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Richard Miller
Last Updated:
January 9, 2022
This author was thoroughly tested and approved by the experts at before joining the editorial board to ensure a high content quality.
Author Bio:
Richard was Marketing Manager at a global bookmaker and worked in the enterntainment sector for decades before working his way up in the world of entrepreneurs. His focus areas are mainly in the fields of sports and politics. He has a Science Degree, visited Harvard University and is now our hardworking Editor-in-Chief at BettingBilly.
Richard was Marketing Manager at a global bookmaker and worked in the enterntainment sector for decades before working his way up in the world of entrepreneurs. His focus areas are mainly in the fields of sports and politics. He has a Science Degree, visited Harvard University and is now our hardworking Editor-in-Chief at BettingBilly.

Illinois Online Sports Betting in 2022

Sports Betting in Illinois: Legal in 2022

Although the United States allowed legal sports betting in May 2018 following the Supreme Court’s repealing of PASPA, it took a whole year for Senator Napoleon Harris III to propose the Sports Wagering Bill in Illinois. Governor J.B. Pitzker signed the bill (as a part of a huge capital bill on more than 900 pages) one month later allowing casinos and race tracks to accept sports wagers in the state. Nonetheless, we had to wait until March 2020 for the maiden sports bet to be placed within the state’s borders, opening the doors for numerous Illinois sports betting online bookmakers.

Land-based Betting Operators & Racetracks in Illinois 2022

Whilst riverboat casinos have been present in Illinois since early-1990s, the state did not take sports betting legislation into consideration at all before mid-2019. Senator Harris’ Sports Wagering Act paved the way for the state’s gaming board towards licensing in-land casinos. Since then, casinos and race tracks can accept sports wagers and even encourage stadiums to open sportsbooks on their premises.

BetRivers became the first sportsbook to take advantage of the bill as they opened its retail in March 2020 on the premise of Rivers Casino in des Plaines. Argosy Casino Alton was supposed to do the same seven days later but only to see the grand opening delayed through the global COVID-19 pandemic outbreak. Although the likes of the Grand Victoria Casino and the Hollywood Casino in Aurora and Joilet had received temporary licenses, they are yet to open its doors to the public.

Since the overall situation in regards to the pandemic is much better these days, we can expect more hubs to apply for Illinois sportsbook licenses. Around ten local casinos, seven professional sports venues, and three race tracks are all in position to legally host sports wagering at this stage. Teams whose venues can welcome at least 17,000 attendants can get Illinois sports betting license by paying a $10 million fee. Two of the state’s three race tracks, Hawthorne Race Course and Fairmount Park, have already applied for the license. Arlington Park will likely follow the pattern as soon as possible.

Online Betting in Illinois 2022

Online sports betting was formally launched on March 9th, 2020 in Illinois but only to be shuttered over the consequences of the coronavirus pandemic. Only the state’s own brick-and-mortar operators can apply for online licenses in accordance with the law. And that’s what they have done:

Rush Street Interactive launched the first entity on the Illinois sports betting online market. They own Rivers Casino (the only legal land-based sports betting operator in the state at the moment) and they take advantage of their position and launched a dedicated BetRivers app. Besides BetRivers there are a couple more online sportsbooks, who took the pill to apply for a license together with a land-based partner.

Online-only sports betting entities are required to pay a pricey $20 million fee to enter the niche which is why massive competition is by no means expected, at least at this stage. Heavyweights such as FanDuel Sportsbook and DraftKings Sportsbook will clearly not be intimidated by such price tags, but they are forced out of online betting Illinois for at least 18 months through the “penalty box” imposed by lawmakers for the purpose of securing a much-needed edge for the local entities. Some companies are exploring ways to get themselves into the market via a management services application (has to be allowed by the Illinois Gaming Board) or through the outright acquisition of a retail casino or race track.

Mobile Sports Betting in Illinois 2022

The moments of silence are broken as BetRivers expanded the business line and launched the respective Illinois sports betting app in no time. Based on the experience they’ve had in New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Colorado, and Indiana, there is nothing to suggest a potential failure in Illinois where this specific operator had already taken the first-ever land-based bet. The sports betting app should bring a broad array of betting markets across four of the most popular US sports leagues as well as distinct competitions from the most exciting sports events overseas.

The current Illinois sports betting law allows a single mobile skin per entity. There are only three mobile-only licenses the companies that can’t make a partnership with an existing land-based casino in the Land of Lincoln will fight for. BetAmerica, BetMGM, Unibet, William Hill, and Caesars are some of the platforms expected to compete for a genuine Illinois sports gambling app.

