Sports Betting Losses Generate Over $120 Million in Illinois

| May 26, 2022 8:05 am PDT

In 2019, Illinois Gov. JB Pritzker signed the Sports Wagering Act. It legalized sports betting in the state of Illinois. The COVID-19 pandemic delayed betting in casinos, but online sportsbooks launched in the summer months.

Of course, you’re always going to have a ton of money lost in sports betting. Thankfully, Illinois has found a way to effectively use that lost money. Illinois has put $122 million of the gambling losses towards the state.

Let’s talk about where the money is going and how it’ll help Illinois.

How is This Money Helping the State?

There have been $812 million in gambling losses since Illinois allowed sports betting in March 2020. From March 2020 to March 2022, Illinois has accrued $122 million of those losses.

It’s great to know the state is using the money, but people want to know where their money is going. How is it helping the state?

Last year, Illinois sportsbooks earned nearly $525 million in winnings. They took 15% percent of that revenue and sent it to the state’s capital projects fund. Here are how those funds will help the state.

  • Construction
  • School Upgrades
  • Transportation Services
  • Environmental Protection

Obviously, no bettor wants to lose their money. However, residents of Illinois can take solace in knowing it’s going towards a good cause. The state’s capital projects fund earned a little under $80 million in 2021. The new gambling losses are over $40 million more for the state. Those funds can go a long way toward making Illinois a better state.

Perhaps that’s something you’ll remember when you place your next bet. It might not work out, but a loss could go a long way towards fixing your state. Illinois isn’t the only state with this in effect.

History of Sports Betting in Illinois

Illinois had the unfortune of starting sports betting at the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic. They had to endure closed casinos for months, but they bounced back once sports returned in the summer months.

In December, they finally began to see a profit with nearly $500 million in bets. Rivers Casino was the driving force behind Illinois betting. Barstool Sportsbook came on board in 2021. That contributed to Illinois receiving $7 billion during the year.

That brings us to 2022. Illinois received another boost with BetMGM Sportsbook going live in the state.

Check out the amount played in each month of 2022.

  • January: $2.34 Billion
  • February: $2.42 Billion
  • March: $2.96 Billion
  • April: $2.88 Billion

Needless to say, bettors have been flocking to the casinos and online sportsbooks in 2022. There’s no reason to believe that number won’t rise in the coming months.

It’s interesting to see the breakdown of betting by sport. Bettors have only lost four percent of their money wagered on basketball, but that amount balloons to 20 percent on motorsports.

In a few months, football will become the most popular sport to bet on in Illinois. That leads to the future of Illinois sports betting.

What’s the Outlook of Illinois Sports Betting?

There are bright days ahead for Illinois sports betting. The amount bet continues to grow, and it’ll be even better with the NBA Finals and Stanley Cup Final approaching.

Sports betting losses will help the state and grow its capital projects fund. Illinois has one of the biggest markets in Chicago. That should allow them to join the popular betting states like New York and New Jersey.

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Nicholas Sterling
Nicholas Sterling

Nicholas has been a Sports Writer with since May 2021. He has a rich sports background, writing about NASCAR, NFL, NBA, MLB, NHL, Golf, etc. Nick is always ready for a new challenge.

He enjoys rooting on D.C. sports teams, including the Commanders, Wizards, and Capitals.

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