The independent student newspaper at the University of Illinois since 1871

The Daily Illini

The independent student newspaper at the University of Illinois since 1871

The Daily Illini

The independent student newspaper at the University of Illinois since 1871

The Daily Illini

The independent student newspaper at the University of Illinois since 1871

The Daily Illini

Your ultimate guide to Illinois sports betting in 2023

Sports have always occupied a central place in US society, and this is certainly true around Illinois. With top pro sides such as the Chicago Bulls, the Chicago Bears, and the Chicago White Sox attracting lots of attention from fans, you can see why sports are such a massive deal in the state. Of course, they also play a massive part in student life at the University of Illinois and have done so since its foundation in 1871. Teams in areas such as soccer, football, basketball, and athletics are still doing the university proud to this very day.

Although playing or watching sports might have been some of the most popular ways for people around Illinois to connect with these teams previously, recent changes to laws around Illinois sports betting have altered this. Residents of the state can now enjoy legal sports betting and have been able to do this for a few years.

Sports betting in Illinois: What’s the picture in 2023?

To get a true idea of where sports betting is in the state now and how much the whole country has progressed on this subject, it is best to start with the historic US Supreme Court ruling of 2018. This saw the restrictive PASPA Act around sports betting struck down and individual states allowed to legislate for legal sports wagering if they wished.

Although they might not have been one of the first, Illinois did eventually sign the necessary documents into law to legalize sports betting within its borders. This means that anyone within state lines who is over 21 years of age can wager on top sports, including hockey, football, and baseball.

It is key to note that wagers on non-sporting events are not allowed and bettors must use a licensed sportsbook. For students at the University of Illinois, needing to be over 21 to legally bet in the state is also essential to note.

June 2019, a historic time in the Prairie State

As noted above, lawmakers in Illinois took action previously to pass legislation that allowed sports betting in the state. This happened in 2019 when the General Assembly passed the Illinois Sports Wagering Act. This gave legal sports betting the green light and Governor J.B. Pritzker signed it into law during June of the same year.

This act made the Illinois Gaming Board responsible for managing sports betting in the state and prohibited those involved with sporting events from gambling on them. For those interested in betting on college sports, the new act does allow this—but not on any games involving players or teams from Illinois (such as the recent Illinois vs Iowa game in football). The only exception to this is if you place a bet in person before the game starts. New legislation may be on the way though to relax these rules around in-state wagering on college sports.

Since its launch, the legal market for sports wagering in Illinois has gone from strength to strength. This now sees over half a dozen sportsbooks online for people in the state to bet with and more are expected to follow soon.

Sports betting in Illinois post-2019

After the Illinois Sports Wagering Act was passed in the summer of 2019, the first bets were placed around the state in early 2020. It is fair to say that sports betting took a while to truly get off the ground and this made the $7 billion overall sports handle the state took in the whole of 2021 major news.

Following this, the state General Assembly removed the need for bettors to register in person in order to use online sportsbooks legally. This, and the growing popularity of sports wagering, saw over $800 million in sports betting made in May 2023.

With similar figures during the rest of the year, it is clear to see what a vibrant state gambling on sports is in around Illinois. The $250 million in tax dollars generated via sports betting by 2023 across the state is also a stat that makes for great reading.

2023’s Responsible Gambling Bill

One recent development that is of interest to Illinois sports bettors is 2023’s Responsible Gambling Bill. This was authorized via the state Senate and set out that all licensed sportsbooks should include a pop-up message promoting safe betting after every 10 wagers are placed. As you can imagine, this bill was brought in to make the state’s sports betting sector even safer for people to get involved with and to look after online gamblers in Illinois.

Which are the best sportsbooks to bet with in Illinois?

Sports fans in the state have a good amount of choice when it comes to where to place bets on matches, races, and events. But which sportsbooks stand out as being the very best to register with and spend time at?

BetRivers is certainly worth considering and is actually owned by Chicago-based Rush Street Interactive. When you also consider BetRiver’s partnership with the Bears, you can see why this is a platform that people in Illinois especially opt for. With great bonus offers, the ability to stream live sports, and a decent rewards program to dive into, this is a great choice.

DraftKings are another well-known name who are active in the Illinois sports betting market. They offer competitive odds on all the top sports around and have a platform that is easy to use. Live betting is also a major draw here, as are the top-notch customer support and secure payment options.

BetMGM is another brand that Illinois gamblers love to bet with. With a well-established reputation in the sector and a superb “Welcome Bonus”, they are worth trying out. They also have an excellent app for mobile gamblers to use and are a licensed place to bet on sports within the state.

What are the best tips for betting on sports in Illinois?

If you meet the criteria for legal sports betting in the state and fancy trying it out, you may well consider taking onboard some effective tips before you make any moves. Those listed below should help any bettor in the state when gambling on sports

  • Only use money that you can afford to lose and always bet responsibly
  • Practice good bankroll management and only stake a small percentage of your betting bank on each wager
  • Get to know the sports you will bet on, how they work, which the best markets are to enter, and who the best teams/players are
  • Always research bets before making them and never bet on impulse

Sports betting in Illinois for 2023

Keeping up with what is happening around Illinois is always useful for students at the University of Illinois. This ensures that you not only feel more integrated into the local community but also know about any developments at state level that may impact you or your studies.

Finding out more about sports betting is a great example of this—especially as it has really taken off since being introduced in 2019. Although only students over 21 are able to place bets, those who are old enough may particularly enjoy finding out more about how this way of staying entertained in 2023 works.






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