November saw Illinois sportsbooks have their most lucrative month since sports betting launched in the state, even though wagering fell just short of another record, according to PlayIllinois, which tracks the state’s regulated online gaming and sports betting market.
Bettors wagered $779.8m in the Prairie State’s sportsbooks in November, falling short of the record $840.4m in wagers placed in October, according to official data. Year-over-year, wagers improved by 74% compared to November 2020’s $449.2m.
Betting volume fell to $26m per day over the month due to there being one less weekend of football compared to the previous month ($27.1m per day in October).
Gross revenue grew by 112% to a record $78.2m in November (November 2020: $37m), breaking the state’s previous high of $49.9m set in March, creating $79.3m in taxable revenue, and yielding $12.7m in state and local taxes.
Eric Ramsey, an analyst for the PlayUSA.com Network, which includes PlayIllinois.com, stated: “Even in what was the most profitable month in US sports betting history, Illinois stands out because of how dramatic its growth has been.
“What is most remarkable is the state’s sportsbooks continue to post these results with the market hampered by the ban on in-state college sports and in-person registration. The sky will truly be the limit with those handcuffs removed.”
Despite there still being a few states yet to report November data, legal sportsbooks in the US have already earned a gross revenue record of $658.5m, way ahead of the previous record set in October of $443.6m.
Illinois is third in terms of wagering and revenue in November, trailing New Jersey ($114.8m in revenue on $1.3bn in wagering) and Nevada ($1.1bn handle, $72m in revenue) in handle, and New Jersey and Pennsylvania ($761.6m handle, $84.9m in revenue) in revenue.
Joe Boozell, the lead analyst for PlayIllinois.com, commented: “In a young market like Illinois, sportsbooks continue to expand their reach, and bettors are becoming increasingly comfortable with less conventional products such as in-game betting.
“With an already expanding market and regulation changes in the state that will open new avenues for sportsbooks, 2022 should bring explosive growth.”
Due to one less weekend during the month, and the struggling Chicago Bears, football betting fell to $257.1m in November (October: $330.1m). However, basketball betting improved to $226.3m (October: $93.3m). Tennis ($39.8m), soccer ($27.8m), and hockey ($24.8m) also had significant wagering.
“Football betting understandably gets a lot of attention, but the NBA quietly generates an enormous amount of betting interest,” Boozell added.
“Enthusiasm over the Bulls in particular has surged after such a good start to the season, and that will help buoy sportsbooks for the coming months.”
$745.9m of all wagers in November (95.7%) were made through online sportsbooks. DraftKings/Casino Queen led the state with a $288.7m handle, including $283.8m online. The combined handle was down from October’s $315.3m, but it produced $21.9m in gross revenue.
FanDuel was second in wagers with $216.2m, including $214.4m online, The combined handle was down from the previous month’s $236.7m, producing a market-best $30.2m in gross revenue.
The leaders were followed by: BetRivers/Rivers Casino ($127.8m in wagers, including $112.3m online; $13.5m in revenue), Barstool/Hollywood Aurora ($62.1m in wagers, including $60.6m online; $5.4m in revenue), PointsBet/Hawthorne Race Course ($57.4m in wagers, including $54.6m online; $5.7m in revenue), Caesars/Grand Victoria ($21.9m in wagers, including $20.2m online; $670,046 in revenue), Argosy ($3.8m in retail wagers; $648,422 in revenue), Hollywood Joliet ($1.4m in retail wagers; $263,022 in revenue), and Par-A-Dice ($581,333 in wagers; $48,261 in revenue).