The March sports betting numbers are finally in from the Illinois Gaming Board, and it was a record-setting month for sportsbooks. The total sports betting handle was $971.3 million, easily shattering the previous record of $867.5 million in January.
March was a record setting month for the entire United States, but the return of mobile betting allowed Illinois sportsbooks to cash in. Illinois was one of just two states that required in-person registration, but that was lifted in March in time for the start of March Madness.
February was a disappointing month for sportsbooks in the state, but March represented growth of close to 43%. Illinois nearly became just the fourth state in the United States to hit at least $1 billion in handle in a single month.
Sportsbooks in Illinois also had a profitable month in March as the total sports betting revenue was $79.4 million. That was only slightly higher than the previous record of $78.2 million, but it was still a state record.
The state of Illinois was able to collect nearly $10 million in tax revenue in the month of March, and that revenue is a big reason that the industry became legal.
As expected, basketball accounted for more than 57% of the total handle, and betting on college basketball was over $350 million.
FanDuel Remains On Top
Illinois is a state with some terrific online sports betting options, but FanDuel has continued to be the leader in the state. FanDuel posted a total sports betting handle of $310.7 million in March, and also brought in $27 million in revenue.
DraftKings continued to keep the pressure on FanDuel with a total handle of $284.2 million. BetRivers was third on the list, but that sportsbook had a total handle of just $105.9 million.
March also saw the launch of BetMGM Sportsbook in the state of Illinois and that company got off to a solid start. BetMGM posted a total handle of $43.6 million, and it actually beat out Caesars Sportsbook.
Online sports betting accounted for close to 96% of the total wagers in March, even though retail sportsbooks are available throughout the state.
Circa Sports Coming
Another big name sportsbook will be coming to Illinois soon as Circa Sports has been approved for a license. Circa was able to partner with Full House in order to enter Illinois, and it will eventually offer retail sports betting at a new casino being built in Waukegan.
When Circa does finally go live in Illinois, this will be the fourth state with this sportsbook. Circa is a monster name in Nevada, but it has struggled to become competitive in both Iowa and Colorado.
Online only licenses are now available in Illinois as well, but only one of the three even have a suitor. Calienta, a Mexican sportsbook, appears to have locked up one of the licenses, but the Illinois Gaming Board will be conducting a more thorough investigation.