Illinois has become one of only two states, alongside New Jersey, to take in more than $500m in sports wagers in both April and May, overcoming in-person registration requirements to record a slight drop during the 31 days of the latter.
Betting at Illinois’ retail and online sportsbooks dropped 5.6 per cent to $507.3m in May from the $537.2m in April. The pace of betting also slowed, coming in at $16.9m per day during May from $17.9m in April.
Gross gaming revenue fell 12.9 per cent to $36.6m in May from $42m in April, which produced $36.2m in adjusted gross revenue, yielding $5.9m in state and local taxes. Sportsbooks have now generated $53.8m in taxes since the activity launched in 2020.
“It’s been a mild surprise that Illinois has managed to fare as well as it has through the first two months of what is typically the offseason for sports betting,” stated Jessica Welman, analyst for the PlayUSA.com Network.
“In-person registration requirements will cap future growth. But the results in April and May do show just how active and engaged Illinois bettors have been.”
Online accounted for $482.5m, or 95.1 per cent, of May’s bets, with DraftKings/Casino Queen back into the market lead with $170.1m in combined online and retail handle, which is up from $169.6m month-on-month. May’s handle included $166.2m in online bets and led to $7.2m in gross gaming revenue.
FanDuel/Fairmont‘s online and retail sportsbooks attracted $156.3m in bets in May, down from $177.8m in April. But the month’s bets, $155.6m of which came online, generated $20.2m in gross gaming revenue.
BetRivers/Rivers Casino rose to $89m in combined handle, including $76.7m in online wagering, leading to $5.2m in gross gaming revenue.
“A fresh infusion of operators has the potential to eventually lift the ceiling for the market,” stated Joe Boozell, analyst for PlayIllinois.com. “But until online registration returns to the state, new operators will remain at a permanent disadvantage. And that will blunt any boost the market would ordinarily get from new sportsbooks.”