Illinois Sports Betting Market Was Nation’s Second-Largest In 2021

Sports betting revenue in Illinois topped a half-billion dollars in 2021, making it the second-largest market for gaming revenue in the United States, behind New Jersey.

According to data from the American Gaming Association, Illinois posted $525.1 million in adjusted sports betting revenue in 2021, as the state continued to establish itself as a top market. The 2022 calendar year will undoubtedly show even more growth, spurred by the decision earlier this year to permit sportsbook registration online.

Overall casino gaming revenue in Illinois for 2021 totaled $1.71 billion, according to the AGA an increase of 130% from 2020. Illinois casinos reopened after COVID-19 restrictions were lifted in January 2021. The performance of gaming in Illinois for 2021 was impressive considering at that time it was required that people go to a retail location to complete their registration in order to wager.

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Tax Revenue From Gaming In Illinois In 2021

In 2021, Illinois casinos and sportsbook operators generated tax revenue of approximately $400.8 million an increase of 147% compared to 2020 though many operators were closed for periods that year due to the pandemic.

The State Treasury received $327.4 million in taxes from gaming operators in 2021. Those funds are earmarked for state education programs as well as specified capital projects by law. Local governments and jurisdictions received $67.0 million in gaming tax revenue, in those areas that are host to a casino either on land or via a riverboat facility.

Cook County, home to Chicago, took in $5.9 million in taxes, all from sports betting at retail locations.

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New Developments In Illinois Gaming And Sports Betting

Several new developments will impact Illinois gaming and sports betting in the future. Notably, in 2021, the Illinois State legislature passed a law that allowed bettors to wager on games involving Illinois college teams. Although, that law limits such bets to land-based sportsbook locations. In addition, wagering on the performance of individual Illinois collegiate athletes remains prohibited under state law.

Civic leaders and politicians, as well as many business owners in Chicago, have long desired to have a casino and sportsbook within the city limits. That possibility has moved closer to becoming a reality. Legislators did their part, passing a bill that allows sports betting at an eighth Illinois sports arena.

The City of Chicago accepted proposals for a casino/resort in the city, and last month revealed that it has selected Bally’s to build and operate a facility in the Windy City. It’s expected that it may open as early as 2025.

About the Author

Dan Holmes

Dan Holmes has written three books about sports. He previously worked for the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Major League Baseball. He enjoys writing, running, and lemon bars. He lives near Lake Michigan with his daughters and usually has an orange cream soda nearby.