Illinois State Enjoys Another Record Month

Illinois has become the fourth state in history to enjoy a month with more than $450m in bets, after the state set a new record for monthly handling after its November results.

In November, bettors put a record $451m in wagers, which is an improvement of almost four percent from $434.6m in October, according to ‘approximate’ data released by the Illinois Gaming Board.

During November 2020, only New Jersey ($931.6m) and Nevada ($609.4m), the two oldest legal sports betting markets in the US, and Pennsylvania ($491.9m) made more bets.

The November bets generated $41m in operators’ adjusted gross revenue, down marginally from the state record of $42.2m in October revenue. Those earnings generated $6m in government taxes.

Rivalling mature and large markets

Jessica Welman, analyst for PlayIllinois.com said: “Illinois’ success is more than just a large population fuelling impressive numbers that dwarf smaller states.

“Illinois is rivalling markets such as Pennsylvania that are far more mature and just as large, and it’s doing it because the top online sportsbooks in the country are investing heavily in the market and Illinois bettors are responding with an unprecedented fervor.”

Unprecedented growth

Analysts have suggested that the growth of Illinois “remains unprecedented,” with New Jersey not exceeding the barrier of $450 m until its 18th month and Pennsylvania hitting $462.8 m in September 2020, 23 months after launch.

Online sports betting accounted for the vast majority of all bets, with retail sportsbooks shuttered for the second half of the month.

With only five online operators, Illinois is still home to a comparatively short roster of sportsbooks, but among those anticipated to launch in the coming months are Penn National’s Barstool-branded app, BetMGM, and Unibet.

Joe Boozell, analyst for PlayIllinois.com added: “At this point, it makes sense to adjust our expectations up for the market.

“The retail market was shut down in November, and this was the first month since the market really heated up in July that the sports schedule was slower than the month before, and yet sportsbooks still made gains. Such resilience shows that Illinois is maturing more quickly than anyone imagined.”