Illinois became the 15th US state to legalize sports betting. It took its first legal sports bet in March 2020. There are now five casino operators in the state of Illinois ready to open retail sportsbooks and later online betting sites. We should expect BetChicago, Pointsbet Illinois, Betrivers sportsbook and later bet365 and William Hill to start accepting bets in Illinois.
However, while other US, like Colorado and Indiana, states have simultaneously launched online sports betting alongside retail sportsbooks, Illinois hasn’t followed suit. It’s likely that Illinois online and mobile sportsbooks will only start appearing in 2021 at some point. You can however bet on horses.
Illinois Sports Betting Sites*
- bet365 (expected)
- William Hill (anticipated)
*All mentioned above sports betting sites are not live yet in Illinois. To be updated…
Illinois Sports Betting Laws in 2020
Illinois has a long history of riverboat casinos, but the state only moved to add sports betting legislation in 2019.
In May 2019, Senator Napoleon Harris III proposed the Sports Wagering Bill. It set out to give the state gaming board the powers to issue sports betting licenses.
First, the Sports Wagering Act (SB 176) was proposed by Senator Napoleon Harris III. The Illinois sports betting bill proposed to give powers to the state’s gaming board to license land-based casinos and let them accept sports wagers.
Illinois actually went one step further when the Illinois Sports Betting Bill was approved by the Senate in mid-2019. Under new Illinois gaming licenses, casinos and race tracks in the state can provide legal sports betting. Not only that, but some sports stadiums can also open sportsbooks on their premises.
For the first 18 months of the bill’s life, online sports betting will only be available to gamblers registering in person at a land-based licensee. Retail sportsbooks launched in March 2020 with the opening of the BetRivers sportsbook at Rivers Casino in Des Plaines.
Legal Sportsbooks in Illinois
There are currently 10 riverboat casinos operating legally in Illinois, some are close to Chicago. These will all likely launch some form of retail and/or online sportsbook in the next 18 months.
In 2020, Rivers Casino became the first Illinois casino to launch its own retail sportsbook lounge. Argosy Casino in Alton was due to follow soon after until the COVID-19 outbreak shut the state’s casinos.
Operator: Rush Street Gaming
Powered by Kambi, the developer behind some of the most innovative online sportsbooks, the BetRivers sportsbook Illinois features a 26-seat bar and wall monitors showing current US and overseas sports. You can also play video poker in between making wagers.
The land-based sportsbook works in conjunction with a mobile app where you can make bets. The Kambi app also features an in-built Bet Builder where you can make your own bespoke parlays.
The BetRivers online sportsbook spreads markets across UFC, NCAAB and NBA, plus worldwide soccer leagues, golf, and hockey.
Argosy Casino & Sportsbook Alton, Illinois
Operator: Penn National Gaming
Argosy Casino, IL, was due to open Illinois’s second retail sportsbook before the coronavirus pandemic shut most of the country’s casinos.
However, Argosy is ready to go with a retail sports betting lounge and mobile app allowing visitors to place wagers.
Gamblers will be able to place bets on a range of sports like boxing, golf, baseball, and football. The sportsbook has 36 monitors and HDTVs showing the day’s big games and contests.
Illinois Free Bets Bonuses & Promotions
Sports bettors in Illinois are still waiting to see a host of sportsbooks open on mobile. While BetRivers have beaten everyone to it, expect to see launches from operators like BetMGM, Unibet, and 888.
So, what bonuses could you expect to see when Illinois sports betting launches proper?
Welcome Bonus: Get a deposit match on your first account load. The sportsbook will match your deposit 100% and honor it if you meet the strict wagering requirements.
Risk-Free Bets: Get a full refund on your first bet if it loses. You will receive a free bet to use on any sport.
Enhanced Odds: Odds boosts are a common feature of regulated US sportsbooks. Enjoy enhanced odds on the night’s big MLB game or Futures markets like the Super Bowl or Stanley Cup.
Illinois Online Sports Gambling In Brief:
- Sports betting legal (Y/N): Y
- Legal age of gambling: 21
- State Tax: 15%