SportsHandle and friends deliver another round-up of the week’s big developments in US sports betting.

In Time For March Madness, Illinois Becomes 15th State To Accept Legal Sports Bets

Illinois became the 15th state to accept wagers for legal sports betting Monday when BetRivers Sportsbook opened at Rivers Casino in Des Plaines just outside of Chicago.

Sports betting became legal in the Land of Lincoln last June when Governor J.B. Pritzker signed a massive capital improvement bill containing gaming expansion into law. The momentum to launch picked up pace in December when the Illinois Gaming Board unveiled the sports betting license applications and its first rules package, and then released a second package of rules in January.

Full story here.

Indiana Sports Gamblers Wager New Record $187.1m In February

Indiana’s sports betting market continues to grow steadily, especially over the internet.

On Tuesday, the Indiana Gaming Commission released figures showing that the state-sanctioned retail and online/mobile sportsbooks took a combined $187.1 million in wagers last month, a new record handle for the nascent Indiana sports gambling market.

The books took $170.8 million in wagers in January. The month-over-month gain was 9.5%, greater than the 5.5% handle increase seen between December and January.

The books won just over $11 million from bettors in February, for a hold percentage of 5.9%.

Full story here.

Option Play: Legal Sports Betting Factoring Into Redskins’ Plans For New Stadium In Maryland, Virginia or Washington, D.C.

The location of a new Washington Redskins stadium remains to be determined, but the odds on whether ground eventually breaks in Maryland, Virginia or the District of Columbia are likely shifting in part due to the opportunity the team receives in each jurisdiction to get involved in legal sports betting.

Redskins owner Daniel Snyder and team officials have been lobbying around the region for months to try to secure the most favorable environment as a sports gambling licensee, as the DC Council legalized sports wagering in December, Virginia followed this past weekend, and Maryland’s Senate just passed a bill that would send a decision to state voters in November.

Full story here.

MGM Grand Detroit To Usher In Legal Michigan Sports Betting

Michigan became the 16th state to accept legal sports wagers and the second in three days on Wednesday, when the MGM Grand Detroit opened its Moneyline Sports Lounge to the public.

The opening came on the heels of Monday’s ribbon-cutting for the first sportsbook in Illinois at BetRivers Sportsbook in Des Plaines just outside of Chicago. The Moneyline Sports Lounge opened at 1 p.m. ET and just in time for March Madness with the NCAA’s college basketball tournament and Selection Sunday days away. Bettors will be able to place wagers on in-state Big Ten powers Michigan and Michigan State as both are projected to be part of the 68-team field.

Full story here

Tennessee Still Ironing Out Kinks In Sports Betting Rules Ahead Of Projected Fall Launch

The Tennessee Education Lottery and its Sports Wagering Advisory Council held a meeting Tuesday in Nashville to continue fine-tuning rules for implementing the 2019 Sports Wagering Act.

Regulators are still eyeing a fall launch for sports wagering, according to remarks from Susan Lanigan, Chair of the TEL. The state wants to have sports betting in time for football.

The TEL and the Council discussed the fixed payout cap, arguably the most important item on the list of revisions to the rules. In November, the TEL released draft regulations that called for a 85% payout cap. After much debate and feedback from the industry, that cap was raised to 92% at February’s meeting.

Full story here.