Illinois sports bettors bet heavy on men’s college basketball tournament
It appears many Illinoisans had a financial interest in March Madness this year.
According to PlayIllinois.com, $286.2 million was bet on both the men’s and women’s NCAA basketball tournaments, a record amount. That is a big jump from last year when the March Madness handle was around $200 million.
Nearly 96% of the bets were placed online, boosted by a change in state law March 5 that allowed online sportsbooks to acquire new customers remotely. It was legal to bet on Illinois college teams in person for the first time, but analyst Joe Boozell said it didn’t have much of an impact.
“Obviously it didn’t help that Illinois and Loyola didn’t do particularly well,” Boozell said.
The tourney total netted Illinois sports books $14.3 million in adjusted gross receipts with the state receiving about $2.1 million in tax revenue.
Sports books held only 5% of the total handle, a number that is usually closer to 10%.
“Sports books made only $5 million more than the Super Bowl, but way more was bet on March Madness, so basically what that means is the public came out pretty good,” Boozell said.
DraftKings was the top online sports book, taking in over $105 million in handle during the tournament. It was followed by FanDuel and BetRivers.
Boozell expects the monthly sports betting numbers in Illinois to approach $900 million, solidifying the state as possibly the No. 2 sports betting market in the country come football season behind only New York.
This article was originally posted on Illinois sports bettors bet heavy on men’s college basketball tournament