Even before online gambling started to expand in the state, Illinois Daily Fantasy Sports (DFS) sites, like DraftKings and FanDuel, offered sports fans a way to get in on the action. Both remain the two best DFS sites in Illinois, but there’s some solid choices for those looking for a new DFS site in the state. Anyone 18 and up in Illinois has access to the DFS sites as well as all the Illinois DFS promotions.
Illinois also offers legal online sports betting for bettors 21 and up. You no longer have to register in-person at a retail casino either. Here are all the best Illinois sportsbook promo codes and bonuses, including free bets and risk-free betting from DraftKings Sportsbook, FanDuel Sportsbook, and more.
Illinois DFS Promo Codes For New Signups
|DFS Site||Deposit Bonus||No Deposit Bonus||Sportsbook Promo|
|DraftKings DFS||20% deposit match up to $500||$20 free on deposit||$50 Free Bet On Any Deposit + 20% Deposit-Match Up To $1,000|
|FanDuel DFS||Deposit $10, get $10 (one NBA and one Sports Contest)||1 free sports entry||Place Your First Bet Up To $1,000 Back|
|Monkey Knife Fight||100% up to $100 on deposit with bonus code PLAYBONUS||$5 Free On Signup||N/A|
|WinView DFS||200% Up to $200 On Deposit||None||N/A|
Best Daily Fantasy Sports Sites In Illinois
- DraftKings DFS: The king of DFS in the truest sense, with more action and a bigger variety than any other DFS platform, plus the most money up front via the welcome offer. Sign up today.
- FanDuel DFS: Arguably as good or better than DraftKings depending on your taste, FanDuel DFS offers an exceptional platform, plus a free NBA DFS entry on signup, no deposit required. Claim the promo now.
- Monkey Knife Fight: The best alternative to FanDuel and DraftKings, and the competition is a bit more approachable too, giving newer players a better chance of winning (in theory). Get $5 free on signup.
- WinView: Answer yes or no questions during live events. If you get more points than the other players, you win. It’s that simple, and it’s a unique and exciting alternative to traditional DFS play. Triple your first deposit up to $200 at WinView.
Learn more about each of the best Illinois DFS sites below:
1. DraftKings DFS
DraftKings has been live in Illinois for years, and it still offers fantasy sports to players in the Land of Lincoln. However, the company’s journey in the Prairie State has been mired by legal battles between DFS operators and the Illinois government. We’ll cover that in more detail below. For now, it’s important to know that DraftKings DFS is available in Illinois.
DraftKings DFS is accessible via mobile apps and desktop in Illinois, so players can enjoy contests on the go or at home. DraftKings also offers an Illinois online sportsbook, and you can connect your DFS account for easy access to both apps.
Compared to its competition in Illinois, DraftKings has some distinct qualities that set it apart. For NFL contests, DraftKings offers one point per reception (compared to half that at FanDuel). This puts extra power in the hands of receivers to earn you more points.
“Tiers” is DraftKings’ unique game format. Tiers has you select a lineup from a pre-selected group of players. You take one player from each Tier to build your team. This is a departure from the typical salary format of DFS, giving you an extra option if you’re playing DFS in Illinois.
If you’re interested in playing WNBA DFS contests, DraftKings is the best choice, mainly because FanDuel doesn’t offer WNBA games.
Generally speaking, DraftKings is a top-tier DFS operator, and there are plenty of reasons to choose it over other Illinois DFS sites. The Tiers format is a great alternate gameplay option, and the PPR offering on NFL contests is excellent for players who prefer to give a bit more weight to receiving positions.
2. FanDuel DFS
FanDuel and DraftKings have long been two of Illinois’ heaviest hitters in the DFS space. They’re both tied up in the legal back and forth that surrounds DFS, yet both still offer contests in Illinois. That doesn’t look likely to change anytime soon.
FanDuel’s DFS offering is available via a mobile app for iOS or Android plus a desktop app. All three versions are simple to use and easy to find–just head to FanDuel’s website. The company also offers online sports betting in Illinois on iOS, Android, and desktop.
New FanDuel DFS players receive a free entry into an NBA contest, just for creating an account. With a $10 deposit, new users receive 2 more free entries. One of those is for an NBA contest, and one is for another sport.
