Chicago Online Sports Betting

Sports betting has come to Illinois, and the market is quickly growing into a midwestern leader. For Chicagoland bettors, this means there are already a variety of online and retail sports betting options. Chicago sports betting is live — if you know where to look. 

Five sportsbooks–DraftKings, FanDuel, PointsBet, William Hill, and BetRivers–offer online sports betting to Illinois, giving Chicagoans easy access to sportsbook platforms. With other operators on the way, Chicago and the surrounding area will soon be a hotbed for sports betting enthusiasts. 

One added bonus for Chicago bettors is the city’s proximity to Indiana, which also has a bustling online sports betting scene. 

Bottom line: Chicago has never had more sports betting options than it does today, and the market is expanding. 

Best Chicago Sportsbooks

SportsbookRetail PartnerLive or PendingRetail Sportbook's Distance From Chicago
BetRiversRivers Casino Des PlainesLive~16 miles (25-minute drive)
DraftKingsCasino QueenLive~250 miles (4-hour drive)
FanDuelPar-A-Dice CasinoOnline Sportsbook LiveNo retail sportsbook (yet)
PointsBetHawthorne RacecourseOnline Sportsbook Live~9 miles (20-minute drive)
William HillGrand Victoria CasinoLive~40 miles (50-minute drive)

While DraftKings and FanDuel both have retail partners that require a hefty drive from Chicago, current law allows players to register completely online through October 17. After that, it’s possible in-person registration requirements could return. in other words, it’s best to act fast and sign up now. 

Chicago Sports Betting 

As Illinois’ largest city (and the third-largest in the country), Chicago gives some unique benefits to sports bettors. The Windy City offers online sportsbooks and retail sports betting sites at casinos and race tracks just outside the city. As an added bonus, Illinois’ sports betting law allows sporting venues such as Wrigley Field, Soldier Field, and the United Center to apply for sportsbook licenses. Chicago sports fans may eventually be able to place bets as they catch a live game. 

It’s been less than a year since Governor J.B. Pritzker signed the laws that would bring sports betting to Illinois (the law also paved the way for six new Illinois casinos). On the heels of that massive shift, the state has moved quickly, with much of the sports betting activity predictably focused on Chicago. 

As of this writing, Chicago bettors can place wagers online via BetRivers, William Hill, PointsBet, FanDuel, or DraftKings, and the Rivers Casino in Des Plaines has a retail sportsbook live. Other options are available for retail sports betting, though they require a slightly longer trek than the short 25-minute journey to Rivers. Still, Chicago is poised to be a hub for sports betting, both retail and online. 

In September 2020, DraftKings announced a partnership with the Cubs and Wrigley Field to open a retail sportsbook on the hallowed grounds. Although it is not expected to open until 2022, it is expected to change the Chicago betting landscape.

How To Bet Online In Chicago

Right now, betting online in Chicago is very simple. You can register completely online, but it’s best to act fast. Governor Pritzker has lifted, reinstated, and once again lifted the in-person registration requirement. It currently stands until September 19, and there’s no indication of whether Pritzker will require in-person registration once more or keep online registration open. 

Here’s how you can register for a sportsbook account from Chicago.

Choose A Sportsbook

As far as online sports betting goes, your options in Chicago are PointsBet, DraftKings, FanDuel, William Hill, and BetRivers. Others are on the way to Illinois, but only those five operators have online sportsbooks currently available. 

If you want to bet on desktop, just head to your preferred sportsbook’s website. To bet on a mobile device, jump to the next step. 

Download A Sportsbook App

If you’re betting on a mobile device, an app is the easiest way to get started. You can also use a mobile browser if you prefer. 

Most Illinois online sportsbooks will have an Android app. To download it, visit the sportsbook’s website and find the link to install the app. Follow the on-screen instructions to complete the installation. This is necessary because Google prohibits gambling apps from appearing in its Play Store. 

Apple users have a slightly different process: just download the app from the iOS App Store. All five of Illinois live sportsbooks currently have iOS apps available. 

When downloading, be sure to look for state-specific apps. When downloading an app like DraftKings or FanDuel, be sure to look for the sportsbook app and not the Daily Fantasy Sports app.

Register For An Account

Ever signed up for an account at an online retailer or social media site? If so, this process will be very familiar. To create an account, you just need to create a username and password, then enter personal info as required:

  • Name
  • Email address
  • Date of birth
  • Address
  • Phone number
  • Last four digits of SSN (to verify age and identity)

The other step that may be required depending on the device you use is installing a Geolocation app. This will confirm that you’re in Illinois every time you place a bet. 

