Illinois Continues Posting Big Betting Numbers

The gambling numbers in the United States have cooled off over the last few months, but that typically happens during the summer months. Sportsbooks aren’t taking in a ton of action thanks to a slow sports calendar, and some states see less casino revenue during this time as well.

Illinois is a state that continued to produce some solid betting numbers throughout the summer, and it could start to take off again soon. The NFL season just started back up, and sportsbooks in that state saw a massive jump right away.

One reason that Illinois is in for a boost is that the state has loosened some of the restrictions that have kept bettors from flocking to the sportsbooks. The in-person registration requirement is no longer in play, and it’s easy for bettors to sign up online and then immediately place bets.

When Governor J.B. Pritzker first took office back in 2019, he made it clear that he wanted to expand the gambling options in the state. That process has gone much slower than what was initially expected, but there are some new casinos getting ready to launch or have already launched in the state.

NFL Bettors Flocking to Casinos

Illinois is making a run at the number two spot when it comes to legal sports betting, and it looks like that spot could be claimed in September. GeoComply tracks all sports betting transactions made in the United States, and the latest report shows a massive jump in betting action in NFL.

According to the report from GeoComply, the total number of unique transactions made on NFL during the first weekend in 2022 was 60% higher than what was made in 2021. Since Illinois was already a massive market a year ago, this could potentially mean a record-setting month in September.

The 60% increase was actually the largest increase for all states in the U.S with legal sports betting. That report might be a bit flawed, though, as New York did not have legal online sports betting back in September 2021.

GeoComply did also announce sports betting totals for each state during the opening weekend of the NFL season, as well as the total throughout the country. New York posted the most NFL betting action while the entire sports betting handle went up over 71.5% compared to this weekend a year ago.

More Casinos Coming; Bettors Already Back

The COVID-19 pandemic had a huge negative impact on the entire casino gambling industry in the state of Illinois. Most casinos shut their doors for months, and COVID policies kept regular bettors away even after the businesses opened back up.

The Illinois Gaming Board has released the overall numbers from the month of July, and the revenue and betting action is nearly right back to where it was before the pandemic. The total revenue through July 2022 is just $5 million less than it was from the same period in 2019.

Getting more bettors in the door is step number one for these casinos, as that is where the biggest decline came during the pandemic. The total number of gamblers is down about 800,000 from the 2019 total in July.

Chicago is set to get a brand new casino at some point soon, but the Chicagoland area is already seeing more casinos opening up. This could also lead to a jump in retail sports betting as most properties are attached.

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