The total handle was $45,610,513 — with $42,756,647 of those bets being made online, according to figures released Monday by the Illinois Gaming Board. The state’s cut of that is $1,148,890 in tax revenue.
SPRINGFIELD — Taking their first chance to bet legally in Illinois on the Super Bowl and running with it, football fans laid down $46 million in wagers, an amount called “historically the largest amount ever in Illinois.”
The total handle was $45,610,513 — with $42,756,647 of those bets being made online, according to figures released Monday by the Illinois Gaming Board.
The state’s cut of that is $1,148,890 in tax revenue.
“That number, that 1.1 could go up,” said Joe Miller, the board’s policy director. “There’s still some outstanding wagers still out there. So yeah, though, these are all preliminary numbers, just raw from the sports books this morning.”
Miller said the big game was the biggest event since sports betting was legalized in 2019 and launched last year.
“I just don’t know that there was a comparable event since last March when the first sports betting started,” he said. “Maybe some European soccer or something, but I don’t even think that that comes close. I think this is historically the largest amount ever in Illinois, and it’s that way for other jurisdictions as well.”
The money bet on this one event is “nearly 20% to a quarter” of the total amount of all bets made in November, the last month for the state has data.
But others don’t think that the fallout from gambling is worth the payday for the state.
“That’s a lot of money to lose,” said Anita Bedell, executive director of Illinois Church Action on Alcohol and Addiction Problems. “And the state does not get much money, they only get 15%. So, when you consider the amount of harm to individuals and families, that’s a losing proposition.”
Bedell contends that gambling addiction has risen throughout the state following legalization of sports betting.
“There’s an increase of people who are calling the gambling hotline. There are people seeking out gamblers anonymous meetings,” she said. “There’s gonna be a lot of regrets with a lot of people losing so much money.”