2021 Illinois Sports Betting Numbers: Breaking Down Key Stats From A Banner Year

Written By Joe Boozell on February 8, 2022Last Updated on February 11, 2022
Carlos Rodon

We have just completed the first full year of sports betting in Illinois and unsurprisingly, it was a major year.

Illinois logged over $7 billion in total sports betting handle, with operators generating nearly half a billion in revenue. This led to $84.7 million in state and local taxes.

Every number we know is both huge and tiny compared to what we will see in the future.

The sports betting landscape in Illinois is set to undergo significant changes in the near future. As of March 5, in-person registration will no longer be a requirement. It’s already been announced that the BetMGM Sportsbook will soon launch in Illinois, and it’s likely that more sports betting applications will follow suit.

Thus, the conclusion of 2021 represents a critical moment in time. We are analyzing the ultimate sports betting figures of the year from all perspectives (Continue reading the story here.):

The most well-liked game was basketball, right?

What is referred to as the king of sports bets in the world of sports betting?

Several possible explanations exist for this. Secondly, hockey holds a volume advantage when compared to basketball.

Although the Super Bowl is possibly the most popular day for sports betting, March Madness surpasses it in terms of overall handle, revenue and more, due to the sheer volume of games.

The concept is analogous to comparing football and basketball, though the comparison is not exact. The NBA has a significantly longer season than the NFL, and the college basketball season also outlasts the college football season.

The NBA season usually spans approximately eight weeks. The NFL season extends just beyond five weeks. Despite the immense popularity of the final games, they remain, at their core, simply games.

The unusual 2021 timeline also influenced this. The NBA season, which typically ends in June, started in late December 2020 and didn’t conclude until July due to COVID-19 delays. During this time, the NBA introduced a plethora of sports.

It’ll be intriguing to see if sports manage to narrow the basketball gap in an average year. However, the training here emphasizes not to underestimate size.

DraftKings and FanDuel are in charge.

The graphic above illustrates that both DraftKings and FanDuel in Illinois command at least a 30% share of the market by handle. Therefore, the penalty box seems to have little effect.

Together, they made up 67.1% of the sports betting control in Illinois in 2021. These numbers are astonishing.

Nonetheless, there’s a chance they might witness a decline in 2022 and beyond. The opening of more bookmakers may enhance competition. Both Barstool and Caesars by William Hill could have increased opportunities to acquire new customers with the advent of online subscriptions. Especially, Barstool can potentially benefit significantly from mobile memberships.

DraftKings dominated the state in terms of handle, however, FanDuel surpassed in revenue. The primary explanation for this is parlays, an area where FanDuel excels as the market leader. Parlays offer a substantial margin for sportsbooks, and in 2021, the betting amount by Illinoisans is projected to reach $1.5 billion.

More estimates and anecdotes about Illinois

Sports betting generated a total of $84.7 million in tax revenue last month. This amount is expected to rise to $100 million in 2022.

Meanwhile, in 2021, the income of technicians hit $534.1 million. It is anticipated that this figure will oscillate between that and $1 billion in the subsequent year.

Despite the availability of in-person registration in Illinois for most of 2021, mobile betting markedly dominated as the preferred method for placing bets. In fact, online betting represented an impressive 95.4% of the total handle last year.

While the volume is expected to stay consistent in 2022, it signifies the vast potential for growth in other sectors. Many individuals would likely register for an online casino if given the opportunity, but may be hesitant to do so at physical sportsbooks.

While our market may not match the size of New York, anticipate witnessing some significant sports betting figures from the Land of Lincoln in 2022.

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Boozell, Joe

Joe Boozell, who has been a college sports writer for NCAA.com since 2015, also has his work featured on Bleacher Report, FoxSports.com, and NBA.com. During his childhood, he competed against Anthony Davis and Frank Kaminsky in the Chicago basketball scene, an experience you can likely visualize.

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