Illinois and New Jersey Both Rake In $500m+ In April And May Sports Wagers

Published: 7th July 2021
Author: Joe Kizlauskas
Last Updated: 7th July 2021

Illinois, along with New Jersey, were one of only two states to rake in more than $500 million in sports wagers in both April and May, despite in-person registration restrictions causing a tiny decline during the latter’s 31 days.

In May, wagering at Illinois’ retail and online sportsbooks fell 5.6 percent to $507.3 million, down from $537.2 million in April. Betting volume dropped in May, falling to $16.9 million per day from $17.9 million in April.

Gross gaming income declined 12.9 percent to $36.6 million in May from $42 million in April, resulting in $36.2 million in adjusted gross revenue and $5.9 million in state and local taxes. Since the activity began in 2020, sportsbooks have generated $53.8 million in taxes.

Faring well in off season

Jessica Welman, a Network analyst, said: “It’s been a mild surprise that Illinois has managed to fare as well as it has through the first two months of what is typically the offseason for sports betting.

“In-person registration requirements will cap future growth. But the results in April and May do show just how active and engaged Illinois bettors have been.”

May bets totalled $482.5 million, or 95.1 percent of all bets, with DraftKings/Casino Queen retaking the lead with $170.1 million in combined online and retail handle, up from $169.6 million in April. The handle for May comprised $166.2 million in online bets, resulting in $7.2 million in gross gaming income.

In May, bets on FanDuel/online Fairmont’s and retail sportsbooks totaled $156.3 million, down from $177.8 million in April. However, the month’s wagers, which totaled $155.6 million, yielded $20.2 million in gross gaming revenue.

BetRivers/Rivers Casino’s total handle increased to $89 million, including $76.7 million in online wagering, resulting in $5.2 million in gross gaming income.

Joe Boozell, analyst for said: “A fresh infusion of operators has the potential to eventually lift the ceiling for the market. But until online registration returns to the state, new operators will remain at a permanent disadvantage. And that will blunt any boost the market would ordinarily get from new sportsbooks.”

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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.