3 Reasons Why Illinois Sports Betting Handle Plateaued In November

Written By Joe Boozell on February 2, 2021Last Updated on March 3, 2021
illinois sportsbook november revenue

This week, the Illinois Gaming Board (IGB) announced the sports betting revenue numbers for November. Illinois once again set a new monthly record for handle.

In November, The Prairie State received bets worth $449.2 million, an increase from October’s $434.6 million.

Despite the growth of the handle, it did not surge as significantly as it did in the previous months. For instance, the handle saw an increase of approximately $130 million between September and October.

This prompts the question, “Why?”

Here are three possible explanations.

November has fewer sporting than October.

It should be noted that Pennsylvania and Nevada, which are among the three states with higher monthly counts than Illinois, experienced a drop in manage numbers in November.

In simple terms, there were far fewer activities to bet on in November compared to October.

The NBA Finals took place in October this year, a shift from the norm due to the unusual 2020 sports calendar. As expected, the MLB Playoffs spanned the entire month, as they typically do.

The presence of the NFL and college football was consistent in both months, but the absence of MLB and NBA probably had an impact.

The college basketball season didn’t start until November 25th, though.

As previously stated, the handling of numbers in Pennsylvania and Nevada decreased in November. Similar to Illinois, other states like Indiana also witnessed an increase, rising about $20 million month over month.

Despite having fewer activities, it’s surprising that we didn’t witness a greater surge considering the Indiana business is significantly more advanced than the Illinois business.

Did Illinois suffer as a result of the lack of financial bets?

In November, Illinois experienced a significant surge in COVID-19 cases, leading Gov. JB Pritzker to close all casinos on the 20th of the month.

However, even before that, casinos were already cutting back on their hours and decreasing their capacity from 50% to 25%. Given Illinois’s record-breaking numbers, there might also have been increased customer reluctance to visit a casino in the days leading up to November 20.

Online sports betting dominates in Illinois, but a significant part of the regular handle consists of a list.

In October, retail sportsbooks took in $24.8 million in bets, but this figure fell to $15.5 million in November.

The online handle, on the other hand, rose by roughly $24 million each month. If financial had experienced the same growth, the final total would have been around $26.5 million, which is $11 million more than the actual amount.

In that scenario, the control would have amounted to about $460 million. Consequently, despite casino closures not escalating as much as expected for the entire reason handle, they definitely had an influence.

a dearth of fresh providers in Illinois

Illinois has had five online casinos since mid-September. This number is significantly less compared to the majority of businesses in states like New Jersey, Nevada, Pennsylvania, and Indiana, where there are many more.

It is anticipated that three additional sportsbooks – Barstool, BetMGM, and Unibet – will be launched in the coming months.

These are expected to invigorate the market, potentially drawing in new clients and distributing special funds, which should promote increased wagering.

One more thing …

The most recent income statement clearly illustrates the significant advantage currently held by the top three operators.

In Illinois, DraftKings, BetRivers, and FanDuel together represented 92% of the November handle, an astounding figure.

FanDuel and DraftKings typically operate in this manner, but it’s not as common for BetRivers. Nevertheless, it was the second physical and online betting instance in Illinois.

Despite DraftKings’ ascension to the top of the market, BetRivers still manages to yield significant quarterly profits, having reported a whopping $133.1 million in November alone.

Interestingly, PointsBet saw a drop of over 50% in its handle to just $26.2 million in November. Meanwhile, DraftKings, BetRivers, FanDuel, and William Hill all reported increases in their totals from October.

At present, it seems that the $60.8 million October earnings of PointsBet were more of an anomaly than a prediction of future events.

PointsBet has focused on the Illinois market, establishing an exclusive sports betting partnership with the Chicago Bears and regularly advertising on the local NBC Sports affiliate.

The report will feature its December efficiency as one of the most fascinating highlights, and its downturn in November is also noteworthy.

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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. In his youth, Boozell competed against Anthony Davis and Frank Kaminsky in the Chicagoland basketball scene, which you can probably guess how that went.

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