Illinois online sports betting is now legal, live, and available throughout the state. In-state bettors can now choose from a variety of A-list online sportsbook apps, sign up, and bet from the comfort of their own homes. Today, we’ll take you through everything you need to know about sports betting in Illinois. After a contentious negotiation process, Illinois lawmakers finally pushed legal sports betting through the state legislature as part of a massive capital bill on June 3, 2019. Governor J.B. Pritzker signed the bill on June 28.

State of Illinois Sports Betting Overview

The new Illinois sports betting law allows for statewide retail and online sports betting at casinosracetracksoff-track betting parlors, andvenues that house professional sports in Illinois. There are no tribal casinos in the state. State regulators will also issue three stand-alone mobile sports betting licenses, though those could not be issued until at least 18 months after the first “master” license was issued (which occurred in June 2020 – more on this below). Online sports betting apps were authorized on June 18, 2020, when BetRivers went live.

Most adults who are of legal gambling age (21+) can bet on sports so long as they are not on a self-exclusion list.

Note that you do not need to be an Illinois resident to use a betting app or online sportsbook in the state. Location requirements apply to your physical presence within state lines rather than your regular place of residence.

The Illinois Gaming Board states that “The Sports Wagering Act and the proposed rules allow master sports wagering licensees to offer wagers on any professional sport, any motorsport, and any collegiate sport excluding those involving Illinois collegiate teams.”

The broad mandate allows wagering on a huge range of events from around the world, including all the biggest events, such as the Super Bowl, the Olympics, the World Cup, and more. However, there are some exceptions.

State of Illinois Sports Betting Timeline

The Illinois sports betting market continues to develop, with new sportsbooks launching and regulations shifting frequently.

Illinois Timeline

March 5, 2022: The in-person registration requirement for Illinois sportsbooks has been lifted, giving sports bettors the opportunity to sign up with betting sites entirely online.

October 27, 2021: An amendment to HB3136 could remove in-person registration for online sports betting accounts in Illinois. The amendment has been referred to the Executive Committee for review, and a potential expiration date of March 2, 2022, maybe set for the rule.

August 3, 2021: William Hill is rebranded as Caesars Sportsbook.

June 22, 2021: The Chicago Bears, BetRivers Sportsbook, and Rivers Casino announce an exclusive multi-year partnership. The deal makes BetRivers the official sportsbook partner of the Bears and names Rivers Casino as the team’s official casino partner.

May 31, 2021: Amendments to Illinois Senate Bill 251 pass in the House. If approved by the Senate and signed by Governor J.B. Pritzker, the bill will create a trial period for allowing wagers on in-state college teams. The trial would run until July 1, 2023. Wagers on in-state college teams would be limited to retail sports betting locations only, so bettors won’t be able to bet on Illinois colleges online.

April 12, 2021: For the first time in nine months, Illinois does not break its monthly record in sports betting handle. Still, the state’s handle exceeds $500 million for a second time as the Illinois Gaming Board reports $509,794,592 in wagers for February. The handle may drop somewhat in the months ahead as the state switched back to in-person registration requirements.

April 4, 2021: Illinois lawmakers allow Gov. J.B. Pritzker’s executive order calling for remote registration to expire. All new users must now register or verify their accounts in person before betting on sports in Illinois.

March 12, 2021: Illinois reports a new state record of $581,553,300 in betting handle for January 2021. It is the fourth state to eclipse the $500 million mark in a single month. The state is now on pace to take in more than $7 billion in wagers in 2021.

November 20, 2020: The Golden Nugget secures 20 years of guaranteed access to the Illinois sports betting market. The cost? Agreeing to commit $30 million to the construction of a new Golden Nugget casino in Danville. The deal allows the company to launch a statewide online platform and offer in-person sports betting at the new casino.