The state of Illinois has finally released the sports betting number from August, and mobile sports betting accounted for almost 91% of the total handle. This is typical of the entire sports betting industry in the United States, and it shows that Illinois is on the right track.
Total sports betting handle in Illinois was reported at just shy of $140 million, and the state saw an increase of more than 118% from July. The numbers were expected to go up in Illinois in August, but the betting revenue made up more than the number generated from March to July.
Illinois was not expected to have a huge mobile betting presence at launch, but the COVID-19 pandemic has changed things. With retail sports betting shut down for a majority of the time since launch, mobile sportsbooks have become popular throughout the state.
Betting on professional sports accounted for almost 99% of all bets made during August, with the NBA leading the way. Betting on college sports is allowed in Illinois, but there aren’t a ton of college sports being played.
BetRivers Dominates in August
Rivers Casino in Des Plaines was the first retail sportsbook in Illinois, and that company was also the first to offer mobile sports betting.
The Rivers Casino had just a few days to offer retail sports betting before Governor JB Pritzker shut the entire industry down. As the state of Illinois was struggling financially, Pritzker removed the in-person registration requirement for online sportsbooks.
When Pritzker made this announcement, Rivers Casino was able to quickly launch the BetRivers mobile sports betting app. This gave BetRivers a huge advantage over the industry and set them off to dominate the market in August.
Both DraftKings and FanDuel launched mobile sports betting, but it was BetRivers that posted the best numbers in August.
Now Five Mobile Sportsbooks
By the end of August, there were just three mobile sports betting apps available in the state of Illinois. DraftKings and FanDuel were able to join the market by the end of the month, but they were not able to attract a large number of customers.
PointsBet launched on September 12, and William Hill launched just a few days later on September 16. These companies are both huge names in the sports betting industry, which should help drive the competitive market in Illinois.
NFL Set to Boost Market
The September sports betting numbers likely won’t be revealed until November, but Illinois is set to see a massive boost in both betting handle and revenue. The National Football League began its regular season in September, which is the most popular sport to bet on in the United States.
PointsBet has already partnered with the Chicago Bears, and that should lead to some big numbers for that operator. The Chicago Bears are the most popular professional sports team in the state, and the Bears should help drive sports betting in Illinois.