Sports Betting For Illinois Residents

Unfortunately, online sports betting in Illinois is an industry that is not very open. Sadly, you will find that the state laws are even less accommodating toward gambling than the federal laws, which essentially make it illegal for people to operate sports gambling sites within the borders of the state.

We are going to give you a run down on the laws so you have some insight as to what potential trouble you can face if you decide to gamble online, but one thing we will say is that we do not condone breaking the law under any circumstances, and you might want to just avoid partaking in this form of gaming if you do not want to break the laws.

Is Sports Betting Legal In Illinois?

Like most of the other states, Illinois does not regulate any form of actual sports gambling. This is due in part to federal restrictions like the Wire Act and PASPA which deal directly with land-based sports gambling. While changes are being considered to Illinois gambling laws, these proposals do not include bookmaking... though Chicago may get a casino in the near future if some lawmakers have their way.

Is Illinois Online Sports Betting Legal?

Ah yes, there is a difference between the two. Making online bets is something that most Illinois residents can do provided that they meet age requirements to gamble with sportsbooks that accept Illinois players.

But, you thought online sports betting sites weren't regulated by Illinois? Well, you are absolutely right but the online betting sites found here on are not located in IL or in the U.S. For that reason, these betting sites are not forced to comply with Illinois betting laws and welcome players from the state with open arms. These sites may not be regulated by the state, but they are licensed and a safe option for anyone wanting to put a few dollars down on the night's games.

It is also worth noting here that Illinois used to have laws that permitted online horse betting. While not exactly "sports betting", betting on horse races is gambling. The law that permitted this was allowed to expire in 2012 but there is talk of bringing this law back on to the books within the next legislative session or two.

Legal NFL Betting

Legal NFL betting is a topic that keeps coming up more and more lately, with the league commissioner changing his tune on wagering on sports in the last few years. As the practice of sports betting gains more and more mainstream acceptance, the federal government and state governments alike seem to be poised to consider more widespread legalization for this popular type of gambling. For now though, there are federal and state laws in place that keep domestic sportsbooks from operating legally in many states – so what is an Illinois sports betting fan to do? The answer, of course, is to do your betting at the industry-leading offshore sportsbooks Bovada, SportsBetting, BetOnline and 5Dimes, which have all the best legal NFL betting odds a real sports fan expects, all while boasting superior reliability, security and legality.

Legal College Football Betting

Whether you’re a fan of the Illinois Fighting Illini, the Northwestern Wildcats or even – dare we say it? – the Missouri Tigers, the leading offshore sports betting sites Bovada, SportsBetting, BetOnline and 5Dimes have got something for you. These sites, which are licensed and regulated by the gaming authorities in their home nations, have got better odds than any brick-and-mortar sportsbook you’ll find anywhere, and they back it up with take-it-anywhere convenience, bank vault-tier security and proven reliability with payouts. Maintaining an account at some of if not all of our top recommended picks in this hot segment of the sports betting world is a necessity if you want to get the most bang for your buck in legal college football betting.

Legal Sports Betting Sites Accepting Illinois Residents

We have tested out quite a few different sportsbooks in order to figure out where our readers should play. There are many sites that will accept Illinois residents in spite of the tumultuous legal climate of online gambling in the state.

We have personally tested each of these sites to make sure it is easy to join, fun to partake, and profitable for those who manage to win the event. We do not want you to worry about getting in trouble, getting ripped off, or otherwise being cheated by these wagering sites, as they are all of the highest quality.

Bovada Sports - 50% - $250 Bonus / VISA Accepted

Bovada SportsbookIllinois residents have several great online sportsbook choices to legally place wagers, one of which is Bovada. This sports betting site has a ton of great features to offer their players. If a wide variety of betting lines and wager types are what you seek, this would be a good place to set up shop.

Creating a Bovada login is a simple process, with some basic information required. Then to play for real cash and bet money, a deposit will need to be made. Bovada has a section of their site dedicate to funding accounts, which is quick and efficient. Prospective players can always visit Bovada and view every betting line they have available. But to place a wager, an account is required for Illinois residents.

BetOnline Sports - AmEx Welcome, $900 Reloads

BetOnline SportsbookBetOnline offers their players a couple of really great options that would certainly be enough reason for residents in Illinois to go with them. In addition to offering a ton of competitive betting lines across a myriad of sports and leagues, there are other areas BetOnline excels in as well.

One of these areas is a sportsbook bonus. Players at BetOnline can receive a lifetime bonus of up to $900 on every deposit that they make into their account. It's based on a percentage matched by the sportsbook to their deposit. This can be used to place a bet on one, or multiple games.

