Illinois Sports Betting Bonuses October 2021

Illinois has long had casinos and racetracks and now offers Illinois online sports betting to its residents as well. 

The BetRivers Sportsbook was the first to launch in the Prairie State and others have followed.

Since legalizing sports betting, Illinois has launched a number of retail and online sportsbooks. BetRivers, DraftKings, FanDuel, PointsBet, and Caesars Sportsbook are all live and offering online sports betting in the state. The Prairie State has quickly become a midwestern sports betting hub reporting over $37 million for the month of July. 

Let’s see what all this exciting growth means for Illinois sports betting bonuses.

Legal Online Sportsbooks In Illinois

Illinois bettors have some great options for sports betting. Many of the best sportsbooks in the US have officially launched in the state. Here’s a snapshot of what is available:

Illinois Online Sportsbooks Bonuses October 2021

Illinois has some of the best online sportsbooks available in the United States. Here’s a rundown of the current Illinois landscape including info on bonuses and promotions:

DraftKings Illinois

  • Best for experienced sports bettors due to 20% deposit match up to $1,000 with 5x playthrough
  • Available on iOS, Android, and desktop
  • Huge bonuses and payouts

Claim promo with our exclusive link at DraftKings

Casino Queen in East St. Louis is DraftKings’ land-based partner. Deposit $5 or more to receive a $50 free bet with our exclusive link above. That’s like a 1,000% deposit match credited as a free bet, which is one of the most generous online sports betting welcome bonuses.

Then new players can receive a 20% deposit match up to $1,000 with the standard welcome bonus offer. If you plan on betting at DraftKings Sportsbook for the long term, then you’ll probably benefit from opting into both offers. Terms and conditions apply.

FanDuel Illinois

  • Best for a $1,000 risk-free bet reimbursed as betting credits
  • Available on iOS, Android, and desktop
  • Multiple deposit and withdrawal options

Claim promo using our exclusive link at FanDuel

FanDuel announced its partnership with Par-A-Dice Casino in East Peoria. FanDuel’s reputation as a top sports betting brand is well-earned, as the platform offers a top-flight overall user experience.

PointsBet Illinois

  • Best for two risk-free bets up to $2,000
  • Available on iOS, Android, and desktop
  • Top-tier rewards program for fans to accrue points while they bet

Claim PointsBet promo code BESTOFFER with this link

Australia-based sportsbook operator PointsBet inked a deal with Hawthorne Race Course in Stickney, IL. 

PointsBet also offers some of the most competitive sign-up bonus offers for new bettors. Its best sign-up bonus offers up to $2,000 in risk-free bets. New members place a risk-free fixed-odds bet up to $500 and PointsBetting (totals bet involving multipliers) up to $1,500.

BetRivers Illinois

  • Best for occasional bettors because of 100% deposit match up to $250 with a 1x playthrough requirement
  • Available on iOS, Android, and desktop
  • Excellent $250 deposit match bonus

Use bonus code SHARP250 at BetRivers today

BetRivers is the online sports betting site for Illinois’ Rivers Casino in Des Plaines. The property is partially owned by Rush Street Gaming, which developed the BetRivers app in Illinois and other legalized states.

BetRivers offers a 100% deposit match bonus (up to $250) when you sign up. It’s a great way to kickstart your sports betting account.

Other Sportsbook Available In Illinois

Barstool

Barstool is another sportsbook available in Illinois. It partnered with Hollywood Casino in Aurora and Joliet. Barstool offers a risk-free bet of up to $1000.

Sportsbook That May Come To Illinois

FOX Bet

The Stars Group runs FOX Bet as its US online sportsbook in many regulated states. For now, it’s unclear who will partner with FOX Bet in Illinois. However, it’s highly likely that FOX Bet will launch in the state regardless. 

What Online Sportsbook Bonuses Are Available In Illinois?

Illinois bettors have access to a wide variety of bonuses, and that pool of promotions will only grow as new sportsbooks launch.

