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Illinois Is the Fastest State to $5bn in Sports Betting Handle


Illinois has become the fastest state in the US to bypass the $5bn total betting handle mark, doing so in 16 months. [Image: Shutterstock.com]

Significant boost in revenue

In June, Illinois became the fastest state to bypass the $5bn sports betting handle mark. This was despite the total handle falling lower than $500m during a month for the first time since December. Revenue, however, continued to increase despite the decreasing handle. Gross gaming revenue jumped 31.8% month-on-month in June to $48.2m. The state has only had two higher months for betting revenue since the sector launched.

Illinois was third in the betting handle rankings in June

The total sports betting handle in June was $476.5m, a 6.1% month-on-month decrease. This was the lowest monthly handle in the state since it took in $449.2m in wagers last November. In terms of the entire US sports betting market, Illinois was third in the betting handle rankings in June. New Jersey bettors made $766.9m worth of bets, while people in Nevada had bets totaling $545.5m. Illinois has bypassed Nevada a couple of times in recent months when it comes to the total betting handle figures.

Breakdown of the numbers

The most popular sport among bettors in June was basketball, taking in $126.9m worth of bets. Baseball betting was just a hair behind with a total handle of $126.7m. Third in the rankings for most popular sports was tennis with a handle of $40.3m during the month.

Parlay bets were the big earner for sportsbooks, with operators earning $22.8m in revenue on $101.1m in parlay wagers.

Of the total betting handle, 94.8% of all bets came through online sportsbooks. The market leader was DraftKings in partnership with Casino Queen, with total retail and online sports betting handle of $160.2m. Next on the list was FanDuel with a total of $156.3m in bets. The chasing pack was significantly behind the two leaders, with BetRivers, PointsBet, and Barstool sportsbooks being the next on the list.

A record-breaking 16 months

Illinois is the fourth state to bypass the lifetime $5bn handle mark. It managed to do so in just 16 months, which was faster than New Jersey’s previous record of 18 months.

Market analysts point to the temporary lifting of the requirement for people in Illinois to register for sports betting accounts in-person as a key reason for the success. While this in person requirement has been reinstated, analysts believe that its permanent removal next year will be another shot in the arm for the Illinois betting market. The COVID-19 pandemic also led to people spending more time at home and engaging activities like sports betting.

In other Illinois-related betting news this week, the Chicago Cubs got one step closer to having a retail sportsbook at Wrigley Field. The Commission on Chicago Landmarks approved on Thursday the MLB team’s plans to build a two-story sportsbook adjacent to the ballpark. This would be a DraftKings-branded sportsbook, but it still needs the green light from numerous other bodies before construction can begin.



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