Analysis: What Will The Illinois Gambling Industry Look Like In The Future?

Written By Joe Boozell on August 31, 2021
illinois gaming future

When the Illinois gaming expansion bill passed in 2019, it marked a serious shakeup of the state’s status quo. Now, Illinois is home to a top-tier sports betting market, and should eventually include more than 15 casinos operating in the Land of Lincoln.

And while the past two years have been filled with excitement, we are still in the early stages of Illinois game. In five, ten, and fifteen years from now, issues will appear different.

Illinois was ranked first in June. 3 sports betting market in the US, with a handle of$ 476.5 million. It placed in the top two in May.

And yet, Illinois has had in-person sportsbook registration since April and residents still can’t bet on IL college teams.

While sports betting in Illinois has been an undeniable success so far, there are clear problems to solve.

Meanwhile, the Illinois Gaming Board (IGB) has yet to hand out any of the six new casino licenses granted by the legislature in the past two years. The touted Chicago casino license is also drawing very little interest.

We’ll try to predict what the Illinois game industry does look like in five years right now.

What might the regular handle totals for sports betting get? What number of sportsbooks are available? Did playing at an online casino been permitted by then? Will there be new games here?

Let’s get started with everything.

In five decades, sports gambling in Illinois

In Illinois, we ought to have online sports betting membership.

The hope is that we can sign up for casinos electronically in 2022. Lawmakers not intended for in-person membership to become permanent.

Illinois should also allow betting on in-state college teams by then — in some form. The Housepassed a bill that would legalize in-person, in-state collegiate betting in the spring, and the Senate should vote on the bill in either October or January.

It’s a safe bet that the act did pass the Senate given that it was approved 96 to 11 in the House.

Finally, in five years, will we be able to wager on Illinois, Northwestern, etc. electronically? That & rsquo, however, is where the gray area is located.

Rep. Michael Zalewski, the strongest public supporter of repealing the in-state college betting ban, toldPlay Illinois that the in-person compromise could serve as an incremental policy step toward online legalization.

There is a great opportunity the ban will remain completely lifted by 2026 if everything goes according to plan for the in-person condition.

Sports gaming handle for upcoming casinos

There are only six online sportsbooks in Illinois right now; in five years, there should be well over 10. Even setting the over/under at 15 feels appropriate.

We already know of interest from BetMGM, Unibet, Bally’s, theScore and Golden Nugget. Consolidation could come into play for a few of these brands, but more could come out of the woodwork once Illinois returns to the online registration realm.

What about predicting the average monthly handle? Illinois registered $5.1 billion in handle for the Fiscal Year ( FY ) 2021, with adjusted gross revenue of$ 380 million.

Eric Noggle, a senior analyst for the Illinois Commission on Government Forecasting and Accountability, cited an Oxford Economicsstudy to Play Illinois that concluded the state’s eventual yearly gross revenue could be significantly higher than what it is now.

In an message, Noggle wrote:

According to a study from Oxford Economics, Illinois could probably generate between$ 384 million and$ 680 million in adjusted net bet records annually prior to the state’s legalization of sports betting. Figures from Illinois & rsquo’s first year are already close to this lower range. & rdquo,

If Illinois earns, say,$ 500 million in revenue over the course of five years, that amounts to roughly$ 6.7 billion in annual revenue compared to a$ 5.1 billion mark in FY 2021. March was the highest control month this year, with$ 633.6 million.

In other words, over the next five years, Illinois might be flirting with the occasional$ 1 billion. Having said that, it is difficult to challenge coming regular handle totals with confidence because the constitutional US market is so new.

It’s also likely a good bet that there will be multiple retail sportsbooks at Chicago stadiums by 2026. Wrigley Field is already planning for one, and the city of Chicago has taken steps to make stadium sportsbooks a reality.

Will there be an online game in Illinois in 5 years?

That & rsquo, then, is the million-dollar question.

There is growing pessimism among industry sources that online casino legislation will get done in Illinois any time soon, but there is hope that it will pass before the five-year mark.

Earlier in 2021, costs for online casinos were introduced by the House and Senate, but neither gained traction.

The professional director of the Illinois Casino Gaming Association, Tom Swoik, stated:

Up until about a month before, I believed that our chances were better. As far as I can tell, the video game community is prepared and vehemently opposed to it. Although I’m not exactly sure how that would work, I believe there are ways that video game providers could get involved in online betting andmdash five years from now. & rdquo,

The video gaming terminal (VGT) industry strongly opposes online casino in Illinois due to a fear of cannibalization. And the holdup now is that many politicians are siding with the VGT advocates, as the machines are a revenue stream for bars and restaurants hit hard by the COVID-19 pandemic.

VGTs also make a lot of money for the state ($64.8 million in taxes in July). Combine that with the fact that new green-lit casinos still aren’t operational, and there is hesitation to advance online casino gaming any further.

Swoik declared:

Andldquo, I believe it is feasible in the future. However, there is less stress for new income now than there was a year or two before due to the recent gambling expansion expenses and all of the federal funding coming in. & rdquo,

With that said, there is political willpower in favor of online casinos in the long term, based on 2021 proposed legislation. This is an issue where local elections matter quite a bit, as the state legislature will look different in 2026 than it does now.

How some games will there be in Illinois in five years?

There are 17 casinos that There & rsquo has the potential for.

The business anticipates that at least five fresh gambling will be operational by 2026, despite the IGB’s slow and steady approval of new establishments. That & rsquo, in addition to two brand-new & ldquos, and FanDuel Sportsbook andamp, Horse Racing, are located at Hawthorne Race Course.

A casino in Chicago might not be live by then, but more on that soon.

New casinos are permitted in six areas of the state thanks to the game growth law. They are:

  • Rockford
  • County of Williamson
  • Waukegan
  • Danville
  • neighbourhoods in the southern
  • Chicago

Rockford and County of Williamson should open first, as the IGB has found each “preliminarily suitable” for a license.

Bidders for the other licenses are frustrated by the slow process, but as a source put it, “five years from now is a long time.”

Regarding the Chicago game

Chicago has set2025 as a go-live date for its “mega-casino,” but it’s safe to say that nothing about the process has gone as planned thus far.

The city moved back its “Request for Proposal” deadline from August to October 2021, reportedly due to a lack of interest among operators. Potential bidders have cited high-tax rates as a reason to bow out of the process.

Users, in Swoik’s opinion, may have interest if not for the present tax rates.

& ldquo, I believe you’ll see an attempt to change the tax structure for Chicago once more in the upcoming session. & rdquo,

January is the date of the following program.

That could slow down the process even further, putting a five-year window in question. Rush Street Gaming — the owner of RiversCasino — is the only company known to have interest in the Chicago casino license.

The answers to who, where, what, how and when (and in some cases, why) are still up in the air for many of these issues. But there will be no shortage of gambling options in Illinois in a half-decade from now and no shortage of gaming news between now and then.

Submitted by Play Illinois
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Boozell, Joe

Boozell, Joe has also been a college sports writer for since 2015. His work has also appeared in Bleacher Report, and Growing up, Boozell squared off against both Anthony Davis and Frank Kaminsky in the Chicagoland basketball scene … you can imagine how that went.

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