It was a historic first month for Illinois sports betting, which produced a record-breaking handle in January.
In total, the $867.5 million in wagers that the state raked in during January shattered the previous record of $840.4 million, set in October 2021.
January’s sports betting handle also represented a 9.9% increase from December ($789.6 million) and a 49.2% jump over January 2021 ($575.2 million) — illustrating the strength of the state’s sports betting marketplace.
Illinois also managed to rake in $66.2 million in sports betting revenue during January, up 96.6% from the $33.683 million the Land of Lincoln generated in December and an increase of 38.1% year-over-year ($47.945 million).
The state’s January sports betting handle ranked fourth nationally, behind New York ($1.686 billion), New Jersey ($1.349 billion), and Nevada ($1.109 billion).
The next few months should be even more promising for Illinois’ market, given the more than $60 million in handle from February’s Super Bowl LVI.
The arrival of March Madness, combined with the launch of permanent off-site mobile sportsbook registration on March 5 and the presence of online sportsbook mainstays, such as DraftKings Sportsbook, FanDuel Sportsbook, and Caesars Sportsbook Illinois, should only bolster Illinois’ standing nationally.
Illinois Sports Betting Handle, Jan. vs. Dec.
|Total handle||Mobile Handle||Revenue|
|Change||Up 9.9%||Up 10.1%||Up 96.6%|
What Stood Out in January
Another reason for optimism is the state’s number one betting sport (basketball) takes center stage over the next few weeks, with March Madness taking place in the state and beyond.
Illinois’ sports betting report from January showed that college and professional basketball dwarfed football as the most popular sport for in-state bettors, with $275.074 million in wagers placed on such contests.
Football was No. 2 on the betting big board ($229.074 million in wagers), followed by tennis ($60.130 million) and hockey ($30.809 million).
January’s sports betting report also illustrated the strength of college sports betting in Illinois, with $143.362 million in wagers during the month, representing the fourth consecutive month in which NCAA sports raked in north of $100 million in wagers.
Another key takeaway from January’s Illinois sports betting report was the surge in tax revenues that the state saw, with a 96.9% jump, from $5.437 million in December to $10.709 million in January.
Growth to Continue?
It seems likely that the state’s sports betting marketplace should be able to grow over the next few months, thanks to online mobile sportsbook registration and the entry of mobile sportsbook giants such as BetMGM Illinois into the fray.
There’s no reason that Illinois can’t become the fourth market to regularly eclipse $1 billion in sports betting wagers once the new entrants enter the market and March Madness comes and goes, speaking to the bright future of sports betting in the state.