With hundreds of millions of dollars in tax revenue at stake Illinois is one step closer to sports betting.

  • Illinois approved sports betting in 2019 with the passage of Illinois Senate Bill 690.
  • Experts believe the future Illinois sports betting handle can rival that of Nevada.
  • Meanwhile, bettors in the Chicago area have flooded the northwestern casinos in Indiana.

CHICAGO –The Illinois Gaming Board is projected to release licensed sports betting applications within the next week or two. Though the state is taking their time rolling out its industry, many experts believe Illinois will face no trouble getting off the ground.

Neighboring states such as Indiana and Iowa have had legal sports betting for two and three months, respectively, and these states can be thankful for the slow rollout from Indiana.

Illinois Sports Bettors Crossing State Lines

The aforementioned states’ sportsbooks have collected just over $220 million in wagers and have been responsible for tax contributions of over $2.77 million since their launches. Furthermore, when breaking down the numbers, it is easy to see why these states took off so quickly.

As Illinois has yet to launch its sportsbooks, bettors are crossing state lines to get their legal wagers in. Take Ameristar Casino East Chicago for example.

This book has collected over $50 million in wagers in the state’s short legal sports betting history – or 40% of the entire state’s betting handle. This casino is located only 30 miles from downtown Chicago, giving Illinois bettors an easy and reliable sports wagering option nearby.

The Size Of The Legal Illinois Sports Betting Market

Once the state moves forward with its entire legalization process, expect the betting handle in Iowa and Indiana to see a quick decline. Illinois is not expected to launch its first sportsbook until after the Super Bowl, so the conclusion of the NFL betting season may impact the lessened figures more than Indiana’s launch itself, though.

Still, gambling experts believe that Illinois sportsbooks could take in as much in wagers as that of Nevada. According to Global Market Advisors, around $5.2 billion is estimated to be wagered in Illinois on sports in the year 2023, while Nevada is estimated just higher $5.5 billion.

While this is the highest projection for Illinois, the research firm also notes that the betting handle floor could come in somewhere around $2.8 billion.

In a different study conducted by Camelot Lottery Solutions, the number of bettors in the state is expected to near half-a-million people. However, a total of 4 million “casual fans” have entertained the idea of placing a legal wager once it becomes active.

From this massive number of bettors, Global Market Advisors believes the books can keep roughly $175 million to $350 million in revenue each year. This would equate to roughly $25 million to $50 million in state taxes each year, helping capital projects organized by Governor J.B. Pritzker.

Only time will tell how large the legal Illinois sports betting market will be and how much money will be sent to the state. With such a heavy sports-minded culture, expect the Indiana sports betting revenue numbers to lead many of the other legal states.

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