Mobile sports betting has made its way to Illinois. The Prairie State saw its first mobile sports betting site launch in June 2020 when BetRivers started taking bets. FanDuel, DraftKings, and other providers are expected to arrive in the next round of Illinois sports betting apps to launch.
To access sports betting apps, Illinois players just need an internet connection and a desktop or mobile device. The process to access an online sportsbook in the Land of Lincoln is simple and convenient, giving you full access to a bevy of bets and offers after just a few minutes.
Getting started with mobile and desktop sportsbook apps requires you to create an account using the information you’d typically give to an online shopping site or social media account. It’s a similar process to those employed by the apps we use every day, so most bettors will have no trouble kicking off their sports betting experience in Illinois.
The only added step is mandatory geolocation to confirm you’re within state borders when you place a bet and an in-person registration requirement.
Here’s a closer look at online sports betting apps in Illinois.
Best Online Sports Betting Apps In Illinois
As of this writing, BetRivers is the only sports betting app available in Illinois. However, other operators are expected to join the fray shortly.
Right now, BetRivers is the top Illinois sports betting app because it is the state’s only sports betting app. But that doesn’t mean it doesn’t provide a polished and streamlined sportsbook experience.
BetRivers is the official online sportsbook of Illinois’ Rivers Casino in Des Plaines. Playing with BetRivers offers some great advantages to players. The site will match your first deposit up to $250, allowing you to double your account value when you first deposit funds. The bonus is a great way to get started with sports betting. The interface is sleek and intuitive. Sports and featured bets appear on a bar at the top of the screen, so you can easily navigate the site to find your favorite bets.
The only disadvantage for BetRivers users is that there’s no iOS app available yet. Instead, Apple device users have to stick to mobile browsers to access BetRivers. Not to worry, though, the site is fast, responsive, and just as easy to use as an app.
See our full Review Of BetRivers Illinois Sportsbook.
DraftKings is subject to the same waiting period that hindered its top competitor FanDuel. However, much like FanDuel, it found a way to circumvent restriction to offer a sports betting app much sooner than previously expected.
DraftKings penned a deal with Casino Queen in East St. Louis, Illinois, to provide technology for the property’s sportsbooks. This will include online sports betting, which allows DraftKings to access the Illinois market prior to the end of the 18-month waiting period.
DraftKings is an undeniable leader in the sports betting industry, so its launch in Illinois will undoubtedly bring some competition to the market. Expect an iOS and Android app from the company alongside robust desktop betting options.
See our complete Review Of DraftKings Illinois.
Upcoming Online Sports Betting Apps In Illinois
FanDuel, a major sportsbook provider and Daily Fantasy Sports industry leader, is expected to launch in Illinois relatively soon. Initially, the Illinois gambling laws placed an 18-month waiting period on any online sportsbook app that did not have a land-based partner. The intention may have been to limit FanDuel and DraftKings from entering the market. But, both sites are on their way to launching in Illinois by partnering with a land-based casino.
Rumors say that the company is in talks to buy the Fairmount Race Track. If true, and if the purchase goes through, FanDuel could launch a sportsbook app in Illinois.
In other states, FanDuel has a streamlined and simple app that makes sports betting accessible on both iOS and Android. That’s likely to be the case in Illinois when the company enters the market.
Illinois Sportsbooks At A Glance
|Sportsbook||iOS App?||Android App?||Average Review|
|BetRivers||No (mobile browser)||Yes, 52.3 MB||4.5|
|DraftKings||Yes, 263.6 MB||Yes||4.9|
|FanDuel||Expected at launch||Expected at launch||TBD|
|Pointsbet||Expected at launch||Expected at launch||TBD|
What Are The Benefits Of Using Legal Online Sportsbook Apps In Illinois?
Betting on a legal online sportsbook app has distinct perks.
First and foremost, the convenience of playing on your mobile device is hard to beat. As long as you’re within Illinois and have an internet connection or cell signal, you can sign on and place a wager once you’re registered. If a game is happening live and you want to place an in-play wager, you can quickly sign-on using your phone or tablet to make the bet. The ease of use is one of legal mobile bettings’ primary advantages.
Of course, safety and fairness play a huge role in making the online betting experience top-notch in Illinois. Sportsbook apps are operated by companies that must adhere to the state’s regulations and offer a fair selection of bets using official data. That’s a requirement that offshore providers don’t have to worry about. Legal betting ensures you’re playing in a safe and secure environment.
How To Install Online Sports Betting Apps On An Apple iOS Device
Here’s a step-by-step breakdown of how you can install a sportsbook app on your iPhone or iPad.
- Choose your preferred sports betting app and download it from the iOS App Store.
