Bowl Bets Great But Not Super: Illinois Sportsbooks See 25% Increase In Super Bowl Wagers

Written By Joe Boozell on February 15, 2022 - Last Updated on February 18, 2022
Super Bowl

The Illinois Gaming Board (IGB) released the Super Bowl betting numbers, and Illinois sportsbooks fared well once again.

In total, Illinoisans bet $60.5 million on the Big Game between the Rams and Bengals. IL sportsbooks profited $9.5 million, resulting in $1.43 million in state tax revenue. That was good for a 15.7% hold rate, a huge number that is well above industry norms.

In last year’s Super Bowl between the Buccaneers and Chiefs, the total handle was $45.6 million. Operators made $7.66 million in revenue.

For most sportsbooks, the Super Bowl outcome was the best-case scenario. The Bengals were an extremely popular moneyline bet, but there was more money on the Rams for the spread. As a result, a tight Rams win was also a big win for operators.

As is usually the case, most of the handle came from mobile bets. About 90.4% of the total handle was generated online.

Less growth than expected?

Illinois has had in-person sports betting registration since April. That hasn’t seemed to hinder revenue numbers in general, but a $60.4 million Super Bowl figure may appear underwhelming compared to last year.

The latest monthly revenue report we received was from December 2021. Between December 2020 and December 2021, handle grew by almost 40%. Year-over-year Super Bowl handle only spiked about 25%.

In retrospect, this makes sense based on the timing of when Gov. JB Pritzker brought back in-person registration. After last year’s Super Bowl, Illinoisans only had about two months to create accounts online before Pritzker suspended the executive order.

Come March 5, in-person registration will be no more. Therefore, we should see plenty of growth for next year’s Super Bowl.

Super Bowl splits by sportsbook

The IGB also released sports betting splits for every sportsbook in Illinois. Here are the handle numbers for online sportsbooks:

  • DraftKings: $21.5 million
  • FanDuel: $17 million
  • BetRivers: $9.6 million
  • PointsBet: $5 million
  • Barstool: $4.8 million
  • Caesars by William Hill: $1.8 million

The remaining handle came from retail sportsbooks.

More sportsbooks on the way

For one of the biggest sports betting states in the US, Illinois doesn’t have very many sportsbooks. But that should change later on in 2022.

At the latest IGB meeting, the board approved BetMGM Sportsbook for a license. BetMGM should launch in time to bet on March Madness.

There are also three anonymous online-only applicants, and their identities should be revealed soon. Bally BetUnibet, theScore Bet, WynnBET, Golden Nugget and FOX Bet are some names to keep an eye on.

Overall, it’s hard to downplay Illinois’ sports betting numbers. But come 2022 and beyond, we should finally see the state’s full potential.

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Joe Boozell

Joe Boozell has also been a college sports writer for since 2015. His work has also appeared in Bleacher Report, and Growing up, Boozell squared off against both Anthony Davis and Frank Kaminsky in the Chicagoland basketball scene ... you can imagine how that went.

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