Sports betting wagers in Illinois hit the record $581.6 million in January, while revenue also reached an all-time high during the month.
Sports Betting Revenue And Handle Break Records In January
The Illinois Gaming Board on Wednesday released the figures. During the first month of the year, revenue stood at $49.4 million, up from $23.9 million reported in December 2020. The state was on a temporary lockdown from November 15 to January 15, when Gov. J.B. Pritzker closed all indoor entertainment venues. January sports betting handle brought $7.2 million in taxes to Illinois.
Online gambling was a major contributor to revenue with $47.1 million, while retail sportsbooks brought in only $860,392. Par-A-Dice Gaming Corporation, which runs a FanDuel sportsbook, was the top operator in terms of revenue with $16.8 million.
Casino Queen and DraftKings were second in the ranking with $15.6 million in revenue, followed by Midwest Gaming & Entertainment and Rush Street Interactive with $10.8 million. PointsBet and William Hill accounted for 7% and 2% respectively.
The online sector brought in $575.1 million of the total bets. The industry benefited enormously from Gov. J.B. Pritzker‘s decision last year to allow remote registration due to the Covid-19 pandemic. Illinois the fourth state to surpass the $500 million mark in bets in a single month. The state is led only by Pennsylvania, Nevada, and New Jersey. Pennsylvania posted $615.3 million in bets in January.
Basketball and Football Led the Ranking
Basketball was the most favorite sport of Illinois bettors in January with a $230 million handle. Some $159 million was bet on football with the NFL playoffs in action. Parlay betting was in third place with a $109.2 million handle, followed by soccer with $30 million. Hockey was No. 5 with $17.9 million in wagers.
Betting on in-state college teams is still a non-existing option to sports wagers. The University of Illinois basketball team is heading into March Madness as a likely No. 1 seed and this would have been beneficial for the sports betting handle. However, even without this betting opportunity, the state is expected to exceed $6 billion in bets in 2021.
Illinois has just welcomed Penn National Gaming’s Barstool Sportsbook after the company confirmed on Tuesday that it had received the green light from the Illinois Gaming Control Board to operate mobile and desktop sportsbooks in the state. Penn National will offer various incentives to players including special odds boosts and a $1,000 risk-free bet, among others.