Not to be outdone by its biggest competitor, FanDuel gives players a unique game format as well. “Beat the Score” has players select a team to beat FanDuel’s target score. Anyone who beats the target score splits the winnings. Beat the Score has plenty of different options that range from easy scores with low payouts to higher thresholds with bigger payouts. You have plenty of options to choose from.
If you’re looking for reasons to choose FanDuel over DraftKings, look no further than the leagues on offer. FanDuel has EuroLeague Basketball, the PGA European Tour, Champions League soccer, and Canadian football. If you’re a fan of international sports, FanDuel is the clear choice.
DraftKings Vs. FanDuel in Illinois
|Bonus Offer||$20 free on deposit and 20% deposit match up to $500||1 free sports entry with sign-up + Deposit $10, get $10 (one NBA and one Sports Contest)|
|Exclusive Contests/Game Types||Tiers||Beat the Score|
|Exclusive League Offerings||WNBA||Euroleague basketball, CFL, Champions League Soccer, PGA European Tour|
|League Partnerships||NFL, MLB||NHL, NBA|
Other DFS Sites In Illinois
3. Monkey Knight Fight
Monkey Knife Fight is an up-and-coming DFS site available to Illinois players. It’ll be familiar to DFS enthusiasts in that it has a few of the most popular leagues on offer. However, Monkey Knife Fight also provides contests for esports (namely League of Legends), UFC, and NASCAR. It’s a great alternative if you enjoy more niche sporting leagues.
4. WinView DFS
WinView DFS is a unique option that’s more akin to in-game live betting at an online sportsbook, but you’re competing against other players. While watching a live event, you answer questions like, “Will a specific player score on the next drive?” If you answer the yes or no question correctly, you score points, and the players with the most points win. It’s fast-paced, and it’s a great alternative to the more traditional DFS platforms.
5. OUTLAST DFS
OUTLAST DFS has the option of competing against the house rather than other players, so it’s already pretty one of a kind. This is where you’re guessing the over/under on team and player performances, like number of rebounds or total points. If you’re more interested in the traditional DFS experience, OUTLAST offers Survivor Pool and Purse, where you do exactly that. You can play daily contests, single game contests, or season-long contests as well.
History Of Daily Fantasy Sports In Illinois
Illinois has a turbulent past with DFS operators. The state government has tried to formally legalize Daily Fantasy Sports to no avail. In 2015, the Illinois Attorney General released an opinion stating that DFS was illegal. This left FanDuel and DraftKings in a state of flux. They continued to provide their services to Illinois players.
To this day, DraftKings, FanDuel, and other DFS sites operate in Illinois. The 2015 legal battle carried over into the Illinois online sports betting legislation discussions, too. Illinois’ original sports betting bill proposed an 18-month waiting period for operators who offered DFS in Illinois following the AG’s opinion. The penalty never saw the light of day and was edited out of the legislation.
Now, DFS players can enjoy contests in Illinois. There’s still no law explicitly legalizing them, but that fight remains between the operators and lawmakers. Individual players can enjoy DFS without issue.
Is It Safe To Play DFS In Illinois?
It is completely safe to play Daily Fantasy Sports in Illinois.
Some players may be concerned about the legal status of DFS, but this has become a non-issue thanks to the launch of sports betting in Illinois. Though DFS remains in legal limbo–neither explicitly legal nor illegal–that ongoing discussion takes place at the corporate level. Individual DFS players can still enjoy the sites.
DFS sites like DraftKings and FanDuel also employ high level encryption tools to keep your data and information safe. SSL is the industry standard, and most sites use it to encrypt your data as it travels from your device to the DFS operator.
What Are The Best Bonus Offers And Free DFS Contests In Illinois?
|DFS Site||Bonus Offer||Terms|
|DraftKings||$20 free on deposit and 20% deposit match up to $500||25x playthrough required for deposit match bonus|
|FanDuel||1 free sports entry with sign-up + Deposit $10, get $10||2 free entries are good for NBA and Sports Contest|
DraftKings offers a deposit match bonus for Illinois DFS players. DraftKings will match 20% of your first deposit up to $500. So if you deposit $2,500, you can claim the full offer. However, even a more modest deposit of $100 would still earn you $20.
This bonus is especially common with sportsbooks as well.
Sign Up Bonus
Both FanDuel and DraftKings offer a small sign-up bonus for new players, too. It’s really just a quick “thank you” for signing up. At DraftKings, you get $20 for signing up. FanDuel gives you a free entry into an NBA contest.