- Note: not all sportsbooks have an iOS app due to Apple’s gambling policies. BetRivers is a prime example. If you’d like to bet using a site that doesn’t have an iOS app, simply visit the sportsbook’s website in your mobile browser and the steps will be virtually identical, just without the download.
- Register for an account. You’ll need to provide some personal information: name, email, address, phone number, etc. You also may need to submit a driver’s license number or social security number to confirm your age.
- Download a Geolocation app. Your preferred sports betting site will give you instructions on how to do this. It’s required so you can verify your location when placing a bet.
- Make a deposit and start betting!
How To Install Online Sportsbook Apps On An Android Device
Google prohibits all gambling apps from its Google Play marketplace, but you can still install sportsbook apps on your Android device. Here’s how:
- Pick your favorite sportsbook and visit its website on your mobile browser. You can also search “[Sportsbook] Illinois Android app” and you should get helpful results.
- Scroll down and you should find an icon that has the Android logo and says “Get it for Android” or something similar. Click on that icon.
- The link will take you to a page with instructions to guide you through the installation process. Follow the steps on the page to download the sports betting app onto your Android device.
- Open the app and sign up for an account using your name, email, etc.
- If necessary/prompted, download a geolocation app. In some cases, the app will ask for your location instead of making you download a separate service. Either way, this confirms you are within the state where you plan to bet.
- Connect a payment method, deposit, and place your wager.
In-Person Registration Requirements In Illinois
One wrinkle when it comes to taking full advantage of online sportsbooks in Illinois is the government’s requirement that sports bettors complete registration in person. It’s possible to download an app and start registration, but before making the first bet bettors need to visit a retail sportsbook location or casino partner to complete the process.
Although for a brief time Governor Pritzer lifted this requirement due to COVID-19 related concerns, in July 2020, he reinstated the restriction. This can seem a bit onerous, particularly before the first bet, but once registration is complete all bets can be placed online using the chosen app.
Are More Sportsbooks Apps Coming To Illinois?
With only one sportsbook live, Illinois is at a very early stage with regard to its sports betting industry. The state will undoubtedly see many more sportsbook launches, almost all of which will include sports betting apps.
BetRivers is live, and DraftKings and FanDuel are anticipated. But the Prairie State will soon see many more providers enter the sports betting market. Illinois is sandwiched between Iowa and Indiana, two states that had a headstart in legalizing and launching online sports betting. Nearby Michigan recently legalized sports betting and online casino gaming, though it has yet to launch. Illinois sits in the center of the growing midwestern online gambling market, and we’ll soon see industry leaders flock to the state to provide betting apps to an enthusiastic audience.
Plus, 18-months following the launch of sports betting in the state, Illinois will grant three online-only sports betting licenses, further expanding the market. Before that happens, though, expect a number of providers to throw their hats into the ring by partnering with land-based Illinois casinos.
William Hill is a highly likely contender to launch a sports betting app in Illinois. Both Eldorado Resorts and Caesars have deals with William Hill in other jurisdictions. Eldorado Resorts and Caesars Entertainment both own properties in Illinois, so they could leverage William Hill to provide online and retail sports betting in the state.
Every market is different, so there’s no way of knowing for sure if William Hill will partner with an Illinois property and, if so, which it will be. Either way, though, expect William Hill to launch a sportsbook app in the Prairie State.
FOX Bet is another big contender that’s likely to launch a sports betting app in Illinois. The Stars Group, which owns FOX Bet, is also partnered with Caesars. Like William Hill, the company could use that partnership to gain a foothold in the Illinois landscape.
Whether it’s with Caesars, another partner, or an online-only license, FOX Bet will almost certainly launch a sportsbook app in Illinois.
What Makes For A Good Mobile Sports Betting App?
When you play on a sportsbook app, you should be able to quickly and easily find your desired bet. Or, if you’re just browsing, you should never be lost. A good sportsbook app will have simple but intuitive navigation tools, a clear way to place a bet, and helpful tips for beginners.
Access To Promotions
From the minute you sign up, sports betting should be rewarding (even if you don’t always win!). Sign up bonuses like deposit matches show that a sports betting app cares about gaining customers. Loyalty programs and benefits show that they want to keep existing players engaged. Promotions and bonuses make for a better sportsbook experience.
After you connect your preferred payment method, whether it’s PayPal, your debit card, or online banking, how many clicks or taps does it take to make a new deposit? A top-notch sportsbook app makes this process incredibly easy. Just a few taps of the screen will get you to the deposit page, and you can seamlessly add funds to your account.
In any given sporting event, seconds matter. They can make a world of difference and determine the outcome of a match. When you place a bet, especially live bets/in-play wagers, the same is true of sportsbook apps. They must process your transactions quickly so you can log your bet and continue watching the game. Speed is a top priority when selecting a solid sportsbook app.
