July was a great month for Illinois sports betting, as the timing of COVID-19 did not help the launch of the new industry. Originally beginning in March, Illinois sports betting was on its way and operating for a few days before Gov. J.B. Pritzker shut everything down in Illinois.
However, the month of July reverse course for Illinois betting as the MLB and NBA returned to action. This was also the same month that DraftKings entered the Illinois betting market. Although the MLB and NBA had a limited time in the month, it showed how much Illinois was looking to bet on games with the handle that is being reported.
Illinois by the Numbers
In the first full month of sports betting in Illinois, the state saw $52.5 million wagered on sports. This included retail on online betting. Although the situation still wasn’t ideal, sports bettors in Illinois were able to sign-up for online betting accounts during the hiatus of pro sports, which allowed them to have a solid first full month.
The combined handle from March through June was just over $60 million, which also included a few months of no sports being bet on. To come close to matching that number in one month is an impressive feat.
What is even more impressive is that only two sportsbooks were operating at this time. BetRivers and Argosy Casino were the two that were taking wagers through July. DraftKings was apart of the mix, but they came so late into the picture in July that the entrance did not have a big impact for the month.
The July sports betting numbers show how big of a market Illinois can become with sports betting. If two sportsbooks are churning out these numbers, it will be interesting to see what will happen when the market matures.
What is Next for Illinois?
Expect Illinois numbers to continue to rise exponentially. In August, Illinois will be able to add DraftKings and FanDuel betting handle numbers into the mix. Not to mention, the state will also have a full month of MLB, NBA, and NHL to bet as more betting options.
Gov. Pritzker reversed his executive order in August, allowing sports bettors to register for online accounts again. This should also help the state boost its betting handle as people had more access to create accounts.
If states are already showing record handle increases from July to August this year, Illinois will do the same thing. Arguably, we could see the state double their July handle with more expansion on sports betting.
Add in a full month of sports and high demand for betting, and the state will be happy they reversed the decision with online registration. Nearly 99 percent of the bets made in Illinois were all done online.
Casinos and sportsbooks still have restrictions for in-person gaming in the Land of Lincoln. The move to have online betting will help the state bring in money during the coronavirus pandemic.