Despite seeing a decrease from its March total, Illinois reported the second highest sports betting handle in the country for the month of April.
The Illinois Gaming Board reported $536.6 million in total sports betting handle for April, a decrease of 15.3% from its state record month of March. However, the $533.6 million total handle was the second highest handle reported in the country for the month, just behind New Jersey’s $748 million total and ahead of Pennsylvania’s $479 million total.
Top 10 U.S. states in sports betting handle, April 2021:
1. New Jersey: $748 mil
2. Illinois: $537 mil
3. Pennsylvania: $479 mil
4. Nevada: $458 mil
5. Michigan: $274 mil
6. Colorado: $244 mil
7. Virginia: $236.43 mil
8. Indiana: $236.40 mil
9: TN: $172 mil
10. Iowa: $118 mil
— Ben Fawkes (@BFawkes22) June 9, 2021
Illinois sports betting handle reduction was not surprising
The reduction was not unexpected. With no March Madness tournament and no online registration for online sports betting accounts the April sports betting handle was bound to see a decrease.
Gov. J.B. Pritzker suspended the executive order that lifted the in-person registration requirement due to concerns over COVID-19 and social distancing measures. Pritzker cited the executive order as no longer necessary and new users must now travel to certain casinos to sign up for accounts with specific skins. For example, if a resident wanted to register for the DraftKings Sportsbook Illinois’ app, users would need to drive to the Casino Queen Sportsbook in East St. Louis to activate an account.
Illinois and Nevada are the only two states in the country with legalized sports betting that require in-person registration at a casino for a new online sports betting account.
Illinois in-state college betting allowed soon?
However, one measure that state lawmakers are hoping will increase interest in the state’s sports betting program is a recent amendment passed by the House of Representatives that would allow Illinois residents to place bets on their favorite in-state collegiate programs.
The amendment would allow state gamblers to place in-person bets on in-state collegiate programs. Online bets on in-state colleges would not be permitted.
A state law has prohibited sports betting on in-state collegiate programs since sports betting was legalized in June 2019.
The amendment still needs approval from the Senate before it can be sent to Gov. J.B. Pritzker (D) to be signed into law.
If signed into law, the amendment would run through July 1, 2023. Bets on Illinois collegiate programs would only be “tier 1” wagers and would be based on the final score or outcome of the event. Any bets on Illinois collegiate programs could not be based on an individual athlete’s performance.