Illinois places second despite suffering its largest drop

Illinois has become the US’ number two sports betting market after joining New Jersey as the only region to score handle in April of over $500m, despite suffering the steepest decline in its young history.

Analysts say that the drop was in line with a typical seasonal slowdown in that affected nearly every market across the country, but was less than expected with the return of in-person registration on April 4.

“Without the NFL or a major sports betting holiday like March Madness a decline in April was a near certainty,” said Joe Boozell, analyst for PlayIllinois.com

“The Illinois market faced a double-whammy with the return of in-person registration, which will eventually eat away at the market’s ceiling even if it hasn’t dramatically impacted handle yet. And there is no easy solution to that without a legislative fix.”

Betting at Illinois’ retail and online sportsbooks fell 15.2 per cent to $537.2m in April from the record $633.6m in March. The month’s handle created $43.6m in adjusted gross revenue, which is down from $44.3m in March, and yielded $6.5m in state taxes and $527,100 in local taxes. Online wagering accounted for 95.5 per cent, or $513.2m, of all bets.

All but one US market reported a month-over-month decline in April wagering. Of the 10 largest, Illinois’ decline was shallower by percentage than all but New Jersey (-13 per cent), Tennessee (-13.6 per cent), and Pennsylvania (-14.4 per cent).

FanDuel/Fairmont‘s online and retail sportsbooks attracted $177.8m in bets to top the market, with DraftKings/Casino Queen second with $169.6m in combined handle. Barstool/Hollywood Casinos was fourth with $51.4m in its first full month of online operation.

“FanDuel catching DraftKings is a seismic shift in the dynamics of the market, and a credit to FanDuel’s campaign to register bettors ahead of in-person registration,” said Jessica Welman, analyst for the PlayUSA.

“Barstool’s push to register customers before in-person registration took effect made a difference, too. But it will be difficult to make significant inroads on the market leaders, which all had months of being able to register customers unencumbered.”

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