After incremental developments over the past several years, Illinois became the 15th state to legalize sports betting in June 2019. Following a period of regulation, the first, legal wagers were then placed in March 2020. Since then, sports betting has exploded in the Land of Lincoln.
BetRivers IL is now live, just one of five fantastic sportsbooks available in the Prairie State. What explains online sports gambling meteoric rise? Well, like with many things, the answer to this question is complex. Over the course of this article, we will be exploring exactly why the pastime has exploded in Illinois over the past year and a half.
Just how successful has sports betting been in Illinois?
Before we explain the reasons for sports betting breakout success, let us first hammer home just how well the launch has gone.
Recently, the Illinois Gaming Board released gambling statistics for the period starting with legalisation and ending October 2020. The numbers suggest that the industry could not have hoped for a better start to life in the Prairie State.
During this period, Illinois’ total sports betting spend was $941.7 million. $68 million was wagered in person, but the overwhelming majority, $873.7 million, was placed online.
These rather remarkable numbers instantly place it as one of the highest spending states in which sports betting is legal.
Illinois is a sports crazy state
One of the main reasons for Illinois taking to sports betting so readily is that the state is full of fans who are crazy about their favourite teams.
For instance, the Chicago Bulls are one of the most well-known sports franchises on the planet and the bulk of their fanatical support comes from the local area. The world-renowned Bulls are not the only huge team in the state either. The Chicago Blackhawks — who play in the NHL — also attract hundreds of thousands of fans. Of course, the Chicago Cubs are beloved as well.
With such a strong sporting tradition in the Land of Lincoln, it really is no surprise that Illinois natives have not taken long to start betting on their favourite teams.
Convenience & sign up offers
Launching in a new market is a difficult thing to plan for any business. However, the five sportsbooks that have been set up in the state since legalisation have all done a superb job. One of the biggest battles that any betting site faces is getting new players to register in the first place. Illinois’ new sportsbook has achieved this by offering some excellent sign up offers. Free bets, first deposit boosts and much more have all been included in these promotions, helping these brands to grow their customer bases quickly.
Once they get new players through the door, sportsbooks have also put measures in place that ensure they will stick around. All of the platforms are extremely easy to use for first time players and the plethora of popular payment options have demystified the deposit process.
The universal appeal of sports betting
While our first two factors have focused on phenomena specific to Illinois, there are also several, more general reasons for the sportsbooks’ boom.
Regardless of location, sports betting is an extremely prevalent pastime as it offers players several great advantages. Most notably, successful punters have the potential to turn a profit. Making money from the practice requires an unfeeling adherence to strategy and second to none sporting knowledge. Although it is not guaranteed, scoring a big windfall is not unheard of.
Another advantage is that by betting on a game, you are likely to be far more emotional investment in the result. This can, in turn, increase your enjoyment of watching sport markedly.