Betting on sports just got a whole lot easier in Illinois. The state has had legalized sports betting since March 2020, and though gamblers could make bets with apps, they had to do so at a retail sportsbook. Now mobile betting is making its debut in the Prairie State.
Last October, the Illinois General Assembly passed a new law to eliminate the in-person registration requirement for Illinois sports bettors. As of March 5, betting via mobile app can be done anywhere in the state.
One restriction remains: gamblers can’t wager on in-state college teams, such as the University of Illinois Fighting Illini, the DePaul University Blue Demons and the Northwestern University Wildcats. Betting on minor league events is also prohibited.
Here’s a breakdown of the market and its top operators:
BetMGM, the third largest sportsbook in the country, was a little late getting to the Land of Lincoln, but is quickly making up ground. The sportsbook went live last Saturday, partnering with Par-A-Dice Casino in East Peoria.
BetMGM features include in-app, livestreamed sporting events from around the world, and offers industry-leading promotions only available in Illinois. The sportsbook is also presenting two promotions that are sure to attract new customers.
The first is a risk-free bet up to $1,000. All new users have to do is sign up with the bonus code PLAYBONUS, enter your information, deposit into your account, and place your first bet up to $1,000. If the bet doesn’t win you get betting credits in the amount of your bet. Here’s the link to your risk-free bet.
The second promo is also a no-brainer. Bet $10 on an NBA team to win, and if either team hits a three-pointer, customers win $200 in free bets regardless if you team wins the game.
Chicago Bulls to win NBA Title: +3500
Some of the other promotions BetMGM offers are NBA and NHL One Game Parlay Insurance, NHL Live Free Bet and NHL Overtime insurance. BetMGM Rewards Points can be redeemed for a variety of rewards, including bonus credits for online casino play, poker play and sports wagering. Points can also be used for hotel, dining and other experiences at MGM Resorts properties nationwide.
Chicago White Sox to win World Series: +1100
Caesars Sportsbook has had a presence in Illinois since August 2020 when it set up a William Hill Sportsbook at the Grand Victoria Riverboat Casino in Elgin. Eldorado Resorts acquired Caesars a month later, but kept the Caesars name for all its holdings.
In addition to the three ticket windows at the Grand Victoria, Caesars now has its mobile app live. The company is kicking off its app’s debut with a lucrative promotion.
Customers can make a deposit for as little as $10, but with a deal like this, they should put in more cash when signing up. Caesars is offering $1,100 first-bet insurance. Make a wager up to $1,100 and if you lose, get the amount bet in the form of a free bet. Sign up here to take advantage of this generous sign-up promotion.
Chicago Bears to win Super Bowl: +8000
Caesars has one of the largest betting menus in the state, with parlays, early bet cash outs, live sports wagering, and extensive future markets. Like BetMGM, Caesars has a popular loyalty program. Caesars Rewards accumulate as you play, and are redeemable for hotel stays, dining, shopping and more.
BetRivers was the first mobile sportsbook to launch in Illinois, debuting in June 2020 at Rivers Casino in the Chicago suburb of Des Plaines.
Now customers don’t have to fight Windy City traffic to bet on their favorite team. The BetRivers app makes it easy and convenient to get in on the action, with a wide range of sports to bet on and bet types, including parlays, moneylines and live sports wagering.
Chicago Cubs to win World Series: +8000
One of the best features is “Buy Out,” which allows players to cash their bets out early. This gives bettors the option of securing their winnings in exchange for limited returns.
BetRivers is offering a promotion for new customers. Make an initial deposit up to $250 and BetRivers will match whatever is put in the account. With a match like that, it’s time to create your BetRivers account. Sign up here.
PointsBet is well established in Illinois through a partnership with Hawthorne Race Course, which has four physical locations where gamblers can bet.
Now PointsBet has entered the mobile market and is enticing new customers with some of the best promotions in the business. The sportsbook is offering a $500 risk-free regular wager coupled with a $1,500 risk-free PointsBetting wager. Get in on the PointsBetting action today.
Chicago Blackhawks to win Stanley Cup: +50000
What makes PointsBetting unique? Players select what they think the final total will be and assign a bet value to a point. Their returns are then based on how correct they are, with wins and losses based on how their prediction matched up compared to the final score.
More on Sports Betting in Illinois
Illinois sports bettors can bet on a wide range of markets, including:
- Auto Racing
- Table Tennis
- Totals (Over/Under)
- Alternative lines
- Online Banking
- Cash at retail casino cage
Responsible Gaming Protections in Illinois
The Illinois Department of Human Services, Division of Substance Use Prevention and Recovery offers resources for problem gamblers and those who may be at risk. Visit WeKnowTheFeeling.org for help, support and advice to keep gambling safe and fun.
If you or someone you know has a gambling problem, call 1-800-GAMBLER or text ILGAMB to 53342.
These resources are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Support specialists who operate the helpline and website are trained in evidence-based approaches to connect callers with treatment and recovery support.