- Sportsbooks in Illinois handled nearly $870 million in bets in January, a 23.8% increase from December 2021 and a 49.2% increase year-over-year.
- These figures only stand to improve as Illinois’ in-person sportsbook registration requirement was lifted earlier this month.
SPRINGFIELD, Il – Illinois saw one of their strongest sports betting months since launch in January, even with their in-person registration requirement.
Illinois Enjoys Strong January
In January, sportsbooks in Illinois handled almost $870 million in wagers.
This is a 23.8% increase from December’s legal sports betting handle and 49.2% more than Illinois handled in January 2021, according to a report released by the Illinois Gaming Commission.
Illinois parlayed the nearly $870 million in handle into $59.3 million in sports betting revenue. while that figure fell short of Illinois’ all-time single-month sports betting revenue record, it was their second-strongest month by revenue since launch.
This revenue figure was good for $10.7 million in tax revenue for Illinois.
Handles May Skyrocket In Coming Months With Mobile Registration
While Illinois experienced a historically strong month in January, it is likely that revenues and handles will increase dramatically very soon.
This is due to the removal of the in-person registration requirement for online sportsbook accounts in Illinois.
The original plan was to require in-person account registration for online sportsbooks in Illinois for the first year and a half after legal sports betting launched in March 2020.
However, with the arrival of the COVID-19 pandemic, these plans were curtailed. Governor J.B. Pritzker signed an executive order lifting the in-person registration requirement in August 2020 – in April 2021.
That executive order expired and sports bettors who wished to register for an account had to do so in person once again.
Market Newcomers Look To Make A Splash
Mobile registration finally returned earlier this month, and sportsbook operators are taking notice. BetMGM launched their sportsbook the same day the in-person registration requirement was lifted. Caesars also launched their Liberty platform in the days immediately following the removal of the requirement.
The newcomers to the Illinois sports betting market may provide a challenge to the established operators.
Two sportsbooks handled 30% or more of Illinois’ total sports betting handle in January – DraftKings, with 34.2%, and FanDuel, with 31.3%.
The next-strongest sportsbook in January, BetRivers, handled 16.4% of the total handle. PointsBet (9%), Barstool (7.3%), and Caesars (1.8%) rounded out the rankings.
While it remains to be seen exactly how much the removal of the in-person registration requirement will affect Illinois’ handle and revenue figures, it will likely result in a significant increase in both. The first report that will reflect the new policy will be released in May.
Jerad has been a welcomed addition to the LegalSportsBetting.com writing team. Covering topics regarding the expansion of sports betting in the US, Jerad focuses on legislative efforts, bill signings and other methods for sports betting legalization. Finishing his education as a college baseball player, Jerad has first-hand knowledge of competitive sports, paired with years of personal sports betting as well. As a political science major at the University of Central Florida, Jerad covers the political, legal, and legislative aspects of sports gambling without any issues.