Legal Sports Betting For Illinois Residents

Going online for legal sports betting in Illinois is one of the best ways you can bet on sports in the state. Illinois has legalized sports betting, so you should expect sportsbooks to appear in the state soon. Right now, there are no sportsbooks that are currently open in the state. Once new sportsbooks open up in Illinois, we will update this page accordingly. The only way to gamble on your favorite teams right now is through online offshore sportsbooks. These websites are completely legal for you to use and will provide odds on all your favorite teams. If you decide to go with these legal Illinois sports betting sites, you will be able to wager on sports in the exact same way that you could in any state with legal land-based sports betting.

The main difference besides an expensive trip is that these legal sportsbooks for Illinois residents have many more legal sports betting options than any brick and mortar sportsbook. Until the new sportsbooks in Illinois become readily available, going to a legal sports betting site is the best way for you to make a sports bet in the state. Before joining an online sportsbook for legal Illinois sports betting, there are a few points that you should be aware of. We will walk you through the legal landscape of sports betting in Illinois that will give you clarity on online sports betting.

Can We Now Legally Bet On Sports In Illinois?

Yes, you can now legally bet on sports in Illinois. Sports betting and operating a sportsbook was formally legalized in Illinois. Although there are no sportsbooks are open just yet in Illinois, there are no laws that will criminalize the act of making a bet. The only thing you need to be made aware of is how are you going to make such a bet. Sports betting laws were only recently legalized, so this means that there are no sportsbooks open at the moment. The best way for you to make bet right now will be online offshore sportsbooks. Even after sportsbooks open up in the state, the offshore sportsbooks will have over a decade of experience ahead of the new state-licensed sportsbooks.

Is Online Sports Betting Legal in Illinois?

Online sports betting is indeed legal in Illinois. There are a couple of things that you should be aware of though. First, you will have to wait for state-based online sportsbooks to open. They should start popping up sometime after football season starts. But in order to use these sportsbooks, you must go to the retail location associated with the online book to register for your account. This will be the case for the first 18 months after the online sportsbooks launch. Also, online sportsbooks must be associated with a retail location. If you are a fan of DraftKings and FanDuel, they must be a casino partner or else they cannot take a bet. It is a bit messy and there is a way to avoid all of this. Online offshore sportsbooks that we recommend throughout this site are available right now for you to use. They have over a decade of experience in being the best online sportsbooks in the entire world. We highly recommend these websites while you wait for the state-based online books to straighten themselves out.

Sports Betting Laws in Illinois

We can take a look at sports betting laws in Illinois to give us an idea of what is going to be allowed. 720 ILCS 5/28-1 (11) prohibits residents from transmitting information related to sporting events by way of a wire communication facility. While this most likely includes the internet, this law does not have anything to do with actually placing a bet in Illinois. This used to be the only sports betting law that we could see but that has changed. IL SB 690 gives us a much clearer understanding of what sports betting will look like in the state.

Sports gambling is going to become widely available in Illinois. You should expect sportsbooks to appear in casinos and racetracks all over the state. Not only that, but online sportsbooks are also allowed. This means that state-licensed sportsbooks are allowed to create online sportsbooks, giving you much more options. These apps are also available statewide, giving you limitless options no matter where you go. We doubt that these state-licensed online sportsbooks will hold a candle to our recommended offshore books, but it is an exciting prospect. This is especially true because state-licensed sportsbooks are not allowed to take bets on Illinois-based colleges. If you want to support your home college team, bet on an offshore sportsbook.

Will I Go to Jail for Online Sports Betting in Illinois

If we have not made it already abundantly clear, you will not go to jail for online sports betting in Illinois. It is simply impossible for that to happen anymore. State lawmakers have formally legalized sports gambling and facilitating sportsbooks. This means that sportsbooks are going to open up in the state and it is no longer against the law to operate a sportsbook, so long as you have a license that is. The only way you can get in trouble for sports gambling is if you use a bookie (or you are one). So long as you stay away from bookies, you should be fine. You can use our recommended offshore sportsbooks as you wait for the new ones to open up.

