BetRivers Launches Illinois’ First Online Sportsbook

BetRivers launched its online sportsbook in Illinois today, making it the first digital sportsbook available in the Land of Lincoln. Bettors can register online through the Android App, mobile browser on an iOS device, or on desktop by heading to the BetRivers website. The sportsbook was developed by Rush Street Interactive. Rush Street Gaming owns a partial stake in Rivers Casino Des Plaines. 

The launch follows Governor J.B. Pritzker’s recent order eliminating the need for in-person registration to bet online. Illinois casinos have been closed since March, and reopen dates are unclear. To spur sports betting, Pritzker issued an order allowing Illinois sports bettors to register online without the need to visit a casino. 

Get In The Game: How To Sign Up

There are three ways to get started with BetRviers online, all of which will look similar with some slight differences. I signed up today using Chrome on my iPhone, and the process took about five minutes. You must be 21 years old or above and located in the state of Illinois to place a bet. You can fund your account and browse from outside the state, but the site will not accept bets until you return to Illinois. 

Step one features typical account information. Select a username, plug in an email address, etc. The second sign up page asked for my address as it appears on my government-issued ID. The third phase requires the last four digits of the user’s social security number to confirm age and identity.

After my account was created, BetRivers prompted me to download the GeoGuard Location Validator app. This was incredibly simple: a link on the BetRivers sign-up page took me directly to the iOS App Store to download GeoGuard. GeoGuard prompted me to allow location services to confirm I was within Illinois borders. When I signed in again later, I didn’t even need to open GeoGuard; it confirmed my location automatically in the background. 

Making A Deposit

This step was the easiest to complete. I chose to use PayPal to make a deposit. I used BetRivers code “250Match” to redeem a first deposit match (up to $250). It only took a few clicks to connect PayPal and fund my account.

BetRivers also accepts deposits via online banking and Play+.

Choosing A Device: What You Need To Know

Pritzker’s order to remove the in-person requirement for sportsbook sign-up makes the process really simple. But sign-up is not without its obstacles. 

From my iPhone, I was limited to using my mobile browser. BetRivers doesn’t have an iOS app because Apple requires any regulated betting app on its marketplace to be developed in its native coding language. While it’s possible BetRivers could launch a sportsbook app on the iOS App Store in the future, sports bettors on iPhone or iPad will need to stick with mobile browsers for now. My experience with Chrome was seamless and fast. 

Android users have a slightly different path to the BetRivers app. Rivers offers a sports betting app for android, but the Google Play Store prohibits regulated gaming apps. Instead of downloading it from Google’s marketplace, Android users can visit the website from a mobile browser and click the Android download link at the bottom of the page. Follow the prompts to install the app. 

Desktop betting is quick and easy, too. Just head to the BetRivers website and sign up. Remember to allow your browser to use your location when prompted. 

Available Bets In Illinois

The offering is sparse right now in terms of available bets. International soccer matches, Korean baseball, golf, and UFC make up the majority of bets currently on BetRivers. 

There’s a dedicated page for special Illinois bets. These include the Bears winning the Super Bowl, the Blackhawks advancing to the NHL playoffs, and the cubs winning the National League pennant. Other than these futures, there isn’t much available by way of major league sports yet. 

Of course, when sports return after long shutdowns due to the Covid-19 pandemic, BetRivers will certainly begin to offer more diverse betting options. 

See our full guide to Illinois Online Sports Betting

About the Author

Cole Rush

Cole Rush is a Chicago-based freelance writer in the gambling, media, and entertainment space. His work has been showcased in various gaming industry magazines and online columns. Prior to freelance writing, Cole spent seven years in communications at a gambling and lottery supplier. Cole writes for a number of online and print publications, including The Quill To Live, a book review site.