Illinois Sports Betting Joins the $1bn Club: Which States Are on Top?

  • Its $1.03bn handle means Illinois joins New Jersey, New York, Nevada in the $1bn club
  • Illinois’ impressive GGR of $91.5m for October was second only to New York’s $146.8m
  • New Jersey leads lifetime sports betting handle with $31bn, followed by Nevada and PA
  • NY’s $547m lifetime betting tax revenue is the US’s highest despite only launching in Jan


Illinois flag
Illinois is officially one of the big hitters in US sports betting after the state broke the $1bn mark for handle in October, but which states has it joined? [Image:]

Illinois betting booms

Illinois has established itself among the most bet-thirsty states in the US after breaking the $1bn barrier in handle for October.

joins Nevada, New York, and New Jersey

The figure of nearly $1.03bn released Thursday by the Illinois Gaming Board (IGB) gives the state its all-time-best sports betting month. Illinois joins Nevada, New York, and New Jersey among the only states to take $1bn handle in a single month.

Not only has it joined the club, Illinois has taken Nevada’s spot in the monthly rankings, moving into third-highest for October behind New Jersey’s $1.06bn, and New York’s total of almost $1.6bn.

As per the Chicago Sun-Times, sports betting analyst Dave Briggs said NFL betting, mixed with the start of the NBA and NHL seasons, were the catalysts that drove the Illinois handle north. Briggs deemed topping $1bn “an incredible accomplishment for […] the Illinois sports betting industry.”

High-roller states duke it out

For a legal sports betting market that only launched in 2020, Illinois has taken its place at the high-roller table with the swagger of a fresh-faced newcomer on a roll. It is now competing with states that launched not long after the repeal of the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act (PASPA) in 2018.

Illinois took second place for October GGR

For October, Illinois actually outdid New Jersey by more than $13.5m for gross gaming revenue (GGR). Generating more than $91.5m for the month, Illinois took second place for October GGR behind New York, which reported $146.8m.

Taking a look at sports betting revenue since post-PASPA records began in June 2018, it’s not surprising to see New Jersey at the top. The Garden State was an early adopter of betting, launching its retail market in June 2018 and online a couple of months later. As a result, the state has a lifetime revenue total of $2.2bn, according to figures from Legal Sports Report.

Nevada ranks second in total revenue at $1.5bn, even though retail sports betting has been legal there since 1949. The state adopted an online market in 2010. Pennsylvania is third with $1.3bn while Illinois just surpasses New York to sit fourth at $1.1bn.

Staggering figures

Illinois’ billion-dollar-record breaker was in the cards since September, when it knocked New Jersey off its GGR perch and claimed second place for the month behind New York. PlayIllinois expects the state to post a handle figure of just below $10bn for all of 2022.

Currently, New Jersey leads lifetime sports betting handle with $31bn, followed by Nevada with $27bn, Pennsylvania with $17bn, Illinois with $15bn, and New York with $13bn.

Combined sports betting tax revenue for all legal US states has now topped $2bn since the repeal of PASPA, with New York’s $547m propelling it into the number one spot despite its market only launching in January 2022.

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