Make A Deposit And Place A Bet

Once you have an account, you just need to make a deposit! You can usually use PayPal, credit/debit, online banking, wire transfer, or ACH as a payment method. Always check for new player bonuses, too. BetRivers offers a deposit match. FanDuel, William Hill, and PointsBet offer risk-free first bets.  DraftKings offers a combo deal, $500 as a 20% deposit match and $500 as a risk-free bet. 

After you have some money in your account, peruse the available odds and make a wager! If you’re new to sports betting, DraftKings in particular has incredibly helpful guides for beginners. 

Withdraw Any Winnings

After any wins, you can withdraw via the app or desktop site. Head to the cashier section and look through the withdrawal options. Usually, they include PayPal, check by mail, cash at the casino cage, and sometimes online banking. 

Closest Sportsbooks To Chicago

PointsBet

PointsBet has already launched its online sportsbook, and the retail location is on the way. Once it launches, will be the closest retail sportsbook to Chicago. PointsBet is partnered with Hawthorne Racecourse, putting it about nine miles from the city. The company also has plans to open a few off-track betting facilities in the Prospect Heights, Crestwood, and Oakbrook Terrace. 

After PointsBet launches its retail book, players will be able to enjoy the retail sportsbook alongside all the racing amenities already present at Hawthorne. 

BetRivers Sportsbook

A quick 25-minute journey on the highway deposits Chicago bettors at Rivers Casino in Des Plaines, home to the BetRivers Sportsbook. It was the first retail book to launch in Illinois, and it adds a new layer to the already entertaining Rivers Casino. 

The sportsbook is open 10 a.m. to 12 a.m. daily and features a 4,840 square foot sports bar and a 47-foot video wall. Players can place bets at one of five betting windows or any of the 30 kiosks peppered throughout the casino. Aside from the massive video wall, BetRivers Sportsbook has 14 TVs, each 75 inches or bigger, for a completely engrossing view of various sporting events. 

There’s also a full-service bar, leather seats, and more than two dozen video poker games embedded into the bar. 

If that’s not enough, there’s also the full-fledged casino floor complete with table games, slots, and various restaurants. 

Rush Street Gaming partially owns Rivers and operates the sportsbook. Rush Street Interactive operates the BetRivers online sportsbook. 

The Book At Horseshoe Casino

One of the most easily accessible sportsbooks from Chicago actually rests across state lines in Indiana. Indiana is a strong sports betting market in its own right, and the Caesars-owned Horseshoe Casino in Hammond is just a 30-minute drive from Chicago. 

The Book, as it’s branded, is open 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. from Monday through Thursday and 11 a.m. to midnight on Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays. 

Horseshoe’s sportsbook is 5,300 square feet and sits right at the heart of the casino floor. There are over a dozen 85-inch screens allowing bettors to catch any game in full view. And 10 betting counters make wagering quick and easy. 

Indiana also allows online betting, so you can download the Indiana sportsbook app and place bets via mobile while you visit, too. 

Sportsbook At Hollywood Casino Aurora

About an hour outside of Chicago (depending on traffic) in Aurora, players can visit the Hollywood Casino Sportsbook. The property’s sportsbook is right in the center of the casino floor amidst all the slots and tables games it has to offer. 

The sportsbook at Hollywood Aurora has three betting kiosks and four teller windows, plus plenty of TVs for easy viewing. It’s open Monday through Thursday from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. and Friday to Sunday from 10 a.m. to midnight. 

There’s also a BetBuilder tool that allows you to build a betting slip complete with your desired wagers. BetBuilder then gives you a QR code you can scan at the teller window to quickly place all of your pre-selected bets. 

Penn National Gaming operates Hollywood’s sportsbooks in Aurora and Joliet.

Sportsbook At Hollywood Casino Joliet

Hollywood Joliet, like its Aurora counterpart, is about 50 miles outside of Chicago. An hourlong journey if traffic allows. 

Joliet’s sportsbook is located in the casinos’ 99 Hops House sports bar. The hours are:

  • Sunday: 10 a.m. to 10 p.m.
  • Monday: 11 a.m. to 10 p.m.
  • Tuesday: 11 a.m. to 10 p.m.
  • Wednesday: 11 a.m. to 10 p.m.
  • Thursday: 11 a.m. to 10 p.m.
  • Friday: 11 a.m. to 11 p.m.
  • Saturday: 10 a.m. to 11 p.m.

