This page is dedicated to individuals seeking information regarding how the state of Illinois handles sports related gambling. The state is fairly progressive when it comes to gambling in general, with a decent selection of state regulated forms of betting entertainment available.
With a healthy representation across multiple professional sports leagues, Illinois clearly enjoys an exuberant sports culture. It is logical to conclude that there is also a healthy appetite for responsible, legal sports betting as well. Sportsbook gambling in Illinois, and really anywhere in the United States invites a host of complex nuances that must be systematically navigated in order to experience legitimate betting opportunities that do not violate state and federal gambling laws.
We have created this resource guide in response to sports fans and gamblers in Ohio who are interested in obtaining knowledge for making informed decisions concerning their participation in licensed online sportsbook gambling.
We look closely at the state’s gambling laws and how US federal laws impact sports betting options for Illinois residents. You will also find information about how to access legally licensed and regulated online sportsbooks that offer a safe, legitimate and high quality betting environment for gamblers from Illinois .
Best Online Sportsbook
Accepting Illinois Players
Betonline Sportsbook welcomes players from Illinois, and is legally licensed to provide their services to both US and non-USA customers. All players receive a generous match bonus on each and every deposit for the life of your account. Betonline's range of betting lines and wagering options is exceptional. They cover both American and international sports, and cover professional, amateur and collegiate leagues. We really enjoy their selection of options for betting on Super Bowl 53. Their banking suite effectively supports US residents, and offers a nicer selection of deposit methods than most of their competitors.
Is Online Sports Betting Legal In Illinois?
When it comes to online betting, Illinois is a bit of a contradiction. There are several forms of online betting that are permitted in the Prairie State, including pari-mutuel wagering and lottery ticket purchases. However, the state was also one of the first to make it illegal to operate an online casino or poker room within state borders. They seem to have a love hate relationship with Internet wagering.
Concerning state regulated sportsbook gambling, Illinois has not enacted sports betting since the PASPA act was repealed in 2018. The PASPA act blocked Illinois and 45 other states from enacting sports betting laws inside US borders. Since the PASPA repeal, several states has enacted sports betting legislation. There is an Illinois sports betting bill that is pending but has not yet passed the house. It is very likely that Illinois will enact domestic sports betting laws by the end of 2018 or sometime in 2019.
Secondly, we have the Federal Wire Act that legally bans US-based online sports betting throughout the country, with no exceptions. Those two laws combine to prevent anyone in the United States from providing bookmaker services and accepting bets inside US borders. If you were planning on establishing an online sportsbook business in the state of Illinois, I’m afraid these laws dash your hopes or dreams. However, if you are more interested in placing bets on sports from the state of Illinois, then there are alternatives available that do not violate any state or federal laws.
There are no statutes within IL state or US federal laws that prohibit Illinois residents from participating in online sports betting at legally licensed sportsbooks that are located outside of the United States. Individuals living in or visiting Illinois are free to open an account and place bets at these types of legally regulated online bookmaker destinations without worry of breaking any US gambling laws. This page will list the industry’s top sportsbooks that are all licensed and certified to operate legally within the international bookmaking market.
How Federal Regulations Impact Illinois' Sports Betting
The federal regulations governing gambling in the United States still exist for Illinois through several US sports betting laws. The good news is that these laws apply to gambling action within the US, but have no impact on legally sanctioned offshore sportsbooks. Illinois regulates the wire transfers and defines gambling, etc, and works to do so in accordance with federal regulations. But make no mistake about it; these federal regulations against state based gambling still exist inside of Illinois. In fact, the Federal Wire Act, PASPA, and the UIGEA apply to state based gambling in every state in the USA.
The UIGEA law regulates how online gambling transactions can be processed. None of these laws make it illegal for Illinois or any other US residents to engage in online sportsbook gambling that is licensed and regulated outside of the US. To sum things up, the US federal laws that govern online sports betting do limit the options available to players, however they do not make it illegal to enjoy online sports betting through a legally licensed destination that is located offshore.
The Chicago Explosion...
Being a sports better and being from Illinois really go hand in hand. In terms of professional sports, the city of Chicago has plenty to keep anyone busy, no matter what type of sport you like. In fact, Chicago even has a couple of professional teams within the same sport, i.e. the Chicago White Sox and the Chicago Cubs. Every major sporting league in the nation has a team inside of Chicago, and they all manage to do well in both ratings and in results. This is something that's very rare on a macro scale, and it's definitely good news for sports betters in Illinois who enjoy betting big money on their Chicago teams.
