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US – Illinois sportsbooks break revenue record in November

By - 11 January 2022

Illinois sportsbooks won nearly $80m in November, the state’s most lucrative month since sports betting launched even as wagering fell just short of another record. With the third-most revenue in the country in November, Illinois is a significant contributor to a month-long surge in revenue that so far has totaled $658.5m across legal US sports betting markets..

“Even in what was the most profitable month in US sports betting history, Illinois stands out because of how dramatic its growth has been,” said Eric Ramsey, analyst for the PlayUSA.com Network, which includes PlayIllinois.com. “What is most remarkable is the state’s sportsbooks continue to post these results with the market hampered by the ban on in-state college sports and in-person registration. The sky will truly be the limit with those handcuffs removed.”

Bettors poured $779.8m in wagers into the state’s retail and online sportsbooks in November, falling short of the record $840.4m in wagers that were placed in October, according to official data. With four weekends of football in November, compared with five weekends in October, betting volume dipped to $26m per day over the month’s 30 days from $27.1m per day over the 31 days in October. Year-over-year, wagers were up 74 per cent in November from $449.2m in November 2020.

Most importantly, sportsbooks won a record amount of revenue from November’s bets. Gross revenue rose 112 per cent to a record $78.2m in November from $37m in November 2020, shattering the state’s previous high of $49.9m set in March. The record win led to $79.3m in taxable revenue, topping the record $52.6m set in October while yielding a record $12.7m in state and local taxes.

With a number of states yet to report November data, legal sportsbooks in the US have won a record $658.5m, already obliterating the gross revenue record of $443.6m in gross revenue generated across the country in October. Illinois placed No. 3 in November in terms of wagering and revenue, trailing New Jersey ($114.8m in revenue on $1.3bn in wagering) and Nevada ($1.1bn handle, $72m in revenue) in handle, and New Jersey and Pennsylvania ($761.6m handle, $84.9m in revenue) in revenue.

“In a young market like Illinois, sportsbooks continue to expand their reach, and bettors are becoming increasingly comfortable with less conventional products such as in-game betting,” said Joe Boozell, lead analyst for PlayIllinois.com. “With an already expanding market and regulation changes in the state that will open new avenues for sportsbooks, 2022 should bring explosive growth.”

With four weekends on the calendar, including only three games played by the struggling Chicago Bears, football betting expectedly slipped to $257.1m in November from $330.1m in wagers during a five-weekend October. But exuberance over the Chicago Bulls helped fuel $226.3m in betting on basketball, up from $93.3m in October. Tennis ($39.8m), soccer ($27.8m), and hockey ($24.8m) also generated significant action.

“Football betting understandably gets a lot of attention, but the NBA quietly generates an enormous amount of betting interest,” Boozell said. “Enthusiasm over the Bulls in particular has surged after such a good start to the season, and that will help buoy sportsbooks for the coming months.”

$745.9m of all wagers in November, or 95.7 per cent of the state’s total handle, were made through online sportsbooks.

DraftKings/Casino Queen topped the state with $288.7m in combined online and retail handle, including $283.8m in online wagers. The combined handle was down from $315.3m in October but produced $21.9m in gross revenue.

FanDuel was No. 2 with $216.2m in online and retail wagers, including $214.4m in online wagering. The combined handle was down from $236.7m in October, producing a market-best $30.2m in gross revenue.

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