Dismissing in-person registration requirements for online access has been lauded by analysts, as Illinois accelerated further still in October following a stellar showing a month earlier.
The Prairie State secured more than $430m in bets during October, reaching a level in only four full months that no other jurisdiction has reached in fewer than 16 months
“Illinois is exploding at a pace we’ve never seen before, putting it on track to join the largest markets in the country by year’s end,” said Jessica Welman, analyst for PlayIllinois.com.
“This wouldn’t have been possible if lawmakers’ original intentions were met. If Gov. J.B. Pritzker hadn’t suspended the in-person registration mandate, as was originally required, there is no way Illinois could have reached these heights so soon.”
Illinois sportsbooks drew $434.6m in bets during the month, which is up 42.4 per cent from $305.2m in September, and the fourth largest handle among legal jurisdictions in the US, behind only New Jersey, Nevada, and Pennsylvania. By comparison, it took New Jersey 16 months, and Pennsylvania 23, to surpass $430m.
“Illinois has long been an intriguing market, but nobody expected this kind of start,” said Joe Boozell, analyst for PlayIllinois.com. “The market is still nowhere near maturity and yet it may still challenge Pennsylvania and Nevada in the coming months.
“We projected the market to one day take in $10bn in bets annually, and while that is still likely a few years away, it could come quicker than anyone dreamed, too.”
Online sports betting accounted for 94.3 per cent of all bets in October, or $409.8m, and the three largest operators continue to dominate the market.
DraftKings/Casino Queen led the market for the first time with $141.4m in overall handle, including $138.5m online, up from $95.9m online in September.
BetRivers/Rivers Casino continued to capitalise on its early launch with $115.5m overall and $101.5m online, up from $98.6m online in September. FanDuel/Par-A-Dice Casino made gains, too, with $105.6m overall and $105.2m online.
“BetRivers has really done well in getting a head start on DraftKings and FanDuel, but holding off the two largest sportsbooks operators in the country is all but impossible,” Boozell added.
“That said, with a bevy of new competitors set to launch in the coming months, the landscape should significantly change behind the state’s three biggest operators.”