Despite Suffering Largest Decrease Illinois Places Second

Despite suffering the sharpest decrease in its short history, Illinois has surpassed New Jersey as the second-largest sports betting market in the United States, with handle of over $500 million in April.

The reduction, according to analysts, was in line with a usual seasonal slowdown that affected nearly every market throughout the country, though it was less than expected given the reintroduction of in-person registration on April 4.

Expected decline

Joe Boozell, analyst for PlayIllinois.com said: “Without the NFL or a major sports betting holiday like March Madness a decline in April was a near certainty.

“The Illinois market faced a double-whammy with the return of in-person registration, which will eventually eat away at the market’s ceiling even if it hasn’t dramatically impacted handle yet. And there is no easy solution to that without a legislative fix.”

In April, wagering at Illinois’ retail and online sportsbooks declined 15.2 percent to $537.2 million, down from a high of $633.6 million in March. The handle for the month generated $43.6 million in adjusted gross revenue, down from $44.3 million in March, and $6.5 million in state taxes and $527,100 in municipal taxes. 95.5 percent of all bets were placed online, totaling $513.2 million.

In April, all but one US market recorded a decrease in wagering from the previous month. Except for New Jersey (-13 percent), Tennessee (-13.6 percent), and Pennsylvania (-13.6 percent), Illinois had the smallest percentage loss among the ten largest states (-14.4 percent).

Topping the market

FanDuel/Fairmont topped the market with $177.8 million in bets, followed by DraftKings/Casino Queen with $169.6 million in total handle. With $51.4 million in its first full month of online operation, Barstool/Hollywood Casinos came in fourth.

Jessica Welman, analyst for the PlayUSA said: “FanDuel catching DraftKings is a seismic shift in the dynamics of the market, and a credit to FanDuel’s campaign to register bettors ahead of in-person registration.”

“Barstool’s push to register customers before in-person registration took effect made a difference, too. But it will be difficult to make significant inroads on the market leaders, which all had months of being able to register customers unencumbered.”