These bonuses come in the form of bonus credit, so you’ll have to play with the money before you can withdraw it.
Playthrough requirements are the biggest roadblock included in DFS bonus terms and conditions. DraftKings’ deposit bonus is a prime example. Even after you claim the 20% deposit match bonus, you are required to spend a certain amount before you can claim it. DraftKings’ playthrough requirement is 25x, meaning for every $25 you bet, you can claim $1 of your bonus. If you’re a frequent player, this can be just fine, but DFS fans who want to get their bonus faster may want to find a site with a less restrictive requirement.
Nonwithdrawable Bonus Credit
The primary “catch” with most daily fantasy sports bonus offers is that they come in the form of bonus credit. This just means that it’s a nonwithdrawable credit to your account that must be spent at the DFS site before you can withdraw any of it.
For example, if you deposit $100 at FanDuel and get a $20 bonus, your account would show $100 in withdrawable funds and $20 in “bonus credit” or a similar term. You can play with the bonus credit, and if you’re lucky enough to win using it, you can then withdraw those winnings.
What Are The Top Contests For Daily Fantasy Sports Players In Illinois?
DFS players have a wealth of riches when it comes to available contests. Sports leagues have a huge variety of popular contests for fans of all types of sports.
Here are some of the biggest contests for NFL and MLB fans.
Football is one of the most popular sports in the US, and fantasy sports operators have a selection of contests that reflects that popularity.
NFL Monday And Thursday Million
FanDuel’s Monday Million NFL contest gives a whopping $200K to the winner. Each week, you can enter for $9 and build a team for the Monday Night Football match-up and compete for a chance at massive prizes. Though first place walks away with the 200k, prizes go to the top 32,700 competitors.
Fanduel runs an identical contest for Thursday Night Football, too.
Monday Night Millionaire
DraftKings’ Monday Night Football contest features $1 million for the top prize. Entry is $15.
Second place goes home with $100,000 while third rakes in $50,000. DraftKings offers some massive payouts for the lucky contest winners. Payouts of $25 and up go to the top ~36,000 teams.
NFL Beat The Score
FanDuel’s Beat The Score contests are perfect for NFL fans. Entries range from $3 to $100 (sometimes even higher) with payouts to match. Enter, assemble a team, and beat FanDuel’s score threshold to share the winnings with anyone else who beats the score.
Illinois DFS players have access to a number of MLB contests. Fans of the Cubs or White Sox will have plenty of options.
Head To Head
In head to head match-ups, you compete against one other DFS player for a chance to win. You each build a team and compete over the course of that week’s games, then the winner receives a payout (minus operator fees). There’s a wide variety of MLB Head to Head matchups available on both FanDuel and DraftKings.
In 50/50 contests, the top 50% of teams win once the contest ends. Both FanDuel and DraftKings offer a plethora of 50/50 MLB contests.
During big events such as the World Series, keep an eye out for special events that offer huge prizes. DraftKings, FanDuel, and other Illinois Daily Fantasy Sports operators have special tournaments that coincide with massive sporting events. The payouts and prize pools are gargantuan, giving you a chance at big wins.
Illinois Daily Fantasy Sports FAQ
18 or older. Anyone 18 or above can enter DFS contests in Illinois. This opens up an option for younger players who can’t yet place sports bets (the legal age for sportsbook wagering is 21).
FanDuel offers DFS to players in Illinois. It’s neither legal nor illegal under Illinois law. In fact, it exists in a delicate limbo. As the operators and legislators determine whether it’s legal, players can still enjoy FanDuel DFS without issue in Illinois.
DraftKings is in the same state as FanDuel. DFS isn’t legal or illegal, but DraftKings is still available to all players in the state.
Should Illinois lawmakers suddenly make DFS illegal, both DraftKings and FanDuel would have to shut down in the state. However, this looks unlikely because Illinois has already legalized sportsbooks, and FanDuel and DraftKings both have sports betting live in the state.
Prize pools change as new contests become available, but right now DraftKings has an NFL contest offering a massive $2,250,000 prize pool. The top place finisher wins $1 million of that pool.
Yes. You can enter contests for any NFL team you cheer for, including the Chicago Bears. NFL contests are among the most popular games available across all DFS platforms.
Yes. DFS sites offer esports contests in Illinois.
This could be temporary, however. Illinois left esports out of its sports betting legislation. If the state leans toward prohibiting esports betting, those events could likely be removed from DFS sites, too.