Illinois Sports Betting Latest Market To Report April Slowdown

Posted on June 9, 2021
Illinois sports betting

It’s nearly mid-June, which means one thing: Illinois sports betting results from April are finally available.

While Illinois has been one of the hottest markets in 2021, it could not escape the April slowdown caused by March Madness betting the prior month. Total handle was $537.2 million, down 15.2% from March’s all-time high.

Sports betting revenue also fell, albeit at a much lower rate of 1.6% to $43.6 million, according to the state report. That brought hold up to 8.1%, the highest it’s been for IL sportsbooks since January.

Total tax revenue was $7.1 million for the month.

Expect lower Illinois sports betting results this summer

It is entirely possible the $537.2 million bet in April will be the high-water mark for Illinois until NFL betting resumes full-time in September.

Summer is typically the slowest period for US sports betting with NBA and NHL playoffs wrapping up, leaving MLB as the only major sport in action.

The mobile effect?

Illinois will also feel a self-imposed hit from its lack of remote registration. Gov. JB Pritzker did not renew the emergency order allowing remote registration at the beginning of April.

It’s unclear how much of the April dropoff is from the lack of mobile registration considering Illinois’ handle drop from March to April was not as big as other states. Nearby states saw bigger drops including a 25% handle hit at Indiana sportsbooks and a 26% drop in Michigan sports betting handle.

Illinois, of course, does not allow betting on in-state colleges. That could account for the smaller percentage drop than those two.

In-state college betting is likely coming to Illinois but will also include a puzzling in-person requirement.

Retail betting saw slight increase

Whether it was the end of remote registration, more people feeling confident after receiving COVID vaccines, or just a dropoff in online college hoops bettors, retail betting saw a boost in April.

Just $14.7 million was bet on tier 1 wagers, or pregame bets placed on the final outcome of a game, at retail sportsbooks. That accounted for just 2.7% of total handle. That’s what in-state college betting will be limited to should the bill pass.

Add tier 2 bets into the mix and total retail betting was $23.9 million, or 4.5% of total handle.

That total retail handle is up from 3.9% in March.

FanDuel Sportsbook leads online IL sports betting market

FanDuel Sportsbook took over as the top online sportsbook in Illinois with $176.9 million, or 34.5% of the $513.2 million online market.

DraftKings Sportsbook, which saw its online handle share fall to 33.5% in March from 42.3% in February, again saw that share slide in April. DraftKings online handle was $165.4 million for a 32.2% share of the online market.

BetRivers was third with $72.3 million, or 14.1% of online handle share. Barstool Sportsbook was fourth in its first full month of Illinois sports betting with $50.3 million in online handle for 9.8% of the market.

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Matthew Waters

Matthew Waters is a reporter covering legal sports betting and the gambling industry. Previous stops include Fantini Research and various freelance jobs covering professional and amateur sports in Delaware and the Philadelphia area.

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