Illinois lawmakers laid the groundwork for a robust and competitive sports betting industry with the passage of the Sports Wagering Act in 2019.
Under the Act, casinos and racetracks may apply for licenses to launch retail sportsbooks and to offer mobile betting across the state to customers 21 or older. Additionally, qualified sports venues may offer mobile betting within a five-block radius.
What this all means for bettors is there will soon be numerous sports betting apps to choose from and all will be competing for new customers. As a result, bettors can anticipate competitive bonuses and a generally high level of service.
Best IL Online Sportsbook Apps 2021
Active Illinois Sports Betting Apps
The first Illinois sports betting apps launched in mid-2020 and more operators are expected to come online shortly. As additional mobile sportsbooks launch, we will update this page with the details of each so bettors can easily compare their options.
1. BetRivers Sportsbook
- Mobile apps for: Android; iOS customers may visit the BetRivers website to bet online with no download needed
- Read more: BetRivers IL
- Visit and get the mobile app at: il.betrivers.com
BetRivers Sportsbook commenced mobile betting in Illinois in June 2020 as the state’s first authorized betting app. Working in partnership with Rivers Casino Des Plaines, BetRivers Sportsbook offers in-person betting at the casino along with mobile betting across the state.
BetRivers is active in several states today and is generally regarded as a high-quality operator. Competitive lines and extensive wagering options are somewhat offset by a dearth of ongoing promotions, but overall BetRivers is a viable option for serious and casual bettors alike.
2. DraftKings Sportsbook
- Mobile apps for: iOS and Android
- Read more: DraftKings IL
- Visit and get the mobile app at: draftkings.com
DraftKings Sportsbook launched mobile betting for IL customers in August 2020 to become the state’s second online betting operator. In Illinois, DraftKings is partnered with Casino Queen East St. Louis.
Customers may visit DraftKings.com to download mobile apps for iOS/Android or to bet online through the website.
3. FanDuel Sportsbook
FanDuel Sportsbook IL launched near the end of August 2020 as the state’s third mobile betting operator in partnership with Par-A-Dice Casino. Customers may visit FanDuel.com to sign up for an account and to find links to download the official FanDuel mobile app for iOS or Android.
4. PointsBet Sportsbook
- Mobile apps for: iOS and Android
- Read more: PointsBet IL
- Visit and get the mobile app at: pointsbet.com
PointsBet commenced mobile betting for Illinois residents in September 2020. With standard wagers plus the “PointsBetting” form of wagering in which bettors win more for being more right, PointsBet comes to IL as one of the most unique mobile sportsbooks.
5. William Hill Sportsbook
- Mobile apps for: iOS and Android
- Read more: William Hill IL
- Visit and get the mobile app at: williamhill.com
William Hill launched mobile betting for Illinois fans in September 2020 as the state’s fifth online sportsbook. The William Hill approach to sports betting is all about giving users a professional and reliable experience based on years’ worth of experience in online sports betting.
Other Operators Expected to Come Online
Numerous brand name operators have announced their intention to offer online betting in Illinois pending regulatory approval. As regulators work through licensing applications and clear these operators for launch, looks for additional launch notices over coming weeks and months.
Illinois law requires mobile sportsbooks to operate on licenses held by land-based operators. To that end, a growing number of online betting brands have struck partnership agreements with Illinois casinos and racetracks as detailed in the following chart:
|Online Betting Brand||Land-Based Partner||Launch Date|
|BetRivers||Rivers Casino Des Plaines||June 2020|
|DraftKings||Casino Queen East St. Louis||August 2020|
|PointsBet||Hawthorne Race Course||September 2020|
|FanDuel||Par-A-Dice Casino||August 2020|
|William Hill||Grand Victoria Casino||September 2020|
|Barstool Sportsbook||Penn National Gaming||TBA|
|Unibet||Argosy Casino Alton||TBA|
How Illinois Mobile Betting Works
The Sports Wagering Act of 2019 and additional regulations adopted by the Illinois Gaming Board (IGB) establish the regulatory framework under which sports betting is conducted in Illinois.
The Act and its accompanying regulations cover a lot of ground, but the following key points are the most pertinent for bettors.
Age and Location Requirements
Illinois law allows mobile sportsbooks to offer their services to customers who are 21 or older and located within state lines.
Bettors do not need to be residents to participate; merely being of legal age and inside Illinois is enough.
Signing Up for an Account
Mobile betting operators are required by Illinois law (specifically 11 Ill. Adm. Code 1900.1220) to collect the following information from all customers who wish to register for a wagering account:
- Legal name
- Date of birth
- Entire or last four digits of the patron’s Social Security number or the equivalent for foreign patrons (passport or taxpayer identification number)
- Residential address
- E-mail address
- Phone number
- Any other information as needed to verify the patron’s age and identity
About In-Person Registration and Its Temporary Suspension
The Illinois Sports Wagering Act requires in-person registration for the first 18 months of legal sports betting (which began in March 2020 with the launch of BetRivers Sportsbook at Rivers Casino Des Plaines).
