Key Takeaways from the Illinois May Sports Betting Report

Key Takeaways from the Illinois May Sports Betting Report

Even without mobile registration, Illinois sports betting is doing just fine, especially online.

The Illinois sports betting handle for May was $507.3 million, down about 5.6% from April’s $537.2 million. But for the second straight month, Illinois finished second nationally behind New Jersey, topping the totals of much more established markets like Pennsylvania and Nevada.

Here are three key takeaways from the May sports betting report in Illinois. As usual, it is the last state to report its monthly wagering totals.

Illinois Sports Betting Handle, May vs. April

Total handleMobile HandleRetail Handle
ChangeDown 5.6% Down 6%Up 3.3%

The Benchmark Seems to be $500M

For the fifth straight month, Illinois topped the $500 million mark in total handle.

The record for Illinois is the $633.6 million handle in March, fueled by the NCAA Tournament. The state saw $509.8 million in February while it came in at $581.5 million in January.

It’s interesting to note that the April and May figures were done without remote registration. Gov. JB Pritzker elected not to renew remote registration beginning April 2, forcing new Illinois bettors to register in-person at a sportsbook’s casino partner in the state.

DraftKings Sportsbook (more than $170 million) and FanDuel Sportsbook (about $155 million) led the way in total handle among sportsbooks in Illinois.

Still No In-State College Betting

In early June, an amendment to Senate Bill 521 that would permit Illinois residents to bet on local college contests was passed by the Illinois House. However, the Senate did not take up the bill and it will have to wait until a veto session in October to be taken up again. It is not certain that it will be brought up during the veto session.

But if residents want to be able to bet on local college basketball teams like Illinois, Loyola Chicago and Northwestern, the legislature probably needs to take it up in October. If not, it can be brought up again in 2022, but it would have to pass quickly for a chance to wager on local teams playing in March Madness.

Mobile Reigns Despite In-Person Registration

The mobile handle for May was $482.6 million, down 6% from April’s $513.25 million, according to the May report released Tuesday. But it was still 95% of the Illinois sports betting market in May.

States like Tennessee, which has an all-mobile market, and Virginia, which doesn’t have retail sportsbooks yet, are 100% mobile, but only Colorado sees the mid- to high-90% of bets placed on mobile like Illinois.

And that’s despite the in-person registration being reinstated in Illinois after the pandemic eased.



Ron Fritz is a former editor for

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