Illinois third-biggest sports betting market for 2021

With nearly $7 billion made in wagers during 2021, Illinois became the third-largest state for sports betting.

Finishing the year strongly, the state recorded revenues that nearly breached $40 million in December, equating to a wagering figure near to $800 million for the month.

This marked the third consecutive month, where wagering had eclipsed $780 million, leading to a very positive finish for the year.

With a number of factors playing a part, it appears that the market has responded significantly to the introduction of sports betting in the state and as a result, is well-positioned to build on this in 2022.

Illinois third-biggest sports betting market for 2021

Basketball playing a big influence?

While much of the attention over the last few months has been on the NFL, the NBA has perhaps been living in its shadow, though it appears that customers in Illinois do not agree, with the major franchise, the Chicago Bulls attracting a significant proportion of betting interest.

Lead analyst for PlayIllinois, Joe Boozell revealed: “Sportsbooks have operated at a blistering pace over the last three months, and it certainly helps going forward that the Bulls are a hot ticket.

“As relentless as the growth has been, though, it’s important to remember that Illinois is far from a mature market. Many of the restraints will go away early this year, which puts the industry in a great position.”

The success of the Bulls certainly had a major part to play in terms of how figures fared in the market, with a reported $226.4 million taken in December for basketball alone, across the state’s sportsbooks.


DraftKings and FanDuel dominating the market

With relatively little competition for sportsbooks in the state currently, it means that heavyweight brands, DraftKings and FanDuel have been able to attract the Lion’s share of the revenue.

Indeed, DraftKings and its state partner, Casino Queen, recorded a combined $295 million in both retail and online wagering for December, with FanDuel posted figures of $230.6 million via its digital arm alone.