Illinois Becomes Second-Highest Sports Betting Market in US

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Illinois sports betting went against all odds – including the return to in-person registration requirement – in April to become the second-largest market in the United States.

According to the latest numbers released Wednesday by Illinois Gaming Board (IGB), the state saw $537.2 million in April handle, representing a 15.2% decline from March’s $633.6 million.

The April slump was expected and in line with the general trend observed across all legal sports betting states, whose residents had little options to wager on after a month full of March Madness.

But for Illinois sportsbooks, April could have been particularly worse after Gov. JB Pritzker chose not to renew remote registration in April. The return to the original requirement – which had been suspended for the most part since the summer of 2020 – meant new bettors in Illinois would have to register in person at a physical casino.

Online Sports Betting & Revenue Details

Mobile betting remained the most popular form of betting in Illinois during April, which reported $513.2 million in the online handle. However, it was a 15.7% decline from the total mobile bets worth $609 million in March.

Illinois retail betting handle reported just $23.9 million for April, compared to March’s handle of $24.6 million.

Like overall handle, Illinois sports betting revenue also dipped in April, though it was not a proportional decline. Operators’ revenue was $43.6 million in April, down 1.6% from March’s $44.3 million, according to the IGB. The hold rate was 8.1%, the highest for Illinois sportsbooks since January.

The Prairie State generated $7.1 million in tax revenue for the month.

FanDuel Leads Illinois Market

With nearly 96% share of the total market, online sports betting defined and reiterated the Illinois sports betting in April. FanDuel was crowned to be the top mobile sportsbook in Prairie State with $176.9 million, or grabbing 34.5% of all the digital bets placed during April.

DraftKings – which once ruled the market until its market share fell from 42.3% in February to 33.5% in March – saw a further shrink in April. The Boston-based operator’s mobile handle was $165 million, or a 32.2% share of the digital market.

BetRivers reported $72.3 million, or 14.1% of mobile handle share to claim the third spot in the market.

Barstool Sportsbook, which launched on March 11, was the fourth-largest operator in its first full month of sports betting action. Penn National Gaming’s subsidiary reported $50.3 million in the digital handle to claim 9.8% of the market share.

PointsBet generated $40.2 million in April handle.

Basketball Topped The Trend

Basketball drew the highest handle with more than $173.6 million, generating a revenue of $9 million. Baseball reported the second-highest figures with more than $121 million in handle, allowing the operators to generate $8.3 million in revenue.

The golf betting reported $15.2 million in handle, but it generated a whopping $2.5 million in revenue, thanks to a 16.43% hold rate.

Soccer was another significant sport that drew more than $2 million in revenue for the month from $31.1 million in handle.

Illinois, Second-Largest Market

Illinois sports betting was the only second market in April to top the $500 million handle mark. New Jersey had reported $748 million earlier for the same period.

Despite a relative dip, April handle is the zenith of the Illinois market which launched retail sports betting in March 2020 and launched mobile betting last June.

As Illinois elevates to the second spot, it pushes Nevada sports betting to fourth place. Until recently, Silver State was the second-largest sports betting market in the nation. In April, the Pennsylvania sports betting market – with its $457.8 million – became the third-largest market in the US sports betting.

It was the first time in April since the post-PASPA era that Nevada sports betting finished below No.2.

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