Following National Trend, Illinois Sports Betting Handle Down Big in February

Following National Trend, Illinois Sports Betting Handle Down Big in February
By Christopher Boan
Fact Checked by Michael Peters

The second month of the year was not kind to the Land of Lincoln, with double-digit declines in sports betting handle and revenue.

The Illinois sports betting marketplace saw a handle of $679.374 million in February, down 21.7% from the month before, when the state raked in north of $867.5 million in wagers.

The state’s sports betting revenue haul of $35.6 million in February represented a 46.2% decline, month-over-month, from the $66.219 million brought in during January.

Illinois’ sports betting tax also fell by more than 46% during February, going from $10.719 million to $5.774 million.

Here are the rest of the takeaways from February’s sports betting and the March casino revenue report from the Illinois Gaming Board:

Illinois Sports Betting Handle, February vs. January

Total handleMobile HandleRevenue
February$679.374M$652.323M$35.600M
January$867.505M$829.113M$66.219M
ChangeDown 21.7% Down 21.3% Down 46.2%


Sports Betting Takes a Beating in February

February’s report showed a 21.3% decline in mobile sports betting handle in Illinois, from $829.112 million in January to $652.322 million.

Illinois’ overall decline in February came, despite the more than $60 million in wagers the state raked in during Super Bowl LVI, including $54.7 million in online and another $5.7 million in retail handle.

The state’s February haul ranked fourth nationally, behind New York ($1.534 billion), New Jersey ($985.6 million), and Nevada ($780.8 million). All three of those states also saw dramatic decreases in handle during February.

Illinois’ March numbers should rebound as they will be the first to reflect the state’s move to fully mobile sports betting registration. Before March 4, Illinois residents who wanted to use a mobile sports betting site had to first sign up in person at a retail sportsbook location.

As far as the sports Illinois residents bet during February, basketball was far and away the largest revenue generator, at $289.045 million, followed by football ($60.579 million), tennis ($56.832 million), and soccer ($37.756 million).

Illinois Casino Revenue Climbs Again

Though sports betting was down in the state, Illinois casinos climbed in revenue for the second straight month, bringing in $119.138 million in March. Casino revenue was $93.624 million in February after a $87.766 million January.

The 26.8% increase from the first month of the year to March was similar to what Illinois saw in 2021, when the state’s casino market went from $26.230 million in revenue in January to $105.651 million in March.

The casino report showed $90.165 million in electronic gaming device revenues in March and $28.973 million from table games.

BetRivers Opening Chicago Poker Room April 8

One casino-related development to keep an eye on in Illinois is the upcoming opening of the Rivers Casino Chicagoland poker room in April.

The facility in Des Plaines will feature 5,600 square feet of space, 22 tables, and the ability to play Texas hold ‘em and other popular card games a short drive from the Loop.

The card room expansion is part of the overall redevelopment plan for the property, which will add 78,000 square feet of space to the casino in total.

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Contributors

Christopher Boan is a lead writer at IllinoisBet.com specializing in covering state issues. He covered sports and sports betting in Arizona for more than seven years, including stops at ArizonaSports.com, the Tucson Weekly and the Green Valley News.

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