IL Sports Betting Numbers Decline in February
The Illinois Gaming Board has finally released the February sports betting numbers, and it was a disappointing month for the state.
A decrease in sports betting handle and revenue was expected due to a shorter month, but it was a big drop in both categories.
The total sports betting handle in February was just $509.8 million after it was all the way up to $581.5 million during January. The February total represented a 12 percent decrease, but the state is expected to post better numbers for the month of March.
Nearly all sports betting was done online in the state of Illinois as mobile sports betting handle totaled $490.2 million. The online handle was down nearly 15 percent, but that fell in line with the overall lack of sports betting.
The retail sports betting handle jumped up to $19.5 million for February after it was just $6.3 million in January. This increase of more than 200 percent was likely due to the fact that some COVID-19 restrictions have been lifted in various parts of the state.
With the drop in total sports betting handle, the gross gaming revenue saw a sharp drop of more than 26 percent. The February revenue totals were $35.4 million after the state saw $47.9 million in revenue during January.
The 2021 NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament is expected to provide a huge boost to the numbers during the month of March. Even though Illinois bettors were not able to bet on in-state teams, this event still draws plenty of action.
March will also be the last month for remote registration, as Governor J.B. Pritzker failed to extend his Executive Order, removing the in-person registration requirement.
Now Third Biggest Market
Despite seeing a decrease in total sports betting handle for the month, Illinois actually moved up a spot in the US sports betting industry. February was a rough month for most states, notably Pennsylvania, and Illinois was able to jump up to be the third-biggest market.
Pennsylvania posted a total sports betting handle of $509.5 million, which was just shy of the mark announced in Illinois. These two states will likely switch spots again soon, especially now that in-person registration is once again required in the Land of Lincoln.
The top two spots on the list did not change and likely won’t change for a long time. New Jersey ($743 million) and Nevada ($554 million) both saw a big decrease in total sports betting handle but remain ahead of the rest of the country.
Illinois does have to worry about Michigan, as that market has been extremely successful since online sports betting was launched in January. Illinois should remain in the top five for the time being, but there is plenty of competition to go around.
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