Online Sports Betting in Illinois

Illinois sports betting

“Can I bet on sports in Illinois?” As a newcomer to sports wagering, this might be one of your first questions. The answer is “Yes!”

Welcome to safe and legal gambling in Illinois! The land of Lincoln is a midwestern state that has produced some of the most influential figures in American history. Barack Obama had his early political career starting in Illinois. However, the most significant person from IL is still the 16th President of the United States, Abraham Lincoln, whom you can visit in Springfield.

Chicago is also part of Illinois. Known for its music scene and beautiful skyline, the Windy City is called “The heart of America.” Celebrities like Kanye West, Harrison Ford, and R. Kelly come from Chi-town. Vince Vaughn is a big supporter of the Cubs and Blackhawks and is the first Chicago celebrity to embrace gambling with his Caesars partnership.

How to bet on sports in Illinois? First, Illinoisans must be at least 21 years old to place a bet. This requirement is set by the Illinois Gaming Board, which regulates all sports betting activities in the state. We recommend everyone also set a betting budget before placing any bet. After creating any betting account, explore the options available under “Responsible Gambling.”

Here’s what you need to know about sports betting in Illinois:

  • Legal Sports Betting Available Online: Yes
  • Legal Sports Betting Available In-Person: Yes
  • Minimum Age to Gamble in Illinois: 21 years old
  • Gambling Industry Regulator: Illinois Gaming Board
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A Historical Timeline of Online Sports Betting in Illinois:

The legalization of sports betting in Illinois marks a significant milestone in the state’s gambling history. With the signing of the Sports Wagering Act by Governor J.B. Pritzker in 2019, Illinois started the expansion of its gambling industry.

The following timeline details the phased implementation of sports betting in Illinois, highlighting the key developments from the initial legal framework to the evolution of online betting platforms.

  • 2019: Illinois Governor J.B. Pritzker signed the Sports Wagering Act into law as part of a massive gambling expansion bill that also authorizes six new casinos and other betting facilities.
  • March 2020: Illinois officially launches sports betting with the opening of retail sportsbooks. BetRivers Sportsbook at Rivers Casino takes the first legal sports bet on March 9, 2020.
  • June 2020: Online sports betting goes live in Illinois with the launch of the BetRivers online sportsbook. Initially, Illinois law requires in-person registration at a casino, racetrack, or sports facility to create an online betting account.
  • August 2020: Due to the COVID-19 pandemic and the temporary closure of casinos, Governor Pritzker temporarily suspended the in-person registration requirement, allowing bettors to register online. This significantly boosted the accessibility and popularity of online sports betting.
  • April 2021: Several other online sportsbooks launch in Illinois, including major players like DraftKings and FanDuel. The market rapidly expands as multiple operators enter.
  • March 2022: The end of in-person registration in Illinois. Bettors no longer have to go to brick-and-mortar Illinois sportsbooks to complete the sign-up process.

The evolution of sports betting in Illinois is a testament to the state’s adaptive and forward-thinking approach to gambling regulation. This progress not only enhances the state’s economic area through increased revenue but also enriches the sporting experience for fans, making Illinois a key player in the national sports betting scene.

Legal sports betting in Illinois 2024

A new world opened up for Illinoisians in 2019 when the state legalized retail sports betting. This bill was signed by Governor J.B. Pritzker, who quickly followed with the legalization of online sports betting in 2020. Luckily, online sports betting was launched just days before the pandemic hit.

During the pandemic, players must register in person to place bets online. Thankfully, in-person registration was removed in 2022, and players can now complete their registrations online.

Unfortunately, college sports betting is unlikely to be legal in-state for some time. The ban prohibiting IL sports betting apps from taking bets on in-state colleges was extended until July 1, 2024. However, Illinois is among only a dozen states that offer player prop bets on college sports in any form. In short, you can place wagers on college teams as long as they’re not in-state.

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Best Betting Bonus Offers at IL Sportsbooks in 2024

Let’s get down to the details of what can make your betting experience in IL better. We’re talking bonuses – the cherry on top of your sports betting sundae.

sports betting legal gambling usaWhat’s a Bonus and How Does It Work?

Imagine walking into a local diner, and they greet you with a complimentary drink on the house. That’s kind of what a bonus feels like in the sports betting world. It’s a little extra something to get you started or keep you in the game.

However, remember that everything comes with a price, so look for wagering requirements.

Whether it’s a free bet or cashback, you will need to wager your winnings before you can make a withdrawal. Sometimes, it is necessary to wager the money 1, 5, 25, or even 50 times to withdraw your winnings. Make sure to read any terms and conditions properly before you accept any sports betting bonuses.

