Update on Indiana/Illinois Online Sports Gambling News
August 17, 2020
Big things were expected from Indiana sports bettors when legalized sports betting finally opened up for bettors in October of last year. Hope was especially high after the state’s retail bookmakers reported strong traffic and revenue over the first six months. Then, the COVID19 pandemic hit, and everything came to an absolute standstill.
After four months of casino lockdowns and major sports leagues sitting on the sidelines, Indiana’s bookmakers were finally able to start accepting wagers back in June. With MLB baseball and international soccer leagues returning to action in July, the state’s bookmakers are relieved to see sports bettors are ready to expend all of that pent up desire to bet on sports.
The July numbers are in, and Indiana bookmakers reported a collective $70.9 million in betting handle. This number falls short of the $187 million reported in February, before the shutdown, but things are headed in the right direction after bookmakers reported a paltry $168 million from March through June.
While the July number could have been a little bit better, it was enough to help Indiana bookmakers bust through the $1.0 billion mark for handle over the first 10 months of operation. During that time, retail bookmakers have reported $85 million in revenue, which translates to $8.1 million in tax revenue going into the state’s coffers.
Experts estimate that bookmakers lost a potential of $700 million in handle during the shutdown. A large portion of that would have been attributable to the NCAA’ Men’s and Women’s Basketball Tournament, which was canceled due to pandemic concerns.
It’s worth noting Indiana legislators have already passed legislation for online gambling, but nothing has yet come to market.
Illinois Gains Another Online Bookmaker
In Illinois, sports bettors had access to a single online bookmaker during the COVID19 pandemic lockdowns. While perhaps a little late to the party, the state can now lay claim to having two online bookmakers serving the start’s most ardent sports bettors.
News comes this week that DraftKings has successfully capitalized on its retail DraftKings Sportsbook at Casino Queen operation to open up its online sportsbook.
During the lockdown, the state’s other online sportsbook, Betrivers, was permitted to register bettors over the phone after Gov. J.B. Pritzker waived the requirement that bettors had to open their sports wagering accounts in person. With bettors now better able to get out in public again, Pritzker has now reinstated the in-person registration requirement.