Illinois October Sports Betting Handle Hits Record $840M & Other Key Takeaways

By Ron Fritz

With an Illinois sports betting handle of more than $800 million in October, the state did not join the two states that went over $1 billion for the month. But it was easily a record for Illinois and it was enough to put it solidly behind the record totals of New Jersey and Nevada.

For the first time, two states went over $1 billion in monthly handle in October — New Jersey with a record $1.3 billion and Nevada with $1.1 billion. New Jersey in September became the first state to top $1 billion.

States were helped out in October by five full NFL and college football betting weekends. Plus, the NBA and NHL started, giving bettors a full complement of sports to place wagers on.

The total handle in the U.S. cleared $7 billion in October with Arizona still to report its figures for the month. It helped that New Jersey and Nevada combined for $2.4 billion in October.


Illinois Sports Betting Handle, October vs. September

Total handleMobile HandleRevenue
October$840.440M$803.449M$52.597M
September$596.456M$569.899M$39.991M
ChangeUp 40.9% Up 41.0%Up 31.5%

Here are three key takeaways about IL gambling from the October sports wagering report, released by the Illinois Gaming Board on Wednesday.


Record Handle for Illinois

With $840.4 million in October, Illinois shattered its sports betting record of $633 million set in March. It was up 41% from September’s $596.9 million and an increase of 93% from October 2020 ($434.6 million).

The October mobile sports betting handle in Illinois was a record $803.4 million, up 41.0% from September ($569.9 million) and up 96% from October 2020 ($409.8 million). The old record for mobile was $609 million in March.

Mobile was 95% of the total handle in Illinois.

Revenue for Illinois in October was $52.6 million, up 31.5% from September ($39.9 million). That was also a new record, breaking the old mark of $47,9 million in January. The October sports betting tax was $8.6 million, an increase of 31.2% from September ($6.5 million).


Football Still Rules in Illinois

In Illinois in October, football vetting accounted for $330.1 million of the total handle, or about 39%. That’s with the Chicago Bears struggling mightily and Illinois bettors not being able to wager on their own college football teams.

Basketball ($93.3 million) and baseball ($77.6 million) were also popular among bettors, but not as popular as parlay bets. Parlay bets accounted for $188.7 million of the total handle.


In-Person Registration Going Away

In-person registration is still in effect in Illinois. Two states — Illinois and Nevada — still require bettors to complete their registration in casinos. But Illinois will be ending that requirement in time for March Madness.

A bill that puts an end to the in-person registration requirement no later than March 5, 2022, was approved by the Illinois legislature in October during a special veto session. HB 3136 will allow for some limited wagering on state college teams and adds Wintrust Arena — home of the WNBA champion Chicago Sky — as a venue able to accept sports bets.

But bettors in Chicago might not be betting at pro sports venues in the city anytime soon. A planned vote on an ordinance to bring wagering to Chicago professional sports facilities was tabled by the City Council’s License and Zoning Committees on Tuesday.

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WRITTEN BY
IllinoisBet.com
Ron Fritz
Ron is assistant managing editor of IllinoisBet.com. He spent nearly 13 years at The Baltimore Sun, including 12 as sports editor. He previously was sports editor at The News Journal in Wilmington, Delaware, for nearly eight years after serving as a news editor there for four years.
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Ron is assistant managing editor of IllinoisBet.com. He spent nearly 13 years at The Baltimore Sun, including 12 as sports editor. He previously was sports editor at The News Journal in Wilmington, Delaware, for nearly eight years after serving as a news editor there for four years.
... Read More