Illinois Horse Betting Guide

Illinois Betting Sites, TOP Apps and Bonuses 2024

Since the legalization of sports betting in June 2019, Illinois has grown to host eight sportsbooks, offering diverse betting opportunities for fans of teams like the Cubs and Bears. Here’s a concise look at Illinois’ top sportsbooks as we approach 2024, emphasizing their standout features.

Illinois Sportsbook Apps, Bonus Code and Promo Bets 2024

Betting Site ILOfferCode
bet365 IllinoisBet $5 Get $150USB365
BetMGM$1,500 Bonus – BEST Promo in Illinois!USDOTBET
BetRivers App2nd Chance Bet up to $500USBTRV
Caesars Sportsbook$1,000 First Bet On CaesarsNone
Hawthorne Race Course

Leading Sportsbook Apps in Illinois

Sports Betting SiteApp Highlights
BetRivers IllinoisTailored markets for local sports enthusiasts
BetMGM Sportsbook ILPremium mobile experience with rich rewards. Bonus code: USDOTBET
DraftKingsTop choice for live sports betting
FanDuelWide payment options and efficient withdrawals
ESPN BetSimplified registration and innovative features
Bet365 IllinoisComing soon. Promo code: USB365

BetRivers Illinois

Top sports betting online site and app in Illinois – BetRivers. A pioneer since June 2020, known for its focus on Illinois teams and extensive market coverage. The app is user-friendly, designed to enhance the betting experience.

BetMGM Illinois

One of the best sportsbook apps in Illinois is betMGM. Entered the market in March 2022, quickly becoming a favorite with its top-notch app. Features include live streaming, daily boosts, and MGM Rewards integration. Use bonus code USDTOBET, to claim BetMGM Il promo bets.


Launched in August 2020, DraftKings leads in live betting with a vast array of in-play markets. Its apps facilitate easy parlay creation.

FanDuel Illinois

Started in March 2020, FanDuel excels in payment flexibility and is partnered with Chicago’s top sports teams. The app is streamlined for easy navigation.

ESPN Bet Illinois

The newest addition since November 2023, ESPN Bet stands out for its straightforward signup and engaging betting features. It’s quickly become popular for its accessible platform.

Online Sports Betting in Illinois: Overview

Illinois’ sports betting scene is set for expansion, with current offerings ranging from in-person to mobile betting. Legal for those 21+, the state restricts betting on college games involving Illinois teams.

Illinois offers a dynamic sports betting environment, with each app bringing unique features to the table. Bettors can enjoy a variety of options, from live betting to engaging with local team games, as the market continues to evolve.

Illinois Best Sportsbook Offers and Promo Codes

  • BetMGM Sportsbook Bonus: Get $1,500 in Bonus Bets. Code: USDOTBET
    4.8 rating based on 1 rating
    4.8 stars
    New players only, 21+. Gambling Problem? Call 1-800-GAMBLER. Welcome offer not available in NY and DC. Full T&C apply.
  • BetRivers IL Bonus: Bonus Up to $500 Refund
    4.8 rating based on 1 rating
    4.8 stars
    BetRivers offers Illinois bettors a full array of pregame and in-play betting options, with competitive odds and a user-friendly platform.
  • TVG Illinois Bonus: up to $200 Free Bet
    5.0 rating based on 1 rating
    5 stars
    The state of Illinois collects a 0.38% surcharge on winnings wagers. Wagering in UK and Irish races not permitted via TVG.
  • TwinSpires Illinois: Get $200 Sign up Bonus
    5.0 rating based on 1 rating
    5 stars
    Check for updates as state availability and promotions may change.
  • NYRA Bets Bonus: Get $200 Deposit Match
    4.2 rating based on 1 rating
    4.2 stars

Illinois Online Horse Betting

Horse racing fans in the Land Of Lincoln get plenty of live racing to view and the view covers the best of both worlds. Bettors can wager on the thoroughbreds at Fairmount Park in Collinsville. Hawthorne Park in Cicero offers both live thoroughbred and standardbred meets each year. There’s also fair racing offered each August at the Illinois State Fair and DuQuoin State Fair. 

TVG, 1/ST BET, NYRA Bets, TwinSpires, and DRF Bets all offer access to their horse race betting online sites and mobile apps to Illinois horse bettors. Use promo codes to claim welcome bonuses.

Illinois Horse Betting Sites / Apps

Horse Racing SitesBetting Bonuses
DRF Bets$200 first-deposit match, unlimited DRF Classic and Formulator Past Performances
TwinSpires Illinois$200 signup bonus, exacta insurance: get a bet back of up to $10
TVG onlineGet up to $200, live streams from tracks around the US and beyond

DRF Bets Illinois

It is the official ADW provider for Hawthorne. Newcomers can get a 100 percent matching first deposit DRF Bets bonus worth up to $200.

Betting Features: stakes preview, unlimited DRF Classic and Formulator Past Performances, Free Beyer Speed Figures.

TwinSpires Illinois

TwinSpires offers a $200 signup bonus to new customers. The $200 bonus cash will be credited instantly after $500 in completed wagers are played.

Betting Features: Live races and highlights of previous races both on the website and the app, 15% boost on a winning Trifecta bet every Tuesday.

NYRA Bets Illinois

At NYRA Bets, newcomers receive a $25 free bet, as well as a 100 percent matching first deposit bonus worth a maximum of $200.

Betting Features: Free live video streaming (HD live and replay), free handicapping tips, swap positions quickly for Exacta, Tri & Supers.

