Illinois Sets Record for Midwest’s Highest Sports Betting Handle

The US state of Illinois’ reported sports betting handle of $305.1m (£299m/€255m) in September, exceeding that of its Midwestern neighbour Indiana by $77m (£58m/€64.5m).

The state legalised sports betting in March, coinciding with the global coronavirus pandemic which saw retail sportsbooks closed between March and June.

Nonetheless, the state reported $53m handle in July. This went on to more than double to $140m in August. It then more than doubled again in September, which was the third full month of sports betting in the state.

It makes Illinois the second-largest state by sports betting handle behind New Jersey.

Illinois suspended the requirement for in-person registration during the pandemic lockdown, which meant online gambling was able to continue despite the closure of the state’s 10 casinos.

The state enabled bettors to register from their phones, leading to more than 92 per cent of bets being placed online.

The mobile registration system was also used in August to enable more sign ups in the run up to NFL season and again in September, as the season kicked off on September 10.

Rush Street Interactive’s Kambi-powered sportsbook at Illinois Rivers in Des Plaines casino accepted the majority of the wagers at around $105m.

It was followed by DraftKings at Casino Queen in downstate East St. Louis, which handled about $92m, and FanDuel at Par-A-Dice Casino in East Peoria with around $75m.

However, September’s revenue at the sportsbooks is reported to have been minimal, at around $11m in total. Meanwhile around $1m was generated in state tax revenue with another $82,000 going to Cook County government.


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