Illinois Sports Betting Apps 2020

Illinois passed an online sports betting bill in 2019, sportsbook fans have been chomping at the bit to get some action. It’s been a long time coming, but online sports betting is finally taking shape within the state’s borders. Bet Rivers was the first online sportsbook app to launch and was followed by DraftKings, FanDuel, PointsBet and William Hill.

Here we will take a look at what Illinois’ online sports betting environment looks like now and what to expect soon.

Illinois Online Sports Betting Apps 2020

Technically, sports betting has been legal in the state since June 2019. However, due to specific legal restrictions as well as the coronavirus pandemic, Illinois’ sports betting scene has been slow to evolve compared to other states. In fact, shortly after BetRivers Sportsbook opened the doors to its brick-and-mortar location in March 2020, the coronavirus pandemic shut them again for a temporary hiatus.

Illinois law allows only one mobile license per legal betting entity (i.e. a casino or horse racing track). Currently, industry giants DraftKings and FanDuel have made deals with existing casinos to enter the state.

At the moment, there are 5 sportsbooks that have launched mobile sports betting in Illinois. Illinois law stipulates that customers must sign up for mobile sports betting in-person at the app’s land-based casino partner. This was temporarily rescinded by Governor Pritzker due to Covid allowing mobile registration until October 17th.

Full List of Illinois Sports Betting Apps

Here is a list of online sportsbooks apps that are live in Illinois

BetRivers Sportsbook App – Live in Illinois

BetRivers Illinois went live on June 18, 2020 and was the first online sportsbook available in Illinois. Previously sportsbooks apps in IL would have forced users to register in-person but this requirement was removed temporarily after Governor Pritzker issued an executive order.

What Will The Download Size Be?

At the moment, the BetRivers mobile sportsbook is not yet available for iOS users. The operators are still developing an Apple Store version, around 50 MB in size, that it expects to roll out within a year.

The Android version of the app is 52.3 MB in size and is available for download on the BetRivers Sportsbook website.

What Sports Will You Be Able To Bet On?

Players will be able to bet on most major professional sports like football, baseball, and basketball. They’ll be able to bet on collegiate level football, soccer, rugby, MMA, cycling, and motorsports along with other more niche activities.

BetRivers Sportsbook offers a wide variety of betting markets for every sport. For example, typical NFL games provide over 100 pregame betting options for most players. There’s plenty of variety to keep things fresh over the long-term.

What Interesting Features Can You Expect?

BetRivers allows you to stream live videos of your favorite games on both the mobile app and the desktop interface. This is great if you want to make live game bets, which are available for just about every sport offered on the app. Odds for in-game wagers are updated constantly.

You can also enjoy the loyalty program that comes with the app. This is a part of the broader iRush Rewards program, which assigns you points the more you use the app in exchange for bonus promotions and rewards.

Will The App Be Updated When It Launches?

The app is updated at least once a month to handle small bugs and other fixes. Once BetRivers finishes its iOS app, you can expect more serious updates and improvements.

What Devices Work With Illinois’ Online Sports Betting Apps?

At the moment, players are only able to use the BetRivers mobile sportsbook app with Android devices as opposed to iOS phones and tablets. This is a bit limited since most other sportsbook apps are available for both iOS and Android phones. However, there is an iOS app currently in development with BetRivers’ partner, Rush Street Interactive.

If you do decide to download the app for an Android device, you should have Android 5 Marshmallow or better as your operating system version. Not only does this allow you to take advantage of the live stream function, but it also ensures that you won’t have any performance lags when using the app.

The Desktop Experience Versus The App Experience At Illinois’ Mobile Online Sportsbooks

Many mobile sportsbooks provide desktop and mobile counterparts so that you can enjoy the same sports betting experience regardless of the device you want to use.

Interface Design

There isn’t much of a difference between the mobile and desktop interfaces on BetRivers Sportsbook. The desktop interface is much larger and has all major information is on the left-hand side of the screen. From there, you can select what sports you want to bet on and your preferred type of wager.

Both the mobile and desktop interfaces are separated into three main parts. On the left, you have the navigation screen. In the middle, you have competitions and popular betting markets for most major sports. If you want to place a basic moneyline bet on a football game, it is as easy as a couple clicks. 

On the right side of the screen, you have a newsfeed so you can stay up-to-date on your wagers. The downside is that the mobile version of this screen is rather crowded. Things get even more cluttered when you try to access your betting slip, which is brought up from the bottom of your screen.

Live Streaming Feature

The other thing to consider is the live streaming interface. The desktop version is smooth and easy to enjoy. However, streaming games live on your mobile device can be a bit clunky and slow. Exiting out of the live stream feed to access your wagers or betting slip can be difficult if you have big fingers.

How To Download Online Sportsbook On Your iOS Device In Illinois

Currently, BetRivers is the only mobile sportsbook available in Illinois. It has not yet launched the iOS version of its app, but it’s likely to come out in the next year.

How To Download Mobile Sportsbooks On Your Android Device In Illinois

However, you can download the BetRivers app on your Android device. Since gambling apps are not allowed on the Google Play Store, you’ll need to download from the BetRivers Sportsbook website.

