Illinois August Sports Betting Handle Rises to $140 Million

Illinois August Sports Betting Handle Rises to $140 Million
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Illinois sports betting continued to pick up steam in August as the return of professional sports events and partial return of remote registration continued to drive the state’s nascent sports wagering industry.

The August total sports betting handle was $140 million, up 166.7% from July’s total of $52.5 million.

RELATED: More about Illinois sports betting and gaming

The handle was dominated by mobile betting action on pro sports. Of the $140 million wagered, nearly $124 million was mobile wagering with retail making up just $16 million of the handle. That meant 88.5% of the action was on mobile, according to the Illinois Gaming Board report. Looking at the July-to-August comparison, the handle increase on mobile was 155.4% and the retail month-to-month jump was 302.4%.

The adjusted gross revenue produced in August was $7.2 million, which accounted for $1.2 million in taxes to the state. In July, adjusted gross revenue was $3.6 million, with the state getting about $544,000 in taxes.

The public’s wagering appetite was almost exclusively on pro sports in August — NBA, NHL and MLB. Of the monthly total, more than $139.5 million (more than 99%) was on pro sports. College sports attracted about $120,000 in wagers and motor sports accounted for about $301,000.

In July, pro sports accounted for $52.3 million of the total Illinois handle; motor sports was $258,000 and colleges, not surprisingly, were just $1,735.

Illinois Gov. JB Pritzker on Aug. 21 reinstated the order that suspended in-person registration because of the coronavirus pandemic. The day before it was set to expire, Sept. 19, he extended it again until at least Oct. 17.

Illinois Sports Betting Handle, August vs. July

Retail handleMobile HandleTotal Handle
ChangeUp 302.4%Up 155.4%Up 166.7%

Illinois Fifth in US

The Illinois total places it fifth among states that have reported August sports betting handle:

  • New Jersey: $668 million (a 112% increase over July).
  • Nevada: $475 million (up $190.4 month over month).
  • Pennsylvania: $365 million (a 121.5% increase over July).
  • Indiana: $169 million (up 138% month over month).
  • Illinois: $140,065,649 (166.7% increase over July).
  • Colorado: $128.6 million (an increase of 117% over July and more than the first three months of sports betting in the state combined).

September Could Be Big

With the NFL and college football starting in September, the gross sports wagering handle can be expected to increase substantially and college action certainly will move the needle in that category.

And there are other online and retail sportsbooks for bettors in Illinois to choose from.

William Hill on Sept. 16 became the fifth sports betting app to go live in Illinois, joining BetRivers, DraftKings, FanDuel and PointsBet. PointsBet went live on Sept. 12.

BetRivers dominated in August with about $117.8 million in handle, roughly 85% of the total handle in the state. It had an advantage being first to market and because remote registration was suspended for a good portion of the month.

PointsBet and Hawthorne Race Course on Sept. 30 opened the newest retail sportsbook in Illinois and the closest in-person sports betting operation to Chicago. The sportsbook at Hawthorne is the first of four Chicagoland locations — OTBs In Prospect Heights, Oakbrook Terrace and Crestwood — that the two companies will open as Illinois partners.

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