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Sports Bettors Across the State of Illinois Wagered a Total of $286.2 Million on March Madness
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Sports Bettors Across the State of Illinois Wagered a Total of $286.2 Million on March Madness

by Timothy KimApril 14, 2022

Sportsbook operators in Illinois were looking forward to March Madness after a sharp decline in the February sports betting handle results. The tournament, which concluded with the Kansas Jayhawks pulling off the biggest comeback in NCAA basketball history, was very profitable for the Land of Lincoln.

Breaking Down the March Madness Betting Handle in Illinois 

Bettors across Illinois wagered a total of $286.2 million, according to the Illinois Gaming Board numbers released on Tuesday. Breaking down the figures, $278.4 million was wagered on the men’s bracket. The other $7.8 million was bet on the women’s bracket.

The overall handle was up 61.9% from what was reported from the five of six sportsbook operators in Prairie State. Mobile sports betting totaled $274.4 million, translating to 95.9% of the overall handle.

Bettors took advantage of the live-betting feature, as it accounted for $71.9 million throughout the tournament, or 25.1% of the handle. The bookmakers combined to bring in $14.3 million in revenue for a 5% hold. That’s just below the national average of 7%. The revenue total was slightly lower than the $14.6 million reported by the five sportsbook operators last year.

The Illinois Gaming Board record shows that The Hollywood Casino Aurora finished the tournaments in the red as the gaming facility was down $6,795. However, the state was able to generate $2.1 million in taxes. 

There was a slight change in the law regarding gambling on in-state collegiate programs. Bettors still can’t place bets in-state on mobile sports betting platforms but can do so at retail sportsbook locations. 

Officials say they didn’t track how much money was placed on the in-state programs that made it to the tournament — the University of Illinois Fighting Illini and Loyola-Chicago Ramblers. However, the only figures that were accessible were the amount placed at retail sports gambling locations. That number came out to approximately $11.8 million.

Read more about why Illinois sports betting saw a sharp drop in February.

Has Remote Registration had an Effect on the Sports Betting Volume?

In-person registration ended on March 5th in Illinois, nearly two weeks before the start of March Madness. Those who wanted to register for a sportsbook needed to complete an in-person registration for the platform they wanted to use. This was a hassle for those that didn’t live near casinos or any other gaming facility.

Still, bettors across the state have wagered more than $10 billion since the market launched in March 2020. It seems like remote registration has impacted the 2022 March Madness handle, as the numbers are significantly higher when comparing the figures from last year’s tournament.

Now, as in-person registration is in the rear-view mirror, there is speculation that the monthly market share handle and percentages could potentially see more distribution amongst the competitors.

In last year’s tournament, DraftKings, FanDuel, and BetRivers combined to have a total market share of 81.2% of the mobile handle. This year, the top three mobile sportsbook operators were DraftKings, FanDuel, and PointsBet, which made up 73% of the online handle.

BetMGM just launched its products and services on March 5th, and Caesars Sportsbook launched a new and improved platform. The future market share percentages for the monthly handles could change drastically with new platforms looking to enter the market.

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About The Author
Timothy Kim
I am a student at the University of Miami. I am currently majoring in sports management and minoring in entrepreneurship. My hobbies are watching sports especially NCAAB, NBA, MLB, and the UFC. I also enjoy investing in the stock and crypto currency market. I hope to pursue a masters in the future in Finance or a degree in law to have the chance to work with athletes in the future.