Illinois online sports gambling has been operational for about two years, since the start of the pandemic, but users were only temporarily allowed to register online due to restrictions centered around concerns about the coronavirus. That temporary status was officially lifted December 17, 2021, when Illinois governor Jay Pritzker enabled permanent online registration, effective March 5.
Three online sportsbooks, Pointsbet, DraftKings and FanDuel, have confirmed they will begin operation that day. Mainstays Caesars and BetMGM are not far behind.
Each sportsbook offers new signup bonuses enabling users to cash in with risk-free bets and deposit matches.
Bettors who sign up but don’t claim the bonus will lose the opportunity to in the future, which means now is the time to cash in on that free money. In other words, you use it or lose it.
What is a Promo Code? And Why Use One?
A promo code is a code used to cash in on a promotion (such as a welcome bonus). Most users who buy goods and services online should be familiar with the notion. Illinois online sportsbooks also offer promotional offers for new signups and users in the form of deposit matches or one-time risk-free bets.
Best IL Sports Betting Sites with Bonuses
Illinois residents will initially have three options to choose from, with at least two others coming in the near future.
Here’s a look at each.
- New Player Offer: Risk-Free Bet up to $1000
- Status: Active as of March 5, 2022
FanDuel is the No. 1 online sportsbook in the United States with exceptional odds, single-game parlays and now the opportunity to parlay multiple single-game parlays in the same multi-leg bet through Single-Game Parlay+. FanDuel has thousands of markets to wager on, making them a great option for prospective Illinois bettors.
Between their huge selection of betting markets, industry-leading mobile app and full slate of promotional offers, FanDuel is arguably the best online sportsbook there is. Plus, FanDuel is now letting users deposit and withdraw using Venmo, becoming the only sportsbook in North America to do so.
New users who deposit real money into their accounts will also receive a risk-free bet up to $1,000, which is worth it to participate in the terrific interface, and the risk-free bet is particularly great because bettors who lose are refunded in site credit, not a free bet.
- New Player Offer: Two Risk-free Bets totalling $2000
- Status: Active as of March 5, 2022
PointsBet is one of the most innovative and exciting new sportsbooks, offering traditional betting as well as PointsBetting.
PointsBet will give up to $2,000 in rebates, including up to $500 in free bets along with $1,500 in PointsBetting — PointsBet’s signature wagering that rewards or penalizes bettors for how right or wrong their wagers are — to all new signups.
Use the promo code GAMEDAY to cash in on the bet matches. Each rebate will be provided only to losing bets.
- New Player Offer: 20% Deposit Match up to $1000
- Alternative Offer: $5000 Risk- Free Bet (New players only)
- Status: Active as of March 5, 2022
DraftKings has a partnership with every major league and offers thousands of potential betting markets each day. The DraftKings app is aesthetically pleasing and offers a litany of terrific promos for new and existing users.
DraftKings is also offering new signups a 20 percent deposit match up to $1,000, which is pretty great. A $500 deposit gives you $600 in playable funds, plus if you can cash in on the new signup bonus that would give an extra $200 in your account at the launch.
If the deposit match is not your thing, DraftKings is currently offering a risk-free bet up to $5000 when you deposit $1000 or more.
Illinois Sportsbooks Coming Soon
- New Player Offer: $1500 First Deposit Match
- Status: Not active as of March 5, 2022
Caesars Sportsbook is one of the most widely known names in casino gambling and will bring the heat with the biggest free bet offer in the Illinois sports betting market, a $1500 first deposit match up to $1500, when Caesars goes live. This deposit match comes in the form of a one-time use free bet, that will help you start building that bankroll right from the start.
The free bet is a one-shot deal, so make sure you do some research, or let us do the hard work for you and ride with one of our betting experts here at TheGameDay for some solid betting ideas.
In order to trigger this deposit match, you will need to use the promo code GAMEDAYCZR. This is an exclusive offer through our partnership with Caesars Sportsbook. If you do not use this exclusive promo code, you will receive the standard offer of a first bet match up to $1001. There is also a minimum deposit of $50 attached to this offer.
- New Player Offer: Risk-free Bet up to $1000
- Status: Not active as of March 5, 2022
BetMGM, one of the most recognizable names in gambling worldwide, is one of the leaders in online sports gambling.
BetMGM is one of my favorite sportsbooks, with a user-friendly interface, loads of free bets, competitive odds, and a great loyalty rewards program. But the new sign-up offer, a risk-free bet up to $1,000, is just OK, though it is also possible that BetMGM is cooking up a great new offer when the online app is available in Illinois.
Are Illinois Sportsbook Promos Worth It?
Of course. Promo codes offer free money, and new sign-up promos are use-or-lose, which means if you don’t take advantage of the code initially you’ll lose the opportunity down the road.
Why Do Illinois Sportsbooks Offer Promo Codes?
Illinois sportsbooks offer promo codes to entice prospective bettors to sign up and get in the action. Signing up is super-easy but can be intimidating for new or novice gambler. A lucrative promo code or sign-up offer can be the final straw in luring in a prospective gambler to sign up and deposit.
Who is Eligible For Illinois Sportsbook Bonus?