Now, these bonuses come in all shapes and sizes, and here’s the scoop on how they entice your wagering:

Free Bet: Your Ticket to Risk-Free Play

Imagine this: You’re at a Chicago Bulls game, and someone hands you a free ticket – that’s a free bet. It’s a chance to place a wager without risking your own cash. If your bet wins, you score the winnings (minus the value of the free bet). For instance, if you’ve got a $10 free bet and you place it on your favorite team at odds of +100, a win would net you $10 – sweet, right?

Welcome Bonus: The Illinois Hello

A welcome bonus is like the Millenium Park calling you over – it’s how IL sportsbooks greet new players. Typically, it’s a package deal, maybe a combo of a free bet and a deposit bonus. You might get a 100% match on your first deposit of up to $250. Deposit $250, and you’ve got $500 to start betting with.

Reload Bonus: Keep the Game Going

Ever refill your buss pass? A reload bonus is similar – it’s a bonus you get when you add funds to your account. Not your first rodeo? No problem. Deposit on a designated reload day and get, say, 50% extra up to $100. Add $200 to your stash, and you’re playing with $300.

Wager Bonus: Every Bet Counts

A wager bonus gives you a little back for every bet you make, win or lose. It’s like finding a few extra bucks in your jeans pocket. Bet $50 on the Cubs, and you might get a $5 bonus, regardless of the game’s outcome.

Express Bet of the Day: The Fast Track

The express bet of the day is like the special at your favorite deli – it’s there, it’s hot, and it’s usually a good deal. The sportsbook picks a bet, juices up the odds, and you get the chance for a bigger win. Maybe the Bears are playing, and the sportsbook offers enhanced odds for them to score first.

Combo Boost: The More, The Merrier

This is for the bettors who like to mix it up. Place a combo bet (multiple selections in one bet), and if you win, a combo boost adds extra winnings to your take. It’s like ordering a deep-dish pizza with a side of garden salad and getting a free soda to boot. More selections often mean a bigger boost.

Cashback: Getting Your Dough Back

Nobody likes to lose, but cashback eases the sting. It’s like returning a shirt to the store and getting store credit. Bet on the Bulls, and if they don’t pull through, you might get a percentage of your bet back as a bonus to try again.

Bet Insurance: Your Safety Net

Think of bet insurance as your umbrella on a cloudy day. If your bet goes sideways, insurance can refund your stake. Say you bet on your favorite team to win, but they tie. With bet insurance, you could get your money back as a free bet or site credit.

casino and sports bonus

Odds Boost: Supercharge Your Winnings

An odds boost is like Happy Hour for bettors – your bet, but more lucrative. Take a regular bet on the Blackhawks to win, and with an odds boost, you could see increased potential returns. A +150 bet might get boosted to +200, increasing your payout on a win.

Parlay Boost: Amp Up the Ante

Lastly, for the high-rollers, the parlay boost is like playing the stock market and hitting it big. Combine several bets into one (a parlay), and if all your picks come through, a parlay boost increases your winnings. It’s the difference between a good day and a parade in your honor.

No Deposit Bonuses: The Freebie

These are the “Welcome to Illinois” kind of deals – get a bonus just for showing up. No need to reach for your wallet. Sign up, and bam, you get a bonus to start betting. But remember, nothing’s truly free – there might be some playthrough requirements.

Deposit Bonuses: Boost Your Bucks

Suppose you’re throwing some of your own money into the mix. In that case, a deposit bonus is like the city matching your tax contributions with better roads. The sportsbook might match a portion of your deposit with bonus funds. If you deposit $100 and there’s a 100% match, you’ve got $200 to play with!

  Loyalty Programs

This is like your coffee shop punch card. Bet regularly, and you earn points. Rack up enough, and you could get free bets, swag, or even perks at physical venues.

Like Caesars Rewards, where you feel like an emperor of betting, earning points for every dollar you bet. Each of these bonuses adds a layer of excitement to your betting.

Always play it smart, though. Studying the T&Cs is the key to making the most of these offers.

Understanding Betting Bonus Terms & Conditions

Before you leap faster than a Starved Rock State Park squirrel, pause and read the fine print. Every bonus comes with terms and conditions. Look out for wagering requirements, expiry dates, and which sports or odds you can use the bonus on.

The best bonus is like the best deep-dish pizza – it depends on your taste. Love football? A parlay boost might be your jam. Into the slow burn of baseball? Cashback offers could be your home run. Match it to your betting style, and you’ll maximize the fun.

Remember, always read T&Cs like you’re studying a map. Know your routes and stops, and you’ll never end up in a betting bind. Now, let’s keep rolling and check out those betting apps.

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Betting Apps in Illinois 2024

Illinois Online casinoIllinois’s online sports betting scene is a dynamic market, and with the introduction of mobile betting, it’s never been easier for Illinoisans to place a wager on their favorite teams.

