Illinois Feels Effects of Summer Sports Calendar

For the first time since December 2020, wagering at Illinois sportsbooks fell below $500 million in June, although revenue soared, as analysts believe the effects of the summer sports calendar and in-person registration requirements continued to be felt.

Despite being the first state to cross the $5 billion milestone in lifetime handle, the Prairie State lost one spot from the previous month to third position in the United States.

In June, Illinois’ retail and online sportsbooks raked in $476.5 million in wagers, down 6.1 percent from $507.3 million in May and the lowest handle in the state since November 2020, when sportsbooks took in $449.2 million.

This puts the region behind New Jersey ($766.9 million) and Nevada ($545.5 million), but ahead of Pennsylvania ($420.2 million), as it becomes the fourth state to achieve $5 billion, breaking New Jersey’s record of 18 months.

Breaking new ground

Joe Boozell, analyst for PlayIllinois said: “Even with all the twists and turns over the last year, namely the back-and-forth with in-person registration requirements and pandemic restrictions, Illinois continues to break new ground.

“Illinois bettors remain highly engaged, keeping the state entrenched among the nation’s sports betting heavyweights like Nevada and New Jersey.”

June bets totalled $451.7 million, or 94.8 percent, with DraftKings/Casino Queen continuing to top the market with $160.2 million in combined online and retail handle, down from $170.1 million in May. The total handle for June includes $157.1 million in online bets and $14 million in gross gaming revenue.

During the month, FanDuel received $156.3 million in wagers, which was unchanged from May. The month’s wagers, which totalled $155.3 million, earned a market-leading $20.3 million in gross gaming income.

Boozell added: “Without a legislative fix, in-person registration will continue to be an issue that alters the market. Worse, if no operator pays the hefty online-only fee when those licenses become available in December it could make in-person registration permanent. 

“We will see if legislators are able to either lower the price of the online-only licenses to make them more attractive or make it so that the online-only licenses aren’t the trigger for remote registration.”

joe profile pic

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.