Bonuses and Promotions
Market Depth & Variety
Deposit & Cash Out
William Hill is a solid, functional sportsbook that makes it easy to place bets in Illinois. The sportsbook welcomes Illinois bettors with a $300 risk-free bet and a simple sign-up process.
Generally speaking, William Hill is a great sportsbook choice for most types of bettors. However, it’s not without its drawbacks. William Hill Illinois doesn’t currently have a desktop betting option, and the app isn’t the most streamlined experience available in the Land of Lincoln.
If you’re new to sports betting, William Hill provides some excellent betting guides that get you up to speed with odds, types of wagers, and general betting tips. The glossary of terms is particularly useful for rookies.
Overall, William Hill Illinois is a good sportsbook for the right type of bettor.
William Hill’s welcome bonus is middle-of-the-road compared to the Illinois competition. New users get a single risk-free bet up to $300. It’s nothing to scoff at, but it also pales in comparison to, say, FanDuel’s $1,000 risk-free bets or DraftKings’ 20% deposit match up to $1,000. New users can certainly get some traction using that $300 risk-free bet, but it’s not a bonus that’s quite up to snuff with other sportsbooks.
Ongoing promotions are in a similar state of limbo at William Hill Illinois. For this review, I checked the “Promos” section of the app. There were three promos available:
- $300 risk-free bet for new users only
- A “Golden Game Bonus” that offered a 20% bonus on winnings earned from September 26 NFL matchup. The problem? I checked the promo on September 28 and it still had the “Golden Game” listed two days after the match had concluded.
- A “Bet & Get” bonus that required a $50 bet. The bonus offered a $7 credit plus another $2 for every passing touchdown scored by Patrick Mahomes or Lamar Jackson during the Chiefs-Ravens contest on September 28.
Of those bonuses, the “Bet & Get” is the most enticing. But other sportsbooks offer bigger returns on very similar promotions.
The small slate of promos, including one that expired two days before I checked the page, earns William Hill a low score in this category. It’s possible the operator could pivot to more relevant Illinois promotions in the future, however.
William Hill’s Illinois sportsbook has a huge variety of bet types and available sports, putting it on par with the competition in this category.
In terms of odds, William Hill has a strong offering. Here’s an overview of the sportsbook’s odds vs other Illinois sites for a few week four NFL match-ups:
As these odds suggest, William Hill tends to play both sides, sometimes giving better odds on the underdog (like in the Bears-Colts matchup) and sometimes offering a better payout on the favorite. At the end of the day, William Hill’s odds don’t vary much from the competition, and that’s a good thing. The small differences mean you’ll always have an advantageous route to choose when placing your bets, and many times, that advantage will be with William Hill.
William Hill has many of the same deposit methods as sportsbooks that preceded it in the Prairie State. A few omissions, however, leave its options slightly lacking relative to the competition.
William Hill Illinois offers four deposit methods:
- Credit/Debit Card (VISA and Mastercard, Discover coming soon)
- Play+ Prepaid Card
- VIP Preferred E-Check
- Cash at Grand Victoria Casino Elgin
The biggest miss here is lack of PayPal, which many sports bettors prefer due to its high success rate and ease of use. PayPal is indirectly offered if you sign up for a Play+ card (you can fund the card with PayPal), but William Hill’s lack of direct Paypal integration may deter some bettors.
Illinois bettors can withdraw funds using three methods at William Hill:
- VIP Preferred E-Check
- Play+ Prepaid Card
- Cash Out at Grand Victoria Casino Elgin
These options are safe and simple, but William Hill misses out once again compared to its Illinois competitors.
Most of the state’s sportsbooks offer withdrawal via PayPal and/or check by mail. Without these options, William Hill customers must either sign up for a Play+ card (which can take 10-14 days to receive), connect a bank account for e-check payments, or make the trek to Elgin for a cash withdrawal. None of these options are bad, per se, but they are significantly more difficult than connecting a PayPal account or requesting a check in the mail.
William Hill has yet to launch desktop betting in Illinois. The operator has launched its desktop sportsbook in New Jersey and West Virginia, suggesting it could eventually make its way to the Prairie State. For now, though, apps remain the only way to bet online at William Hill’s Illinois sportsbook.
Generally, the app functions just fine. But small issues knock it down a peg in comparison to bigger operators like DraftKings, FanDuel, or PointsBet.
The app is easy to download and access. You can get the Android app direct from William Hill’s website. Apple device users can get the iOS app from the App Store. Once you have the app, it’s fairly simple to navigate. The menu bar opens options to filter by sport, and the screens that display odds are some of the easiest to read across all Illinois sportsbooks. William Hill clearly delineates moneyline, point spread, and totals bets in a simple way that makes it easy for newcomers to familiarize themselves with the wagers. It’s a more accessible display than DraftKings or FanDuel, but experienced users may prefer the display offered by the bigger operators.
Overall, the app responds a tad slower than its counterparts, and there aren’t quite as many filtering options as you might find on other Illinois sports betting sites.
William Hill also requires you to log in with a six-digit account number instead of a username or email address, which is difficult to remember and needlessly complex.
The William Hill Illinois app works as intended and is easy to navigate, but small nitpicks can detract from the smooth in-app experience you might find elsewhere.