The sportsbook has 14 betting kiosks. Gamblers of all kinds can enjoy various casino games in addition to the sportsbook. 

William Hill Sportsbook At Grand Victoria

William Hill operates the sportsbook at the Grand Victoria riverboat casino. William Hill also launched an online Illinois sportsbook in partnership with the Caesars-owned property on September 15, 2020. 

The William Hill sportsbook is open from 10 a.m. to 11 p.m. daily. It’s located in Elgin, about a one hour drive from the city via I-90. 

William Hill’s launch announcement says the sportsbook features multiple high top tables and a slew of TV screens. 

Legal Sports Betting In Chicago

The road to sports betting in Illinois began with the downfall of the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act (commonly known as PASPA). The United States Supreme Court ruled PASPA unconstitutional in May 2018. Rather than legalizing sports betting across the country, however, it put that power in the hands of individual states. New Jersey was one of the first to act on it, and now many states have followed suit. 

Illinois Joins The Sports Betting Fray

Governor J.B. Pritzker set the stage for legal Illinois sports betting in summer of 2019, when he signed a bill that legalized sports betting and allowed for other gambling expansion in Illinois. 

The first sportsbook launch followed in March 2020. Rivers Casino was the first to launch a sportsbook in Chicago. BetRivers was also the first to launch online sports betting in Illinois with a June 2020 debut. 

What Sports Can I Bet On In Chicago?

Illinois sports betting law allows for a plethora of sports wagers. 

Da Bears, Bulls, Blackhawks, And More

Pro sports are a completely fair game for Illinois bettors. You can bet on all of Chicago’s pro teams, including:

  • Bears (NFL)
  • White Sox (MLB)
  • Cubs (MLB)
  • Fire (MLS)
  • Blackhawks (NHL)
  • Bulls (NBA)
  • Red Stars (NWSL)
  • Sky (WNBA)

You’ll find moneyline bets, spreads, and totals as the primary wagers available. But you can also find plenty of props and futures as well. Or, if you’re feeling a high-risk high-reward approach, try a parlay. 

Outside of the “typical” sports, you will have no trouble finding other events to bet on. MMA, table tennis, auto sports, and many other events are featured at Chicago sportsbooks. 

In September 2020, DraftKings announced an agreement with famed Chicago Bull Michael Jordan. Jordan will act as a special advisor to DraftKings nationwide, but it will be interesting to see what the home-grown favorite will add to the Chicago betting landscape.

College Sports Betting In Chicago

Chicago bettors can place bets on college sports with one crucial caveat: you can’t bet on any game that includes an Illinois school. This rule applies even when the Illinois team plays out of state. Chicago’s Northwestern fans will be disappointed by this, of course, as will fans of other big in-state schools like U of I or ISU. Illinois law prohibits these bets, but you can still wager on other college matches, which opens up plenty of opportunity for gambling on March Madness or high profile NCAA football match-ups. 

Chicago Online Betting Versus Neighboring States

Chicago hosts most of Illinois’ population, and it’s nestled in a hotspot that places it near other key gambling states. Here’s a rundown of some neighboring markets and how they compare to the Illinois and Chicago sports betting scene. 

Indiana

The Hoosier state has full retail and online betting, putting it on par with Illinois’ laws. One key difference is that Indiana allows full online registration at Indiana sportsbook apps, while Illinois’ governor has flip-flopped multiple times on that issue. 

For eager Chicago bettors, Indiana hosts the Horseshoe Casino in Hammond, just a 30-minute drive from the city. The property has a full retail sportsbook. Plus, you can bet online in Indiana even if you’re just visiting from another state. Just make sure you place your bets within state lines–you won’t be able to place new ones once you return to Illinois. 

Iowa

Iowa’s a bit of a trek for Chicagoans. However, it does have a few casinos and sportsbooks. Online betting in Iowa requires in-person registration at a partner casino. For that reason alone, it’s difficult for Chicago bettors to get their money’s worth without a long drive. 

Kentucky

Outside of horse racing, Illinois’ southern neighbor has little to offer by way of sports betting. Fans of the Kentucky Derby may be inclined to make the trek for horse race betting, but there are no casinos or sportsbooks in the state. 

