The latest numbers released by the Illinois Gaming Board show bettors in the state wagered more than $285 million on sports contests in September.
Gamblers can place bets on sporting events at seven of Illinois’ casinos and one horse racing track. The state’s most lucrative casino and its first to start taking sports bets, Rivers in Des Plaines, accepted about $105 million in wagers in September, the most of any Illinois casino, according to the gaming board.
Sports betting has generated about $3 million in tax revenue for Illinois in its first three full months. Gov. J.B. Pritzker’s office has suggested it could eventually generate more than $100 million in revenues.
Since a 2018 U.S. Supreme Court decision allowing legal sports betting outside Nevada, 20 states now host legal waging on sporting events. According to the Chicago Sun-Times, New Jersey leads the way in sports betting, posting $803 million in bets in October. The Illinois Gaming Board has yet to release October numbers for the state.
Sports betting in Illinois got off to a shaky start in March, as the COVID-19 pandemic got underway.
At first, gamblers were required to register for accounts in person at a casino. Pritzker eased that rule, allowing bettors to register online from their phones and start wagering immediately. More than 92% of Illinois’ September bets were wagered from mobile devices, according to state officials.