Illinois Betting Site List: Legal Sportsbooks in Illinois 2022

OperatorLandbased Partner
BetRiversRivers Casino
Caesars SportsbookBally's Atlantic City
DraftKings SportsbookResorts Casino Hotel Atlantic City
FanDuel SportsbookMeadowlands Racing & Entertainment
PointsBetMeadowlands Racing & Entertainment

Favorite Sports and Teams in Illinois

Chicago is one of just ten US cities to host professional teams in each of the country’s five major sports competitions. Sporting News has named it the Best Sports City three times since 1993, the last time in 2010.

Baseball stands out for a couple of high-profile clubs with by far the longest tradition in the state. Cubs are the oldest of all professional clubs in Illinois. The outfit with the largest fan base in the state was founded in 1876 (as the White Stockings) and has made it to eleven World Series since. As opposed to their city rivals, the Cubs are referred to as “the North Siders”, and play their home matches at Wrigley Field. Guaranteed Rate Field, placed on the South Side, is home to the White Sox, the younger of the two Chicago giants of the sport.

We can’t discuss sports in Illinois without mentioning one of the greatest NBA dynasties, Chicago Bulls. Arguably the best basketball player in the history of the game Michael Jordan, and his fellow Hall of Famers Scottie Pippen and coach Phil Jackson, were the main catalysts for an incredible run that saw the team claiming six NBA championships in seven years (from 1991 to 1998). The arena they share with Chicago Blackhawks, the United Center, is located on the city’s west side. Speaking of the Hawks, they are one of the six founding members of the strongest ice-hockey league in the world (NHL). The Blackhawks have won six Stanley Cup trophies in their history.

Chicago Bears are known for winning more NFL matches than any other franchise in the competition. They have won nine NFL championships, including one Super Bowl (in 1985) since establishment in 1920.

We’ll complete the list with Chicago Fire, the dynasty named after the Great Chicago Fire in 1871. They were founded in 1997 and earned the domestic double the very next year winning the MLS Cup and the US Open Cup. Just like the Bears, the Fire play their home games at Soldier Field.

What you Can and Can’t Bet on in Illinois

Since the sports betting has officially arrived in Illinois in March 2020, the gamblers can place any kind of singles, doubles, multi-leg parlays across bountiful markets and sports in Illinois. The range of markets will be even greater when more local casinos embrace the sports branch. As long as you comply with Illinois sports betting age (21), you are in a position to take advantage of the retails’ full offer.

Whereas most leagues and competitions are allowed to bet on, you can’t place wagers on the state’s college teams. This is a compromise-deal that came as a consequence of state universities’ requests for forbidding college sports betting. Lawmakers decided to permit college betting as long as the wagers are placed on the games between outfits outside Illinois borders.

Additionally, sports betting operators are obligated to buy data from the pro leagues as per the 2019 data mandate. Illinois are one of just three states where lawmakers imposed such rules, aside from Tennessee and Michigan.

Gambling in Illinois: Since when is it legal to Bet

Gambling was widely associated with vice and idleness when Chicago was founded. Nevertheless, although society emphasized hard work and self-discipline it was natural to expect that crooked professional bettors would appear. Gambling was denounced by the Protestant clergy in the first half of the 1800s.

Gambling was first adopted by poor classes and immigrants but it quickly spread out to richer men who used the pastime to prove their masculinity by taking risks they were not obliged to take. Games bound to what we today know as lottery was played in the 1850s, as well as backgammon and card games. By then, betting became a significant business in the state. Twenty years later, the most popular gamblers had a significant role in politics which resulted in the officials’ reluctance to enforcing anti-gambling laws.

Legal pari-mutuel gambling on races was allowed as of 1927 as betting expanded rapidly across the whole state. Bingo also quickly became popular, while as many as 10,000 employees were hired at around 1,000 gambling houses in Cook County.

Illinois State Lottery was established in 1975. It reported $1.5 billion in sales by the beginning of the new millennium, while licenses were given to four private casinos and ten off-track gambling sites. Mob gambling shifted the main focus towards sports as of the 1980s.

The state’s maiden riverboat casino was launched in 1991 in Alton. Ten such casinos have survived and are still successfully operating within the state’s borders. The aforementioned bill signed by Governor J.B. Pitzker is no doubts a history-changing event whose consequences we are just about to see in the next couple of years when several sports betting hubs are set to see the daylight. Legal sports betting in Illinois is only about to flourish.

Gambling Guide: Illinois Online Betting

Ask Billy: Frequently Asked and Answered
Conclusion: Enjoy Illinois Sports Betting
Illinois became the 15th US state to completely legalize sports betting in late-June 2019. The first wagers were accepted in March 2020 and the sports aficionados located within the state borders have the luxury of enjoying their favorite pastime in a safe environment, free of any risks. Feel free to check our betting pages comparison, register with the best Illinois betting sites, and place your maiden bets right away.
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