Life continues to be good for the Illinois sports betting proponents. Ever since sports betting was made legal in June of 2019, there has been a lot of support from the local communities. With so many top-level pro teams in the state, it only makes sense that people are all over the chance to bet on their favorite teams. With that said, history keeps being made, as Illinois sports betting is putting up massive numbers this spring.
Just how good have things been? According to a report, Illinois finished with the No. 2 sports betting handle of all the states, right behind New York. For April, Illinois posted a handle of $898.6 million. Those numbers are simply unreal and it has officials through the roof with happiness. This makes plenty of sense from a betting standpoint, as the Major League Baseball season kicked off then.
On top of that, there were also plenty of bets placed thanks to the NBA season being in full swing, with the postseason around the corner. With both MLB and NBA, people in Illinois are of course going to have a lot of attention on both the Chicago Cubs and Chicago Bulls. It’s been a bit of a down year for both squads, as the Bulls struggled and the Cubs are still in the middle of their rebuild.
However, those are two historic teams, who have plenty of experience winning championships. Because of that, people are consistently going to be checking the NBA betting odds and MLB betting odds to see how the two sides stack up compared to their rivals. Because of this, it’s no wonder that the betting handle for Illinois nearly reached $900 million for the month of April. More big numbers should be on the way too.
Top 10 U.S. states by sports betting $$ wagered, April 2023 (of states reporting so far):
1. New York: $1.55B
2. Illinois: $898.6M
3. New Jersey: $834M
4. Nevada: $598M
5. Massachusetts: $579M
6. PA: $572M
7. Ohio: $522.7M
8. Virginia: $426M
9. CO: $418M
10. Michigan: $338M
— Ben Fawkes (@BFawkes22) June 13, 2023
NFL bets remain on the rise for Illinois this offseason
One thing to keep in mind right now is that NFL bets remain on the rise for Illinois this offseason. While we mentioned both MLB and NBA bets being strong for April, the NFL Draft was a popular betting event for people in the state as well. In late April, Rounds 1-7 were quite popular for sports bettors all over the place, with people in Illinois focused on the Chicago Bears and their front office.
Chicago had the No. 10 overall pick in the first round of this spring’s draft, going with offensive tackle Darnell Wright. Leading up to that pick, countless people all over the state were checking the draft odds to see what kind of money was being put on the table for the standout lineman. While last season was a bit of a disappointment for the NFC North side, there are high expectations for the Bears this year.
Justin Fields is one of the most dynamic quarterbacks in the league and now fans are ready to see him take his game to a new level. With so many strong offseason additions for this team, the Chicago front office is putting Fields in the best position possible to succeed. He’s a young talent, but fans want to see him live up to the hype in 2023. It’ll be on Fields to silence his doubters.
With Aaron Rodgers leaving the Green Bay Packers, it feels like the division is up for grabs. On paper, the Minnesota Vikings may seem like the top squad, but Chicago is going to be ready to make a push for the title as well and improve their NFL betting odds. In order for that to happen, Fields is not only going to have to play strong, but the defense will need to step up as well. Should the Bears make the playoffs, then big-time wagers will be arriving for this team down the road.
Justin Fields is getting high praise from his teammates 👀 pic.twitter.com/B4rLmjTWhc
— PFF (@PFF) June 18, 2023
Betting on college Illinois athletes remains illegal
While there’s plenty of excitement surrounding sports betting in the state, betting on college Illinois athletes remains illegal. Earlier this spring, it was announced that things would be pushed back by at least another year for the laws to be changed in the state, which has people a bit frustrated.
When it comes to college sports, there’s no question that people all over the USA love betting on both college basketball and college football, plus other sports. With college hoops, March Madness is easily one of the biggest and best tournaments to bet on. The NCAAB odds are checked passionately by people with consistency. With that said, there are some top colleges in Illinois, including the Fighting Illini.
However, people still aren’t allowed to place online bets on them once March and April rolls around. As for college football, the Fighting Illini also has a squad in the Big Ten, with some fantastic matchups being played in the state in the fall. People love it when teams like Michigan and Ohio State make their way to the area for a memorable showdown. However, for now, people won’t be able to legally place bets on those kinds of contests. The hope is that it will change someday soon.