December 8, 2021 Sports Betting, Online

Oh, sweet October: Illinois shatters betting handle record during active month in sports calendar

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Dramatic climb to $840m shatters previous record set in March of this year.

Things are flying high in Illinois as sportsbooks hit a record of $840.4m in bets in the month of October. It was the first record take since the reinstatement of in-person registration, which had come back in effect in April 2021.  

A more detailed breakdown of the numbers follows: the $840.4m in bets beat the last record – $633.6m – which had been set in March of this year. Wagers were up 40.9% from the month before and up an impressive 93.4% from the year before. Betting occurred at an average daily rate of $27.1m.  

Gross revenue from gambling was up 2.9% to $48.3m when compared to the year before, and up 8.4% from the month before. Though a record month for betting, revenue was still second in the grand monthly total, with March 2020 currently holding the top prize. 

The reasons for these dramatic increases over the month before have much to do with the sports calendar, which heated up considerably over the month of October. Both college and professional football came in to full stride, the NBA and NHL kicked off their seasons, and major league baseball saw the World Series be decided in favor of the Atlanta Braves. 

A brief illustration will underscore the importance of the sports calendar: October saw a Chicago Bears game every weekend – that's five weekends of football – and the sport saw $330.1m in wagers (up $230.6m from the month before).  

The business of online betting performed well in October, with the mode accounting for 95.6% of the state’s total bets.  

Of the specific companies that performed well, DraftKings/Casino Queen led, with $315.3m in wagers, followed by FanDuel ($236.7m), and then BetRivers/Rivers Casino ($135.7m).  

Illinois was not alone in having a strong month. In the US, 18 legal sports betting markets hit record breaking wagering numbers. 

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