How Can Players Deposit Money In Online Sports Betting Apps In Illinois?
Sportsbook apps make deposits simple and seamless. There are a number of methods available, so you just have to choose the one you prefer and fund your account.
Methods To Deposit Money Using An Online Sportsbook App
Deposit methods can vary by sportsbook, but most apps allow similar options.
Online wallet services such as PayPal, Skrill, and Neteller are fairly popular with sports bettors. Among them, PayPal is the most commonly accepted. BetRivers, Illinois’ only current sports betting app, accepts PayPal and allows you to quickly connect your account.
Credit and debit cards are another ubiquitous option for depositing funds. Almost every sportsbook will accept them. Just type in your card information to make your deposit. If you’d rather not use your personal card, sportsbook apps typically accept prepaid cards, too.
Online banking options such as wire transfer, ACH, and direct deposit are all common in the sports betting world as well. You can connect your bank account and make easy deposits right from your mobile device.
Apple iOS Users
All of the options above are accessible to anyone using an iOS device. Apple users can connect a payment method and deposit at a sportsbook using a variety of accounts.
You may wonder if you can use Apple Pay or an App Store Gift Card on an Apple device to fund your sportsbook app account. At this time, it doesn’t look like Illinois sportsbooks apps will accept these methods of payment. Instead, you’ll have to stick to the options above.
Payment options for Android users are the same: PayPal and other e-wallets, credit and debit cards, online banking, prepaid cards, and bank transfers.
Is Using A Legal Online Sports Betting App In Illinois Safe?
Illinois has many safeguards in place, both on the legal and technological front, to protect users. Regulated sportsbook providers use world-class security practices to keep your information safe, too.
Are Legal Sportsbooks Okay To Install On My Phone?
Yes. Legal and regulated sportsbook apps are safe to install on your phone. Note that the process to install an Android app may include a notification about installing apps from the web onto your phone. This is required because Google doesn’t allow gambling apps in its official app marketplace.
As long as you’re using a sportsbook app provided by a company with a license, it’s safe. The Illinois Gaming Board governs sports wagering. The organization’s website has a list of licensees that you can use to confirm the safety of any given sportsbook app.
How Do Legal Sportsbook Apps Protect My Personal Information?
Sports betting providers are legally required to adhere to the Illinois Gaming Board’s rigorous regulations and rules. On top of that, they simply want to keep you as a customer. For both reasons, they’re well-incentivized to keep your information safe.
Sportsbooks use the same high-level encryption tools that protect your data at online shopping websites or online banking institutions.
How Can I Secure My Mobile Sports Betting Account?
You can secure your sportsbook account in a number of ways. The best path to protecting your data is enabling two-factor authentication (sometimes called multi-factor authentication). With two-factor authentication turned on, you will enter your username and password to login as usual. But you’ll have an added step. You’ll be required to confirm your login by entering a code sent to your phone (via text) or email address. Two-factor authentication adds another layer of protection to your account.
When you use your account regularly, log out after each session to protect your information as well.
Legal Online Sportsbook Apps In Illinois: Common Questions
21. The legal gambling age in Illinois is 21, and that applies to online betting. When you sign up for a sportsbook account, you’ll use a government-issued ID to confirm your age before you can place a bet.
The Illinois Gaming Board. The IGB is a government organization that sets regulations for sports betting providers and grants licenses to companies approved to offer sportsbook apps.
For more information, including a list of licensed providers in Illinois and an overview of Illinois sports betting legislation, you can visit the IGB website.
Illinois sports bettors can wager on almost any sport. Baseball, hockey, basketball, and football are the most popular offerings. Tennis, golf, NASCAR, MMA, darts, rugby, cricket, and other options are available as well.
Illinois places some restrictions on college sports betting. You can bet on college sports in the state, but not on any matches that include an in-state school (even if the match is played elsewhere).
No. Google does not allow gambling apps in its Google Play app store, even if those apps are completely legal. Instead, Android users have to download their preferred sportsbook’s app directly from the provider’s website. Most sports betting sites have a direct link that allows you to download the app right to your phone in a few simple steps.
Not yet. DraftKings was originally subject to an 18-month waiting period before launching a sportsbook app in Illinois. The state placed this restriction on online-only sportsbook operations. However, DraftKings partnered with land-based property Casino Queen in East St. Louis to provide retail and online sports betting, allowing the company to avoid this waiting period. At this point, it could only be a matter of weeks before the DraftKings Sportsbook app comes to Illinois.
Not right now. Apple requires real money gambling apps to be developed in its native programming language in order to appear in the iOS App Store.
BetRivers, the only live sportsbook app in Illinois, does not have an iOS app. DraftKings, FanDuel, and other providers do have iOS apps in other states and are expected to launch them in Illinois when they go live.