Sports Betting Volume in Illinois Plummets in July

In July, the volume of sports betting in Illinois plummeted, reaching similar values to last year in September, according to PlayIllinois. In July, retail and online sportsbooks recorded $369.1 million in wagers, which is quite similar to the result from September 2020, when the wagers halted at $369 million again. 

This marked the state’s lowest recorded handle in the last ten months. Comparing the wagers in Illinois in July to June, there was a significant decrease, the site reported. In June this year, sports wagers in the state hit $476.5 million, which means that, in July, a decrease of 22.5% was observed. 

July’s Betting Volume Result Is Not That Bad

On the bright side, sports betting handle in July this year marked a significant increase when compared to July 2020. Last year, the sportsbooks’ handle in Illinois hit $52.5 million. Considering that this year it surpassed $369 million, this marks an increase of more than 600%.

In general, July is always a slow month when it comes to sports wagering. In 2018 and 2019, as well as this year, July marked the lowest point in US betting. With that in mind, although Illinois recorded its lowest betting volume for the last ten months, the state hit third place in terms of betting volume. The highest betting volume in July was recorded in New Jersey that hit $578.7 million, followed by Nevada with $409.9 million. 

The Olympics Did Not Have Meaningful Impact on the Betting Volume

Although July was the first month when betting on the Olympics was possible in Illinois, this did not offset the result. According to Eric Ramsey, an analyst for PlayUSA network that includes PlayIllinois, the Olympics did not draw a lot of wagering. 

He acknowledged that the prime reason for the low interest was that some of the events would be in the middle of the night. On the other hand, many of the sports were not that familiar to bettors, which also had an impact on the betting volume. “July features fewer prime betting opportunities and casual bettors are more occupied with vacations and other activities, and there aren’t many sportsbooks can do about that,” asserted Ramsey.

Ramsey added that in July, there were fewer prime betting opportunities for casual bettors. Furthermore, he outlined that most bettors are occupied with vacation and other summer activities, which, combined with fewer options, results in a decrease in betting volume. 

Illinois Still Struggling Because of In-play Registrations

Besides a low interest in betting on the Olympics, according to Joe Boozell, lead analyst for PlayIllinois, the in-person registration will also impact the betting volume. He outlined that sportsbooks in Illinois will not be able to “take full advantage of the customer acquisition phase that comes with the beginning of every football season, which is vital for the growth of the industry.” 

Boozell stressed that a prime reason for that is in-person registration. Moreover, he outlined that although in-person betting was reinstated at the beginning of the slow season in sports betting, now, during the football season, the effect won’t be hidden.

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