In 2020, the doors swung open for mobile betting in IL, revolutionizing the game for bettors statewide. With a few taps on a smartphone, sports enthusiasts can now get into a world of odds, wagers, and potential wins.

The licensing fees for operators to enter the IL market are adequate to the industry’s lucrative nature. This influx of funds doesn’t just fill the coffers of the betting companies; a significant portion is allocated to the public good.

In Illinois, gambling tax revenues are strategically distributed to fund state and local projects. Also, educational programs are significantly supported. Funds left from casino gambling are directed towards problem gambling initiatives, and those from racinos go to the Capital Projects Fund.

The General Assembly oversees the appropriation of these funds for gaming operations and enforcement, ensuring they support state development, education, infrastructure, and public welfare.

What Betting Apps Are Available in Illinois?

Let’s zoom in on some of the key players in the Illinois betting app scene.

BetMGM Sportsbook

  • BetMGM brings the excitement of Vegas betting to the palm of your hand, boasting a user-friendly interface and a vast selection of betting options.

FanDuel Sportsbook

  • FanDuel‘s sleek design and engaging live betting options make it a favorite among New York’s sports betting fans.

BetRivers Sportsbook

  • BetRivers is known for its straightforward bonuses and a rewards program that offers real value for frequent bettors.

DraftKings Sportsbook

  • DraftKings has evolved from a pure DFS platform to a comprehensive sportsbook, offering innovative betting features and a seamless mobile experience.

Caesars Sportsbook

  • With a legacy in gaming, Caesars offers a regal betting experience, complete with competitive odds and an amazing loyalty program.

Each app comes with its unique features, betting markets, and user experiences, aiming to make sports wagering enjoyable, convenient, and accessible for all in Illinois.

As you navigate the exciting world of IL betting apps, remember to play responsibly. Betting should be entertaining, not a financial strategy. Set limits, bet within your means, and always seek help if you need it.

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Navigating Illinois Betting Apps in 2024

caesars sportsbookChoosing an App

When you’re picking a betting app in Illinois, consider factors like user experience, available markets, the competitiveness of odds, the speed of payouts, and, of course, the bonuses and promotions on offer.

Registration Process

Generally, signing up will involve creating an account with your personal details, confirming you’re of legal betting age, and perhaps entering a promo code to claim that welcome bonus.

Depositing Funds

Most apps will offer a variety of deposit methods — from credit and debit cards to e-wallets and bank transfers. Some might even allow deposits at physical casino cages associated with the sportsbook.

Claiming Bonuses

Look for welcome bonuses, and be sure to understand the terms. This might mean placing a qualifying bet, meeting wagering requirements, or betting at certain odds.

Placing Bets

From the classic moneyline to intricate parlays, IL betting apps will have many betting options. Live betting is also a popular feature, allowing you to place bets as the action unfolds.

Withdrawal of Winnings

When you’re ready to cash out, withdrawal options might include the same methods you used to deposit. Just be aware that a verification process could be required to ensure secure payouts.

Customer Support

Good customer support can be vital, especially if you’re new to betting. Look for apps that offer comprehensive FAQ sections, live chat, email, and phone support.

Types of Betting Apps in Illinois

Sportsbook Apps

  • These specialize in sports betting, offering a range of markets from the NFL to the NHL and beyond. They’re the go-to for the traditional sports bettor.

Fantasy Sports Apps

  • Daily Fantasy Sports (DFS) apps are also popular in Illinois. These apps are a different kind of fun, focusing on building fantasy teams and competing in various contests.

Horse Racing Apps

  • If you’re into the ponies, apps focusing on horse racing might be your jam. These apps offer betting options for races held in Illinois and worldwide.

Always remember to bet responsibly. Set limits for yourself, and if you feel like you’re losing control, seek resources that can provide assistance.

To ensure your safety and the security of your bets, only use betting apps that the Illinois Gaming Board has licensed and regulated.

Tips for Finding the Best Betting App in IL

  • Promotions: Look for apps that regularly offer the types of bonuses you enjoy.
  • Odds: Compare odds across apps to get the best value for your bets.
  • Live Streaming: Some apps offer live streaming of events, enhancing the live betting experience.
  • Reviews: Check out user reviews of the app for personal experiences and tips.

Remember, the world of online betting can change, so always ensure you’re getting the most up-to-date information directly from the source.

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IL Sports Betting Laws

lawSports betting in Illinois is regulated by the Illinois Gaming Board. Legal in-person or online sports wagering in Illinois began in 2020.

Below are some key laws and regulations governing sports betting in the Prairie State:

Betting Legal Age and Location in IL

  • Bettors must be at least 21 years old to place a sports bet. Online betting is permitted anywhere within the state boundaries, verified by geolocation technology.

