Despite Suffering Largest Decrease Illinois Places Second

Published: 12th June 2021
Author: Joe Kizlauskas
Last Updated: 12th June 2021

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 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.”

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About Joe Kizlauskas

Joe is a seasoned iGaming copywriter and speaker who has been in the business since 2015. He's written more words on all elements of iGaming than he likes to remember, and he's contributed material to a number of well-known brands. Joe may be seen playing 5 a side, at the gym or playing games on his Playstation when he is not writing.