There are plenty of different bonus types, and sportsbook operators will often provide really competitive and lucrative promotions to gain new customers. Below are some of the most common types of bonuses and how they work. 

No Deposit Bonus

This is the simplest bonus type you’ll find at an online sportsbook. Once you sign up, the site will give you a small dollar amount for free before you even make a deposit. Typically, you’ll receive between $10 and $30, enough to place one bet (or a few small ones). 

No deposit bonuses are fairly straightforward, but they tend to be more common at online casinos than sportsbooks. There isn’t usually a catch, but always check the fine print when you sign up to be sure you don’t miss anything. 

Risk-Free Bets

Many sportsbooks offer risk-free bets to get you started. This type of bonus requires you to place a bet with your own money, and the risk-free amount is typically capped. 

With a risk-free bet bonus, you first need to select a bet. Once you identify one and place a wager, you wait for the match to play out and the result to come in. If your bet loses, the sportsbook will refund the amount you wagered back into your account.

If your bet wins, the risk-free offer goes away and you continue betting as you normally would. On a loss, you’re refunded the amount per the bonus terms and conditions, and the offer then expires. 

Deposit Match

Deposit matches can be found on a number of regulated online sportsbooks. They can be some of the most valuable bonus offers available to players. 

Deposit matches offer you a chance to add to the amount of your initial deposit into a sportsbook account. The dollar amount can reach up to $1000, especially with the biggest operators. 

How it works: you make your first deposit using any of the approved deposit methods for the sportsbook making the offer. The sportsbook then adds a percentage of that deposit to your account. For example, if you make your first deposit for $200 at a site that offers a 100% deposit match, your wallet will jump to $400. 

Watch for specific conditions surrounding these offers. Some operators require you to make your first deposit within a week from the date you create your account. Others offer a smaller percentage match. 

For example, BetRivers offers a deposit match of 100% up to $250 while DraftKings matches 20% up to $1000. If you’re willing to shell out $5,000 on a single deposit, DraftKings makes it worth your while. BetRivers, on the other hand, is the more sensible option for bettors on a smaller budget. Opt-in for the BetRivers bonus with this link.

Refer A Friend

Refer-a-friend bonuses can be a nice boost to your sportsbook account. 

The terms vary by operator, but the idea is the same across the board. Refer a friend to your favorite sportsbook using a unique link or code. Once your friend signs up and makes a deposit beyond a certain threshold (sometimes as low as $10), you both receive a bonus. 

If you have friends interested in sports betting, these bonuses can be great. Some offer up to $50 for each friend you refer, and your friend gets a bonus, too. For example, the BetRivers Refer-A-Friend program allows you to earn free bets by recommending friends. 

What Sports Can You Bet On In Illinois?

Each state that has regulated sports betting has specific stipulations related to betting. 

The primary inter-state difference to keep an eye on is available sports. Not every state allows every sport at its online betting sites, and Illinois is no different. The Land of Lincoln has its own restrictions on betting.

Betting On US Pro Sports In Illinois

The good news for pro sports fans in Illinois is that there are virtually no restrictions in place on pro sports betting. Illinois bettors will be able to bet on a wide variety of professional US sports leagues, including:

  • Major League Baseball
  • National Football League
  • National Hockey League
  • Major League Soccer
  • National Basketball Association
  • Golf (PGA Tour and other events)
  • Tennis

Professional sports undoubtedly capture the largest number of bettors, and Illinois looks like it will continue that trend. The state will offer plenty of pro sports bets, for both teams located in Illinois and in other states. 

College Sports Betting In Illinois

Fans of National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) sports have a few restrictions to keep in mind. Illinois law allows betting on NCAA contests as long as they don’t include any in-state colleges. 

Unfortunately, fans of Northwestern, The University of Illinois, and other in-state colleges will be unable to place bets on matches involving Illinois schools. 

Still, fans of the larger NCAA scene will find plenty to enjoy in Illinois. Out-of-state matches will feature sports betting. Games and tournaments like March Madness that garner national attention will surely make waves among Illinois bettors. 

What International Sports Can You Bet On In Illinois?

