DraftKings Sportsbook is now live in Illinois, and it happened much sooner than anticipated.

After Illinois passed a sports betting law that included provisions seemingly designed to delay the launch of mobile-first sportsbook operators for 18 months, it appeared we would have to wait quite some time for DraftKings Illinois to make an appearance.

However, the legal team at DraftKings worked out a deal with Casino Queen in East St. Louis to partner on a retail sportsbook and statewide mobile betting as a workaround to the 18-month moratorium.

Under the new Illinois sports betting law and branding requirements, it officially launched under the name DraftKings at Casino Queen Sportsbook.

The remainder of this DraftKings review will discuss the betting experience piece by piece. We begin with a look at the DraftKings Illinois bonus for new customers and follow with reviews of the mobile app, markets offered, deposit methods and more.

Note: Illinois state law requires in-person registration for the first 18 months of legal sports betting. As a result, customers must complete registration in-person at DraftKings at Casino Queen in East St. Louis. DraftKings has technology in place that allows users to complete registration by logging in from anywhere on casino property. There is no need to visit the sportsbook or wait in line to register with someone face-to-face.

The DraftKings Rundown

  • Established: 2012
  • Mobile Apps: iOS and Android; mobile website for all devices
  • Website: sportsbook.draftkings.com
  • Sports Covered: All major US and international sports
  • Welcome Bonus: 20% up to $1,000 in site credit
  • Bonus Code: None needed
  • License Status: Temporary Operating Permit

DraftKings Illinois Bonus

The DraftKings Illinois bonus offers all new customers an extra 20% in site credit on their deposit for up to $1,000 extra.

Customers who deposit $5 or more automatically receive this bonus. For example, a new user who signs up and makes a $100 deposit would receive a $200 bonus while a user who makes a $1,000 deposit would receive $200 in bonus funds.

The DraftKings bonus is awarded in DK Dollars, which are essentially site credit. The bonus itself cannot be withdrawn, but any money won by wagering DK Dollars may be withdrawn.

Note that this bonus offer comes with a 25x rollover. For every $25 wagered in the sportsbook after claiming this offer, $1 in bonus funds are moved to the player’s DK Dollars balance. Additionally, only wagers placed at odds of -300 or greater count toward the rollover. For example, wagers placed at odds of -300 or +200 would count toward the rollover while a wager placed at odds of -400 would not.

If you or someone you know has a gambling problem, crisis counseling and referral services can be accessed by calling 1-800-GAMBLER (1-800-426-2537) (IL)Gambling Problem? Call 1-800-GAMBLER (NJ/WV/PA), 1-800-9-WITH-IT (IN), 1-800-522-4700 (CO), 1-800-BETS OFF (IA), or TN REDLINE: 800-889-9789.21+. NJ/PA/WV/IN/IA/CO/IL/TN only. Deposit bonus requires 25x play-thru. Deposit Bonus issued as site credits. In partnership with Meadows Racetrack & Casino. Eligibility restrictions apply. See DraftKings.com/sportsbook for details.

Other Sports Betting Promotions

DraftKings maintains a regular lineup of short-term promotions open to new and existing users alike. The promos vary at any given time depending on the popular sports in season, but generally offer users chances to earn free bets, entries to giveaways, refunds and boosted payouts.

Some recent examples of prior DraftKings promos follow.

  • Golf Top 10 Insurance: This promo offered bettors a chance to back any golfer to win an upcoming tournament. If that golfer did not win but still finished somewhere in the top 10, the original wager was refunded as a free bet worth up to $25.
  • NBA Free Bet Bonus: At the start of the latest NBA season, DraftKings offered a $25 free bet to anyone who placed a $25 or greater futures bet on the team to win the season championship.
  • Refer-a-Friend Free Bet Offer: DraftKings recently offered a free bet worth up to $100 to all users who referred a friend. The offer paid the referrer and the referral $25, $50 or $100 depending on the size of the referral’s first deposit.
  • Sportsbook Missions: This ongoing rewards system gives users new “missions,” or tasks to complete that unlock increasingly valuable rewards. As an example, the mission of the day might be to place an in-play bet of at least $X in order to earn a free bet.

DraftKings Illinois Mobile App Review

Customers can download the dedicated mobile app for iOS and Android devices or point their browsers to sportsbook.draftkings.com to place wagers with no download necessary.

As one of the most well-funded betting operators in the US, DraftKings suffers no shortage of resources to pour into mobile app development. As a result, the DraftKings app features high quality design, functions well and boasts many features.

DraftKings customers can log in to view the most popular games of the day or use a standard navigation menu to view an A-Z list of sports, jump straight to current in-play betting events, manage outstanding wagers and view the latest promotions.

Noteworthy mobile features include in-play betting stats, live data displays that show what’s happening in real time and live streaming video for select games. Customers can also access a large stats database called the “Stats Hub” to view an extensive array of statistics for each team, compare teams head-to-head, see the latest line moves and even view polls to see what other bettors are thinking.

In short, DraftKings is the most feature rich betting app on the market by a significant margin.

Mobile Betting Screenshots:

In-Play Betting at DraftKings

DraftKings maintains an active calendar of in-play betting events for many sports, both domestic and international. On any given day, customers can find dozens of in-play betting events.

