Analysts: Illinois Sports Betting Could Be Worth $5.2 Billion
Global Market Advisors estimates Illinois bettors could place $5.2 billion in wagers by 2023 after sports betting launches. Camelot Lottery Solutions said 450,000 Illinoisans would place bets once sportsbooks open at casinos, racetracks and large stadiums.
Illinois gambling regulators have not yet established a timeline for the launch of sports betting, included in the state’s new gambling expansion law. But consultants at Global Market Advisors (GMA) estimate that bettors could place $5.2 billion in wagers by 2023, closely trailing the $5.5 billion projected to be wagered in Nevada.
GMA was among the companies that responded to the Illinois Lottery’s recent request for information to help it shape its own “lottery sports” parlay wagering pilot program.
Another consultant, Camelot Lottery Solutions, said about 450,000 Illinoisans are ready to place bets once sportsbooks launch at casinos and racetracks, as well as large stadiums like Wrigley Field and the United Center. Camelot also said 4 million more casual fans could place bets once sports betting goes live—not to mention the 27,000 black market gamblers already wagering with their local bookies.
The French consulting firm FDJ Gaming Solutions said a “strong sports tradition and great teams in all major leagues will be able to generate enthusiasm around sports betting” in Illinois.
GMA’s low sports-betting handle projection for 2023 was $2.8 billion. That still would rank Illinois at the sixth highest projected handle in the U.S., behind California, Texas, Florida, New York and Nevada. The state would receive $168 million to $338 million in sports betting revenue, the company projected. That’s a 15 percent cut of revenue, according to the new law. Cook County would add another 2 percent. Governor J.B. Pritzker’s office estimated sports betting would generate $58 million to $102 million annually for his capital projects program.
Neighboring states have shown promising returns from sports betting. For example, Iowa bettors have wagered $94 million since sports betting launched in August, producing $862,000 in tax revenue. Indiana sports betting started in September and has brought $1.1 million in tax revenue on a $92 million handle.
Legislators supporting the new gaming law hoped sports betting would go live in time for the Super Bowl in February, but observers now say that’s unlikely. The Illinois Gaming Board announced it will release applications for sports betting licenses sometime this month.