Bonuses and Promotions
Odds Vs. The Competition
Market Depth & Variety
Deposit & Cash Out
There’s a reason FanDuel is one of the sports betting industry’s undisputed leaders. FanDuel is particularly welcoming to new or casual bettors with low minimum wagers and an easy-to-navigate interface on any device. FanDuel Illinois launched on August 28, 2020, and has a wide selection of sports, including the most popular events in the US and a variety of international favorites.
FanDuel offers a strong sports betting experience for Illinois bettors, giving the competition a run for its money.
FanDuel’s bonus and promotion game is stronger for existing bettors than it is for newcomers. However, there’s still a valuable new player bonus up for grabs.
FanDuel offers a $1,000 risk-free bet promotion to new players. Using the bonus, you can place a bet up to $1,000, and if you lose, FanDuel will credit your account with the amount that you wagered.
FanDuel now rivals competitors like DraftKings or BetRivers. DraftKings offers up to $1,000 in welcome bonuses via deposit match while BetRivers offers a $250 deposit match. Deposit matches are slightly more lucrative for players because they can be spread over a number of bets.
However, FanDuel more than makes up for its welcome bonus with a strong portfolio of bonuses for existing account holders. The sportsbook’s promotions page features an ever-rotating list of special limited-time bonuses that give you a shot at extra winnings on certain bets for major sports like the MLB, NBA, NFL, and more. Once you’re signed up, keep an eye out for new promotions as FanDuel releases special offers.
Great news if you like to bet on the underdog: FanDuel typically has solid odds on them. Occasionally FanDuel branches out to give an edge to the favorite, though. In our DraftKings and BetRivers reviews, we used NFL week one odds as an example. I’ll do the same here to showcase FanDuel’s differences from competitors DraftKings and BetRivers.
FanDuel already has a helpful leg up against DraftKings and BetRivers. Simply put, FanDuel’s odds are different. It’s rare for books to offer the exact same odds like DraftKings and BetRivers do. So if you’re looking for specific payouts, especially on the underdog, FanDuel could be the online sportsbook for you.
Odds differences can impact your winning payouts, so it’s important to check for the best possible odds on a given match. That said, differing odds will only significantly affect players who wager large sums of money. Generally, FanDuel offers a great smattering of odds that are just different enough from the competition to set it apart.
FanDuel has one key differentiating factor when it comes to bet types and market depth: teasers. Teasers are FanDuel’s default bet. They take two bets and combine them into a single wager, and those combinations are limited based on the sports and wager types involved. At FanDuel, you can place teaser bets on football and basketball total match point wagers or point spreads.
Other than teasers, FanDuel’s bets and available sports are in line with other US sportsbooks. You’ll find all the major pro sports: NFL, MLB, NBA, and NHL. Plus, FanDuel has bets on soccer, golf, tennis, and other popular events. NASCAR and other racing sports are available, too.
FanDuel has a few gaps in its offering simply due to Illinois law. Non-sporting events (as Illinois legislation dubs them) like elections, political outcomes, or awards show results are off-limits. You also won’t find any college matches that include Illinois schools. Illinois allows college betting, but not on any game that features an Illinois college or university. Minor league sporting events are also off-limits.
At the end of the day, FanDuel has a phenomenal spread of betting options. Teaser bets set FanDuel apart by giving players an option unique to its sportsbook.
FanDuel makes funding your account easy. Withdrawals are equally simple. There are a number of methods available, so you can find the one that works best for you and stick with it.
Here are FanDuel’s deposit methods, which come straight from the company’s FAQ page.
- Credit and Debit Card (VISA, MasterCard, Discover)
- Prepaid Card+
- Online Banking
- Wire Transfer
Most of these methods are common in the sportsbook world, especially credit/debit, PayPal, and online banking/wire transfer.
PayPal, prepaid card, check (by mail), and online banking are the primary withdrawal methods at FanDuel.
Fortunately, withdrawals are simple. Just head to the cashier page in the app or on the desktop site and walk through the steps to cash out.
FanDuel has both an iOS and an Android app. This immediately gives it a higher rank in this category than BetRivers, which requires iOS users to play in a mobile browser (for now). FanDuel’s app is streamlined and intuitive. Among the five Illinois sportsbook apps, it has quickly become my go-to. It’s incredibly easy to find bets, sort by sport, check out featured odds, and much more.
FanDuel provides a high-quality experience on iOS and Android, and you won’t have any trouble finding and placing bets in the app.
If you’re looking for a well-rounded sportsbook experience with options that set it apart from the competition, FanDuel is the way to go. It’s limited only by its lackluster welcome bonus and occasional app hiccups. What FanDuel lacks, it makes up for in betting options, market depth, and general ease of use.
Simply put, FanDuel is a top-tier sportsbook for many reasons, and it brings its sports betting expertise to the Illinois market in droves.
Is FanDuel Legit?
Sports bettors, especially those new to the hobby, may wonder if sportsbooks like FanDuel are legitimate and legal. The answer is an unequivocal “yes,” and there are a few key distinctions that set FanDuel apart from its illegal/grey market competition. Here are a few reasons FanDuel is a legitimate sportsbook.
FanDuel was founded in 2009, and it actually predates its main competitor DraftKings by three years. Longevity isn’t always a sign of legitimacy, but in the sports betting world, it’s a great indicator.
As a Daily Fantasy Sports operator and in recent years a sportsbook provider, FanDuel has persevered amidst ever-shifting legal landscapes across the US. The company brings a wealth of experience navigating regulatory environments and launching legal sportsbooks in jurisdictions that allow them.
