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Although sports betting in Illinois has yet to kick-off, one forecaster is predicting a possible $5 billion in annual handle for the state’s sportsbooks by the year 2023.
The prediction, cast by consulting firm Global Market Advisors, believes that Illinois could rival Nevada in yearly accepted bets as the group estimated the wagering market in the Midwest state could reach $5.2 billion in four years.
Another firm, Camelot Lottery Solutions, is also suggesting that the Illinois market will soon explode with the projection that there are already 450,000 residents ready to place wagers once the state opens betting at casinos, racetracks, and sporting stadiums.
Camelot also estimated that another 4 million Illinois residents show signs of interest in making sports bets on their favorite and local teams. The two reports came from a request by the Illinois Lottery as part of their wagering pilot program.
Global Market Advisors also wrote that their expected low handle for the state in 2023 would be around $2.8 billion, with sportsbooks bringing in anywhere from $168 to $338 million in annual revenue based on the firm’s two projections.
Illinois does not have a start date for sports betting as the state continues to work through regulatory procedures. The Illinois Gaming Board plans to meet later this month with operators hoping the group will make applications available at that time.
“We’ve been told that applications should probably be available at the next board meeting,” said Tom Swoik, executive director of the Illinois Casino Gaming Association.
The $5.2 billion projection would place Illinois with the 6th highest projected handle for sports betting behind California, Texas, Florida, New York and Nevada according to Global Market Advisors. Of that list, only Nevada has full-scale betting with New York limited to four upstate casinos.
As stated in a report from FDJ Gaming Solutions, Illinois has a “strong sports tradition and great teams in all major leagues (and) will be able to generate enthusiasm around sport betting.”
One of the interesting amendments to the Illinois betting law is that stadiums over 16,000 fans will be able to host sportsbooks on the premises, giving fans access to betting on games at their favorite sporting venues.
While bettors will have plenty of places to lay down their bets, including mobile apps, the state will also face stiff competition from neighboring states and with their own licensing fee structure.
Operators who are granted a license will have their work cut out for them as the state’s law calls for a hefty licensing fee that could reach $10 million. The state will take 15% in annual gross tax revenues in addition to the upfront fee.
The state will only license three standalone mobile operators for sports betting and those companies will fork over a $20 million fee for the privilege of offering their wagering services to Illinois’ bettors.
Illinois also has competition to contend with, as nearby states, Iowa and Indiana, have already opened the doors to legal sports betting. Iowa has taken in roughly $94 million since its mid-August opening, while Indiana has handled $92 million in bets since their September start.
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