US sportsbooks have a large library of bets for international sports. Most state sportsbooks have plenty of less common sports bets on offer, and Illinois looks as though it will follow suit. 

Illinois betting enthusiasts can find bets for cricket, darts, rugby, table tennis, and many other sports popular around the world. 

What Else Can I Bet On In Illinois?

Mixed martial arts, NASCAR, boxing, motorsports, and other less traditional competitions will be available to Illinois sports bettors. 

Mobile Betting Restrictions

There are two key factors that players should keep in mind as they look for the best mobile sportsbooks in Illinois. First, the minimum age to gamble in Illinois is 21, and this extends to online sports betting. When you create an account, you’ll need to confirm your identity. Usually, this involves providing your social security number.

Second, you must complete registering at a casino or retail sportsbook. This rule was part of the original sports betting bill, but Governor Pritzer suspended the requirement throughout 2020 due to COVID restrictions. Currently, new bettors can claim a bonus offer and register online, but must visit the related casino or sportsbook to complete the registration process before placing a bet.

Do Illinois Online Sports Betting Sites Offer Mobile Apps?

Illinois’ licensed sportsbooks offer mobile apps. All of Illinois’ online sportsbooks have apps for iOS and Android. 

Players currently must create an account by visiting a land-based property. This will hopefully change in the future to allow bettors to create accounts online.

Apple Devices

Apple allows gambling apps on its iOS App store as long as they’re developed in Apple’s native programming language. This may seem restrictive, but the good news is that most sportsbook providers already have apps live on the iOS App marketplace. They’ll be able to launch in Illinois without issue. 

If an operator doesn’t have an iOS app, your best bet is using a mobile browser or playing from a desktop computer. Fortunately, most providers have invested in iOS apps. All of Illinois’ sportsbooks currently have iOS apps. 

Android Devices

The Google Play store recently reversed its policy banning real-money gambling apps. It now allows gambling apps on a case-by-case basis, and the major sportsbooks are starting to roll in one by one. 

If it isn’t available on the platform yet, the good news is that it’s still relatively easy to get a sportsbook app for an Android device. Each sportsbook operator will have a “download for Android” somewhere on its website. Visit the page from your mobile browser and follow the prompts to install the app from your Android device. 

What Is The Biggest Online Sportsbook In Illinois By Revenue?

We will update this page regularly to show market leaders as Illinois sports betting matures.

A number of factors contribute to success in a given sports betting market, including launch timing, bettor acquisition, registration requirements, and more. 

BetRivers originally looked staged to be a leader in Illinois, but it’s now joined by big competition. DraftKings, FanDuel, PointsBet, and Caesars are all big names in the sports betting world, so it could be a tight race between these sportsbooks.

In neighboring IndianaDraftKings and FanDuel lead, which could indicate a bright future for the operators in Illinois. 

Of course, industry leaders FOX Bet, BetMGM, and others will come ready to win in Illinois, so the crown is up for grabs. Illinois is sure to host an intriguing and competitive sports betting landscape. 

What Do I Need To Create An Illinois Online Sports Betting Account?

To sign up for an Illinois sports betting account, you’ll need to provide some personal information to confirm your identity. Usually, this means providing your social security number. It’s helpful to have your social security number and a government-issued photo ID ready when you register. You’ll also have to input the following information:

  • Username (not every sportsbook requires this, but some ask that you create one)
  • Password (you’ll create one)
  • Email address
  • First and last name
  • Phone Number
  • Date of Birth
  • Address
  • Last 4 of your SSN

Once you finish registering on a sportsbook app, you’ll need to visit the partnering brick-and-mortar casino to complete the process.

Payment Method

If you’re ready to make a deposit, remember two things. First, have a payment method handy: credit/debit, PayPal, bank account info (for ACH transfer), Play+, and many other methods are accepted at major sportsbooks. Second, check for promo codes that offer deposit matches or risk-free bets. Once you register, you can take advantage of those offers. 

After you’ve made a deposit and created your account, you can place a bet.

