Illinois has recently become one of a growing number of US states to legalize and regulate sports betting. Since 2018, states have been free to set their own laws on sports betting after the previous federal law was found to be unconstitutional. Already, many states have passed bills to legalize betting in some form, whether online, in person, or both. In the summer of 2019, Governor J.B. Pritzker signed a new bill into law that would allow for both online and retail sportsbooks to operate legally.

The new sports betting bill in Illinois means that a number of sports betting operators were able to establish themselves in the state, including the likes of FanDuel, DraftKings, BetRivers, and more. While online betting is permitted, bettors need to register in person at one of the retail sportsbooks before they can bet.

How to Start Betting on Sports in Illinois

We’ve created this short guide for you with all the details on choosing a sportsbook, setting up an account, and placing your first bets. Be sure to always bet responsibly and ensure that you’re following the gambling regulations of your state. Online gambling in Illinois is fairly simple, but you’ll need to know how to get started.

  1. Choosing a sportsbook – Your first step in betting on sports in Illinois is choosing a sportsbook. There are already lots of options to choose from, with both retail and online sportsbooks available. However you choose to bet is up to you but if you bet online, make sure the site is licensed in IL. If you’re betting online, you’ll also need to register in person at the partnered retail location. The sportsbook should give you information on this. 
  2. Creating your betting account – Registering to bet online means creating an account. You’ll need to provide proof of ID as well as enter all of your personal information. If you’re not willing to do this, betting at a retail sportsbook will be a better option.
  3. Making a deposit – To bet online, you’ll also need some money on your account. Check which payment options you can use and make sure there are no hidden costs. You should also take a look at the welcome bonus, as this is often activated based on your first deposit.
  4. Placing your bets – Finally, you’re ready to start placing bets! Choose a sport and a market to open your betting slip and choose your stake. 

What Sports Are Available to Bet on in Illinois?

Illinois sportsbooks can now legally offer odds on a range of sports, including all of the major US competitions. You can place bets on football, basketball, baseball, ice hockey, soccer, and much more. Some of the biggest sportsbooks provide even more options, with sports from all over the world and events like eSports too. 

However, there is one sport that’s restricted to bet on in IL. The sports betting bill explicitly forbids sportsbooks from offering odds on any college games involving teams local to the state. This is done to help protect the integrity of amateur sports and prevent possible match-fixing

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