The Cubs and White Sox
Being from the north end or south end of Chicago is typically what dictates whether or not one is a fan of the Cubs or the White Sox. But both of these teams are among the most historic in Major League Baseball. The Chicago White Sox were on a decades-long World Series drought before finally winning again in 2005, and the state still hasn't forgot. The White Sox have long been known for their talented players. Frank Thomas, the Big Hurt, played for the team for years, and Ken Griffey, Jr. even stopped in later in his career to play for the Sox. The Sox have been part of MLB since 1901, and they are perhaps most famous for the Black Sox scandal of the 1919 World Series, with Shoeless Joe Jackson, Buck Weaver, and accusations of intentionally losing baseball games. The Cubs, fittingly enough, are also famous for losing. The team won back-to-back World Series titles in 1907 and '08, and they haven't won another one since. In fact, their last NL pennant came all the way back in 1945, so they haven't even been to the World Series in 70 years. It's been a very disappointing stretch for the Cubs, but people still root for this team religiously and wonder what it will take for the Cubbies to get over the hump; aka the curse of the goat.
Chicago Cubs Odds to Win the World Series +750
Chicago White Sox Odds To Win The World Series +40000
The Chicago Bulls
The Chicago Bulls are one of the most recognizable and famous NBA teams on the planet, and have been for two decades. Back in the '90s, Michael Jordan, Scottie Pippen, and coach Phil Jackson led the Bulls to six separate NBA Finals Championships, winning in spurts of back-to-back-to-back twice. After their first three championships, Michael Jordan "retired" from basketball and went to play minor league baseball, where he ultimately failed and then returned to basketball. The Bulls never skipped a beat upon Jordan's return, going back-to-back-to-back for a second time, and becoming one of the most dominant franchises in the history of all sports. The Bulls haven't been able to recapture this type of winning team lately, but they do have a powerhouse roster that can seriously put up some points in the East. With Derrick Rose, former league MVP, Noah, Jimmy Butler, Pau Gasol, and Kirk Hinrich, the Chicago Bulls are easily one of the best five teams in the NBA, and one of the top two in the Eastern Conference. At full health, the Bulls can easily burn through their Eastern rivals and end up in the Finals next season.
Chicago Bulls Odds To Win The NBA Championship +30000
The Odds of a Chicago Bulls NBA Championship
If you're betting on sports in Illinois and want to pick a Chicago team to go with, your best bet is statistically the Chicago Bulls. The NBA plays 82 games in the regular season, which in itself gives you a whole lot to bet on. And you also have to understand that with a healthy Rose, Noah and Gasol, the Bulls can easily coast to over 50 wins. They can play at half speed and hit the 50 mark, so they're definitely going to pay off for you more often than not. And when it comes to the Eastern Conference, the Bulls are probably in the best position right now to represent the East in the NBA Finals, and there are a few solid reasons for this. First and foremost, nobody knows how the Cavaliers are going to shape up. Will Kevin Love ever fit in? Will Kyrie Irving's knee actually heal up? How much of a toll has LeBron James taken over the past four or five years? It's very conceivable that Cleveland simply falls apart in the middle of the season, leaving Chicago the number-one team in the East. Another team with question marks this upcoming season is the Pacers. Although they get Paul George back from his horrific leg injury, they have lost their point guard, their center, and nearly half of their role players. Larry Bird has really dropped the ball in Indiana, and Chicago might just blow right by them.
Other than the Pacers and Cavs, the only other team in the East that could challenge Chicago realistically is the Washington Wizards. The Atlanta Hawks look okay on paper, but they don't have the grit to play man-up with the Bulls. They will fold. The Wizards are tough enough and talented enough, but they don't have any big-shot-making ability on their team. Their best player in that regard, Paul Pierce, shipped out to LA after last season's playoff implosion, so the Wizards don't have any real experience to carry them through. The odds of a Chicago Bulls Championship win are a little slim, around 20:1, but getting to the Finals is another story. They're about 4:1 in that regard, which means they're heavy favorites compared to other teams in the East.
If you love sports betting and following teams from Illinois, then the Bulls are your best bet. Of course, you can also win big by betting on the Blackhawks in hockey. They're another team that stands a great shot at winning next season. But on pure statistical likelihoods, the Bulls' odds are the best of going all the way next season.
