After passing state legislature in early 2019 to allow legalized sports betting, the state of Illinois officially took their first legal sports bet on March 9, 2020 at the Rivers Casino. And during the summer of 2020, online sportsbooks went live with remote registration in a controversial series of moves.
They have officially become the 15th state with legalized sports betting, but the future of remote registration (which occurred in the throes of Covid-19 when visiting a physical sportsbook was sensibly discouraged by health officials) remains unknown.
Is sports betting legal in Illinois?
Yes. Legislation approved SB690 in 2019, with Gov. J.B. Pritzker signing it into law in June 2019. The first wagers were booked on March 9, 2020 at the Rivers Casino in Des Plaines. Pritzker later signed executive orders permitting remote registration in August 2020.
Where can I bet at Illinois sportsbooks?
As of this moment, legalized sports betting is only land-based, with the Rivers Des Plaines being accompanied by Penn’s National Argosy, Hollywood Aurora, Hollywood Juliet, Eldorado Resorts’ Grand Victoria and Boyd’s Par-A-Dice as casinos that received temporary operating permits.
Two racetracks – Fairmount Park and Hawthorne Race Course – also currently hold temporary operating permits.
What about mobile sports betting apps in Illinois?
Illinois currently does not have any mobile sports betting available, in large part due to a tricky rule in which anyone who wishes to place a legal sports bet must register in-person for the first 18 months of retailed sports betting within in the state.
DFS action, however, sits in a grey area under state rules. DraftKings, FanDuel, Yahoo and basically all major daily fantasy vendors accept players in Illinois, but the Illinois Attorney General said in 2015 they felt DFS was illegal. A number of bills have been presented (and subsequently sidelined) regarding DFS, so while it is being discussed in government, and in court, they’re currently operating in a limbo-type setting.