Diving into any particular in-play betting event reveals more wagering options than the industry average. DraftKings offers standard in-play markets such as full-time and half-time outcomes plus correct score wagers, next score markets and more.

DraftKings also provides “Flash Bet” wagers that break the game down to an even more detailed level, allowing users to bet on the action play-by-play. Examples of flash bet markets include betting on the next at bat in a baseball game, the outcome of the next drive in a football game or the ability to place quick wagers between points in a tennis match.

Live stats feeds and visual trackers are available for many events. The live stats feed calls the action play by play and provides running updates on various match statistics. Meanwhile, visual trackers follow the action live with a depiction of what’s happening on the field or court. As an example, an in-play tennis betting event with a visual tracker actually shows the location of the ball as it moves back and forth across the court.

In-Play Betting Screenshots:

Live Streaming Sports Feeds

DraftKings took a first step into live streaming in May 2020 by partnering with data provider Sportradar to offer live sports broadcasts through the desktop website and mobile app.

In a press release announcing the news, DraftKings Sportsbook explained it has added live streaming for “a number of sports, including the Korea Baseball Organization and Bundesliga Soccer (Division 1)” with plans to add more sports over time.

Although Korean baseball and German soccer are a step short of being able to log in and watch Sunday’s NFL games, the addition of live streaming is a step in the right direction and puts DraftKings ahead of most sportsbooks in that regard.

DraftKings customers may watch the streams online or through the mobile app for free as long as they have a funded account. The goal, DraftKings says, is to create “a seamless entertainment experience in one convenient location” by allowing customers to watch live sports and bet on those games in real time.

Betting Markets and Types of Wagers

DraftKings Sportsbook accepts wagers on domestic and international leagues, both college and professional. The number of sports covered is expansive and drilling down further to individual leagues reveals the full extent of events covered by DraftKings.

For instance, DraftKings’s baseball coverage includes the MLB along with the Japanese league, Korean league, Chinese league and Taiwanese league. Similarly, DraftKings’ soccer coverage includes more than fifty leagues from around the world. This is all in addition to covering the United States’ major pro leagues and college sports.

Market depth for individual games includes standard wagers plus alternate lines, player props, team props and more.

Sports covered: Australian rules, baseball, basketball, boxing, cricket, cycling, darts, football, golf, hockey, MMA, motor sports, rugby league, rugby union, soccer, table tennis and tennis.

Types of wagers offered: moneyline, point totals, spreads, match betting, futures, win/place and each way, head-to-head, grand salami, correct score, winning margin, even/odd outcomes, half-time/full-time, draw no bet, quarter/half/period outcome, race to X points, first point scorer, next occurrence, to win from behind, method of victory, parlays and teasers.

DraftKings Deposit Methods

Regulations adopted by the Illinois Gaming Board (11 Ill. Adm. Code 1900 – pg. 105) explain that licensed betting sites may only accept deposits via credit or debit card, cash in-person at a wagering location, reloadable prepaid card, ACH transfer and by money transmitters licensed in Illinois (which includes services such as PayPal).

  • Credit and Debit Cards: DraftKings accepts Visa and Mastercard
  • PayPal: Customers may use PayPal to deposit but note that it must be a personal account and may only be used if connected to a checking account. PayPal does not allow customers to deposit to betting sites if the funds originate from a credit or debit card transfer.
  • Online Bill Pay: Selecting online bill pay and choosing an amount to deposit takes users to a secure page hosted by their bank. From there, customers authorize the transfer by inputting their existing online banking username and password. This option works with most large banks.
  • Play+ Prepaid Card: Play+ is a prepaid debit card that supports instant online deposits and withdrawals. Players may register and deposit within minutes but also receive an actual debit card in the mail that can be used to make purchases and ATM withdrawals.

Customer Support

DraftKings Sportsbook provides customer support 24/7 via e-mail and phone. Users may e-mail DraftKings directly or fill out a form to receive a call-back from a support rep. DraftKings also provides a basic FAQ page, but it only answers a handful of questions and answers lack details.

Responsible Gambling Tools

DraftKings is obligated by Illinois law to provide all customers with the ability to self-exclude and to set activity limits. As an experience provider in other states, DraftKings came to Illinois with several such tools in place.

Users may log in to DraftKings any time to set daily, weekly and monthly deposit limits, wagering limits and time limits. Customers may also self-exclude entirely from all DraftKings products.

DraftKings Sportsbook at Wrigley Field

In September 2020, DraftKings announced it has reached an agreement with the Chicago Cubs to build a sportsbook at Wrigley Field as a part of a larger partnership with the team. According to a press release, DraftKings will provide a “best in class entertainment experience” for Wrigley Field visitors.

DraftKings previously served as an official daily fantasy partner of the Chicago Cubs but has expanded its partnership to include sports betting. In a statement accompanying the announcement, Chicago Cubs President of Business Operations Crane Kenney said this:

DraftKings has been a great partner for a number of years and we are excited to expand this relationship as sports betting grows rapidly in Illinois. An increasing number of sports fans want to integrate sports betting into their game experience, and we’re excited to be one of the first to engage in developing a retail sportsbook at a professional sports venue.