  1. Head to the BetRivers Sportsbook website.
  2. There should be a page where you can download the app for Android devices.
  3. This will bring up a prompt, asking you to allow the site access to your phone.
  4. Click “Accept” or otherwise go into your Settings, and allow the BetRivers site to provide you with files.
  5. Click “Install” when a .apk file is offered. This will automatically begin the installation process.

How To Register For An Online Sportsbook App In Illinois

Before the coronavirus pandemic, you would have had to register in person for your mobile sportsbook experience. However, Illinois’ governor recently stated that players would be able to register online without having to visit the brick-and-mortar BetRivers casino in order to continue social distancing policies.

This being said, the restriction may return when the pandemic has been alleviated somewhat. So if you don’t sign up soon, you might need to visit the retail casino to sign up later.

Here’s how you will be able to sign up once the app is available to download in the next few weeks:

  1. Download the app from the website, detailed above.
  2. Provide some personal information once the app is installed. This is usually basic information like your name, address, Social Security number and date of birth.
  3. You may have to agree to a form detailing liability and such.
  4. Deposit funds into your account, and begin placing wagers.

Standard Bonuses At Illinois’ Legal Online Sports Betting Apps

You’ll likely find plenty of bonuses offered by legal online sports betting apps in Illinois, especially once more operators arrive in state. While BetRivers only has a single opening bonus, let’s go over a few other common bonuses you might find when more operators arrive.

No Deposit Free Bets

No deposit or free bets provide you with small amounts of in site credit you can use for “free” wagers without having to make a deposit. These are great if you want to try out a sportsbook app’s interface or offerings without having to kick in cash of your own.

What Are The Typical Bonus Sizes?

These bonuses are usually pretty small so that people have to deposit money sooner or later. Expect bonuses of this type to be no higher than $50.

Any Key Terms Or Conditions To Be Aware Of?

Many of these bonuses have expiration timelines for you have to use them within 30 days or so. In addition, the entire free bet sum might be spread out over several small bets instead of a single pool you can use as you please.

Deposit Match Bonus

A deposit match bonus is when a sportsbook app operator matches your initial deposit up to a preset amount. For instance, BetRivers provides an up to $250 deposit match bonus. If you put $200 into your account, it’ll match that with $200 worth of site credit for a total of $400.

What Are The Typical Bonus Sizes?

These bonuses are usually on the order of a few hundred dollars – some can even go up to $500 depending on the operator.

Any Key Terms Or Conditions To Be Aware Of?

Many of these also have expiration dates. The BetRivers example has a 30-day timeframe where you have to use the money. Others might require you to play through the deposit match bonus a few times before you can withdraw any winnings. 

Risk-Free Bets

These bonuses only come into play if you lose your first wager. In a nutshell, an operator gives you up to a certain amount in site credit when your first bet is a loss.

What Are The Typical Bonus Sizes?

Many risk-free bet bonuses are around $100-$200 or so, with plenty of variation depending on the provider.

Any Key Terms Or Conditions To Be Aware Of?

Naturally, the free credit you get from a risk-free bet can’t be withdrawn as cash. You also only get it if you lose your first bet, so it’s not very useful if you have good luck at the beginning. Furthermore, you might have to spread out the credit over several bets.

Ways To Bet At Illinois’ Online Sportsbook Apps

Illinois sportsbook apps will offer a wide variety of wager types, especially as more operators enter the state. Here are some that BetRivers currently provides.

Moneyline Bets

These basic bets are a staple of all mobile and brick-and-mortar sportsbooks. Basically, you place a bet on what team will win a given match.

Proposition (Prop) Bets

Proposition bets are wagers about specific in-game events like who scores the first touchdown or who strikes out a particular player. These bets are heavily game dependent and vary between sports.

Parlay Bets

Parlay bets have you wager on multiple games or matches in rapid succession. You win greater pools of money if you get more games right in a row, and you lose a parlay bet if you get a single game wrong.

Other Unique Bets

BetRivers and future Illinois sports betting apps will also provide additional wager types. These might be futures bets, where you wager on future events in a season or game, point spread bets, where you wager on how many points a team wins or loses by, or round-robin bets. 

Does Illinois Offer Legal Online Casino Or Poker Apps?

No. The Illinois Gambling Act of 2019 only legalized online sports betting. It did not legalize real money online casinos apps or poker. However, you can still take advantage of sweepstakes casino and poker sites like Chumba Casino and Global Poker.

Legal Online Sports Betting Apps In Illinois: FAQ

What sports betting apps can you use in Illinois?

There are 5 online sportsbook apps available in Illinois.

Who’s in charge of regulating sports betting apps in Illinois?

The Illinois Gaming Board will regulate all mobile sportsbook activity in the state. 

What’s the legal age you need to be to play on sports betting apps in Illinois?

You will need to be 21-years-old to register for and play on mobile sportsbooks in Illinois.

Can iPhones be used for sports betting apps in Illinois?

Yes, you can sign-up and start wagering at all 5 Illinois sports betting apps because the Governer temporarily removed the requirement to visit a casino to finish online registration because of COVID 19.

Is DraftKings a sportsbook operator in Illinois?

Yes, DraftKings and FanDuel made deals with Illinois casinos to co-brand as Draftkings at Casino Queen Sportsbook and FanDuel Par-A-Dice.

How do you install sports betting apps on an Android device in Illinois?

Google Play Store does not allow real money gambling apps on its platform. Instead, you’ll need to download the app directly from your preferred sportsbook’s website.