Sports Betting in Illinois

The state legalized betting within its borders, making Illinois one of the latest states to do so. According to its new law, sports betting is legal at licensed sportsbooks in the state plus any bets made with their online platforms.

Illinois Sportsbook Locations

Illinois' new law will allow anyone 21 and over bet on sports, though online sports betting isn't legal quite yet. It's expected to be in early 2020.

When that comes to fruition, the Illinois Lottery's 2,500 video terminals, as well as horse tracks, will be able to take bets, giving the state the most in-person betting options than in any other state. Seven major stadiums, including Soldier Field and Wrigley Field, will be able to open sportsbooks on their properties as well.

The Illinois legislature passed this bill in Spring 2019, which allows there to be legal and regulated sports betting in the state. As per the language of the law, bets can be placed in-person at licensed locations in the state as well as with sportsbooks online.

Gov. Pritzker made the state’s ambitious gaming expansion bill into law with his signature in June of 2019. There will be legal sports betting available in Illinois sometime during early 2020 depending on how fast the governor and regulators move.

The locations eligible to apply for a sports betting license include numerous riverboat casinos and racetracks that already operate legally in the state. Brands known for online sportsbooks will appear in the state soon, but each license is only able to offer one skin.

Although there will be fewer options to bet with than in other states, Illinois does have many places for legal gaming. There are currently 10 casinos eligible to apply for a sports betting license, but more casinos are likely to open soon as part of this expansion.

Although it’s too early to tell which casinos will be granted licenses, we think it’s safe to assume that the casinos run by brands that offer sports betting in other states will most likely be linking with their existing partners when offering sports betting in Illinois.

LocationLicensePartner brand
ArgosyAwaitingTBD
Casino QueenAwaitingTBD
Grand VictoriaAwaitingTBD
Harrah’sAwaitingCaesars
Hollywood CasinoAwaitingPenn National
Rivers CasinoAwaitingRivers Sportsbook
Par-A-Dice CasinoAwaitingB-Connected
Jumer’s CasinoAwaitingTBD

Gambling in Illinois

2019

The state passes the Illinois Gambling Expansion Act in June, which makes a considerable amount of changes to the states gaming laws. First and foremost, this act makes betting on sports legal in Illinois. Bets can be made legally in-person at physical sportsbooks and with licensed betting platforms online.

2018

Illinois amends its Horse Racing Act of 1975 to introduce video gaming terminals that let customers bet on historical races. These machines work by letting customers bet without letting them know which horse or race they are betting on.

2009

The Video Gaming Act becomes law in Illinois, expanding gaming in the state to allow video gaming terminals at licensed bars, truck stops, fraternal and veterans clubs in the state.

The Illinois General Assembly also passed a measure to approve of an internet lottery pilot program.

1991

The first riverboat casino in the state begins operation in Alton, Illinois.

1990

The Riverboat Gambling Act becomes law, which makes Illinois the second state in the nation to legalize riverboat casino gaming.

1927

Illinois legalizes parimutuel betting on horse races and gaming explodes in the state. In addition to betting, races were seen as events where the social elite could dress up and network.

1974

The Illinois legislature establishes the state lottery, making it the first state to do so in the United States.

1800s

There was gaming in what would become Illinois long before it was a state. Riverboat casino gaming was hugely popular for a long time before there was any formal legislation made regarding it.