Illinois Ends 2021 With Huge Sports Betting Haul
Sportsbooks in the state of Illinois posted a sports betting handle total of $789.6 million during December, which was a slight jump from the total in November. This was also an increase of over 60 percent from the total in December 2020, and it speaks to the growth of this market.
Online or mobile wagering made up more than 95 percent of the total in December, and that has been a common theme since that form of betting was launched. The huge sports betting haul in December pushed the total sports betting handle over $7 billion for the year.
Illinois finished in third place in terms of total sports betting handle during December, trailing only New Jersey and Nevada. The yearly total also put Illinois in third place in the country, and it nearly brought in as much betting action as Nevada.
Football led the way in terms of the most popular betting market, as the handle for the NFL was $265.7 million. Basketball brought in over $226 million in wagers, and that total was boosted by the fact that the Chicago Bulls are having a great season.
Industry experts believe that Illinois is on track to surpass both New Jersey and Nevada in the coming year. New Jersey will see its sports numbers drop now that New York has online sports betting in place as well.
Sharp Drop in Revenue
The numbers weren’t all positive for the state of Illinois in December, as the total sports betting revenue had a sharp decrease. The total revenue was just $33.6 million after that total nearly hit the $80 million mark in November.
The gross revenue for the state during 2021 was $534.1 million, which was a huge jump from the $137.4 million in 2020. Illinois also benefitted from a massive year for the sportsbooks as the total tax revenue climbed up to $84.7 million during the past year.
Changes Coming Soon
The Illinois sports betting rules will be changing in March, which could lead to another massive jump for this industry. The first online-only operating license will be made available, and in-person registration is going away at that time as well.
Another huge change is the fact that bettors will be able to wager on in-state college teams for the first time beginning in March. All of this betting must be done at a retail sportsbook for now, but lawmakers in the state will revisit this rule later.
The 2022 NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament is set to begin in March, and the Illinois Fighting Illini are a team that has a chance to win the title.
BetMGM was recently approved to offer online sports betting, and it will be the seventh online option in the state.