This BetChicago guide takes a look at how to bet in Illinois. Illinois has become one of the biggest sports betting markets in the United States, and legal sports betting in Illinois began in March 2020. However, it wasn’t until a few months later that online sportsbooks and mobile apps would be available. 

Illinois had some interesting sports betting laws at first, which kept the industry from really taking off. However, once remote registration was allowed, the online sportsbooks and mobile apps became a massive hit with bettors in the state.

Despite having retail sportsbooks scattered throughout the state, nearly 95 percent of all bets have been placed through mobile apps or online in Illinois. Online-only operators can now apply for a sports betting license, but most online sportsbooks are tied to a retail casino. 

In Illinois, online sports betting should continue to grow as more operators enter the state. 

How to Bet in Illinois: Online Sports Betting


BetRivers was the first online sportsbook to go live in Illinois, and it’s tied to the Rivers Casino in Des Plaines. Rush Street Gaming owns and operates this sportsbook, and it’s one of the more prominent names throughout the United States. The iRush Rewards program is available for loyal customers.


BetMGM is the sports betting arm of MGM Resorts International, one of the biggest companies in the online gaming industry. This sportsbook just recently entered Illinois after claiming one of the available online-only licenses. BetMGM has a massive welcome bonus and plenty of other promotions.

DraftKings Sportsbook

DraftKings is one of the biggest names in sports betting and daily fantasy sports sites. This sportsbook has been around in Illinois nearly since this form of betting was available. DraftKings has one of the best welcome bonuses in Illinois and has competitive odds and betting lines.


PointsBet Sportsbook is a company founded in Australia, but it has made a big push in the United States. This sportsbook does things differently, and points betting is popular on this site. PointsBet has a long list of daily promotions and boosts available.


Fliff is not a sportsbook that offers legal sports betting, but instead is a social sportsbook where players can compete against their friends. Fluff did not have to apply for or receive a sports betting license from the Illinois Gaming Board to operate in the state.

How Do I Start Betting At Illinois Online Sportsbooks?

Registering For An Online Sports Betting Account

Signing up for a sports betting account in Illinois used to be difficult, as a trip to a retail casino was the first step. However, that is no longer the case, and bettors can create accounts online or simply through the mobile app.

The app store will have the sports betting apps available for Apple devices, and the process can be started and completed after it is installed. The Google Play store will have most sports betting apps for Android devices, but you might have to click a link on the actual online sportsbook site.

After you have the app, you have to go through and fill in all of the required personal information. After your identity is verified, you will be able to create a username and password to use each time you log in. 

How to Bet in Illinois: Make Your First Deposit

You will have to make a deposit at an online sportsbook before placing any bets, but fortunately, this is not a difficult process. First, you have to be logged into your account, and then you can choose from one of the many deposit options listed on the site. 

Here are some of the most common deposit options offered by Illinois sports betting apps:

  • PayPal
  • Netteller
  • Skrill
  • Credit/Debit card
  • Prepaid Card
  • Online Bank Transfer
  • ACH/eCheck
  • Cash at Casino

Before depositing, be sure to visit BetChicago to get all of the best promo codes to use at Illinois online sportsbooks.

How to Bet in Illinois: Popular Betting Options

  • Spread: Betting against the spread is extremely common, and you can bet on either team or individual with this wager. A spread deals with the final difference in the score at the end of a game or contest. Spread betting is best used with either basketball or football.
  • Moneyline: Moneyline betting is simply picking the winning team or individual in a matchup. Each side will have betting lines attached, and those lines will determine how big the payout is.
  • Totals: Totals betting is a wager placed on the combined final score of a game or event. This is a popular bet because there is no wagering on which team or individual will win that event.
  • Parlays: A parlay is a big bet made up of a bunch of smaller bets. Parlay betting can have a big win attached to it, but you also make it harder to win every time a leg or bet is added.
  • Futures: Futures betting is much different than the others as this bet doesn’t focus on just one single game. This type of bet usually looks at the eventual winner of a championship or a bet on which player will take home an award.
  • Props: You can make a prop bet on teams or individuals, which has become a popular way to wager on sports. Prop betting is usually unique, and you will find some very specific wagering options. The winner/loser of a contest does not matter when prop betting.
  • Live Betting: Live betting is sometimes called “in-play” betting because you are making a bet while the action is taking place. When it comes to live betting, you can usually select any of the options listed above, except for a futures bet.

How to Bet in Illinois: Cash Out When You Win

  • PayPal: PayPal is an excellent withdrawal method because you will promptly receive your winnings. You can usually only select PayPal as a withdrawal method after you have used that to fund your account. Funds can be in your account as quickly as an hour or within 24 hours.
  • ACH/eCheck: This method will likely have funds to you in 2-3 days, depending on how long it takes the site to process the request. You can choose this type of withdrawal regardless of how you funded your account initially.
  • Online Bank Transfer: Depending on your banking institution, an online bank transfer is another acceptable withdrawal form. This is a very safe and secure process, but it could take up to 3-4 days for the money to arrive.
  • Cash at Casino Cage: If you want to get your winnings immediately, then you can visit the retail sportsbook to make a withdrawal. This is also the only option if you’re going to get cash from the sportsbook.
  • Prepaid Card: If the site offers a prepaid card, this is an excellent option because you can reload the money almost immediately. Not all sites will offer a prepaid card, but you can use this to make a deposit or a withdrawal.