Online wagers dominate Illinois sports betting handle for July

By Iqbal Johal

The Illinois Gaming Board has reported that sports betting handle reached $51.4m in July, the first full month of activity in the state.

Sports betting in Illinois was launched in March after Rush Street’s Rivers Casino Des Plaines took the first legal sports wager, and players have bet a total of $61.8m since in the state.

However, sports betting handle has been impacted by the coronavirus pandemic which shut all 10 casinos in the state from 16 March, not reopening until 1 July, while online betting didn’t launch until 18 June, through Rivers’ Kambi-powered sportsbook, BetRivers.

But with the likes of the National Basketball Association (NBA), National Hockey League (NHL) and Major League Baseball (MLB) returning in July, total handle for completed events reached $51.4m during the month, with 93% coming online as in-person registration was temporarily suspended in June.

Rivers Des Plaines accounted for $50.8m of total sports betting handle in July, with $47.7m coming online via its sportsbook. Penn National’s Argosy Casino Alton was the only other property accepting wagers during the time frame.

Since July, the market has significantly grown in the state, with DrafKings launching a retail and mobile sportsbook with Casino Queen in August, while FanDuel launched its mobile platform and retail sportsbook through Par-A-Dice Casino earlier this month. Earlier today on 16 September, William Hill US announced it was launching a mobile sports betting app in Illinois.

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