Missouri

As it stands, Missouri bettors are more likely to head to Illinois for a sports betting fix than the other way around. DraftKings at Casino Queen in East St. Louis gives Missouri gamblers an easily accessible sportsbook and online option. 

Missouri looks to be on track for the possible legalization of sports betting in 2021, however, and we will update this page if and when that comes through. 

Michigan

Michigan doesn’t share a border with Illinois, but a fairly easy (and scenic) drive along the lake puts bettors right in Michigan’s southwestern corner. 

For now, there are more than a few casinos to be had in the Great Lakes State, including 3 in Detroit. But Michigan has authorized both online sportsbooks and online casinos. This alone will give Illinois a run for its money because the Land of Lincoln has only sports betting with no online casino option.

Still, Michigan is in the midst of a lengthy regulatory process, and online gaming in any form can’t launch until licensing and regulations are finalized. Expect the first launches in late 2020 or early 2021. 

Wisconsin

To the north of Illinois, Wisconsin is a barren landscape for betting. The state has a few tribal casinos and…that’s it. Wisconsin legislators have made no recent moves to legalize online betting in any format, and it looks like the state’s standing firm.

Chicago Sports Betting FAQ

Is it legal to bet on sports in Chicago? 

Yes. Sports betting became legal in Illinois in June 2019, and the first sportsbook in Chicagoland–at Rivers Casino in Des Plaines–opened in March 2020. 

Now, online sportsbooks from PointsBet, DraftKings, FanDuel, William Hill, and BetRivers are available as well. Many more are on the way, and Chicago looks staged to become a leading sports betting market. 

How old do I have to be to place a sports bet in Chicago?

You must be 21 or older to place a bet. If you go to a retail sportsbook, you will need to present an ID for entry before you can place a bet. For online betting, you’ll confirm your age and identity using part of your social security number when you sign up for an account. 

Are there any sportsbooks in Chicago?

Technically, no. But the sportsbook at Rivers Casino is only a short drive from the city. Horseshoe Hammond in Indiana is only about 30 minutes away as well. 

PointsBet plans to launch a retail sportsbook at Hawthorne Racecourse in Stickney. That’ll be the closest sportsbook to Chicago proper when it’s live. 

Other sportsbooks are peppered throughout the Chicago suburbs: Hollywood Casinos in Joliet and Aurora and Grand Victoria Casino in Elgin all have sportsbooks open. Each is about an hour-long drive from Chicago.

What is the closest retail sportsbook to Chicago? 

Right now, Rivers Casino has the closest sportsbook to Chicago. It’s about 16 miles from the city. With light traffic, that’s about a 25-minute drive (with a huge parking garage to boot).

Horseshoe Hammond across the border in Indiana is another contender, also about 16 miles away. If you’re on the south side or in the south suburbs of Chicago, Horseshoe is likely your most accessible sportsbook option.  

What are the in-person registration requirements for online sports betting in Chicago? 

Currently, there are no in-person registration requirements for Chicago sports bettors. This will remain in effect until October 17, at which point in-person registration could resume. At this point, we don’t really know the long-term future of online sign-ups. Governor Pritzker has gone back and forth on the issue multiple times, so it’s best to act fast and sign up online while it’s still allowed. With no in-person registration requirements, Chicago bettors can bet from the comfort of their home or from their favorite sports bar

Is DraftKings legal in Chicago?

Yes. You can sign up for DraftKings from anywhere in Illinois, including Chicago. 

DraftKings is partnered with Casino Queen in East St. Louis, so the retail sportsbook is a 4-hour journey from the city. For now, though, you can sign up online without an in-person visit to the property. 

Is FanDuel legal in Chicago? 

Yes. FanDuel launched its online Illinois sportsbook on august 28, 2020. The company partnered with Par-A-Dice Casino in East Peoria. 

You can download FanDuel for iOS or Android, or you can play on desktop. 

Can I bet on the Chicago Bears? 

You can absolutely bet on the Chicago Bears. Professional sports are all allowed at Illinois sportsbooks. You can wager on the Bears, Bulls, Blackhawks, Cubs, White Sox, Fire, Sky, and any other professional teams. 

About the Author

Cole Rush

Cole Rush is a Chicago-based freelance writer in the gambling, media, and entertainment space. His work has been showcased in various gaming industry magazines and online columns. Prior to freelance writing, Cole spent seven years in communications at a gambling and lottery supplier. Cole writes for a number of online and print publications, including The Quill To Live, a book review site.