Illinois sports betting handle drops by approximately $100m in April; revenue at $43.6m

By Gambling Insider

Illinois sportsbooks suffered an approximate $100m drop in May sports wagers; however, despite this decline it was still number two overall in the US.

New Jersey and Illinois were the only states with an April handle of more than $500m, but Illinois takes the number two spot after its figures dropped by 15.2%, whereas New Jersey suffered a 13% decrease.

According to analysts from PlayIllinois, the drop in wagering was “in line with a typical season slowdown in sports betting that affected nearly every US market."

Joe Boozell, PlayIllinois.com analyst, said: “Without the NFL or a major sports betting holiday like March Madness, a decline in April was a near-certainty.

“The Illinois market faced a double-whammy with the return of in-person registration, which will eventually eat away at the market’s ceiling even if it hasn’t dramatically impacted handle yet. And there is no easy solution to that without a legislative fix.” 

Without the NFL, the NBA stepped up to become April’s biggest earner, generating $171.4m, down from $365.7m; the second-most wagered on sport was baseball and it brought $121.2m in bets.

In March, Illinois set a record of $633.6m; this fell to $537.2m for April. Official data shows betting volume in April dropped to $17.3m per day; in March it was $20.4m.

Meanwhile, April’s handle generated $43.6m in adjusted gross revenue, a slight reduction from March’s $44.3m.

With a partial removal of the ban around wagering on in-state college teams, retail sportsbooks have something to look forward to once college football returns. That said, the ban will remain for online sportsbooks.

Boozell added: “The change is a positive one, but it won’t make a significant difference in the short-term.

“Illinoisans overwhelmingly place their bets online. So, any change that only affects retail betting will be limited in its impact. Hopefully this will be an incremental step toward lifting the ban entirely.”

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