TVG Illinois

TVG invites first-time players to their site with a 50 percent matching signup bonus on their first deposit. This offer comes with a maximum amount of $250.

Betting Features: TVG Expert Picks for everyday, Free Past Performances Program, Money Back Special on select races.

1/ST BET Illinois

At 1/ST BET, all new players receive a $10 site credit, along with $1,000 in bonus funds.

Betting Features: Rewards points every Tuesday and other weekly offers.

DRF Horse Racing Betting Illinois
DRF Horse Racing Betting App

Popular Online Horse Bet Types & Races 

Offerings of straight bet wagers include a place bet (finish first or second) and a show bet (finish first, second, or third). There’s also the option of playing an across-the-board bet. With this wager, the bettor gets all three options. That means a winning horse would also pay out on its place and show prices.

Exotic wagering options offer the chance of minimal risk for maximum return. Bets of this type include exactas, picking the top two finishers of the race, trifectas (the top three finishers), superfectas (the top four finishers), and quinellas (the top two finishers in either order).

Daily doubles require selecting the winners of two consecutive races. There are also Pick 3, 4, 5, and 6 options as well as a Pick All option for selecting the winner of every race on a card. 

To increase their chances of a win, exotic bettors frequently box horses. The group in their box can finish in any order. Bettors might also key one horse into an exotic wagering position while wheeling other horses around that horse to also try to maximize their chance at a win.

Major US Horse Betting Events That You Can Bet On In Illinois

Date Event Location Recommended Sites

2024 Kentucky Derby Betting Offers & Best Bets

700 Central Ave, Louisville, KY, 40208 TVG

2024 Preakness Stakes Betting Promos & Offers

5201 Park Heights Ave, Baltimore, MD 21215 AmWager

The Best 2024 Belmont Stakes Betting Offers & Promotions

2150 Hempstead Turnpike, Elmont, NY 11003 AmWager

The Hawthorne Derby for three-year-olds headlines the fall thoroughbred racing season each October. Covering 1⅛ miles on Hawthorne’s turf course, it goes for a purse of $100,000.  Hawthorne holds its Night Of Champions for harness horses every September. 

Fairmount Park, now known as FanDuel Sportsbook Horse Racing, offers the $250,000 St. Lous Derby, an open three-year-old race at 1 1/16 miles.

The Illinois Department of Agriculture sponsors Illinois Sires Stakes events that are held at Hawthorne and at state fair tracks. 

It’s uncertain what the future will hold for the several stakes races that were held at Arlington and if they will be discontinued or relocated to one of the other Illinois tracks.

Illinois Horse Racing Betting Legal Overview

An era of horse racing in the state of Illinois came to a conclusion in 2021 when Arlington International Racecourse closed its doors for the final time. Opened in 1927, in its prime Arlington offered world-class thoroughbred racing. The highlight of the program each year was the Arlington Million. Secretariat was among the legendary horses that raced at Arlington. 

It was in 1927 that Illinois legalized pari-mutuel wagering on horse racing. The history of horse racing in the state extends back into the 1830s. During the 1930s, Chicago offered six tracks featuring live horse racing, the most of any major metropolitan center in the USA. 

In 2015, Balmoral Park and Maywood Park, which both offered live harness racing, shut down.

Off-track betting locations in Illinois

If you’re a horse racing enthusiast in the Land of Lincoln, you’ll be pleased to know that there are several off-track betting (OTB) locations where you can enjoy the thrill of horse betting in Illinois. These OTB locations provide a convenient and exciting way to experience the excitement of horse racing without having to travel to the racetrack.

Whether you’re in Alton, Aurora, Crestwood, or any other part of the state, you’re sure to find a nearby OTB location to indulge in your passion for horse betting.

One of the notable OTB locations in Illinois is Time Out OTB in Alton, situated at 315 Belle Street. This establishment offers a comfortable and welcoming environment where you can place your bets and watch the races unfold on large screens. If you’re in Aurora, you can head to The Piazza at 85 Executive Drive, which provides a similar experience with a variety of betting options available.

Crestwood OTB in Crestwood is another popular choice for horse betting enthusiasts. Located at 13148 Rivercrest Dr., this OTB location offers a vibrant atmosphere where you can socialize with fellow horse racing fans and enjoy the races on high-definition televisions. Similarly, Evergreen Park OTB in Evergreen Park at 2517 W. 95th St. provides a lively setting for betting and viewing horse races.

Illinois Racetracks 

Hawthorne Race Course – 3501 S. Laramie, Stickney/Cicero, IL 60804. Offering live thoroughbred racing from March-April and October-December and live harness racing from May-September.

Fairmount Park – 9301 Collinsville Rd, Collinsville, IL 62234. Offering live thoroughbred racing from April-September.

Hawthorne Race Course

Illinois Horse Betting FAQs

Where to watch online/stream horse races in Illinois?

Fairmount Park and Hawthorne Park both offer simulcast wagering on races from around the world. There are also OTB parlors sprinkled throughout the state. Hawthorne Park offers its Club Hawthorne app which provides mobile wagering options. Illinois horse bettors can also live stream races via DRF Bets, TwinSpires, NYRA Bets, TVG and 1/ST BET. 

How old must you be to bet on horses online in Illinois?

18 for pari-mutuel horse wagering.

What are the best legal horse betting apps in Illinois?

TVG, TwinSpires, NYRA Bets, and 1/ST BET are the top horse wagering platforms in the state.

Illinois Horse Betting Guides

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