The Illinois Gaming Board has finally released the sports betting numbers from October, and both handle and revenue hit record highs. Illinois officially launched sports betting in March, and it has become one of the biggest markets in the industry in just a few short months.
Total sports betting handle in Illinois or the month of October came in at more than $434 million, shattering the previous month’s record by more than 42%. Sportsbooks in the state also brought in $42.2 million in revenue, another record-setting figure.
The Illinois Gaming Board also announced that the state was able to collect around $6.3 million in tax revenue, which is extremely important. Illinois has been hit hard by the COVID-19 pandemic, and the state is staring at a massive budget deficit.
Mobile sports betting once again dominated the sports betting industry in Illinois, accounting for more than 90% of the total handle. Retail sportsbooks were open for the entire month of October, but minor restrictions were in place.
There are currently five mobile sportsbooks in Illinois: BetRivers, DraftKings, FanDuel, PoitnsBet, and William Hill. All of these sportsbooks launched at some point after June 1, and each is still trying to get established in the state.
BetRivers accounted for $12.9 million of the revenue in October, narrowly holding off DraftKings and its $11.5 million in revenue. DraftKings was the clear leader in total betting handle, accounting for $141.2 million of the total.
Football was the most popular sport to bet on, accounting for 44% of the entire handle. The Chicago Bears are one of the most popular teams in Illinois, and sportsbooks have seen plenty of action on that team.
Remote Registration to Continue
Retail sportsbooks are currently shut down in Illinois, but handle and revenue are expected to continue to climb thanks to Governor J.B. Pritzker’s executive order. Pritzker has extended the remote registration period into January, giving bettors a chance to continue signing up for new accounts.
Illinois law required in-person registration for a period of 18 months after the first bet was placed, but Pritzker was forced to change that law this summer to jumpstart the industry. That order has been extended several times and could be permanent if lawmakers amend the laws.
US Industry Over $3.2 Billion
The US industry was looking to go over the $3 billion mark for the first time in October, but the industry did much better than expected. The $400-plus million from Illinois pushed the US sports betting industry over the $3.2 billion mark for the first time in history.
New Jersey continues to be the biggest market in the US, posting a sports betting handle of more than $800 million in October. Nevada was able to reclaim its position as the second-biggest market in the United States, while Pennsylvania came in third.
Illinois is now the fourth-largest sports betting market in the US and closing in on Pennsylvania quickly.