Always proceed with caution when betting. Even though you might love Chicago sports and might be really rooting for your team to win, that doesn't mean you're going to make level-headed, intelligent bets. Always take the time to study the games on which you're betting money. Always look for injuries or other aspects of the game that may sway the outcome. Bet to leverage your odds, not to win huge dollars. Betting big is a great way to lose big. However, if you bet small while leveraging, you can clean up in smaller increments and actually build a hefty stack, and you can do this without ever having to risk a lot of money. Smart money is what wins money, so remember this when gambling on sports.
The Chicago Blackhawks
Dating back to 1926, the Chicago Blackhawks have long been one of the best teams in professional hockey. They have a total of six Stanley Cup victories, with their first happening all the way back in 1933. For about the past decade now, the Blackhawks have given the people of Illinois a whole lot to root for. With a powerhouse roster including Jonathan Toews, Patrick Kane, Duncan Keith, Corey Crawford and Marian Hossa, the Blackhawks are in competition for the playoffs every single year, and they're always a threat to win their division. The team really started dominating back in 2009, winning the Stanley Cup that year, again in 2012-13, and again just this past season. They're putting together a dynasty in Chicago, and there aren't too many teams in the NHL that can handle the style of play the Blackhawks bring to the ice.
Chicago Blackhawks Odds To Win Stanley Cup +800
History of the Chicago Bears
The Chicago Bears are one of only two remaining franchises from the NFL founding in 1920, with the Arizona Cardinals, originally based in Chicago, being the other. Since 1971, the team has played their home games at Soldier Field, named in 1925 to honor the veterans who fought and died in World War I. Soldier Field first opened in 1924 and is currently the oldest stadium in the NFL.
The Bears are considered one of the most historically renowned franchises in league history, winning eight pre-Super Bowl era NFL championships and one Super Bowl in 1985(XX). In addition to nine total NFL championships, the Bears have more victories than any other NFL franchise (749), the most players inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame (28), and the most retired jersey numbers (14).
Betting on the 2019 Chicago Bears
The 2018 Bears won 12 games in Matt Nagy’s first season as head coach. With Pro Bowler Mitchell Trubisky heading into his third year, expectations are high for Chicago.
Although Chicago traded RB Jordan Howard to Philadelphia, they compensated by getting Mike Davis is free agency and drafting David Montgomery. Chicago also retained playmaker Tarik Cohen in the backfield, but no clear starter is projected.
The team looks poised to make a deep playoff run in 2019, depending on Trubisky’s play throughout the season.
Super Bowl LIV Odds to Win: +1400
College Football Teams in Illinois
The state of Illinois is home to two college football programs who play in a Power 5 Conference with the Illinois Fighting Illini, located in Champaign, IL, and the Northwestern Wildcats, located in Evanston, IL, both competing in the Big Ten Conference.
The Fighting Illini and Wildcats play each year in the Land of Lincoln Bowl, named after the state nickname and home to President Abraham Lincoln. The two in-state rivals first played each other in 1892 and have since met 111 times. The two teams originally played for the Sweet Sioux Tomahawk starting in 1945 but was retired in 2008 following the NCAA mandating that all Native American imagery deemed hostile and abusive must be removed from all college athletics. Today, the two teams annually play for the Land of Lincoln Trophy, a bronze replica of the famous stovepipe hat worn by President Lincoln.
Betting on the 2019 Illinois Fighting Illini
Illinois hasn’t had a winning season since 2011. Coming into 2019, the team is looking to end the streak and make a bowl game.
Coach Lovie Smith is entering his fourth year in Illinois with no clear-cut starting quarterback. Right now, Matt Robinson and Isaiah Williams are competing for the job, but neither has much experience under center.
Smith took over defensive coordination duties and hopes that health will lead to consistency for a squad that ranked poorly in most 2018 defensive categories.
Illinois has a favorable schedule in 2019. This could finally be the year the Fighting Illini reach a bowl game.
2019 NCAA Championship Odds to Win: TBD
Betting on the 2019 Northwestern Wildcats
Northwestern has been one of the most consistent teams over the last few years: 36 wins since 2015 and three consecutive bowl victories under head coach Pat Fitzgerald.
Clemson transfer QB Hunter Johnson is poised to take over for the Wildcats with the help of receivers Ben Skowronek and Riley Lees. Northwestern also features strength in the linebacker position, bolstering the defense with Paddy Fisher and Blake Gallagher.
With a new quarterback and strong defense, Northwestern is likely to contend in the Big Ten West again this year.
2019 NCAA Championship Odds to Win: TBD