Illinois Records February Sports Betting Handle of $509.8M

Illinois Records February Sports Betting Handle of $509.8M
© USA Today

Following a record January, sports betting handle experienced a drop-off in Illinois during February — as it did in nearly every state.

The sports betting handle for February in Illinois came in at $509.8 million, down 12.3% from January’s record of $581.5 million, according to figures released Friday by the Illinois Gaming Board. The decrease in handle marks the first time in seven months that Illinois had not seen an increase in total sports betting handle.


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It’s not all that surprising to see sports betting handle dip in February compared to previous months. But nationally, total handle for February barely topped $4 billion for the second straight month after hitting about $4.375 billion in January. February has fewer days then any other month and the absence of regular weekend football also contributed to a lower handle.

But March is poised to be another record-setting month. It will be the first time Illinois residents can wager on the NCAA Tournament after last year’s event was canceled due to the coronavirus pandemic.

March was also the final month for remote registration in Illinois. Gov. JB Pritzker on April 2 decided not to extend remote registration via Executive Order 2020-41, which allowed for mobile registration for online sportsbooks. Every month since June, except for July, players in Illinois could register online. Now, they will be required to register in-person at their sportsbook’s casino partner in the state.

The majority of sports wagers in February were done online with the mobile handle at $490 million in February, down 14.8% from January’s $575.2 million. The retail sports betting handle was $19.6 million, up 209.9% from January’s $6.3 million.

Sports betting revenue for February came in at $35.4 million, down 26.2% from January’s revenue total of $47.9 million, according to the state report. February’s sports betting tax was $5.9 million, down 23.7% from January’s $7.7 million.

The addition of Barstool Sportsbook going live in March will also help Illinois’ numbers for the month. But with the end of remote registration, we could see Illinois struggle to stay near the top in the country in sports betting handle. April will be the first month since Pritzker ended remote registration.

Illinois Sports Betting Handle, February vs. January

Total handleMobile HandleRetail Handle
February$509.795M$490.203M$19.591M
January$581.553M$575.232M$6.321M
ChangeDown 12.3%Down 14.8%Up 209.9%

Illinois Jumps Pennsylvania

February was a down month for most states. Illinois remained behind New Jersey and Nevada, but edged Pennsylvania in total handle.

New Jersey’s February sports betting handle was $743 million. That ended a string of three straight months with more than $900 million in sports handle. New Jersey set the national record in December 2020 at $996.3 million.

Sportsbooks in Nevada had $554 million in total sports handle in February, down 14.3% from January’s $646.5 million.

The Pennsylvania February total sportsbook handle of $509.5 million was down 17.2% from January’s state record of $615.3 million.

Michigan’s first full month of online sports betting (it launched Jan. 22) was February and the state reported an online handle of $301.8 million. It also had $23.7 million in retail handle from the three Detroit casinos.

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