Illinois Sports Betting Handle Falls in May, But Nears National Top 2

Illinois Sports Betting Handle Falls in May, But Nears National Top 2
Fact Checked by Michael Peters

The month of May was one full of what ifs and silver linings for the Illinois sports betting marketplace.

The Land of Lincoln posted an overall sports betting handle of $764.6 million in May, down 8.9% from April, but up 50.7% year-over-year.

More importantly, the state’s market grew ever closer to becoming the nation’s second-biggest sports betting market, behind only New York ($1.26 billion) and New Jersey ($766.4 million), and ahead of Nevada ($561.3 million).

Illinois’ mobile-only handle was $734.1 million in May, representing a 9.4% drop from April and a 52.1% increase, year-over-year.

Illinois also managed to pass Nevada in year-to-date sports betting handle, climbing to $4.1 billion in wagers during the first five months of the year, compared to $3.8 billion for the home of Las Vegas.

The state’s market also raked in $67.466 million in sports betting revenue in May, a 4.3% month-over-month decline, but a 86.2% jump from May 2021.  

Here’s what else stood out from Illinois’ May sports betting report:

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Illinois Sports Betting Handle, May vs. April

Total handleMobile HandleRevenue
Change Down 8.9% Down 9.4% Down 4.3%

Illinois Sees Jump in NBA Wagers in May

A few of the facets from the Illinois Gaming Board’s May report that stand out include the fact the state took in $10.9 million in taxes, which represented a 4.3% month-over-month decline, but an 86.2% year-over-year increase.

It’s also worth noting how quickly Illinois caught up to Nevada in sports betting handle, going from being more than $300 million behind in February to being more than $200 million ahead of them in May. Illinois eliminated its rule requiring online sports bettors to register at a retail sports betting location in March.

Next up in the Land of Lincoln’s chase for national sports betting supremacy is New Jersey, which has had its lead over Illinois decline quickly as well.  

The Garden State’s lead over Illinois went from more than $300 million in February to less than $2 million in May, showing how quickly the state’s market is responding to the registration changes.

The state’s report also highlighted the fact May was a big month for the NBA, with $192.9 million wagered on the league’s playoffs.

Trailing NBA action during May was the nation’s pastime, which managed to bring in north of $180 million in wagers.

Other sports that drew heavy interest from Illinois sports bettors in May were tennis ($70.697 million), hockey ($50.731 million) and soccer ($35.736 million).



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

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