Betting window. Al Bello / Getty Images / AFP
Illinois is never accused of posting reports on its monthly sports betting handles. On Friday, the Illinois Gaming Board finally released its November numbers, and it wasn’t surprising that they followed a trend of record November shipments for participating legal sports betting states.
Since its inception in March 2020, the Prairie State has grown to become an elite class among legal betting courts, hitting the fourth highest sports betting grip in the country in November – just behind New Jersey, Nevada and Pennsylvania. The Illinois numbers also helped the U.S. sports betting handle surge to over $ 3.5 billion. This is the second straight month that that number has dwarfed $ 3.2 billion.
“The success of Illinois is more than just having a large population fueling impressive numbers that dwarf smaller states,” said Jessica Welman, analyst at PlayIllinois.com. “Illinois competes with markets like Pennsylvania, which are far more mature and just as large, and because the best online sports betting in the country invest heavily in the market and the Illinois bettors respond with unprecedented passion.”
A closer look at the November numbers
Though it seemed like ages ago, the November sports betting menu consisted almost entirely of NFL and college football. The NBA, college basketball, and the NHL hadn’t started their seasons at this point. However, this did not prevent the Illinois weather from taking effect.
According to the Illinois Gaming Board, bettors hit a record $ 451 million wagering in the state, a modest increase from $ 434.6 million in October. Those numbers made Illinois the sixth state in the country to top $ 1 billion in a single year of legal sports betting.
Analysts say the majority of the handle comes from mobile apps, although those exact numbers have not yet been released. The increased revenue from mobile devices is due to the problems facing brick-and-mortar casinos as well as the temporary remote internet wagering login process in Illinois.
Illinois sports betting revenue was $ 41 million with a 9.17% hold rate, a slight decrease from $ 42.2 million in October. Due to the high tax rate for legal sports betting in the state, the coffers were able to extrapolate tax revenues of $ 6.15 million from the profits.
Done with just 5 operators and a pandemic
The sports betting scene in Illinois was remarkable considering that there are only 5 operators in the state competing for weather money. 5 operators grossing $ 451 million are staggering to say the least. COVID-forced shutdowns of the state’s stationary facilities threatened to bring Illinois sports betting past the eight ball in November – a threat that never actually materialized.
“Remarkably, Illinois has done all of this with just a handful of operators and without some of the best-known brands in the industry,” said Joe Boozell, analyst at PlayIllinois.com. “Profits will continue to attract operators and could lead Illinois to challenge even the largest market in the US while the state’s personal registration requirements remain suspended.”
Compared to other heavyweight states
Illinois did a great job raising its sports betting platform to the top tier of betting friendly states. New Jersey continued to lead in November with a handle of $ 931.6 million, Nevada finished second for $ 609.4 million in November, Pennsylvania finished third with a handle of $ 491.9 million in November and Illinois fourth place.
The $ 451 million raised in November has made room between Illinois and fifth place in the race for America’s most successful betting state. Indiana, which was fifth, reported a hold of $ 251.4 million, and the sixth, Colorado produced $ 231 million – over $ 200 million behind Illinois.
The future in Illinois
Given what Illinois has accomplished in its eight months of legalizing sports betting, analysts rightly expect the market there to maintain stratospheric highs and continue to grow.
Penn National, BetMGM and Unibet’s Barstool app is expected to go live in the next few months. You should theoretically boost the market. And since Governor JB Pritzker has extended an executive order for the seventh time that enables remote registration for his mobile betting platform, the sky is the limit for the state.