For the first time in six months, Illinois sportsbooks see a billion-dollar handle in March. According to the latest report from the Illinois Gaming Board, sports betting activities in the state amounts to $1.07 billion for March. This is a huge jump in handle from February’s $875.4 million, and similar to January’s handle. The handle is for both retail betting, and online through the use of sports betting software.
The handle proves that Illinois is truly one of the largest betting markets across the country. The market also seems to be growing, giving is a 10.4% increase year over year. In terms of all-time betting handle, the state is now sitting at the third-highest spot, with $21.7 billion in total handle.
Illinois Sportsbooks Outperforms Themselves
When you see increases in betting handle, you will assume that the revenue will be better as well. When you manage a per head sportsbook, however, you know that the two are not mutually exclusive. If bettors tend to win more, or if the overhead costs are higher, then sportsbooks could potentially see less revenue. Fortunately for sportsbooks in Illinois, this is not the case at all.
The revenue for March is at $97.1 million, which is actually the second-best revenue record for the state. There is a 49% increase month-over-month. As for the hold percentage, it also increased from February’s 7.8% to 9% in March. The amounts that the states sportsbooks generate is truly amazing, especially since there are just a few retail options and only seven online sportsbooks in the state. It will not be a surprise if we will see more operators launch in the state in the years to come.
Much of the credit for the increase in betting activity comes from college basketball betting. March Madness tends to draw a lot of bettors, regardless of their preferred betting methods. Of course, online sports betting continues to dominate the market, as 96% of the total handle and revenue comes from sportsbooks. But retail betting is still very profitable, generating almost $34 million in wagers, as well as $3 million in revenue.
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