Illinois sports betting revenue could see an increase due to college football

  • Over $60 million has been bet on sports in Illinois since their March launch.
  • College sports accounted for well under 1% of the summer betting handle.
  • Illinois sportsbooks kept $3.6 million during July sports betting.

CHICAGO – In their first full month of legal sports betting operations, Illinois opened with a strong showing. The number of casinos offering sportsbooks may not be large and the lack of sports in July also hindered the state, however, Illinois sports betting is off and running.

With now two full months behind them, the first of the revenue reports were released showing one valuable asset that was missing – college sports.

Illinois took in $52.5 million for a betting handle in July on a total of 1,162,827 wagers but only a small percentage was in part to college athletics.

In fact, 61 of the 1.16 million bets were on college sports.

Granted, July is a time when limited college betting action is offered and schools are shut down over summer and from the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. Still, the lack of betting on college sports has seriously impacted the launch of Illinois sportsbooks.

That hasn’t stopped the market from seeing its continued growth though, as William Hill opened the fifth online sportsbook in Illinois earlier in the week.

As the online market is clearly the preferred method for Illinois sports bettors – over 90% of the handle was from mobile bets – the sports betting industry is set to thrive with the comeback of college sports.

While sports bettors in Illinois were set to miss out on more of the action, the Big 10 announced their return to college football this week, which is set to begin in late October.

The immediate impact on the books won’t be seen for a few weeks now, but it is important to note that no regulatory change from the Illinois Gaming Board or legislators alike is needed – just the return of college sports in general.

After an August and September report is released, returning to this point three months from now during the October reports should show a monster spike not only from the NFL but from Big 10 athletics as well.

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