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Illinois sportsbook handle down 22 month-on-month for February

Illinois sportsbooks experienced a slowdown in February, with wagering slipping to less than $700m for the first time since September.

The Prairie State has sailed right into the post-Super Bowl doldrums as sports betting activity slumped to a six-month low.

For February, Illinois’ retail and online sportsbooks accepted $679.4m in bets, despite a much-needed $60.5m boost from this year’s Big Game.

While handle was up 33% year-on-year, it was down by nearly 22% from January’s record-setting $867.5m sum.

Likewise, betting volume reached $23.4m per day, helped by February’s relatively short, 28-day duration. But even this was considerably lower than January’s $28m-per-day figure.

Ultimately, if Illinois can take any consolation, it’s that most other states experience a similar slump in February. Sandwiched between the NFL playoffs in January and March Madness, the second month of the year is often a low period for sports betting.

“The Super Bowl can’t completely replace the volume of wagers from a full month of NFL football,” said Joe Boozell, Lead Analyst for PlayIllinois.com.

“Importantly, though, sportsbooks continued to show strong year-over-year growth, and that momentum almost certainly accelerated in March, which brought lighter registration requirements and the NCAA Tournament.”

Sportsbooks won $35.6m from February’s betting action, up nearly 15% from February 2021, though again, down from January’s $59.3m by 40%. Online betting accounted for $652.3m of February’s total wagering activity.

FanDuel and DraftKings once again came out on top, with the former accepting $212.5m in both retail and online bets, while the latter accepted $212.2m.

Boozell added: “February was the end of the sports betting market’s first chapter.

“The biggest question ahead is whether Illinois can catch New Jersey and Nevada and establish itself as the clear second-largest sports betting market in the US.”

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