The first legal sports bets were placed in Illinois in 2020. This also means an opportunity for new players to take advantage of some of the best Illinois sports betting bonus offers and promotions.
The State of Illinois legalized sports betting at both retail sportsbooks and online sports betting sites, the first of which launched in the summer of 2020. It means sports bettors in the state can take advantage of the many sportsbook bonuses in Illinois currently offered to newcomers and established members.
Best Online Sports Betting Bonuses In Illinois
There are currently five Illinois sportsbooks available for download and each has its own bonus offer for new players:
- BetRivers Illinois App >> Sign up to claim a 100% deposit match bonus up to $250
- DraftKings Illinois App >> Sign up to claim a 20% deposit match bonus up to $1000 + $50 free bet with a $5 deposit
- FanDuel Sportsbook Illinois >> Sign up to claim up to $1000 in risk-free bets
- PointsBet Illinois >> Use bonus code BIGBONUS to claim up to $1500 in two risk-free bets
- Caesar Sportsbook by William Hill >> Risk-free bet up to $5000 with promo code CZR1
Do I Need To Register In Person To Claim A Sportsbook Bonus In Illinois?
The original Illinois sports betting law required new players to finalize their registration in-person at a casino or retail sportsbook location. Most other states don’t have this type of hurdle for new bettors, although it is a requirement in Iowa.
Because of COVID-19 stay-at-home orders and casino closures, Governor J.B. Pritzker signed an executive order that eliminated the requirement for in-person registration at online sportsbooks.
However, as of April 2021, bettors must now register in person at their choice sportsbook’s retail casino partner before placing an online sports bet.
That means that people over 21 and physically located in the state of Illinois can join, deposit, bet, claim a bonus, and withdraw from any sports betting site or app without visiting a casino to register. This is helpful considering Illinois casinos closed once again on November 19. It is unclear when they will open again.
Online Sports Betting In Illinois
Illinois is slowly but surely approving sportsbook apps. The first legal option was BetRivers in June 2020. By the end of the summer, DraftKings, PointsBet, William Hill (now Caesar Sportsbook by William Hill), and FanDuel launched. Barstool launched earlier in 2021, and others, such as Golden Nugget, are likely to follow later this year. So folks in the state have a few different options to compare when deciding which online sports betting platform to join.
As one of the most well-known sports betting brands in the US, DraftKings is a powerful competitor in the Illinois market.
DraftKings offers a deposit match bonus for new players. 20% of your first deposit is matched, but DraftKings caps it at $1,000. To claim the full bonus, you’d need to deposit $5,000 total. Plus, you need to play through 25x to receive the bonus credit. It’s a lot of money and effort, but the large bonus amount can be well worth it if you’re a frequent bettor.
New members at DraftKings Sportsbook can now receive a $50 free bet for making a deposit of $5 or more. This exclusive deal is available to all those joining DraftKings Sportsbook for the first time.
PointsBet also offers up to $1,500 in risk-free bets. The first is a standard bet up to $500. The second is a PointsBetting wager of up to $1,000. PointsBetting is a unique bet type offered by the Australian operator. When you wager using PointsBetting, the margin of victory (or loss) determines your payout, rather than a static result.
Your refund on these risk-free bets (if you lose) comes in the form of bonus money that can only be used at PointsBet.
The BetRivers sportsbook got to enjoy being the only legal online sports betting platform for just over a month before other brands hit the market. But they still offer the best sportsbook bonus.
The 100% up to $250 first deposit bonus means they’ll double your first deposit with bonus money up to $250.
For example, if you deposit $100, you’ll have $200 in your account to bet with. You also only need to bet the bonus amount one time (1x) before you can withdraw.
To put that in perspective, some betting sites require 25x playthrough before approving a cashout.
In June 2021, Rush Street Interactive announced its official partnership with the Chicago Bears, led by Bears superstar Mike Ditka as the brand ambassador.
FanDuel has a bonus offer similar to its biggest competitor, DraftKings, but it’s slightly different. We wouldn’t call one better or worse, it depends on personal preference. Although, because they’re both pretty enticing, joining both sites may be a good move.
Rather than matching your first bet, FanDuel will give you a refund if you lose your first bet up to $1,000.