Legal Sports Betting Sites For Illinois Residents
Bovada Sportsbook
50% Up To $250 On First Deposit
All States ex. NY, NJ, NV, DE, MD

Illinois bettors can use the online legal sports betting site of Bovada on their computers, tablets, or mobile devices. Registering for the sportsbook is quick and easy and can give you access to multiple odds and bet lines. When you have an account on the sportsbook, you can deposit funds by using debit/credit cards, Bitcoin, and Zelle. Once you are ready to get your payouts from the sportsbook you can also use Bitcoin, Vouchers, and Check by Courier.

BetOnline Sportsbook
Unlimited 50% To $1,000
All States - ex NJ, NV, NY

BetOnline is an online sportsbook that offers an easy and fun way to bet on your favorite sports. The offshore sports betting site provides odds on professional and collegiate sports with different bet types such as money line, future, props, and points spread. Players can use the many deposits methods when funding their BetOnline accounts such as debit or credit cards, money orders, Bitcoin, Litecoin, cashier’s checks, and more. The sportsbook offers up to 25 team parlays for all of its customers.

MyBookie Sportsbook
50% to $1,000 Welcome Bonus
All States - ex NJ, NV, NY

Bettors in Illinois can use MyBookie as a legal and easy betting site. Signing up for an account is quick and allows betters access to all the odds, bet lines, bonuses, and features. Odds and bet lines are on countless sports around the world including NCAA football and basketball. Players can place wagers while on the go with the mobile version of the sportsbook that is available without downloading an app. There are also live betting features that let you bet on a sporting event while it is happening.
50 Up To $1,000 per Deposit
All States - ex NJ, NV, NY

Sports Betting is a secure and trusted online sportsbook for players in Illinois. Signing up for an account only takes a few minutes and you only need to input basic information to verify who you are. When depositing into your account on the site, you can use cryptocurrency, credit and debit cards, bank wire transfers, Person to Person, and checks. When you're ready to withdraw your winnings you can use any of the withdrawal methods allowed including checks, cryptocurrency, bank wires, and Person to Person.

Xbet Sportsbook
10% to $300 Welcome Bonus
All 50 States

Another online sportsbook that provides countless sports odds and bet lines is Xbet. The sports betting site offers the latest betting odds on professional sports including basketball, football, baseball, soccer, golf, snooker, and more. Not only can you place wagers on this wide range of sports, but you can also bet on political odds, horse racing, and entertainment events and shows. The sports betting site also offers a mobile version that allows players to place bets from the phones.

Best Sports Betting Sites For Illinois Players
  • USA?
Federal Laws Impacting Illinois Sports Betting

The federal laws that affect much of the United States also impact Illinois sports betting. The first federal law that we will begin with is the Wire Act of 1961. The Wire Act was one of several antiracketeering bills introduced during the era and sought to combat organized crime. The law made it against the law for those in the gambling industry to use telegraphs and telephones (wire communication facilities) to accept sports wagers or provide betting information. The Wire Act has now been interpreted to include the internet, barring US-based sports betting sites from entering the market. All of the sites that we have reviewed for legal Illinois sports betting are based overseas and the Wire Act does not affect these sites. Plus, the upcoming online sportsbooks are fine to use, but you cannot access these websites if you leave state borders.

One of the most influential laws has been the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act (PASPA), although it was ultimately repealed in 2018. In 1992, the law made it impossible for states to have land-based sports betting operations. The only states excluded were those with existing sportsbooks or sports lotteries, and those states were Nevada, Delaware, Montana, and Oregon. PASPA was overturned on May 14th, 2018 after the U.S. Supreme Court ruling in Murphy vs. NCAA. Overturning PASPA is why Illinois gained the ability to formally legalize sports gambling.

Over a decade later came the Unlawful Internet Gambling and Enforcement Act (UIGEA). The UIGEA is much scarier than it sounds, only amounting to a banking law that affects US financial institutions. The law requires such entities to have measures in place that will prevent credit card, ACH, wire transfer, and check transactions to be processed if related to online gambling from an offshore gambling site. This is not a law that is directed toward casual bettors, and you will find that legal online sportsbooks offer several banking methods to IL residents.

Legal Betting Age in Illinois

Sports betting is formally legalized and we now know that the legal betting age in Illinois is 21. When sportsbooks eventually open up in the state, you will have to show your ID to prove that you are 21 years or older. This sports betting age will also be the same for online offshore sportsbooks. Although the sportsbooks we recommend are based outside of the United States and they allow people to sign up at 18, they still abide by local laws. Underage gambling in one of these sites will get you permanently banned from the offshore sportsbook and it will get you into legal trouble at the state-licensed sportsbook. Just wait until you are 21 to make that bet on the Bulls.

