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Illinois sports betting sites 2021

Illinois gambling laws

IL betting sites are now live following the Land of Lincoln’s decision to legislate sports betting in 2018, after the successful repel of the PASPA ruling. Illinois online betting was originally set up so you had to visit a physical location to open a new sportsbook account, but this has changed following an executive order from the Governor, which waived that rule for the duration of the covid-19 pandemic. Some of the betting sites in Illinois includes brands like William Hill, Pointsbet, BetRivers and FanDuel.

IL betting & gambling introduction

Residents and visitors have plenty of options when it comes to gambling in Illinois.

Electronic gaming became legal in 2012, which led to the introduction of video poker machines and slot machines in the state. There are now over 18,000 gaming machines throughout Illinois.

While there are no tribal casinos in the state, punters can enjoy classic table games, poker games and other favourites at a number of racinos, riverboat casinos and other commercial gambling venues.

Online gambling was expressly outlawed in Illinois until June 2019, when lawmakers voted through new legislation that legalised online sports betting and expanded the state’s casino industry.

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Sports betting in Illinois

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The Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act 1992 (PASPA) was overturned by the US Supreme Court in May 2018, which paved the way for the legalisation of sports betting on a state-by-state basis. Delaware, New Jersey and several other states had already introduced gambling on sports when Illinois approved SB0690 in June 2019. The bill included a number of significant expansions to the state’s burgeoning gambling industry, including plans for a Chicago casino and the legalisation of online sports betting. Retail sportsbooks could be up and running by the start of 2020, if not sooner.

Best IL betting sites

There are a number of great betting sites licensed to operate in Illinois, with these including many of the biggest names in US wagering, such as DraftKings and Fan Duel. Illinois sports betting went live in March 2020, a week before the nationwide shutdown to curb the spread of covid-19. Since then, few online sportsbooks have gotten licenses to offer their services in the Prairie State, while others are still waiting approval. Here are the top five online sportsbook in the state, and a short review on their offerings in no particular order.

  • DraftKings at Casino Queen Sportsbook: As one of the most popular sportsbooks in the US, whose early inclusion in the Illinois betting market comes as no surprise. Bettors in Illinois can access DraftKings apps for both Android and iOs devices for a better betting experience. One of the benefits of using DraftKings is that you will not find your favorite market or bet type missing, considering how big the sportsbook is in the US. In the area of promotions, the sportsbook offers up to $1,000 to every new player who registers with DraftKings.
  • William Hill: With over 80 years in operation as a sportsbook, it is clear to see why William Hill can be trusted. The sportsbook is almost synonymous with sports betting; however, it has not attained the much-desired US sports betting market domination yet. With an easy to navigate mobile app for Android and iOs, bettors in Illinois have access to a wide range of betting options. William Hill doesn’t offer huge incentives when it comes to promotions, but bettors in Illinois can benefit from the new-user $300 risk-free bet promotion. As far as trust is in the conversation, this is one of the most trusted online and retail sportsbooks available. William Hill is among the best online betting sites for Illinois.
  • FanDuel Par-A-Dice Sportsbook: FanDuel is in very close competition with DraftKings over US market domination. In terms of revenue generated, FanDuel is the biggest sportsbook in the US. Due to the need for online sportsbooks to partner with land-based casinos before given licenses, FanDuel currently operates out of Par-a-Dice casino. Unlike other sportsbooks, FanDuel is available as one app across all US states, with a simple-to-use eye-catching user interface. FanDuel doesn’t offer the best when it comes to promotions, but new members can get up to a $1,000 risk-free bonus. Its effort in marketing is the main reason it is the most popular and used sportsbook in the US. However, an area they need to improve on is the number of sporting events available, as they offer only US-based sports and international soccer.
  • BetRivers: BetRivers was the first to launch online sports betting in Illinois. The sportsbook, which is an extension of BetRivers Casino is an industry leader in casino betting but has not made so many strides in sports wagering. Every new member of BetRivers will get a 100 percent initial deposit bonus up to $250. BetRivers mobile app is only optimized for Android users. All iOs users have to place their wagers through the web platform. Although this is not ideal, iOs users are still entitled to their $250 welcome bonus as a first-time user.
  • PointsBet: PointsBet started operations in Australia (more Australian betting sites), but recently broke into the US market after the repelling of PASPA. In the area of promotions, PointsBet is offering above standard industry offer. Most sportsbooks offer one risk-free bet if up to $1,000 but with PointsBet, bettors can take advantage of two risk-free bets of up to $2,000. Although relatively new in the US scene, PointsBet is fairly popular in Illinois and is one of the best betting sites. The mobile app is available for Android and iOs users, having one of the most easy-to-use interfaces. One area where PointsBet has fallen short is in its live bet as it only has a few options for betting, such as spread, totals, and Moneyline.