Legal Types of Bets and Sports in IL

  • Illinois allows betting on a wide range of sports, including professional sports and NCAA football and basketball. However, it is illegal to place bets on Illinois collegiate teams.

Online Sportsbook Licenses in IL

  • License fees depend on when the state issues them. They are either 5% of the previous or current year’s handle and are capped at $10 million. Online-only licenses cost $20 million. All licenses last four years and can be renewed for $1 million.

Taxation

  • Illinois’s online sportsbook operators are taxed 15% of their gross gaming revenue.

Betting on College Sports

  • Betting on college sports is permitted in Illinois. However, sportsbooks can’t offer bets on games involving in-state collegiate teams.

Responsible Gaming

  • It is important to find sportsbook operators that promote responsible gaming, including providing resources for those seeking help with problem gambling.

The regulatory framework ensures that sports betting in Illinois is conducted in a fair, secure, and responsible manner, with protections in place for bettors and the integrity of sports and betting events.

Where does the tax money from IL sports betting go?

Gambling operators in Illinois pay a 15% tax rate that goes towards infrastructure and funding public schools.

Popular sports in Illinois

Major League BaseballMany famous athletes from IL have changed the world of sports. Michael Jordan, who played for the Chicago Bulls and led them to six NBA championships during the 1990s, is widely considered one of the greatest basketball players of all time. With Scottie Pippen and Dennis Rodman, MJ formed the famous Big Three.

With Chicago being the third largest city in the US, the state consists of many fans of the Chicago Bulls, the Chicago Bears, and the Chicago Cubs. For players in Baseball or Soccer, Chicago offers excellent options of the Chicago White Sox and the Chicago Fire FC. Luckily for Illinoisans, you can now legally place bets on your favorite teams and players in the state!

What are the most popular sports in Illinois?

The Prairie State is known to be passionate about sports, and we at Online Gamblers know where and how to bet responsibly. We’ll guide you in the right direction for the best betting options in Illinois.

Patrons can place bets on various sports, including basketball, football, baseball, hockey, soccer, and more, with BetMGM and other legal operators. The state regulation in Illinois also approves betting on Daily Fantasy Sports and Horse Racing.

Popular Sports Teams in Illinois 2024

Illinois has a dynamic sports scene through its cherished teams, each of which has a history of fervor, triumphs, and devoted fan bases. Read below about the sports teams that embody Illinois’ sports culture, from the storied Cubs to the legendary Bulls.

Chicago Bulls (NBA)

Illinois online sports betting

The Chicago Bulls are an NBA team that has been around since 1966 and is based in Chicago. They play at the United Center on the West Side of Chicago. In the 1990s, Michael Jordan, Scottie Pippen, and coach Phil Jackson led the Bulls to six titles, making them famous.

They are the only team in NBA history to have won more than one title without losing an NBA Finals series.

Chicago Cubs (MLB)

The American Major League Baseball team, Chicago Cubs, is based in Chicago. The Cubs play in Major League Baseball (MLB), and they are in the Central Division of the National League (NL). The team’s home games are held at Wrigley Field, which is on the North Side of Chicago.

In its early years, the Cubs were called the White Stockings. They joined the National League (NL) in 1876 and changed their name to the Chicago Cubs in 1903.

Chicago Bears (NFL)

The Chicago Bears play in the NFL’s NFC North Division. They have nine NFL Championships, including one Super Bowl (XX in 1986), and the NFL record for most Pro Football Hall of Famers and retired jersey numbers.

The Packers, their longtime rivals, have the most NFL wins, while the Bears have the second-most.

Chicago Blackhawks (NHL)

Chicago has a professional ice hockey team, the Blackhawks (spelled Black Hawks until 1986). Since their establishment in 1926 as a Central Division team in the Western Conference, the Blackhawks have won six Stanley Cups. They are one of the “Original Six” NHL teams, along with the Detroit Red Wings, Montreal Canadiens, Toronto Maple Leafs, Boston Bruins, and New York Rangers.

Since 1995, the team has played home games in the United Center, which it shares with the Chicago Bulls. It previously played at the now-demolished Chicago Stadium.

Chicago White Sox (MLB)

American professional baseball club Chicago White Sox is headquartered in Chicago. In Major League Baseball (MLB), the White Sox are a member club of the American League (AL) Central Division. Jerry Reinsdorf is the team owner. Guaranteed Rate Field is a South Side of Chicago venue for home games.

They are one of two Major League Baseball (MLB) teams headquartered in Chicago, along with the Chicago Cubs of the National League (NL).

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Types of Bets Available in Illinois

nfl bettingMoneyline Bets

  • Moneyline betting is the simplest form of betting and is widely popular. Here, you select the team or player you believe will win the match outright. For example, betting on the Cubs to win against their local rivals.

