Illinois: the ‘s’ is silent.
I had to get that in there for all the good people in Illinois who must be boiling inside when they hear their state pronounced wrong. IL is the biggest state in the Midwest and were a huge player when they decided to legalized sports betting in June 2019.
Major city Chicago is the biggest in the state with roughly 2.6 million people. They host all five major professional sports teams in the state. The Chicago Cubs, White Sox, Bulls, Bears and Blackhawks represent all four of the major professional leagues.
Their colleges have a national brand as well. Illinois, Northwestern, DePaul, Southern Illinois, Bradley and Loyola University are staples in their conferences.
The Prairie State is a hotbed for sports teams across the state. Chicago is the major professional hub Illinois gets behind, but the colleges across the state also has created passionate fanbases wanting to wager on their teams.
Yes, gambling is legal in Illinois. Governor JB Pritzker signed SB690 in 2019 made sports gambling legal.
In March of 2020, they opened the first retail location. Online sports betting first launched on June 18th, 2020. Since then, there have been seven brick-and-mortar locations opened and seven online sportsbooks operating.
Previously, players in Illinois needed to go in person to locations and register for online wagering. That changed in 2021 so players can now sign up from their homes.