Illinois Reports Near-Record $596.5 Million Sports Betting Handle for September 2021

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With the start of football season and playoff baseball, September was a huge month for sports betting across the United States. Illinois was no different with a $596.5 million sports betting handle, up 48.8% from $400.4 million in August. September 2021 became a near-record month as it came close to the state’s record $633.6 million betting handle generated in September. Illinois generated $44.6 million in revenue on a 7.5% hold, up 66.4% from $26.8 million in August 2021. In addition, Illinois generated $6.5 million in state and local taxes in September.

Football Dominates in Illinois

Unsurprisingly, football was the most popular sport for betting in Illinois in September, with a $230.6 million handle, 38.7% of the total sports betting handle. That number doesn’t include football markets that were involved with parlay bets, the second-largest betting market in the state. Parlay bets generated $125.7 million in the betting handle. Sportsbooks reported a 19.6% hold on parlays with just a 4.3% hold on football bets, which shows how profitable parlay bets are for the house. Baseball came in as the third-most-popular market with $115.9 million in wagers placed.

Retail Betting Numbers

While mobile sports betting continues to be the most popular way to bet in Illinois and the entire United States, retail sports betting was still thriving in September. Retail venues generated over $25 million in sports betting handle, beating the previous record of just under $25 million in October 2020. Retail sports bets accounted for about 4.2% of the total sports betting handle in the state. Rivers Casino is the top retail sportsbook in the state, with almost $11 million bet in September and $1 million in revenue for the month.

In-Person Registration Gets Firm End Date

The most exciting piece of news to come out of Illinois over the past couple of months is the soon-to-be-implemented legislation regarding the in-person registration requirement for sports betting. As of now, you are required to register in-person at retail sportsbooks in select locations with no option for mobile sign-up. For some residents, that means you have to drive several hours to register for a sportsbook account.

In late October, HB3136 passed through both chambers with significant amendments, one of which ends in-person registration on March 5, 2022. The in-person registration requirement had been suspended during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic to avoid potential exposures but resumed in April. Now, it will be gone in time for the start of March Madness, one of the most significant sports betting events of the calendar year.

Illinois Helps Push United States Past $5 Billion

Illinois became a big part of a monstrous sports betting month in the United States as the country’s sports betting handle in September hit $5.2 billion with $411.9 million in revenue, both of which are all-time records. The sports betting handle also represented an 80.7% increase from September 2020. Since the Professional and Amateur Sports Participation Act was struck down in 2018, we’ve seen steady growth countrywide in sports betting, and that should only continue as states continue to legalize and launch their markets. Illinois ranked third in the country with its sports betting handle behind only New Jersey at just over $1 billion and Nevada with $786.5 million.

I've been a huge sports fan for as long as I can remember and I've always loved writing. In 2020, I joined the Lineups team, and I've been producing written and video content on football and basketball ever since. In May 2021, I graduated from the University of Michigan with a degree in sport management. My goal is to tell enthralling stories and provide meaningful insight on the sports I write about while helping you cash some bets along the way.

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