Illinois sports betting took a massive hit in July

While sports always take center stage in the summer months, there was a bit of bad news for Illinois sports gambling as a whole. That’s because the state saw its worst month in a year this past July in terms of gambling revenue. While the country as a whole saw a bit of a decline, Illinois sports betting indeed took a massive hit in July. 

What in the world led to this? It really is hard to say. Especially in July, folks across the state are undoubtedly fired up to bet on the Chicago White Sox, Chicago Cubs, and the other MLB teams in the area as well. Despite that, the numbers were a bit of a concern, as the revenue was down more than 20 percent from June’s figures.

According to local reports, Illinois’ total handle was recorded at $369 million. While this may seem like a lot on paper, June’s numbers were $476.5 million. As you can see from those two numbers, that’s quite a sizable decline. To make matters even worse for the state, it was the fourth consecutive month where a decline was recorded. You’ve got to be kidding us here.

While August’s numbers haven’t quite come in yet, the hope is that there was a bit of a rebound. If another negative month was recorded, it would surely provide an even more negative focus on the state’s gambling stats. With that said, August was expected to be a bounce-back month, while September and October should be solid too. Why do you ask? Well, we’ve got two big reasons for you.

MLB playoffs and the return of the NFL will be massive for Illinois sports gambling

It goes without saying, but MLB playoffs and the return of the NFL will be massive for Illinois sports gambling. Starting with the NFL, who doesn’t love checking out the NFL odds on a consistent basis and recording some kind of a wager? On top of that, there’s plenty of excitement in Illinois this season for the play of the Chicago Bears. While there are plenty of veteran stars, don’t forget about the newcomers.

As soon as the team traded up in the first round to select former Ohio State quarterback Justin Fields in the first round, the hype for the young signal-caller immediately took off. People can’t wait to see what he can do on the field. While Andy Dalton is the starter for now, Fields is expected to see plenty of time. Once he is on the field consistently, more and more bets will be placed.

Also, Bears fans are quite the passionate group and you already know they’re going to want to make wagers not only whenever the Bears are in action, but when the hated Lions, Vikings and Packers are on the field too. Imagine if a Chicago fan placed a bet on the New Orleans Saints to stun Aaron Rodgers and Green Bay in Week 1? Rodgers didn’t throw any touchdowns and finished the day with two interceptions.

The Packers suffered a 38-3 loss, which was nothing short of embarrassing. Bears supporters were fired up to see Rodgers and the offense struggle so much, with things probably only being made better if they took the Saints to record the upset win and they cashed in on things. These are the kind of scenarios that we can see being played out quite a bit this season.

The White Sox being AL contenders will also help things

Moving over to the diamond, the White Sox being AL contenders will also help things. It’s been nothing short of a sensational year for Chicago, as the team is on the verge of bringing home the AL Central title. Under the direction of manager Tony La Russa, the team has really impressed and shut all of their haters up. La Russa’s work with this young team should be admired. He’s really helped the White Sox this year.

Countless baseball fans were trolling the White Sox last offseason when they hired the 76-year-old La Russa to be the next manager. What were they thinking? Well, fast forward to present time and the White Sox indeed look like serious threats to potentially win the AL pennant and get themselves to the World Series. Did anyone expect this to be the case entering the new season? Absolutely not, but here we are.

They hold the third-best AL pennant odds behind the Houston Astros and Tampa Bay Rays. As soon as the postseason gets underway, you already know that White Sox fans are going to want to get in on the betting. Chicago has dreams of shocking the country and winning the World Series later this fall. It’d be huge for the city and state.

They might be the small underdogs, but the team’s race towards playoffs glory is only going to encourage folks to place more bets. On top of that, people will be wanting to bet on all things MLB postseason and even more things for the NFC as a whole too. Keep in mind that the NBA regular season is right around the corner as well. This is all a recipe for people to place wagers and hope to win on their favorite teams.

Peter Lewis

Peter Lewis Jr. comes from Mississippi where he and his family spend their days discussing college football and basketball. He's written sports journalism for years after studying journalism at a local university.