The refund will be in the form of bonus money, which means it can only be used to bet at FanDuel. So you’ll need to bet the full amount at least one time (1x) before you can withdraw. However, you can use the bonus money on as many bets as you like.
William Hill launched in Illinois on September 15, 2020. After its acquisition by Caesars Entertainment in April 2021, Caesars Sportsbook by William Hill (powered by Liberty) officially went live a few months later in early August.
New players in Illinois get a risk-free bet up to $5000 with promo code CZR1. They will also have access to an industry-leading rewards program, Caesar Rewards.
The $5000 is a solid option for sports bettors, though other operators in Illinois offer more lucrative risk-free bets.
The app launched Caesars Rewards, a six-tier rewards program that allows users to collect rewards points during gameplay, in early September 2021. Players can then exchange the rewards points later for free gameplay, on-site benefits at 50 Caesars locations, or benefits with Caesars’ partners.
Types Of Sports Betting Bonuses In Illinois
The bonuses offered by the online sportsbooks in Illinois can be grouped into three categories: welcome bonuses, ongoing promotions, and prizes from loyalty points.
Within those categories, the types of bonuses are:
- Free Bet
- Risk-Free Bet
- Comp Points
- Free-to-Play Pools
- Insurance Offers
However, online sportsbooks are always adding new and innovative promotions to their offerings. Brands like FanDuel and DraftKings are especially competitive when it comes to unique promos. So it’s crucial that you read all the terms and conditions of each offer at the specific sportsbook before you take advantage.
Here’s a general overview of each type of standard bonus you’ll find at Illinois online sportsbooks:
No-Deposit And Free Bet Bonuses
Also known as a signup bonus, some sportsbooks will offer free money just for creating an account. Before you can withdraw any winnings, you’ll either need to play through the amount a certain number of times or make a deposit.
A free-bet may be a no-deposit offer or part of a deposit bonus. Generally speaking, the no-deposit bonuses will have significantly higher playthrough requirements than a deposit bonus.
A risk-free bet is where you can bet a certain amount of money knowing that if you lose, you’ll receive that amount credited back to your account. The bonus credit will need to be played through, and you’ll only receive the net winnings back as real-money that can be cashed out.
A bet-match is where the sportsbook will match your bet by a certain percentage and up to a certain amount. The bonus will either be bonus cash or a free bet. Either way, you’ll need to bet it again and win to turn it into withdrawable money.
The best example of a deposit-matching bonus is offered by the BetRivers Illinois online sportsbook. They’ll match your first deposit by 100% up to $250, which means they’ll simply double your first deposit.
But a deposit-match can get slightly more complicated with a more uneven number. If it’s 20% up to $1,000, you’d receive one-fifth of your deposit as bonus money. For example, a $100 deposit would mean an extra $20 in bonus cash in your account. DraftKings currently offers that exact rate as a deposit match to new Illinois bettors.
Loyalty points and VIP programs are ways for the online sportsbook to reward players who consistently place bets. If the sportsbook offers it, every real-money bet earns points that can be cashed in for prizes or cash. BetRivers, DraftKings, PointsBet, and FanDuel all offer loyalty programs in some form.
Both DraftKings and FanDuel regularly host free-to-play pools for a variety of events.
Because some states don’t allow gambling on certain events, like March Madness college basketball or the National Election, the sites need to offer free entries. But that means you can still win money on these events, even if, for example, an Illinois college team is playing.
An insurance offer is usually centered around a long-shot bet. For example, FanDuel offered a Multi-Sport Parlay Insurance for bettors who created a multi-sport parlay bet. If one of the picks loses, you’d receive $25 in bonus cash.
Illinois Sports Betting Bonus Offers And Terms & Conditions
|Sportsbook||Bonus Offers||Terms & Conditions|
|PointsBet||2 risk-free bets up to $2,000 with bonus code BIGBONUS||If your first two bets are lost, each is refunded up to $500 / $1,500|
|DraftKings||20% first deposit match up to $1,000 + $50 free bet with a $5 deposit||25x playthrough required to claim bonus credit|
|BetRivers||100% first deposit bonus up to $250||Only 1x playthrough requirement|
|FanDuel||Risk-free bet up to $1000||If your first bet is lost, it’s refunded up to $1000|
|Caesars Sportsbook||Risk-free bet up to $5000||If your first bet is lost, it’s refunded up to $5000|
How To Claim Online Sportsbook Bonuses In Illinois
Once you’ve joined a specific online sports betting site or app, taking advantage of bonuses is easy and straightforward. The platform will walk you through the steps, and you can easily check the terms and conditions.