Point Spread Bets

  • Point spread betting involves a handicap placed on a favored team that must win by more points than the spread to win the bet. For instance, if the Buffalo Bills are -6.5 against the Miami Dolphins, they need to win by at least 7 points for a bet on them to pay out.

Totals (Over/Under) Bets

  • With totals betting, you’re betting on whether the combined score of both teams will be over or under a certain amount. For example, if the over/under for a Chicago Bulls vs. Miami Heat game is set at 210.5, you bet whether the total points will be above or below that number.

Parlay Bets

  • Parlays allow bettors to combine multiple bets into one wager. To win, all selections in the parlay must be correct. For example, a bettor could combine bets on multiple teams into a single parlay bet for higher potential returns.

mobile-gamblingTeaser Bets

  • Teasers are a type of parlay in which the bettor adjusts the point spreads for the selected games. For instance, adding 6 points to each underdog’s spread in a two-game NFL teaser bet.

Prop Bets

  • Proposition bets, or prop bets, focus on the occurrence or non-occurrence of specific events during a game that may not directly influence the game’s outcome. An example would be betting on the number of strikeouts a pitcher will throw in a game or how many points a basketball player will score.

Futures Bets

  • Futures are bets on events that will happen in the future, such as which team will win the championship or who will be the MVP. For instance, you could place a bet before the season starts on the Chicago Bears to win the Super Bowl.

Live Bets

  • Live betting, also known as in-game betting, allows bettors to place wagers on events as they are happening. Odds and offerings can change rapidly, providing a dynamic betting experience. For example, betting on your favorite team to score the next goal while watching the game.

Round-Robin Bets

  • Round-robin betting is a strategy that involves placing multiple parlay bets at once. The bettor selects a list of teams or totals, and then groups them into smaller parlay bets. For example, making three 2-team parlays out of bets on multiple teams.

Each type of bet provides different opportunities and strategies for bettors, whether you’re looking for a straightforward wager or something more complex with potentially higher rewards. Illinois’s legal betting platforms offer the full range of these bets, accommodating everyone from the novice to the experienced bettor.

How to Understand Betting Odds

odds nflUnderstanding betting odds is essential for any bettor. Odds represent the probability of an event occurring and dictate how much a bettor can win. Here’s a breakdown of the most common formats:

American Odds

American odds are represented by a plus (+) or minus (-) sign, followed by a number. The plus sign indicates how much you’d win with a $100 bet, while the minus sign shows how much you need to bet to win $100.

Example:

Favorite: -150 (bet $150 to win $100)

Underdog: +200 (bet $100 to win $200)

Decimal Odds

Decimal odds show the total payout instead of the profit. To calculate your potential payout, multiply your stake by the decimal number.

Example:

If the decimal odds are 1.50 and you bet $100, you’ll receive $150 for a win (1.50 * $100 = $150).

mobile-gamingFractional Odds

Popular in horse racing, fractional odds represent the profit relative to the stake.

Example:

Odds of 5/1 (read as “five to one”) mean you win $5 for every $1 wagered, plus your original $1 stake, for $6.

Reading Odds for Different Offerings

The odds are straightforward for straight bets, like point spreads, moneylines, and totals. In parlays or accumulators, however, odds are multiplied for each added bet, significantly increasing the payout potential.

With prop bets, odds vary widely based on the likelihood of specific events occurring within a game.

Understanding and reading odds is a fundamental skill for sports bettors in Illinois that can significantly impact their betting strategy and potential winnings.

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College Betting in Illinois

college football seasonCollege sports hold a special place in the hearts of Illinoisans, where the excitement of the game meets the anticipation of the bet.

Betting on college sports can seem daunting at first, but it’s much like betting on professional sports. You’ll find similar types of bets, like moneylines, point spreads, and totals, tailored for the college scene.

It is legal to bet on college sports in Illinois, and sportsbooks can offer bets on any professional sports or athletic event, collegiate sports or athletic event, or amateur sports or athletic event. However, sportsbooks can’t offer bets on games involving in-state collegiate teams.

What sets college sports betting apart is the passion and unpredictability of the games. College athletes play for the love of the sport, often resulting in unexpected outcomes and gripping matches perfect for the betting scene.

NCAA tournaments, especially during March Madness, become a focal point for betting. This is when brackets get filled out, office pools grow large, and bettors keenly watch as underdogs and favorites clash on the court.

Illinois’s sports betting scene embraces the vigor of college sports while promoting responsible gambling practices. Remember, while betting adds to the excitement, it should always be done within the confines of the law and personal limits.

