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Illinois Sets New Monthly Record Handle of $867.5m in January

A packed sporting calendar in January contributed to Illinois sportsbooks’ record monthly handle in January and further raised expectations about what is still to come in 2022.

New Record in Monthly Handle

Licensed sports operators in Illinois reported an aggregate handle of $867.5 million in January online and retail wagers to beat the state’s previous record of $840 million set in October last year. The monthly total registered a nearly double-digit increase, 9.9%, on a sequential basis and was up 49.2% year-over-year.

Average daily volume in January reached $28 million per day, an increase of 9.8% on $25.5 million in December 2021 and 48.9% on $18.8 million per day in January 2021.

The new monthly record was fueled by the extra amount of sporting events at Illinois bettors’ disposal due to the availability of five NFL weekends within the month and the expanded regular season and playoff schedule of the professional football league.

NFL games attracted significant bettor interest and generated $224.1 million in bets. NBA games also largely contributed to the total by attracting $276.2 million in wagers.

Illinois sportsbooks reported $59.3 million in gross revenue, an increase of 61.2% on a sequential base on $36.7 million registered in December, and up 20.2% on $49.4 million in reported January 2021. The state of Illinois received in taxes $10.7 million, over $2 million on top of what it had received in the previous record month.

Among individual sportsbook operators, DraftKings ranked first with $293.2 million in combined online and retail sports bets. The Boston-based sports and technology business generated $17.2 million in gross revenue.

Second ranked Flutter Entertainment’s FanDuel as the brand gobbled in January $261.2 million in wagers, more than 12% less than its major competitor DraftKings, but managed to produce $23 million in gross revenue, 33% more than its biggest competitor.

The Best Is Yet to Come

The record sports handle in January sets an upbeat tone for the whole year which marked a significant development for the market in the state, the removal of in-person registration on March 5. The requirement was lifted just on time for this year’s NCAA March Madness, promising a flurry of online registrations.

Buoyed by the fact that sports in the state continues to gain popularity, analysts predict the lifting of the in-person registration will become the catalyst to the momentum gained over the course of the last four months, help Illinois grow and even become the second-largest betting market in the US.

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