However, finding the specific bonus and joining an online sportsbook specifically to take advantage of it can be a bit more difficult. Here are some key things to know:
Make Sure The Brand Offers Your Preferred Device
When BetRivers first launched in Illinois, they didn’t have an iOS app, just an Android app. They launched their iOS app in September 2020.
If you’re an Apple user who exclusively plays on their phone and you’re not interested in logging in through your mobile browser, that was a dealbreaker.
Before you join through your desktop, make sure they’re compatible with your device of choice.
Download the Android App Directly From Their Website
Google Play now allows gambling apps, but the app can also be downloaded directly from the website. You’ll also need to authorize third-party app downloads on your device.
Search for Your Specific State In The App Store
For Apple users, you can use the link to the app directly on the site or search through the App Store. However, make sure to include your state in the search terms, and verify that it’s your state. The BetRivers New Jersey app is completely separate from the BetRivers Illinois app.
DFS And The Casino May Not Be The Same As The Sportsbook
For most states, FanDuel and DraftKings both list their sportsbook and Daily Fantasy Sports (DFS) platforms as separate apps. On top of making sure the app is for your state, make sure you’re not downloading the DFS or casino app instead of the sportsbook app.
Sportsbook Bonuses In Illinois FAQ
21. The legal gambling age in the State of Illinois is 21-years-old and up.
The age requirement is the same for in-person betting as well as online. It also applies to both the sportsbook and casino. (While there are no legal online casinos, there are brick-and-mortar outlets.)
However, people in Illinois 18 and up can win money through Daily Fantasy Sports (DFS), playing the lottery, or joining a sweepstakes site.
Yes. You can join as many legal online sportsbooks as you like in Illinois, and you can take advantage of the bonuses for all of them.
The most avid sports bettors will often join more than one sportsbook to find the best odds, as the payout potential can vary a bit between one outlet and another.
It’s also a way to get around any betting maximums for bets you feel particularly confident about.
It varies by sportsbook. BetRivers’ 100% deposit match bonus only requires 1x playthrough. This means that you’ll need to bet the bonus amount at least once before you can withdraw the winnings. DraftKings, on the other hand, requires 25x playthrough.
Playthrough is also known as rollover. It may vary from sportsbook to sportsbook, so be sure to carefully read the terms and conditions before you take advantage of any bonus.
Bonus abuse is when a member at an online sportsbook or casino joins just to take advantage of the bonus. They’ll withdraw and leave the moment they meet the playthrough requirements, meaning the casino basically loses money.
Honestly, it’s not as much of a problem now as it was when online betting sites were new. To avoid being accused of it, simply continue betting on the site. But the worst thing that will happen is that they’ll block you from logging in again.
If you meet the requirements, they have to allow a withdrawal. If they don’t, dispute it with the Illinois Gaming Board (IGB).
New members of the DraftKings Illinois sportsbook get a 20% initial deposit match up to $1,000.
If you opt-in, you just need to bet on an event. DraftKings will then credit your account with an equal amount in bonus cash. Bet the bonus money, and all the winnings are withdrawable.
New members of the FanDuel Illinois sportsbook can take advantage of a risk-free first bet up to $1,000.
If you lose your first bet, they’ll refund the full amount in bonus money. You can make a bet that’s greater than $1,000, but the refunded amount will be limited to $1,000.
You can then use that refunded money to bet, and all winnings are cleared for cashout.
There are no minimum wagering requirements for Illinois betting apps. However, there may be a maximum betting amount depending on the event.
The sportsbook will let you know if the bet falls outside of what it’s willing to take on risk-wise. Most people will never have to worry about this, but a high-roller may need to reduce their bets if the sportsbook flags a particularly high wager.