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Legal Sports Betting - Are You Watching Illinois?

October 14, 2019

In recent articles, the state of Illinois was challenged to move forward and open access to retail and online sports betting for its residents. The challenges came as neighboring Indiana joined 14 other states on the list of states where retail sports gambling has already been signed into law.

If the September numbers coming out of Indiana are any indication of what's coming in the future, the Illinois legislature had better think seriously about mot slow walking the implementation of gambling laws are ready on the books.

Indiana now finds itself in the unenviable position of being centered between Chicago and major markets located in Ohio and Kentucky. With all three states not yet in position to start accepting sports bets, Indiana's casinos and retail sports betting sites have taken full flight.

The Numbers

For the month of August, analysts reported that the state was able to bring in $35.2 million in bets, which resulted in $8.6 million in adjusted gross revenue for the sports books and a little over $800,000 in tax revenues for the state's coffers based on a tax rate of 9.5%. These numbers bested more established legal sports betting markets like Pennsylvania by almost $10 million in bets. New Jersey still leads the nation at about $44 million.

It's notable that sports bets coming out of the Chicago vicinity gave a huge boost to Indiana's numbers with the Horseshoe Hammond retail sports book, near Chicago, generating an Indiana-best handle of $8.98 million, which resulted in a solid $2.1 million in revenue. Finishing second was Ameristar Casino - East Chicago, a retail bookmaking operation that accounted for $5.4 million in bets and $1.3 million in gross revenues.

Someone in the Illinois government has left the latch open to the sports gambling chicken coup and the Indiana foxes are stealing all the chickens. The numbers are big enough that the Illinois government should expect state residents to start ramping up the pressure to get things done.

Next Up

Next up for Indiana is the opening of three online sports betting sites at some point in October. With New Jersey already showing huge numbers from online sports betting operations, big things are expected in Indiana.

It seems logical that the Indiana state legislature might also start making progress towards legalizing online casino gambling. The fact is opponents of said activities are running out of excuses as every aspect of new gambling legislation is making a positive financial impact for the Indiana government and its residents.


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