Patrick Gorski - USA Today Sports
Patrick Gorski - USA Today Sports

Cubs News: A Beginner’s Guide to Sports Betting in Illinois

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A Beginner’s Guide to Sports Betting in Illinois

Sports is huge around Chicago, and this is certainly true for baseball. The Cubs are something of an institution in the city, after all, and have a large following around Illinois too. This makes checking out the latest MLB results or breaking Cubs news something that people love to do all over the state.

Betting on baseball games adds another dimension to following the side and getting involved with MLB matches in general. This is especially true for residents of Illinois, as the state offers sports betting within its borders. But what should any newbie to sports betting in Illinois know before diving in?

Sports Betting in Illinois: An Overview

For anyone who is new to sports betting in the state, it makes sense to start with the bigger picture of how it all works. The major thing to know is that it’s fully legal and regulated within state borders. This happened in June 2019, when Senate Bill 690 was signed into law, and after the historic ruling on sports betting by the US Supreme Court in 2018.

After this, the first online sportsbook went live in June 2020 and the first ever retail sports wager was made in Illinois during March 2020. The sector has grown considerably over the last few years, and this now sees eight fully regulated online sportsbooks within the Prairie State. There are also some retail sportsbooks found in land-based locations (such as casinos or sports betting booths).

You must be aged at least 21 to bet on sports within Illinois state borders, and an official photo ID must be provided to prove your age. Some sports betting providers may also ask for further documentation to prove your identity when registering.

What Should You Look For When Choosing Where to Bet in Illinois?

Any beginner’s guide to sports betting in Illinois should cover how to choose where to bet online. This is a very important step and ensures you not only stay away from scam operators but also register at a sportsbook that is enjoyable to bet with.

There are a number of key features to look for in any operator you sign up with, and these include

A full license to operate in Illinois

Excellent customer support

A range of secure payment options

A user-friendly design

A range of promotions for new and existing customers

Fast deposits and payouts

Mobile betting functionality

Competitive odds

A range of sports and markets to wager on

It’s key to do your own research before you make any decision, and to find a sports betting provider in Illinois that offers all of the above. One name that comes highly recommended by the sportsbook review platform WSN is DraftKings.

This sportsbook has one of the best welcome offers around for new customers and also has a good choice of ongoing bonuses for current bettors. Easy to use and offering knowledgeable customer support, it also has a decent choice of sports to bet on (including the MLB and Chicago Cubs games for 2024) and great value odds.

How do You Place a Sports Bet in Illinois?

Once you have found the sportsbook you want to place bets with, total beginners to sports wagering might wonder what to do next. The below steps show just how easy it is to start betting on Cubs games or any other sport you may follow

Register at the Illinois online sportsbook you like best

Fill in your details to open your sportsbook account

Receive your welcome bonus

Deposit some cash into your new account to bet with

Find the event you want to bet on and place your bet

Which Sports are Popular for Bettors in Illinois?

The Prairie State is sports-mad, and this sees many of the most well-known sports to bet on here. Some of the most iconic include












College sports (excluding bets placed on in-state collegiate sides and props bets)

Which Markets are Popular for Bettors in Illinois?

Betting markets simply refer to the type of bets you can make, and the top sportsbooks in Illinois offer lots of them. Moneyline is a good example and sees you backing one team to win the game. Points spread betting is another well-known market and is based on how many points the team you back wins or loses by.

Totals betting markets are also widely seen at Illinois sportsbooks and usually involve betting that over or under a set number of points/goals will be scored in a game. Many bettors in Illinois will also dip into props bets and this sees them predicting whether a team/player will hit or miss a specific stat-based benchmark in a match.

If you bet on Dansby Swanson to hit a home run in the Cubs’ first innings of the first game of the new season, for example, this would be a proposition bet. When you also consider live betting and multi-leg parlays at Illinois sportsbooks, you can see the range of exciting markets there is to choose from.

Sports Betting in Illinois for Beginners

If you are new to betting on sports in Illinois but are thinking of trying it out, the above guide should prove useful. If you also remember to fully research any bets before making them, manage your bankroll properly, and gamble responsibly, you should soon become a lot more comfortable with how it all works.

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