In-person registration means customers must visit a casino or racetrack in-person in order to establish a mobile betting account. Customers must only do this one time for each mobile betting account they establish, and the provision is only in place for 18 months.
However, Illinois Governor J.B. Pritzker temporarily suspended the in-person registration requirement in June 2020 via executive order in response to the COVID-19 pandemic that resulted in extended casino and racetrack closures. For a brief period, sports bettors in Illinois were able to sign up for online sports betting without leaving the house.
Governor Pritzker allowed the order to expire in July 2020, ending remote registration. Now, Illinois sports betting rules require customers to visit a casino in person to active their online betting accounts.
iOS Betting Apps in Illinois
iPhone and iPad users can download betting apps directly from the App Store by searching for their preferred sportsbook by name. Alternatively, bettors can head to the sportsbook’s website for a link to the appropriate page in the App Store.
One benefit of having an Apple device is the App Store effectively serves as a secondary security check because Apple verifies all gambling apps prior to listing them. App Store policy is to only list betting apps that are legal and licensed in each US state.
One downside, however, is that Apple changed its developer guidelines in 2019 in such a way that required nearly all sports betting operators to redevelop their apps from scratch. As a result, some online sportsbooks still do not offer native iOS apps and instead direct customers to bet online through the sportsbook’s mobile-friendly website.
Android Betting Apps in Illinois
Google does not list gambling apps on the Play Store regardless of their licensing status. This means bettors who wish to download a mobile sportsbook must do so directly from the sportsbook’s website.
Android users can get started by visiting the website of any licensed online sportsbook in Illinois to find the official download link. Downloading and installing the software may require users to adjust their Android settings to allow installations from unknown sources, but every sportsbook operator we have reviewed to date provides step-by-step instructions for getting started on its Android download page.
How to Fund a Mobile Betting Account in Illinois
Sports bettors with verified accounts may make deposits and receive withdrawals remotely. Additional regulations adopted by the Illinois Gaming Board outline the types of deposit methods mobile sportsbooks may accept.
11 Ill. Adm. Code Section 1900.1220 (d) states that customer accounts may be funded by:
- Credit or debit card in the name of the patron
- Cash at an in-person wagering location, including through tellers and self-service kiosks
- Reloadable prepaid cards that have been issued to the patron and that are non-transferrable
- ACH transfer (eCheck)
- Deposits through money transfer services licensed in Illinois (this includes services such as PayPal)
- Comps, rewards and promotional credits
- Adjustments or refunds authorized by the operator
To put that in simpler terms, licensed Illinois betting apps may accept all the most common types of deposit methods.
Illinois Mobile Betting FAQs
Do I have to be an Illinois resident to bet online?
No. Illinois law only requires that customers be located within state lines when placing wagers.
How do I know if a particular betting app is official and/or safe?
IllinoisBetting.com only lists legal and licensed betting sites. If a mobile sportsbook is listed on this website, readers may assume that sportsbook is legal and licensed. Additionally, the Illinois Gaming Board maintains an up to date list of licensed operators here.
Why am I being asked for the last four digits of my SSN?
Illinois law requires sportsbook operators to collect the last four digits of each customer’s Social Security number in order to verify each customer’s identity.
Why am I being asked to connect to wifi to verify my location?
A sportsbook may request that a user enable to wifi in order to better pinpoint his or her physical location. State law requires mobile sportsbooks to verify that all customers are located within state lines prior to accepting wagers from those customers.
How does in-person registration work and why was it implemented?
In-person registration requires customers to visit the land-based partner of any mobile betting site in order to sign up for an account there. For example, signing up for an account at BetRivers requires the patron to visit Rivers Casino Des Plaines one time to create the account. Once the account has been created, there are no further in-person obligations.
The in-person registration provision was added to the Sports Wagering Act presumably as a gift to land-based operators because a) it forces people to visit the casino in-person where they may spend money and b) it limits the geographic reach of the competition.
Note 1: The in-person registration requirement is only in place for 18 months following the launch of sports betting in Illinois. After 18 months, customers may sign up remotely with no visit to a casino necessary.
Note 2: Governor Pritzker signed an executive order in June 2020 suspending the remote registration requirement due to extended casino closures related to COVID-19. For as long as the executive order remains in effect, bettors may sign up for online betting accounts remotely.
What types of responsible gambling controls are sportsbooks obligated to provide?
IL sports betting regulations (Section 1900.1250) require all licensed betting apps to provide tools by which customers may limit the amount of money wagered, to prohibit new deposits or to stop all wagering entirely.
In practice, most sportsbooks exceed these minimum requirements by allowing customers to not only restrict the amount wagered, but also to set limits on amounts deposited and time spent logged in.