We’re now just days from the opening kickoff of the 2022 World Cup from Doha, Qatar — the first since regulated sports betting in Illinois became legal in 2019.
With the United States men’s national team making its first appearance in the event since 2014, there’s sure to be added interest in the contest in markets like the one in Illinois, which is one of the leading states for wagering.
AGA: Americans To Wager $1.8B on World Cup
According to a survey that the American Gaming Association released this week, Americans will wager $1.8 billion on the 2022 World Cup, which bodes well for the Land of Lincoln’s wagering market in the month ahead.
IllinoisBet.com broke down the Prairie State’s share of the U.S. sports betting handle, from January through September this year, to come up with a projection for how much money Illinois sportsbook users will plop down on the World Cup in 2022. The AGA survey found that most Americans who bet on the World Cup will do so online, such as Illinois sportsbook apps.
The World Cup opens on Sunday as host Qatar faces Ecuador at 10 a.m. Central. The Americans have the first of their three games in Group B on Monday at 1 p.m. Central against Wales from Doha’s Al Rayyan Stadium.
Since Illinois dropped its in-person registration requirement in March, the state has steadily accounted for 11% to 11.5% of the national handle, or amount wagered. Before then, it was below 10% each month.
Illinois Sports Betting Should Come Up Big in 2022 World Cup
Using that percentage of the $1.8 billion that’ll be wagered nationally during the World Cup, we can estimate that Illinois will rake in $150 million in bets through legal sportsbooks on the 2022 World Cup.
The AGA estimates that 72% of wagers will be placed with bookies, retail, or mobile sportsbooks. The other 28% would come from other wagering sources, such as bets between friends or in pools. Accounting for that, the full projected total could reach $200 million for World Cup betting in Illinois.
Those bets will be placed online for the most part, with the AGA’s survey finding that 9.8 million, or 48% of the 20.5 million adults who plan to wager on the 2022 World Cup plan to do so on their phones or computers. Those folks can take advantage of Illinois sportsbook promotions at IllinoisBet.com before placing a wager.
Busy Time of Year Becomes Even More Active
In Illinois, that means that the combination of World Cup hoopla and the already lucrative NFL and college football betting markets should propel the state’s mobile and retail sportsbooks to a historic November and December.
If Illinois were to add $75 million in each of the two months that the World Cup takes place (the tournament ends Dec. 18), compared to their handles from the same period last year, then the state can expect a handle of around $850 million in November (up from $779,853,367 in 2021) and $865 million in December (up from $789,600,348 in 2021).
That added revenue should be a win-win for Illinois sportsbooks and users alike, giving fans of all nations reason to rejoice over the beautiful game in the final two months of the year.
At BetRivers Illinois Sportsbook, Brazil is the favorite to win the World Cup at +370, with Argentina at +525 and defending champion France at +750 odds. The U.S. team is listed at +22500, tied for 17th in the 32-team field.