The Illinois Gaming Board (IGB) has recently released the statistics on gambling revenue for the month of July but only one sportsbook was operating online at the time and it was Rush Street Gaming’s BetRivers. BetRivers operates through Rivers Casino in Des Plaines and it was highly successful after Illinois Governor J.B. Pritzker passed Executive Order 2020-41 suspending the legal mandate of in-person registration for mobile sports wagering. That order has been extended but it’s expected to be discontinued on September 19th.
According to the revenue stats, out of the $52.5 million handled there was $48.5 million of it generated online for BetRivers. This is because bettors were allowed to register online and the app took off. In just the first six days they were operating, BetRivers generated $950,000 which was 7.5% of the total hold.
More than 92% of sports wagers made in July were placed online, according to the Illinois Gaming Board. Bets were placed on everything from mixed martial arts to auto racing. Top pro sports for betting were baseball, soccer and golf.
The July revenue reports are big news in anticipation of the August numbers which will include other popular sportsbooks like DraftKings and FanDuel. When the Executive Order got extended, DraftKings at Casino Queen Casino launched on August 5th and offered a $1,000 promotion to kickoff NFL season. They are likely to see revenue spikes on the revenue reports next month.
The betting patterns for the Illinois players in July were interesting. Soccer was bet on the most with $20.5 million coming from the pitch and $17.3 million coming from bets on Major League Baseball.
COVID severally impacted revenue for the gaming industry in 2020. Casinos closed down for weeks until reopening on July 1st. Even with the doors open they are only operating at 50% so the money drain has been severe. The ability to conduct business online in Illinois is crucial.
FanDuel agrees. The popular daily fantasy company recently sent an email out to all their users asking them to contact the governor and request another extension on the Order. If in-person registration becomes mandatory again it will destroy the revenue model for the dominant mobile platforms.
This weekend should be interesting.