The legal age to bet in Illinois is 21, so players need to meet this requirement to join BetOnline despite site policies stating 18+ years can register.

SportsBetting - All U.S.A. Including Illinois Allowed

SportsBetting SportsbookIllinois sports fans can can bet real money on sports at using several deposit methods that are options. With the fact that American players in general can have a tough time depositing in some locations, does a great job by offering more funding methods than most.

For starters, any card bearing a VISA or American Express logo is accepted... whether it's a credit, debit, or prepaid version, as long as it has the Visa or AmEX on it, it's good to go. If a credit card isn't what you prefer, there are also options for a Western Union wire transfer, a MoneyGram, or by using cashier's check / money order. This is definitely nice and makes it easy for an Illinois account holder to bet on the Cubs, Bears, Bulls, White Sox or any Illinois based team they choose. They can even wager on the Irish.

Best Illinois Sports Betting Sites - 100% Trusted + Safe
Bovada 50% Bonus - $250 VISA + Wire Transfer Bet Now
BetOnline 50% Up To $2,500 VISA, Bitcoin, Cash Wire Bet Now
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Illinois Sports Betting & Gambling Laws

Article 28 under 720 of the ILCS, online sports gambling is technically a crime. Subsections 11 and 12 have made it so that placing a bet on odds over the Internet is prohibited. Subsection 11 says that the transmittal of information about wagers or betting odds is not allowed. Subsection 12 states that it is a crime to operate an Internet site that allows players to wager on sports or events.

While daunting at first glance, Illinois residents should know that these laws may technically address what they do online, however they cannot be enforced on the consumer level. It would seem as though these laws were merely put in place to scare residents away from online betting sites.

On a side note, there are also the federal laws that have made some aspects of gambling on the Internet a crime. At the moment, you will not have to worry about violating federal laws simply for gambling on the Internet. It is a crime to operate a gambling website, while there is nothing that has made it illegal to play the games online.

In the meanwhile, just remember that these gambling sites are operating offshore, outside of the States themselves. This is how they can actually operate without having to cause any criminal charges from falling on the player.

Legal Gambling Age For Illinois Residents

Wagering on sports online in Illinois is such a grey area that no real age limit has been put in place. Illinoisans have to be 21 in order to play. Should you decide to gamble under the age of 21 you face the potential trouble of having your account closed and your money being taken away. This means you are gambling without the ability to win if you are not 21 years of age or older.

Land Based Gambling In Illinois

Argosy Alton, Casino Queen and Hotel, Hollywood Casino Joliet, Grand Victor Casino Elgin, Harrah's Joliet Casino and Hotel, Harrah's Metropolis Casino, Hollywood Casino Aurora, Jumer's Casino and Hotel, Par-A-Dice Hotel Casino, Rivers Casino.

There is a lack of live sports betting businesses in the state of Illinois for betting on the Bears or any other team in the great state of Illinois. If you decide you want to wager on sports, you can only do so by way of the Internet, as there are no other options available.

FAQ About Online Sports Betting In Illinois

1) Do the Illinois gambling laws pertain only to those in the business of gambling?

It seems like they do, but we cannot be entirely certain about this as we are not lawyers.

2) Could I get arrested for violating the laws explained above?

Potentially, yes. We do not condone breaking the law, nor do we recommend you do so.

3) How many people have been arrested for gambling online in the state of Illinois?

As far as we know, we have never heard of anyone being arrested for online gambling in Illinois.

4) Has there ever been a federal arrest over online gambling?

We have never heard of anyone being arrested for gambling online, federal or otherwise.

5) Where can I find the laws of the Illinois gambling laws?

You will have to look at the state legislature's website and search for gambling - their site does not allow for direct linking.

6) Are the federal laws available online?

Yes. All of the federal laws can be found directly on the Library of Congress's website.

7) Is Bovada legal in Illinois?

Bovada accepts residents from Illinois, but you could potentially get in trouble for actually participating.

8) Could Illinois actually authorize these sportsbooks?

No. Under the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act, it is illegal for sportsbooks to be licensed by the Illinois government.

9) Does it cost anything to sign up to a sportsbook?

No. You do not have to pay anything in order to sign up with these Illinois online sports betting sites.

10) How can I receive my winnings from this gambling site?

You can generally have your winnings shipped back to you by way of a check or a money order, but wire transfers and e-wallets are also eligible for withdrawals.

Check out for more detailed information on the legalities of sports. Although none of us are lawyers, it is always better to get as much information as you can about the legalities of betting on sports in Illinois.

  • Gambling Statutes