Online sportsbooks for Illinois

Until Illinois casinos launch their licensed sportsbooks, the only way for residents to make sports bets is online. The Prairie State has never prosecuted any individual for wagering online, so there is minimal risk in using licensed sports betting sites from abroad.

There are many sportsbooks online today that are reputable and legitimate. Some of the key aspects to check out when looking for a good sportsbook is player security, bet types, sports to wager on, customer service, banking options, and bonuses and promotions. The best online sportsbook is the one that has everything you are looking for and you are comfortable making wagers at.

Here are three solid online sportsbooks that accept wagers from US residents:

  • BetOnline.ag – This is a great online sportsbook that has all the things a good book should have and more. There is no lack of sports to bet on and bets to make, they offer 24/7 customer service with Live Chat, have several banking (deposit and withdrawal) options, top-notch player security, and they have some very nice bonuses and promotions. BetOnline.ag also offers a poker room and a casino and the latter even has live dealer action.
  • Sportsbetting.ag – Ok, well you can be sure this book is a good one, as its parent company is BetOnline.ag. They offer their players all the things their parent company does so you know they are legit. Also, besides all the bet types they have a couple include Live Betting and Mobile betting, which are very popular these days.
  • Xbet.ag – This an attractive sportsbook that is very good to their players and offers them many things. From many sports and many bets to make to 24/7 customer service, which includes Live Chat, to banking options and lucrative bonuses and promotions Xbet.ag has it all, which is why they have many members for their sportsbook.

Betting on horse racing in Illinois

Horse racing is legal in the state of Illinois and some of the bigger racetracks are Arlington Park, Balmoral Park, Fairmount Park, and Maywood Park. Because of a civil judgment against the state’s harness tracks in 2014 the number of race days was cut, but not significantly. Residents of Illinois can also enjoy betting on horse races online, as there are many racetracks that cover races from around the world. A good online racebook will offer players many different kinds of wagers in a wide variety of stakes.


Online poker in Illinois

There are poker tables at some of the riverboat casinos in Illinois, but poker rooms online offer residents many more games and stakes to play them. Like racebooks and sportsbooks there are many poker rooms online today that always have a ton of action going on.

They offer every poker game imaginable and there are also tournaments always happening. One of the nice things about playing poker online is that the rooms offer a very wide variety of stakes. So, no matter what your poker bankroll is you will be able to find a poker game that will suit your needs.

The best online poker rooms in Illinois are actually banned, with no legal online poker available in 2021. This is because of local laws and a lack of regulation surrounding real money online gambling.

The only legal forms of poker in Illinois is Sweepstakes Poker, which is essentially where you buy play chips, which can then be converted for prizes if you happen to win.


Online gambling laws in Illinois

Section 28-1 of the Illinois Compiled Statutes states that residents that commit a gambling offense when they “knowingly makes a wager upon the result of any game, contest, or any political nomination, appointment or selection”.

Gambling outside of approved areas is a Class A misdemeanor. The Illinois Racing Board was established in 1933 to regulate horse racing and horse race betting. In 2012 the Video Gaming Act was approved, allowing for gambling machines, both video poker and video slots, to be legal in the state in bars, restaurants, and truck stops in the state of Illinois.

Illinois online betting being legalized brings it into line with other states that have taken the leap down the regulation path. States like New Jersey (top NJ betting sites), Pennsylvania (PA betting sites), Michigan (online betting in Michigan) and Oregon (OR betting sites).

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