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

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 PlayUSA.com 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 PlayIllinois.com 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.”