Legal Online Sportsbooks Versus Illegal Online Sportsbooks In Illinois

Compared to their illegal and offshore counterparts, regulated sportsbook apps offer higher levels of safety and a number of benefits. 

First, legal sports betting sites can draw on a wealth of data from sports leagues, including real-time updates. This means they can offer live and in-play betting (wagers on a match that’s already in progress), something their grey market competitors can’t provide. 

On a safety level, regulated sportsbooks go above and beyond. This is because they are required to and because they care about building an audience of loyal players. 

At legal sports betting sites, your data is protected by high-level encryption technology. The Illinois Gaming Board, a government agency, also oversees sports betting in the state, and sportsbook providers are held to a high standard of technology and player protection. Every operator goes through a rigorous licensing process during which their sports betting offer is vetted by experts to ensure compliance with all state and federal laws. 

Offshore sites, meanwhile, have no such safeguards in place and are only responsible for upholding the laws in the country where they operate. Without dedicated oversight, they’re a much riskier option than government-sanctions sports betting platforms. 

Illinois Online Sports Betting FAQs

What is the Illinois gambling age?

Anyone in Illinois who wishes to participate in legal sports betting must be 21 years old or above. When you sign up for a sports betting account, you will be required to verify your age with proper ID. 

Other forms of gambling available in the state, including the lottery and horse race betting, allow anyone 18 and older to participate. 

Does DraftKings have a sportsbook in Illinois?

Yes. DraftKings was the second online sportsbook to launch in Illinois.  

DraftKings is partnered with Casino Queen in East St. Louis. You can bet online using DraftKings’ desktop site or mobile app on iOS and Android.

For new players, DraftKings offers up to $1000 as part of a 20% first deposit match bonus.

Is FanDuel Sportsbook legal in Illinois?

Yes. FanDuel is legal in the state and launched the end of August 2020 through a partnership with Par-A-Dice Casino in East Peoria, Illinois. FanDuel Sportsbook offers new bettors a $1000 risk-free bet. 

Do sportsbooks in Illinois offer credit?

In terms of deposit methods, yes. Most Illinois sportsbooks will accept credit cards as a form of payment. 

If you’re looking to wager on credit (bet with credit money now and pay later if you lose) at an Illinois sportsbook, you may not find much luck. Currently,  major sportsbooks do not offer betting on credit. For now, you’ll have to stick to funding an account before you place a bet. 

Can I bet on college sports in Illinois?

Yes, but with restrictions. 

Illinois will allow wagering on college matches. But bettors will not be able to wager on any college match that 1) includes an in-state school or 2) takes place in Illinois. Instead, college sports fans will have to focus on out-of-state match-ups when betting. 

Do I need to go to a casino to create my Illinois sports betting account?

Yes–as of right now, you must register at a land-based casino.

Keep an eye out for new developments on this page. The in-person requirement has been reinstated for now but could change. 

What sports can I bet on in Illinois?

All the major leagues are available for sports betting. The NFL, MLB, NBA, NHL, and PGA Tour all have sports bets in Illinois. Other sports like tennis, soccer, rugby, and others can be found in sportsbooks, too. 

College sports betting is legal as well, but with an exception. Sportsbooks cannot offer bets on college matches that include an Illinois school. 

How do sports betting online bonuses work?

There are a few types of sports betting bonuses. One is deposit match. An operator will usually match your initial deposit up to a certain amount (sometimes near $500), giving you extra betting money. 

Other operators sometimes give you a small dollar amount (around $10-$25) just for signing up before you even make a deposit. 

Risk-free first bets are fairly common, too. Lose your first bet? The operator will refund the money so you can place a second one. 

Keep an eye out for lucrative bonuses when you sign up at sports betting sites. 

How do I know that legal sports betting sites are safe?

Government agencies regulate all sports betting sites in Illinois. Additionally, they use high-level encryption to protect your data. 

Always be sure you use a licensed operator to keep yourself and your information safe and secure. Government agencies that oversee sports betting sites usually keep a running list of licensed operators.

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.