February 16, 2021 Sports Betting, Casino, Online

Illinois sportsbooks generate record December handle of $492m

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Illinois online sportsbooks brought in December 2020 handle of $492m, a new monthly record.

Revenue for the month was $28.4m, down from $41.3m in November.

Illinois retail sportsbooks were closed for the entirety of the month, giving way to rapid online play. December handle was up 8.6% from the $449m wagered in November.

For the year, Illinois retail and online sportsbooks brought in a total $1.9bn in wagers and $126m in revenue, along with $20m in state and local taxes. Illinois ended 2020 as the fourth-largest regulated sports betting market behind New Jersey, Nevada and Pennsylvania.

“No state has made a bigger splash in its first year of regulated sports betting than Illinois,” said Jessica Welman, analyst for PlayIllinois. “But with growth that is expected of any fledgling market, combined with, hopefully, a return to more normal life for everyone, 2020 should be a prologue to a year that has the potential of being one of the most lucrative for any legal jurisdiction. The caveat is, though, that a lifting of the current suspension of the state's in-person registration requirements would have a chilling effect throughout the market.”

Nearly 42% of the month’s sports wagers came via football ($204m). Illinois sportsbooks were clearly able to capitalize on the NFL and college football bowl games.

The DraftKings Sportsbook at Casino Queen in East St. Louis generated $195m of wagers, approximately 40% of the month’s handle.

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