Despite inconsistent remote registration and limited sportsbook options, analysts have lauded the Illinois sports betting market in overcoming the obstacles to remain the fifth largest legal market in the US.
The $140.1m wagered in August was up 167 per cent from $52.5m in July, according to official reporting, producing $7.2m in adjusted gross revenue state-wide which yielded $1.2m in taxes.
Praised as achieving a “rapid ascension,” despite the inconsistent nature of in-person registration rules, Illinois’ performance surpassed Colorado’s $128.6m in August but came in behind neighbouring Indiana’s $169m.
“August’s results are a testament to just how lucrative a market Illinois truly can be,” said Dustin Gouker, lead analyst for PlayIllinois.com. “In-person registration was stunting growth, and that ended on Aug. 21.
“And FanDuel did not launch until the end of the month. Even with that, Illinois found itself ahead of Colorado, which has matured much more quickly, and on the heels of Indiana, the country’s fourth-largest market.”
Without the NFL, which commenced a month later, Illinois’ strong August performance came almost entirely on the power of the Major League Baseball, NBA, and NHL games. It was helped by remote registration, which allows bettors to sign up for an account without ever physically appearing at a state sportsbook, for the last 10 days of the month.
BetRivers/Rivers Casino in Des Plaines was by far the state’s largest revenue producer, accepting $118m in online and retail bets, yielding $6.3m in adjusted gross revenue.
DraftKings, the nation’s number two online sportsbook, operating under the Casino Queen license in Illinois, drew in $13.1m online. FanDuel, the nation’s number one and which is partnered with Par-A-Dice Casino, attracted $4.2m in bets after launching August 28.
“BetRivers’ head start is a massive advantage that both FanDuel and DraftKings will have to try to overcome,” Gouker added. “But they are the two largest operators for numerous reasons, and it will be interesting to watch how long it will take for those two to eat into BetRivers’ market lead.”