May 11, 2021 Sports Betting, Casino, Online

Illinois sportsbooks set record handle of $634m in March

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Illinois sportsbooks reported March handle of $634m, a new record for the Lincoln State.

March handle shattered the previous record of $582m set in January and were up 24% from February wagers of $510m.

Revenue also set a state record at $49.9m, barely edging out January’s win of $49.4m. Sportsbooks benefited mightily from the NCAA Tournament despite no wagering on in-state programs.

Illinois’ handle was the third highest in the nation behind New Jersey and Nevada. March was the second straight month that Illinois edged out Pennsylvania for the No. 3 spot.

Online wagering made up 96%, or $609m, of the month’s handle, while retail generated another $25m.

The growth in online wagering may be halted by Gov. J.B. Pritzker’s decision to end remote sportsbook registration. The executive order allowing mobile signups was not extended past March, meaning Illinois bettors must create sports wagering accounts in-person at retail sportsbooks.

“Now that that’s being taken away and people have to actually go to the facilities, I think that’s going to hurt (online operators) a little bit, but it will also be able to help the casinos,” said Eric Noggle, Senior Analyst, Illinois Commission on Government Forecasting and Accountability.

DraftKings/Casino Queen enjoyed the last full month of remote registration, generating $208m of handle to lead the state. Approximately $204m, or 98%, of their March handle came online.

FanDuel/Fairmont was right behind with $195m of wagers, 99% of which was bet online.

Bet Rivers/Rivers Casino was a distant third with handle of $107m, including $96m online.

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