Betting: Illinois Sports Wagering Numbers Take Off In First Year of Legal Action

Legalized sports betting launched in the state of Illinois right around the time the Coronavirus entrenched itself here — March 2020.

The Land of Lincoln is just about ready to shake off the residual effects of COVID-19, but the spread of betting is enlivening an already devoted sports state with money flow.

It took some time since the spring of 2020, given the nationwide sports shutdown that took place a year ago, but in the time since pro and amateur games have returned with regularity, Illinois has shot towards the top of the list of states engaging in wagering and benefiting from its taxing.

A recent timeline of benchmarks: in December 2020, Illinois finishes the year as the fourth-largest market in America based on its annual betting handle of $1,882,363,604.

In June of the year, when online betting became live, the state saw just over $8 million dollars bet in total with over $368,000 in revenue coming to the state — in the final month those numbers rose to nearly $492 million in handle (total amount wagered) and nearly $24 million in revenue, just under $4 million revenue coming from taxes.

In February, football action takes over, as more than $1 million in tax revenue comes to Illinois from Super Bowl betting alone. That month ends with Illinois’ second straight month of over $500 million in wagering.

In March 2021, Illinois smashed its monthly record with $633 million in wagers with NBA and March Madness betting contributing to more than half of the betting handle, $365 million being wagered on hoops.

While bettors in the state weren’t allowed to bet on games involving the college hoops heroes from Champaign and Loyola, they more than made up for that with action elsewhere in the tournament.

Reports have emerged that Illinois produced a handle of nearly $177 million on the tournament, ranking third in the nation behind only Nevada and New Jersey.

Total numbers for April and May aren’t available yet, but don’t be surprised to see the upward trend in handle continue. SportsBettingDime notes that Illinois has one of the nation’s lowest hold percentage rates at 6.67 percent, meaning that sportsbooks are keeping only that amount of money from every dollar waged.

It’s looking like Illinois sports fans are not only on the ball, they’re on the make as well.

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