College Sports in Illinois

Illinois has a vibrant collegiate athletics scene, with a diverse array of Division 1 programs representing the state’s universities. From the spirited Bradley Braves of Bradley University to the dynamic Chicago State Cougars, each institution brings its unique identity to the forefront of intercollegiate sports. Let’s look at some of the prominent teams and traditions that define Illinois’ collegiate athletic world.

Division 1 Programs:

  • The Fighting Illini IllinoisBradley Braves (Bradley University): The intercollegiate athletic teams of Bradley University, situated in Peoria, Illinois, United States, are known as the Bradley Braves. Bradley’s mascot is Kaboom! the Gargoyle, and the school colors are red and white.
  • Chicago State Cougars (Chicago State University): The varsity athletic teams known as the Chicago State Cougars represent the Chicago State University in Chicago, Illinois. Right now, the institution funds fifteen varsity teams. At the beginning of 2024, the Northeast Conference included Chicago State.
  • DePaul Blue Demons (DePaul University): The sports teams that play for DePaul University, known as the DePaul Blue Demons, are situated in Chicago, Illinois. On December 15, 2012, DePaul and the other six Catholic, non-FBS universities declared their intention to split up, with the goal of establishing a new league in 2013 under the Big East moniker.
  • Eastern Illinois Panthers (Eastern Illinois University): The Eastern Illinois Panthers are the intercollegiate athletic teams of Charleston, Illinois, United States-based Eastern Illinois University (EIU). EIU’s colors are gray and blue. EIU’s Panther was chosen as the team mascot in 1930 and was formally dubbed “Billy the Panther” in 2008.
  • Illinois Fighting Illini (University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign): The Illinois Fighting Illini are the intercollegiate athletic teams representing the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign. The institution has ten varsity sports for men and eleven for women.
  • Illinois State Redbirds (Illinois State University): The Illinois State Redbirds represent the Illinois State University in Normal, Illinois. Teams compete in NCAA Division I (football FCS). While the bulk of other teams play in the Missouri Valley Conference, the football team does not. “Go, You Redbirds” is the fight tune.
  • Loyola Ramblers (Loyola University): The Loyola Ramblers are the varsity athletic teams of Loyola University Chicago. Most teams play in the Atlantic 10 Conference, which the university left the Missouri Valley Conference to join in 2022. On July 1, 2022, the Loyola Ramblers left the Missouri Valley Conference to join the Atlantic 10 Conference.
  • Northern Illinois Huskies (Northern Illinois University): The Huskies are a sports team representing Northern Illinois University (NIU). They participate in the Mid-American Conference (MAC) and Division I of the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA).
  • Northwestern Wildcats (Northwestern University): The Northwestern Wildcats represent Evanston, Illinois-based Northwestern University. Northwestern was a founding member of the Big Ten Conference. Northwestern, billed as “Chicago’s Big Ten Team,” fields eight men’s and eleven women’s NCAA Division I athletic teams. Willie the Wildcat is the mascot.
  • Southern Illinois Salukis (Southern Illinois University): The varsity sports teams for Southern Illinois University Carbondale are the Salukis. The name “Little Egypt” has been used for southern Illinois for just over 200 years, and it originates from the Saluki, the Royal Dog of Egypt, and the Persian greyhound.
  • SIUE Cougars (Southern Illinois University): The intercollegiate athletic teams, the SIU Edwardsville Cougars, of Southern Illinois University Edwardsville (SIUE) are situated in Edwardsville, Illinois. Eddie the Cougar #57 is the mascot of SIUE, and red and white are the official school colors. In five sports, cougar teams have captured seventeen NCAA national championships.
  • UIC Flames (University of Illinois): The UIC Flames represent the University of Illinois Chicago, located in Chicago, Illinois, in intercollegiate athletics. A nod to the Great Chicago Fire, UIC Athletics is called the Flames. Navy Pier was the original site of UIC’s campus, so the school’s primary colors are fire engine red and navy blue.
  • Western Illinois Leathernecks (Western Illinois University): The Western Illinois University, Macomb, Illinois, teams and athletes compete in NCAA Division I sports as the Western Illinois Leathernecks. WIU draws its mascot, the English bulldog, and nickname, the Leathernecks, from US Marine Corps customs.
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Payment Options for Illinois Sports Betting

When betting in Illinois, bettors have access to various payment methods, each offering different benefits in terms of convenience, speed, and security.

Understanding these options can enhance the betting experience by making deposits and withdrawals more efficient.

credit card paymentsCredit and Debit Cards

Visa and MasterCard are widely accepted for deposits at Illinois sportsbooks. They offer instant transactions, allowing bettors to place bets quickly. However, withdrawals to credit or debit cards are often not available, requiring bettors to use alternative methods for cashing out.

E-Wallets

E-wallets such as PayPal, Skrill, and Neteller are popular among bettors for both deposits and withdrawals. They offer an extra layer of security as they do not require sharing bank details with the sportsbook. Transactions are typically swift, with deposits being instant and withdrawals taking only a few hours to a day.

