Illinois Sports Betting Handle Jumps Dramatically in March; April Casino Revenue Rises

Illinois Sports Betting Handle Jumps Dramatically in March; April Casino Revenue Rises
Fact Checked by Michael Peters

The Ides of March were kind to the Illinois sports betting community, with a record $971.278 million handle during the third month of the year.

That figure represented a 43% increase over February, fueled in large part by a historic March Madness turnout in the state.

The Illinois Gaming Board previously announced $286.1 million was wagered on the March staple, with $274.786 million coming from online sports betting and another $11.786 million in retail handle.

Turns out the entire month of March was just as strong, with a new monthly handle record. It was the first month of fully online registration for mobile betting in Illinois. 

Here are the main takeaways from the March sports betting and April casino revenue releases from the IGB:

Illinois Sports Betting, March vs. February

Total handleMobile HandleRevenue
ChangeUp 43.0% Up 42.2% Up 70.3%

Sports Betting Sees Huge Surge in Wagers During March

The Illinois sports betting marketplace smashed its monthly handle record in March, breaking the old mark ($867.505 million) set in January.

March’s figure was a sizable jump from the $679.374 million in wagers the state reported in February, to go with a 53.3% increase, year-over-year, from $633.614 million in March 2021.

The third month of the year was also a strong one, revenue-wise, for the state. Illinois raked in $60.629 million during March – up 70.3% from February ($35.600 million) and 36.8% year-over-year ($44.317 million).

When broken down by sport, it’s clear basketball was king during March, with $540.518 million in handle, followed by tennis ($63.915 million), hockey ($39.195 million), soccer ($35.135 million), and golf ($12.684 million).

The state’s sports betting tax haul was up significantly in March, from $5.774 million in February to $9.865 million.

When mobile sports betting registration came online March 5, sports betting giant BetMGM Sportsbook joined the market for the first time.

Despite easier online registration, retail sports betting also saw a large turnout during March, with $43.743 million in handle, up significantly from the $21.017 million those facilities generated in February.

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April’s Casino Haul Climbs Slightly in Illinois

Things weren’t quite as rosy for the state’s casino network, though the Land of Lincoln still saw slight month-over-month increases in revenues during April.

In total, Illinois casinos raked in $122.501 million in revenue during April, up 2.8% from March ($119.138 million) and 13.7% from April 2021.

The state’s 11 commercial casinos brought in $92.865 million combined from electronic gaming devices, in addition to $29.636 million from table games.

Those figures were up slightly from March’s report, which showed $90.165 million from EGDs and $28.973 million from table games.  

Both figures were well above the 2021 totals for April, which were $83.802 million and $23.960 million, respectively.  

In the next few years, there will be another casino added to the mix, as it was announced this week Bally’s Corporation won the right to the license for a Chicago casino at Tribune Publishing Center.

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Christopher Boan

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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