Illinois sportsbook revenue hits $509.8m in February

Sports Betting

llinois sportsbooks posted a month-over-month decline in betting volume for the first time since launching in late July, continuing what was a national trend in February.

But the state still managed to narrowly surpass Pennsylvania to place third among U.S. states for the month.

For what has been a booming industry in Illinois, though, is the return of in-person registration, which could stymie online sports betting growth for as long as it is in place, according to PlayIllinois, which provides news and analysis of the state’s gaming industry.

“Passing Pennsylvania should be momentous but it is almost certainly going to be short-lived, as the decision to return to in-person registration will likely mean the end of growth for the Illinois sports betting industry,” said Jessica Welman, analyst for “Open registration has been a key component in making Illinois one of the largest sports betting markets in the country. Forcing people to physically appear in a retail sportsbook is a counterproductive measure, which should be apparent whenever Illinois April data is released.”

With open registration still in place in February, Illinois retail and online sportsbooks attracted $509.8 million in wagers, according to official data released Friday. That is down 12.3% from the record $581.6 million in January, an expected dip with fewer days during the month and only one NFL game to bet. That game, the Super Bowl, drew $45.6 million in bets, though some of those bets were accepted prior to February.

Bettors placed $18.2 million per day in the 28 days of February, which was down slightly from $18.8 million per day in January. Illinois’ relatively modest pullback made it the third-largest U.S. market in terms of money wagered, gaining ground on leaders New Jersey ($743 million) and Nevada ($554.1 million), while topping Pennsylvania ($509.5 million) for the first time.

February’s handle also produced $30.3 million in operator revenue, down 38.7% from the record $49.4 million in January. But the month’s win produced $35.4 million in taxable revenue, which yielded $5.3 million in taxes for the state and another $541,832 in local taxes.