Illinoisans May Have Bet Over $200 Million On March Madness Alone

Written By Joe Boozell on April 21, 2021
IL march madness handle

According to Illinois Gaming Board ( IGB ) Administrator Marcus Fruchter, Illinois posted at least$ 76.8 million in the March Madness sports betting handle, excluding one operator.

A minimum of$ 2.1 million in tax revenue was generated by IL sportsbooks’ at least$ 14. 6 million profit. Which technician is not included in the numbers is unknown to us.

Sportsbooks held 8.3 % of the total handle with the preliminary numbers reported during Wednesday morning & rsquo, s IGB meeting. In a few weeks, the Complete March numbers will probably be made available, and Illinois may break the regular handle all-time record.

The IGB said that Illinoisans wagered$45.6 million on the Super Bowl, so the Prairie State is certainly showing out for big events. And several sportsbooks reported app outages during the Super Bowl.

We don’t have factual data points to examine because this is the second March Madness in which sports gambling has been permitted in the Land of Lincoln. The$ 176.8 million amount, however, initially seems to be quite high.

The handle was split$ 200 million by the time the secret operator provides numbers.

The handle was have, of course, been raised even further.

Why the March sports betting control in Illinois might be gaudy

While the $178.6 million mark is impressive, it could have been even higher if Illinoisans could have bet on state college teams during March Madness.

Both Illinois and Loyola-Chicago advanced to the NCAA Tournament and also collided in the Round of 32.

Of course, it is against the law in the Land of Lincoln to wager on interstate school team. For Illinois bettors, that was never more obvious or unpleasant than it was in March.

A DraftKings spokesperson told Play Illinois during the tournament that Illinois vs. Loyola-Chicago drew its second-largest handle of all Sunday Round of 32 games, and that was without any bets from Illinois.

Hopefully by next year’s March Madness, the ban will be removed. There is a proposed bill that would do so.

Though, of course, the return of in-person registration is the more pressing issue. And that may be with us for quite a while.

Before March Madness gambling, Barstool went live.

Illinois had been stuck on five online sportsbooks since mid-September, until Barstool Sportsbooklaunched on March 11.

Barstool was present throughout the entire NCAA Tournament because that occurred during event competitions.

Given how important Barstool’s build numbers are, it will be interesting to see how it compares to major rivals in the state. Without online enrollment in April and above, Barstool will struggle to catch up to sites like DraftKings, FanDuel, etc.

AP pictures by Darron Cummings
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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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