Last Hurrah For Illinois Sports Betting Market Before In-Person Rule Returns

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Illinois sports betting

Illinois sports betting continued its rise in February, recording more bets than Pennsylvania for the first time.

Now the question becomes whether its sudden return to in-person signup will stunt that growth.

Bettors in the state wagered $509.8 million in February, according to an Illinois Gaming Board report released Friday. That is more than Pennsylvania’s $509.5 million.

February handle was lower than January’s record $581.6 million. The month-over-month dip was in line with other mature states. Pennsylvania’s January handle, for example, was $615.3 million.

IL sports betting operators generated $35.4 million, good for a 6.9% hold. The state collected $5.31 million in taxes.

Top 5 states by February handle:

  1. New Jersey: $742.9 million
  2. Nevada: $554.1 million
  3. Illinois: $509.8 million
  4. Pennsylvania: $509.5 million
  5. Michigan: $325.6 million

DraftKings stays on top in Illinois sports betting

DraftKings maintained its stay as the top sportsbook in the state with 39% market share. FanDuel was second with 31% market share.

BetRivers, PointsBet and William Hill fell in line behind the market leaders.

LicenseeOperatorTotal HandleOnline HandleRevenueHold
Casino QueenDraftKings$199.8 million$196.5 million$8.7 million4.3%
Par-A-DiceFanDuel$158.9 million$158.4 million$10.1 million6.3%
RiversBetRivers$96.4 million$86.9 million$6.6 million6.8%
Hawthorne Race CoursePointsBet$40.3 million$39.5 million$3.6 million8.9%
Grand VictoriaWilliam Hill$10.1 million$8.8 milion$678,7966.7%

February retail handle

Online sports betting’s last hurrah?

Illinois Gov. JB Pritzker allowed the suspension of in-person registration to expire last week.

Remote registration likely helped fuel the massive growth of Illinois sports betting into a top-three overall market.

Online registrations is also a reason FanDuel and DraftKings have been able to separate from the rest of the pack. Now, with in-person requirements back, PointsBet and BetRivers will hope to make up ground with better-positioned retail locations.

Big March entrant into Illinois sports betting

Barstool Sportsbook entered the market on March 11 through the Hollywood Casinos.

The company put a large marketing push into online signups at the end of the month with the in-person registration rule coming back.

The new operator might help boost March numbers, even as bettors likely hit Indiana to bet on Illinois colleges in during the NCAA Tournament. Betting on in-state colleges is not allowed in the state.

The second-round game between No. 1 seed Illinois and No. 8 seed Loyola Chicago would have been a match made in heaven for Illinois bettors.