Online Bank Transfers

Online banking is a secure way to transfer funds directly from a bank account to a sportsbook account. Most banks offer this service, which is favored for its security and ease of use. However, transfer times can vary, with some transactions taking a couple of business days.

Prepaid Cards

Many sportsbooks offer branded prepaid cards which can be loaded with funds for betting. These cards are convenient for those who wish to manage their spending tightly and can often be used for both deposits and withdrawals.

PayNearMe

For those who prefer to use cash, PayNearMe is a service that allows bettors to deposit at local retail locations using a barcode that is scanned to transfer funds into their sportsbook account. This method does not support withdrawals.

Cash at the Cage

Bettors can also deposit and withdraw cash directly at the casino cage of the associated sportsbook. This method is highly secure and immediate but requires the bettor to travel to the physical location.

Checks

Checks are a withdrawal option for those who prefer traditional banking methods. Generally, they are secure and undergo processing, which may take a week or more.

It’s important for bettors to check the specific sportsbook for available payment options, as well as any fees or transfer times that may apply. Understanding the details and fees of each method can lead to a more seamless and enjoyable sports betting experience.

Withdrawals

While depositing is usually quick, withdrawals can take longer to process, depending on the method. E-wallets tend to offer the fastest withdrawal times, often within 24 hours, while bank transfers and checks can take several business days.

Security and Privacy

Illinois’s legal online sportsbooks implement strong security measures to protect financial transactions and personal information. Bettors should ensure they are using licensed and regulated sites to benefit from these protections.

Responsible betting practices are vital. Illinois’s sportsbooks encourage responsible gaming and offer tools to help manage spending and gaming behaviors, ensuring a safe and enjoyable experience for all participants.

10 interesting facts about betting in Illinois 2024

  1. Horse racingSports betting in Illinois was legalized in 2019 for retail and in 2020 for online.
  2. Gov. J.B. Pritzker signed the new betting bill into law.
  3. The Illinois Gaming Board oversees all sports betting activities in the state.
  4. Illinois used to require in-person online sign-up registration (removed in 2022).
  5. The land of Lincoln has been home to famous athletes like Michael Jordan and Walter Payton.
  6. Illinois reported a betting handle of over $1 billion in November 2022.
  7. IN has a 15% tax rate on betting revenue that goes to infrastructure and schools.
  8. The Prairie State allows betting on some daily fantasy sports (DFS).
  9. In-person betting on Illinois college teams is only permissible through retail betting lounges.
  10. Illinois is home to several professional sports teams, including the Chicago Bears (NFL), Chicago Bulls (NBA), and the Chicago White Sox (MLB).
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Esports in Illinois 2024

G2 Esports

The esports industry has grown globally, including in Illinois. Esports betting encapsulates wagering on competitive video gaming, which has surged in popularity, drawing in both gamers and bettors.

The Gaming Board does not currently permit esports betting in Illinois. However, the state’s sports betting laws do not forbid or cover esports, so the door is open for the future.

Betting on Esports

Those looking to engage in esports betting in Illinois in the future should seek out sportsbooks that have expressly included esports in their offerings. To avoid any legal issues, it’s critical to ensure that these platforms operate within the legal confines established by Illinois’s gaming authorities.

The most common titles you’ll find in the esports betting scene include global juggernauts like “League of Legends,” “Dota 2,” “Counter-Strike: Global Offensive,” and “Overwatch.” These games have well-established leagues and tournaments with a vast following, which often culminate in championship events that attract significant betting action.

As with any form of gambling, it is important to approach esports betting responsibly. Bettors should set limits, bet within their means, and always prioritize their financial well-being over the entertainment value of betting.

Daily Fantasy Sports (DFS) in Illinois 2024

fantasy sports app sleeper 2023

Illinois Gaming Board oversees the laws and regulations related to Fantasy Contests, including the licensing and operation of fantasy contest operators. It also aids in investigating illegal gambling activities in the state.

While the legality of daily fantasy sports (DFS) was a contentious issue for many years, the Illinois Supreme Court ultimately ruled that certain DFS are skill games and not unlawful gambling under state law. Illinois residents can thus play on DraftKings, FanDuel, and other DFS sites.

Traditional DFS and Casual Fantasy Leagues

Traditional DFS contests and casual season-long fantasy leagues, which have formats where participants draft virtual teams and compete based on the statistical performance of players in actual games, do not fall under the definition of prop bet mimicry.

DFS remains a popular pastime for many Illinoisans. While the regulatory scene has tightened, the core of DFS gaming persists. The key for enthusiasts and casual players alike is to stay informed on the legal nuances and ensure any participation in DFS adheres to the latest regulations.

