Illinois bettors set new record in October

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Illinois bettors set a new record this fall. According to Play Illinois, wagers across the state exceeded $1 billion in one month for the first time in state history. The mark was set in October with a $1.03 billion handle. That was a 24% increase from September’s handle of $831.8 million.

According to Play Illinois, those wagers led to $16.4 million in state and local tax revenues. Lifetime, gambling taxes have generated nearly $204 million per Play Illinois.

Illinois is now the fourth state in U.S. history to produce a billion-dollar monthly handle from sports wagers. The others are Nevada, New Jersey, New York and Pennsylvania. According to Play Illinois, nearly $16.6 billion have been wagered at sportsbooks across the state since it was legalized in 2019. Blackhawks star Eddie Olczyk placed the first legal wager in Illinois on March 9, 2020, when the first sportsbook officially opened. It was a $100 bet for the White Sox to win the 2020 A.L. pennant at 16-to-1 odds, which of course didn’t cash.

Nearly one in five adults across the U.S. say they’ve placed at least one sports bet over the past 12 months, per Pew Research. That’s despite sports betting remaining illegal in 15 states. According to Pew, sports betting is more prominent among men (24%) than women (15%), and adults under 50 (22%) than people 50 years or older (17%).

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