Flutter Entertainment, Inc. owns FanDuel. Flutter was created by merging Paddy Power and Betfair, two powerhouse online casino and sports betting operators in Europe. Europe has a long history with legal online gambling, and that experience undeniably comes in handy for FanDuel as it navigates the tricky legal US market.
When FanDuel launches in Illinois and you sign up, you’ll have to allow the app or desktop site to access your location. This is a requirement for regulated sportsbooks in the Land of Lincoln. It’s how the sites confirm that you’re in Illinois and are eligible to place bets. Unregulated books likely won’t ask for a location, signaling that they’re not legitimate or licensed.
Legal Bets Only
FanDuel doesn’t feature bets on Illinois colleges or universities, and you won’t find wagers on elections or awards shows. High school bets are off-limits, too. These are all prohibited by Illinois law. A sportsbook that offers them is breaking Illinois law and is likely an illegal site.
The Illinois Gaming Board granted a temporary license to FanDuel for sports betting, which allowed it to operate in the state up until it struck a deal with Par-A-Dice Casino to use the property’s license. Working with a licensed casino is a surefire signal that FanDuel is legitimate and law-abiding.
Why Choose FanDuel Over Illegal Betting Sites?
When you’re deciding which sportsbook to sign up for, you’ll likely encounter grey market or offshore sites alongside regulated providers. Grey market solutions might seem enticing, but there are many reasons to steer clear. Here are just a few:
Regulated Operators Pay Taxes
We’re talking millions of dollars. Legal and regulated sportsbook providers have to pay hefty licensing and renewal fees in order to offer their services in Illinois. That money gets funneled to the government to support the community. Offshore operators have no such obligation.
This is all part of licensing agreements, which are required for Illinois operators. Without a license, it’s illegal for a sportsbook to operate in the state. Licensing regulations protect consumers by ensuring only sites that have passed a rigorous review process are accessible to players.
Respect For Customers
FanDuel once paid out an $82,000 bet that resulted from an error creating long odds late in an NFL match. The fact that FanDuel paid out a bet created by their own system error speaks to the company’s integrity. Meanwhile, offshore operators can simply shut down and take customer money without fear of repercussions.
Playing at a legitimate sportsbook means you’re dealing with a company that cares about customers because a loyal bettor base earns them money. Sure, it’s all for profit at the end of the day, but it’s better than losing your money to a shady offshore operator.
The Convenience Factor
Want to bet on your phone, tablet, or desktop? Some combination of the three? If you want that flexibility, regulated sportsbooks are your best option. Even though Apple and Google have some gambling-related restrictions, you can still access FanDuel and other sportsbooks on those platforms. Offshore operators will provide desktop sports betting apps or mobile browsing sites at bets, limiting your device options.
Why Can You Trust FanDuel With Your Money?
Security is an incredibly important issue for legal sportsbooks. One slip up or data breach could spell the end for sportsbook operators, so they do a lot of background work to be sure their sites and apps are safe and secure for users.
Encryption tops the list of security measures used by most sportsbooks. SSL encryption is the current standard, and any sportsbook worth your while uses it, even if you don’t notice. SSL encrypts data so that only you and the site receiving the data can see the information contained within it. Simply put, it hides the actual information you submit (think payment info, name, address, etc.) from potential hackers. Sites that you use daily–Facebook, Amazon, and many others–use this same technology.
You can also take steps to protect yourself. For example, enable two-factor authentication at your preferred sportsbook. Log out manually after each session, and change your password every few weeks.
FanDuel Illinois Facts
|How old do I need to be to use FanDuel in Illinois?||21 for sports betting, 18 for Daily Fantasy Sports|
|What states is FanDuel legal in?||CO, IN, NJ, WV, PA, IL, TN|
|Who is FanDuel’s Illinois partner?||Par-A-Dice Casino Hotel in East Peoria|
|Launch date in Illinois||August 28, 2020|
FanDuel Sportsbook FAQ
Sports betting is legal in Illinois, and FanDuel is one of the state’s three regulated online sportsbooks. FanDuel is partnered with Par-A-Dice Casino and uses that property’s license to provide regulated sports betting for Illinois bettors. FanDuel launched its online sportsbook in Illinois on August 28, 2020.
Yes. The Illinois Gaming Board granted Par-A-Dice Casino a sports betting license, which FanDuel uses to operate in the state.
No. Esports is one glaring omission from Illinois’ sports betting legislation. It isn’t mentioned in the sections that dictate which sports are allowed, but it’s also notably missing from prohibited events (in-state college matches, high school games, elections, and awards shows, for example).
Illinois could eventually allow esports betting with some legislative amendments and regulations to govern the unique branch of sports betting. For now, it remains a possibility rather than a certainty. It would be up to each online sportsbook app, FanDuel included, to decide whether to provide esports betting.
Yes. FanDuel offers risk-free bets up to $1,000 for new players in Illinois.
FanDuel also has a bevy of interesting promotions for existing account holders, too. Once you’re signed up, take a look at their promotions page for some great offers on specific sports or wagers.
21 is the minimum gambling age in Illinois for sports betting and casino gaming. You’ll confirm your age using your date of birth and social security number when you sign up.
FanDuel also offers Daily Fantasy Sports, which are open to anyone 18 or older.
Illinois bettors can participate in the lottery or pari-mutuel wagering as long as they’re 18 years old or above.
Yes. You can access the app and even make deposits outside of Illinois. And bets placed within state lines will always be honored outside of the state, but you cannot place an actual wager unless you are in Illinois.
FanDuel’s app and desktop site require geolocation before you can place a wager. It’s a simple process that only takes a few seconds. After your location is confirmed, you can start betting.