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Betting on Horses in Illinois 2024

Illinois is a landmark for both horse racing fans and bettors in the heartland of the United States. Rich in the history of the sport of kings, Illinois has a wide range of racetracks and betting options that appeal to both novices and experienced gamblers. Come along as we explore the exciting world of Illinois horse racing, from the tactical art of placing wagers on these amazing horse athletes.

Horse Racing Venues

  • horse bettingFairmount Park Racetrack: Formerly Fairmount Park Racetrack, Fanduel Sportsbook, and Horse Racing is a horse racing track located in Collinsville, Illinois, which is part of the St. Louis metropolitan area. The track offers thoroughbred flat racing. It is the only horse racing facility outside of the Chicago, Illinois metropolitan region and one of two that are still in operation in Illinois. The track opened in 1925.
  • Hawthorne Race Course: Near Chicago in Stickney, Illinois, lies the horse racing track Hawthorne Race Course. The Horseplayers Association of North America launched a rating scheme for 65 Thoroughbred racetracks in North America in 2009, including the oldest continuously operated family-owned racetrack in the country. Hawthorne placed eighth in the top 10.

Off-Track Betting Facilities

For those who can’t make it to the track, off-track betting (OTB) facilities are available throughout the state. These venues allow people to watch and bet on races from around the world.

Online IL Horse Betting Platforms

Online horse race betting is also available in Illinois through several legal racebooks, like FanDuel Racing. These platforms allow for convenient betting from home or on the go and often offer additional resources like handicapping tools and expert analyses.

Impact of Recent Regulations

While DFS and sports betting regulations have seen significant changes, horse race betting remains steady in its legal status. The rich tradition of horse racing in Illinois ensures that it remains a staple of the state’s gaming offerings.

Responsible Gambling in IL

Responsible gambling is a critical aspect of the gaming industry, including in Illinois, where the state promotes healthy play while providing resources for those facing gambling problems.

Understanding Responsible Gambling

Responsible gambling involves playing within one’s means, understanding the odds, and knowing when to stop. It’s about recognizing gambling as a form of entertainment rather than a way to make money.

Resources and Help for Problem Gambling in IL

NCPG helpline problem gamblingFor information on legal and safe sports betting in Illinois, visit the Illinois Gaming Board’s website.

If you feel you can’t control your gambling, don’t hesitate to contact the National Problem Gambling Hotline at 1-800-522-4700. The call is anonymous, and the phone hotline is available 24/7/365.

You can also text the number 1-800-522-4700 or enter the website chat here.

Tips for Responsible Gambling

  • Set a budget: Only gamble with money you can afford to lose.
  • Keep it fun: Remember that gambling is a form of entertainment.
  • Understand the games: Know how the games work and what the odds are.
  • Take breaks: Ensure that you balance gambling with other activities.
  • Don’t chase losses: Accept that losses are part of the game, and don’t try to recover them quickly.

Want to learn more about online casinos and sports gambling? Follow our Online Gamblers Academy and learn how to have fun responsibly!

Yes, in-person sports betting has been available in Illinois since 2019. Online betting has been legal in IL since 2020.

To legally place a bet, you have to be 21 years or older, have a social security number and be located in the state of Illinois. The operator will require you to verify your location with a geolocation program, and you will have to supply documents to verify your identification. Bets can be placed through mobile and desktops. Retail betting is not allowed.

Yes, it’s legal to bet in the state of Illinois. In addition to sports, you can also bet on e-sports in the Land of Lincoln. Betting is legal with licensed retail operators and online operators.

Sports betting activities in Illinois are regulated by the Illinois Gaming Board.

Popular sports in Illinois include basketball, football, baseball, hockey, and soccer. The state has produced legends like Michael Jordan.

Online sports betting became legal in Illinois in 2020, following the legalization of retail sports betting in 2019.

No, in-person registration for online sports betting in Illinois was removed in 2022, allowing players to complete their registrations online.

While you can bet on college sports, betting on in-state college teams is prohibited.

Illinois permits bets on various sports, including Daily Fantasy Sports (DFS) and Horse Racing.

If you need assistance for problem gambling in Illinois, contact the National Problem Gambling Hotline at 1-800-522-4700 for anonymous support, available 24/7.

 

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Catie Di Stefano has worked in the gambling industry since 2011 for major brands like Hard Rock Hotel & Casino, Gaming Innovation Group and Betsson Group. She started in customer support at age 19 and has since worked her way through VIP, CRM and Marketing. Today, Catie is passionate about educating players on consumer rights and the best approaches for legal play in the United States as the Director of Community Marketing at OnlineGamblers.com. Catie was born in Indonesia but grew up in Sweden. Currently, she resides in Spain with her two daughters.