Frankly speaking, William Hill isn’t Illinois’ best sportsbook. But there are plenty of redeeming qualities that make it an easy choice for certain bettors. The apps are easily accessible, and William Hill has strong odds and market depth. Newcomers to betting will enjoy the handy user guides. However, my experience with the app and William Hill’s lacking promotions led to a low score overall. Simply put, you may want to choose William Hill if you’re a new bettor eager to learn the ropes or if you live near Grand Victoria Casino in Elgin.
Is William Hill Legit?
Yes, William Hill is legit. There are a number of factors that contribute to the sportsbook’s legitimacy in Illinois.
Right now, every Illinois sportsbook must have an in-state casino partner. For William Hill, that’s the Grand Victoria Riverboat Casino in Elgin. William Hill operates a retail and online sportsbook using the casino’s license.
Grand Victoria is owned by Caesars, who has a sports betting partnership with William Hill.
When you use the William Hill app, your phone or tablet will automatically confirm your location before you will be allowed to place a bet. This is required by law in Illinois, and if you’re out of state, you won’t be able to place any bets.
No Illinois College Bets
In Illinois, college sports betting is legal, but with a catch. Betting is prohibited on any college match-up that includes an Illinois-based school. This means fans of Northwestern, Illinois State, or U of I won’t find any bets on those schools. The same goes for all other Illinois colleges and universities. William Hill doesn’t offer these bets, signaling its legitimacy.
You Can Set A Cool Off Period
Legal, regulated operators care about responsible gaming measures. William Hill has tools in place to help keep your gambling safe and enjoyable. You can set a “Cool off Period” that locks you out of your account for a number of days you specify between 3 and 365. Grey market operators simply want to take your money and won’t offer this option.
You Can Self-Exclude
Similar to Cool Off Periods, self-exclusion allows you to put your name on a list that prohibits you from betting. It’s a voluntary action that helps problem gamblers. It’s another measure William Hill has in place to protect you that offshore operators do not offer.
Why Choose William Hill Over Illegal Betting Sites?
Legal and regulated sportsbooks have distinct advantages over their offshore or grey market counterparts, and they don’t just have to do with security and safety. Of course, those differences are crucial, but they are just a few of many reasons to use legal sites.
It’s hard to beat the rush of betting on a match that’s already happening. Odds change, teams go on hot streaks, and crazy plays completely change the outcome of a given game. Legal operators have access to league data that allows them to offer constantly changing in-game bets. Illegal sites don’t have this data and can’t offer those bets. It’s a great advantage for legal sports bettors that opens up a whole new world of options.
Responsible Gaming Options
Illegal sites care about one thing and one thing only: making a profit (aka taking your money). Legal operators are businesses, sure, but they also care about the welfare of their players. Legal operators like William Hill have a number of responsible gaming measures in place, including self-exclusion, cool down periods, and resource centers for problem gamblers.
Your Money Is Safe
There’s nothing to stop an offshore operator from closing up shop and taking your entire account value with it. William Hill and other legal operators are bound by law to protect your funds.
Have a dispute? Need help with your bets? App keeps crashing? Good luck finding help for any issue at an illegal operator. Regulated sportsbooks have plenty of customer service options. William Hill has a full in-app help center that walks you through the ins and outs of the sportsbook. Plus, if you have an issue you can’t solve on your own, you can live chat with customer service.
Why Can You Trust William Hill With Your Money?
William Hill and other legal sports betting sites use a high-level encryption tool called SSL. The technology behind it is complex. Simply put, it encrypts your personal information (including transaction data) as it’s transmitted from your device to William Hill. This protects your data from being intercepted by hackers. SSL is used by banks, social media sites, online shopping retailers, and other internet-based businesses to protect users.
You can also choose the payment method you feel safest with. For example, if you don’t want to connect a bank account to your William Hill account, you can choose to use a Play+ card or deposit cash onsite instead.
You can take steps to protect your account in general, too. Logout after every session and change your password frequently to secure your account.
William Hill Illinois Sportsbook Fact Sheet
|How old do you have to be to use William Hill?||21 or above|
|In which states is William Hill legal?||CO, IL, IA, NJ, NV, WV|
|Who is William Hill’s Illinois partner?||Grand Victoria Casino in Elgin|
William Hill Sportsbook FAQ
Yes. New bettors at William Hill receive a risk-free first bet up to $300. This means if you place a $300 first bet and it loses, you’ll be credited with that $300 in bonus money. You have to play with the bonus money before you can withdraw it, however.
Yes. William Hill is legal and licensed to operate both retail and online sportsbooks in Illinois. It launched on September 15, 2020, becoming the state’s fifth online sportsbook after BetRivers, FanDuel, DraftKings, and PointsBet.
William Hill is partnered with Caesars-owned Grand Victoria Casino in Elgin, Illinois. Caesars came to own the property through its merger with previous owner Eldorado Resorts.
There’s no “best” deposit method, but because William Hill lacks PayPal as a deposit option, credit/debit cards will likely be preferred by most players. William Hill accepts VISA and Mastercard, and Discover is coming soon.
Yes. You can bet on the Bears, Bulls, Cubs, White Sox, Blackhawks, and Fire, plus many more Illinois teams. The only exception is Illinois college teams. College betting is legal in the state, but only if the match does not include an Illinois school such as Northwestern or the University of Illinois.
You can choose from three methods: VIP Preferred e-check, Play+ prepaid card, or cash at the Grand Victoria Cashier Cage.