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Illinois Finally Reports September Sports Betting Handle

Illinois Finally Reports September Sports Betting Handle
People line up to place their wagers. (Photo by DOMINICK REUTER / AFP)

I guess it is better late than never in Illinois. While many states are busy reporting out the October sports betting hauls, Illinois, in just its third full month of operation is finally on the board with their September figures… and they are impressive. The last state to report September’s numbers, Illinois proved that they belong in the elite-class of bet-friendly states. Illionois ranked as September’s #4 legal sports betting jurisdiction behind only New Jersey, Nevada, and Pennsylvania.

Illinois has had an interesting journey into the legal sports betting space since launch. COVID has definitely affected the success of the platform on the whole, but at least it has forced Illinois Gov. JB Pritzker to reconsider a head-scratching in-person sign-up policy for mobile betting sites. COVID-19 has forced the state to temporarily grant online betting apps the opportunity to adopt a remote sign-up policy. Thit has been a boon for the industry and one that has been extended again until December 12.

The Figures

According to the Illinois Gaming Board report released Friday, The Illinois sports betting handle for September hit $305.2 million, which is good for fourth place on the list of participating US legal sports betting states. That $305.2 million represents and incredible 117.9% increase from the August total of $140 million.

Like the other sports betting Heavyweights, Illinois’s mobile betting platform was responsible for the bulk of the record-setting handle. Of the $305.2 million wagered, $283.1 million or 92.7% of the money taken in came via mobile apps. Retail made up the bulk of the remaining $22 million. $283 million in mobile app contribution was a 128.3% increase from August.

Revenues came in slightly underwhelming for Illinois’ September. The $6.8 million in revenues represents a slight 5.5% drop from the $7.2 million in August. The 15% tax-rate in the state meant that just over $1 million in taxes was generated for state and local coffers.

Better Times Ahead?

Illinois’ sports betting scene is still in relative infancy, and yet, the state has risen into the “Top-5” as far as handles go. All of this despite PointsBet not beginning mobile operations until Sept. 12 and William Hill not launching its mobile app in the state September 15 in Illinois.

With sportsbooks fully established and the extension of the temporary remote sign-up policy for mobile apps, expect the Illinois sports betting industry to continue to flourish. When the NBA and NHL come back in December (hopefully), Illinois sports betting numbers are expected to explode.

On the relaxation of the mobile sign-up rule, a CEO of a major DFS provider is on record saying: “That has taken Illinois from barely a market that registers for us to our second-largest market… So I think it’s a pretty big deal whether that continues to be extended for several months, and that could have a significant impact on our customer acquisition, and therefore, on our revenue for next year”.

Looking Ahead to October

Three of the 22 legal sports betting states have reported out their October sports betting handles already with one, West Virginia, the only one reporting a slight slide. The others reported a record monthly handle, including the “King of the Bet-Friendly States”, New Jersey, which brought in a stunning $803,096,172 in October.

Illinois’ September helped the US industry on the whole bring in more than $2.8 billion for the month, easily a record. From what we have seen with New Jersey’s and Indiana’s numbers for October, it is expected that Illinois could once again act as the exclamation point on another record month in terms of National sports betting handle. Stay tuned.