all the casinos listed, and when it comes to casino games, the Horseshoe does not disappoint.
The slot machine options at the Horseshoe Hammond are second to none. All of the traditional options are available as well as some pop culture games like Star Wars, eBay, Wheel of Fortune, and Hangover themed games. The slots have denominations up to 1,000 dollars, and there are over 1,500 penny slot options. The table games at the Horseshoe are excellent. You can play 100x craps and all of the traditional options for table games. There is a high-limit room offering 21+3 Blackjack as well as 5-spot Fortune Pai Gow Poker with 25,000 dollar limits.
Majestic Star Casino
At the Majestic Star Casino, you can enjoy all the amenities you would find in any high-end casino. There are a wide variety of slots offered at the Majestic Star Casino including Riches With Daikoku, Solstice Celebration, and Willy Wonka. There are also plenty of video poker games to choose from! If you are into table games, pick from Blackjack, Spanish 21, craps, or roulette at the Majestic Star. For any poker players out there, a place for you exists at the casino with a poker room built for novices and professionals alike. Cash games and exclusive events are available 24/7 and tournaments are listed on their event schedule for those looking to get involved.
Chicago Online Casinos and Sportsbooks
As of now, there are no online casino or sportsbooks available. This is not because the state of Illinois doesn’t allow it, but because since it was recently approved, they are still putting together an infrastructure to support online sportsbooks. As early as 2020, Chicago residents could see options for legal online sportsbooks opening up, and the people of Illinois could not be happier.
Chicago Sports Betting Communities, Bars, Forums, and Blogs
As with any massively popular city with multiple options for sports and teams to cheer on, Chicago has a pretty sound sports culture amongst the city. So, it is no surprise that sports bars, blogs, and even communities have sprung up everywhere that keep the fans, as well as the sports bettors of Chicago, informed on where their teams are at and how they are looking going forward. In the section below, we will be going over all of the nooks and crannies of the city that allow fans and sports bettors to get the latest news and updates on what is going on with the sports teams of the city.
Wrigleyville is by far the biggest sports neighborhood in all of Chicago. Not only is it the home of Wrigley Field but it also holds a large number of bars, clubs, and restaurants located up and down Clark street. Some of the top sports bars in Wrigleyville include:
- Sluggers World Class Sports Bar
- Redmonds Ale House
- Budweiser Brickhouse Tavern
Online Blogs and Sports Gambling Forums
As with most cities, there are plenty of blogs and forums online to keep up to date with the latest news for Chicago sports. Below, we have listed a few of the most popular blogs the residents of Chicago can use to stay in tune with their home teams.
- Betting in Chicago
- Sports Betting in Chicago, IL
- Chicago Sports Betting Sites and Gambling Locations
- Chicago Sports Betting Communities, Bars, Forums, and Blogs
- Online Blogs and Sports Gambling Forums