Illinois Sports Betting Shows Massive Growth in August

The state of Illinois posted huge sports betting numbers in August. The 118% increase from July to August is a massive one for state legislatures. According to the recently released August Gaming and Casino report, Illinois took over $139 million in wagers. Of this, $1.1 million was taken by the state for taxes.

This much-needed tax revenue will come in handy with Illinois reportedly having the 2nd worst fiscal health in the country.

Sports betting was legalized in Illinois in March of 2020. Originally, bettors had to register for an account and bet in-person at one of the land-based casinos. Due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, Governor Pritzer signed an executive order to allow for online registration. Betting was at a standstill prior to this when most major casinos were forced to shut down.

BetRivers Dominates With 84% Of The Sports Betting Market

The most shocking outcome from the revenue report in Illinois, BetRiver was able to grab a massive market share. The development has turned heads across the industry as they have brought in $106.3 million in online wagers. Furthermore, their in-person wagering checked in at $11.3 million in August.

What has become a staple for BetRivers, they were first to market in Illinois. BetRivers launched its app soon after Illinois signed their June registration executive order. Rush Street Gaming and BetRivers love being first to market in every state they can. Their extremely successful August is a credit to their ability to stay ahead of the curve.

In total, BetRivers has accounted for 84% of the total sports betting revenue for the state. While there was competition, there were some clear advantages for BetRivers. DraftKings only launched on August 5th. Likewise, Fanduel launched significantly later, on August 28th.  This is not enough time for fans to register and bet large amounts with these competitors. BetRivers’ huge market share should easily take a hit in September.

To add to the competition, PointsBet launched in September. Their recent ascension into Illinois and partnership with the Chicago Bears is definitely marking noise with NFL fans. They can now bet on the Chicago Bears with the best in industry prices thanks to this partnership.

In addition to Pointsbet, William Hill was added midway through September. Their partnership with Caesars will give them even more power to offer top of the line promotions and app updates.

What Does August Say About Illinois’ Future?

Illinois posting strong gains in August shows a very fortuitous future for sports betting and online casinos as a whole. Since the inception of online gambling, only BetRivers has been able to take full advantage of the opportunity.

September’s numbers could also see huge spikes again with football becoming available. Illinois now features 5 legitimate sportsbooks competing for market share and a growing list of sports. The addition of football, the most bet on sport in the country, along with NBA, MLB, and NHL makes for tasty September numbers.

Furthermore, land-based casinos are operating at extremely limited capacity. The smaller capacity operations severely inhibit their ability to bring in the most amount of revenue possible. For the state, casinos are extremely profitable when they are bringing in full revenue.

Illinois accrued $15,542,403 in state taxes from land-based casinos in August of 2020. In 2019, Illinois was able to collect $38,057,318. Nearly a 60% decrease from last year, the limited capacity has clearly hurt the industry.

If and when casinos are able to open back up to full capacity, we could see Illinois become one of the most competitive states in the gambling industry. 

BetRivers won the August revenue report with ease but will face much fiercer competition in September and beyond.

About the Author

Erich Richter

A New York based freelance writer and gambling expert specializing in the sports industry. Written on numerous platforms with SEO certifications and a diehard Mets, Giants and Knicks fan (it’s been tough). Interests include keeping up to date on the newest features and technologies from sportsbooks since beta testing several of the legal gaming companies upon their inception.