Illinois legalized sports betting in the summer of 2019, joining an ever-expanding list of states that opened up markets after the United States Supreme Court said that previous federal sports betting law was unconstitutional, leaving regulation up to states. Illinois jumped into the regulated sports betting market in March 2020 with the first sports bets placed at land-based casinos. Online wagering followed in June 2020. The market is seen as more complicated than its peers for its in-person registration requirements (which were waived in early months of its launch due to COVID-19 concerns). Other requirements have limited, or at least slowed, the launch of a large number of sportsbooks. Online casinos are not coming to the state anytime soon, but Illinois does allow daily fantasy sports, online horse wagering.
What is available in Illinois?
Illinois is one of the many states that has legalized online sports betting but not online casinos. The state doesn’t have the same number of sportsbooks as other states, but those that have joined the market are some of the biggest online sportsbooks in the world — DraftKings, FanDuel and William Hill, to name a few. For now, online sports bettors can register from anywhere in the state due to an exemption from COVID. However, once normal conditions return, Illinois law will require that sports bettors will need to register for online sportsbooks through a retail location. Despite the prevalence of casinos and poker rooms in the state, Illinois has not yet passed online casino gambling expansion. As the nation’s 6th most popular state, full online gambling would be a major boon to online casinos and poker rooms as well as millions of players.
A handful of other online sportsbooks are likely to come to the state over the coming weeks and months.
Online sports betting in Illinois
The first sports bets were placed in Illinois in March 2020 with online sportsbooks following suit during the summer.
Illinois sportsbooks offer betting lines on a variety of sports with most domestic sports as well as top international sports available. College sports are allowed, however, you are not able to place bets on Illinois college sports teams. So this means no betting on Northwestern or the University of Illinois, however. Fortunately, wagering on progressional teams is completely legal. Illinois is home to many professional sports teams including Chicago Bears, Chicago Cubs, Chicago White Sox, Chicago Bulls, Chicago Black Hawks and others. In addition to local college teams, sports bettors can not make wagers on non-sporting events such as the Oscars or elections. If you haven’t signed up for an online sportsbook, you might want to do so soon. This is because Illinois has temporarily waived rules that require sports bettors to register for online sportsbooks in person.
Online poker in Illinois
Illinois is home to nearly a dozen poker rooms with many in and around the Chicago area, including in neighboring Indiana in Hammond. Some of the largest poker rooms include the Grand Victoria Casino and Hollywood Casino Aurora.
Illinois has yet to legalize online poker with no signs that it will launch in the intermediate term. For now, Illinois poker players will be limited to options such as sweepstakes-based poker rooms like Global Poker. Instead of using real money, Global Poker uses Sweeps Coins, which can be exchanged for cash prizes.
Online casinos in Illinois
Illinois is home to nearly a dozen riverboat casinos. Many of them are offering online sports betting but at this point, they are not allowed to offer online casinos, which will have to wait until the state passes an online gambling bill. The last time this was attempted was in 2019 when the state instead passed a large gambling expansion that included five new casinos, a Chicago mega-casino, racinos, and video gaming terminals. So for now, online casinos are on the back burner, but given the state’s widespread casinos and recent expansion, it would not be surprising to see Illinois tackle it again at some point in the near future. Despite real money online casinos not legal in the state, players that enjoy playing casino games do have the option of playing on sweepstakes based sites such as Chumba Casino.
Other online gambling in Illinois
Despite attempts to officially regulate daily fantasy sports, there is no law on the books legalizing or restricting DFS. Even with it’s grey area status, operators like DraftKings and FanDuel will comfortable enough to offer DFS contests to players in the state, making them one of over 40 states where DFS is played through major sites. Online horse racing wagering is available in Illinois in addition to three racetracks in the state. Horse players can place their bets on sites such as TVG and TwinSpires.
A history of Illinois Online Gambling
Illonis has a history of being at the forefront of gambling expansion in the United States. In 1974, they were the first state to introduce a state lottery. Riverboat casinos followed in the early 1990s with the first riverboat casino launching in Alton. In 2009, video gaming terminals began to spread across the state. VGTs can be found in bars, restaurants and truck stops. Over the last few years, Illinois began to focus on sports betting legalization after the United States Supreme Court overturned a 1992 PAPSA law, which effectively gave states the jurisdiction to legalize and regulate. Efforts to legalize sports betting ramped up in 2019, when the state passed the Illinois Gambling Act, which also expanded retail casinos and video gaming terminals. Retail sports betting launched in the spring of 2020 while online sports betting went live during the summer.
Like most states in the United States, you must be 21 years of age or older to bet on sports in Illinois.
Who can bet on sports in the state of Illinois?
In addition to being of legal age, you must also be physically located in the state while placing bets in the Illinois online sportsbook. A rule that sports bettors must register for online sportsbooks in person has been waived temporarily due to COVID-19 concerns.
Illinois ensures that you are physically located in the state through the use of geo-location tools. You don’t have to be from Illinois to bet on sports. Sports bettors who visit from another state or country are also eligible to bet on sports. Illinois online sportsbooks may also require you to submit part of your social security and/or documentation to prove that you are who you say you are.
What is the relationship between Illinois casinos and online sportsbooks in the state?
In order to operate an online sportsbook in Illinois legally, they must receive a license. This can be either through an Illinois casino that is operating its own sportsbook or via a partnership between an existing casino and an online sportsbook.
Who regulates online gambling in Illinois?
The Illinois online sports betting market is regulated by the Illinois Gaming Board.
What is the law that regulated online gambling in Illinois?
Online gambling is net yet available in Illinois, however, the law that authorized online sports betting was SB 690, the Illinois Gambling Act and was passed in June 2019. In addition to sports betting, the law also allowed 6 new land-based casinos including a “mega” casino in Illinois, as well as racinos and video game terminals.
What devices can I use to bet online in Illinois?
How to bet online in Illinois will depend on what online sportsbook you are using. However, in general, bettors can access and make their sports wagers through a web browser or via apps on iOS and Android devices.
How can I deposit and withdraw my funds?
Specific deposit and withdrawal options will depend on the online sportsbook you are wargering on. In general, you have a few different options available including credit cards, Paypal, online banking and cash and prepaid options.
Withdrawal options often include Paypal, checks, online banking and cashing out through casino cages.
What should you do if you have a gambling problem?
If you are someone you know has a problem with gambling, the Illinois Gaming Board has established a variety of ways for you to get help.
You can add yourself to the self-exclusion program, which will block you from all Illinois casinos including online sportsbooks. Players will also be part of the Problem Gambling Registry to recourse resources on gambling prevention and treatment. Players may call 1-877-YOU-QUIT for information. Illinois also also established a website and telephone number that is available 24/7. You can access the website through WeKnowTheFeeling.org or by calling 1-800-GAMBLER.