Sportsbook bonuses are eligible for all new signups over the age of 21. In order to place a bet, you must have both feet firmly planted in the state of Illinois, but you do not need to be located to register, claim a bonus and make your first deposit.
Illinois Sportsbook Promo Code vs Bonus Code
Promo codes and bonus codes mean the same thing, and the terms can be used interchangeably. Each site will have its own terminology, but bonus code, promo code, and affiliate code will all lead you down the same path.
Do You Need An Illinois Promo Code?
Each of the new sign-up offers at the three eligible Illinois sportsbooks do not require a promo code — they hit your account simply by signing up and depositing — and most promos are enacted by opting in through a special link.
However as other sportsbooks also crop up online in Illinois, there will be new sign-up promos that require the code GAMEDAY or GAMEDAYNEW to cash in on their best offer. Be sure to check each site’s individual offer at the top of this page to claim the best offer.
Best Illinois Sports Betting Promos
Illinois Sports Betting No-Deposit Bonus
A no-deposit bonus is exactly what it sounds like, a free money offer where you get free bets or site credit just for registering a new account. Once you complete the registration process, and your identity is verified, your bonus will be waiting for you in your account.
No-deposit bonuses are rare in sports betting, and tend to be between $10 and $25. Each site will have its own wagering requirements attached to these bonus offers, but are typically only one time through.
First Deposit Match
A deposit match is when an Illinois Online Sportsbook will match your first deposit up to a certain amount. For example, if a sportsbook is offering a 100% deposit match up to $1000, and your first deposit maxes out the offer, you would start off with a $2000 bankroll ($1000 deposit + $1000 bonus).
These bonus funds are not immediately available for withdraw, as there will be some wagering requirements attached. Ranging from 1x – 25x, the wagering requirements are how many times you have to put the bonus funds in play to convert the bonus to cash. For instance, if you have $1000 in bonus money, and the wagering is 5x, you would have to bet $5000 in order to turn the site credit into your cash balance.
Risk-free bets are available for nearly every new signup of an online sportsbook. The basics of the offer is that you register a new account, make your first deposit and place your first bet. If that bet wins, great! You will be paid out as usual and you can move on with your next bets.
If that first bet loses, you will be refunded up to a certain amount in either free bets or site credit. How you are refunded is the biggest factor into how great of an offer the risk-free bet is. When you are refunded in site credit, it plays the same as cash, and you can bet it in any denomination, and you are paid the stake + the profit just as you would with any cash wager.
If you get a free bet refund, you are still getting a great deal, but it has to be bet in one shot, and only pay the profits from the bet. For instance, if you bet $1000 in site credit on the Bears at +10.5 at odds of -110 and they cover, you would be paid out $1991 ($1000 stake + $919 profit). That same bet with a free bet would only pay the profit with a total payout of $919.
First Bet Match
The basics of a first bet match are simple, register a new account, make a deposit, place your first bet and the sportsbook will match your first wager with a free bet or site credit, no matter if that first bet wins or loses.
This offer is similar to a risk-free bet, with the added perk of not having to lose your first bet to get the bonus.
Bet & Get
BetMGM is among the best at offering Bet and Get promos. For instance, they’ll give up to $200 in free bets just for putting $10 on a marquee NBA game.
How To Pick the Best Illinois Sportsbook Promotions
Picking a sportsbook is really a matter of feel. A terrific one-time promo — hello Caesars! — is a great reason to jump in and deposit. When a sportsbook has a 100 percent deposit match, which each will offer periodically throughout the year, is another great time to deposit and get in on the action.
But for new signups, picking the offer that is most conducive to your gambling style is how you should pick which book and promo to take advantage of. If you’re planning to be a periodic gambler, cash in on a risk-free bet — particularly on a game or market you love. If you’re going to do this more regularly then the deposit match is probably your best bet.
How To Use Illinois Sportsbook Bonuses
Bonuses are a great way to take some extra chances that you may be too timid to ordinarily. If you have a risk-free bet up to $1,000, maybe put an extra $10 on that game you really love. Maybe add a prop or an over/under to make it a single-game parlay.
Or get crazy with a four- or five-leg parlay and rest assured knowing that your funds will be matched if you lose. Cashing in on bonuses is a great way to max out the funds in your account, and there’s no wrong way to use them.
Do Illinois Sports Betting Bonuses Have Restrictions or Limitations?
Some bonuses have restrictions around minimum odds or deposit amounts.
Here are some other restrictions:
- You must be 21 and older and physically present in Illinois to take advantage of these offers.
- DraftKings’ new sign-up bonus requires a $5 minimum deposit.
What Are Wagering Requirements?
Wagering requirements are how many times you have to bet through a bonus offer before it can be withdrawn. For instance, DraftKings has a convoluted format that releases bonus funds as you bet.
Free Bets vs Illinois No-Deposit Bonuses
No-deposit bonuses are given for new signups without having to put their own money in. Free bets can be handed out the same way but are mostly accrued by gambling and winning or as paybacks for risk-free wagers lost.
Look for More Than One Illinois Sportsbook Promo
New users should take advantage of as many promotions as possible, meaning prospective gamblers should cash in on as many new signup and first-deposit bonuses as possible. Plus with money in multiple apps, you can shop around for the best odds to max out the winnings on your bets.