Best Mobile Sports Betting Apps for Illinois Residents

As you will find in our legal online sportsbook reviews, all of the sites offer mobile betting platforms. Mobile betting allows you to take your sportsbook to the gym, the grocery store, a restaurant, or anywhere else you may go. The best mobile sports betting apps for Illinois residents are BetOnline and Bovada. Both of these sites feature the same selection of sports on the mobile platform as they do on the desktop site. You can still place straight wagers, or go for exotics like parlays and teasers. Make a quick deposit or request to cash out your earnings. BetOnline even offers a $50 mobile free bet the first time you use the platform, and there are plenty of other bonuses that can be redeemed. There is so much you can do using legal mobile sports betting app.

There is no download required when you want to bet from your mobile device. Visit the sports betting site from your smartphone or tablet and the rest will be taken care of. Almost all iOS, Android, Windows, and BlackBerry devices are supported. We currently do not have any information about what the state-licensed mobile sportsbooks will look like at the current moment. Once we have a clearer picture of what these apps will offer, we will update this website accordingly.

Sports Betting FAQ For Illinois

Are Online Sportsbooks Safe And Trusted?

When assessing the general safety of online sportsbooks, they are completely trustworthy. All of our legal online sportsbook reviews include information on the licensing and regulatory standards upheld by operators. All of your financial information is encrypted with the latest technology, and all of your account information is kept protected. The legitimate offshore online sportsbooks that we recommend are trusted by hundreds of thousands of sports bettors.

Why Did My Credit/Debit Card Get Declined When Making My Deposit?

The UIGEA, a federal banking law geared at online gambling, is why your credit/debit card was declined. The law requires banking institutions to restrict transactions related to online gambling, and credit card systems are monitored most closely. All sites used for legal Illinois sports betting will offer several different payment options to sports bettors. Even if your card gets declined this morning, they may have another payment processor that can complete the transaction in the afternoon.

What Is Bitcoin?

You may have heard of bitcoin as an alternative banking option to credit cards. Bitcoin is a digital currency that allows you to quickly send and receive money between merchants and sports betting sites. Your bitcoin wallet will hold your coins, and then you can send funds to the bitcoin address provided by the online sports betting cashier to make a deposit. When it comes time to make a withdrawal, give the cashier your public bitcoin address and your payout will arrive within hours. There are never any banking fees when you use bitcoin, and the majority of online sports betting sites like Bovada have helpful guides for banking with bitcoin.

What Types Of Bonuses Are At Online Sportsbooks?

One of the main perks of legal Illinois sports betting is that online sportsbooks offer bonuses and promotions. There are two main bonuses are those for deposits and those that amount to free bets. Deposits bonuses will typically match your deposit by a certain percentage when you use a special code. Free bets involve placing a wager up to a certain amount, and if the bet loses the sportsbook will reimburse you. These typically require no promo code, you can just email customer service with your betting information.

What Is The Difference Between (-) and (+)?

When looking at American odds, you will see a (-) that indicates the favorite and a (+) that denotes the underdog. When betting on the underdog, your risk will be higher than your potential reward. The opposite can be said for the underdog, where your potential return is higher than the risk. Take a look at the example below:

Chicago Cubs (-130) vs. St. Louis Cardinals (+135)

If you bet on the Chicago Cubs, you will need to risk $130 to win $100. If you bet on the underdogs, you can make a $100 bet to win $135.

Popular Teams To Bet On In Illinois

It is nearly impossible to live in Illinois and not be a sports bettor. There are so many different sports and teams to bet on that it is hard not to put a few dollars down on your favorite team. Illinois offers sports enthusiasts betting options on both the collegiate and professional levels. NCAA fans will find plenty of betting lines at legal Illinois sports betting sites, as will fans of the NFL, NBA, NHL, MLB, and MLS. Some of the most popular teams to bet on in Illinois are listed below:


  • Fighting Illini
  • Northwestern Wildcats


  • Chicago Bears (NFL)
  • Chicago Blackhawks (NHL)
  • Chicago Bulls (NBA)
  • Chicago Cubs (MLB)
  • Chicago Fire (MLS)
  • Chicago White Sox (MLB)