The latest data release by the Illinois Gaming Board shows $565 million in gross gaming revenues for the state in August alone, $8 million more than New Jersey.
According to PlayIllinois.com, an online blog based in Las Vegas devoted to news about legal and regulated gambling in Illinois, those revenues were up 9% from July and a whopping 41% from August 2021.
PlayIllinois attributes the growth to a March 2022 change in legislation which allowed Illinois residents to register for sportsbooks through the internet rather than at one of the state’s land-based casinos.
The August data also shows the state has passed the $1 billion mark in gross gaming revenue from online activity since it began 29 months prior. That amount accounts for 94% of all sports bets made, meaning only 6% of sports bets are made in physical books across Illinois.
Though currently limited to sports-related betting, some industry experts believe online casino gaming could be coming to the Land of Lincoln.
Speaking at the East Coast Gaming Congress in September, executives of online gambling companies and their technology partners said the rapid growth of sports betting has provided a ready-made infrastructure and regulatory apparatus for online casino games.
So far, such gambling is legal in only six states: New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Michigan, West Virginia, Delaware and Connecticut.
But panelists at the conference predicted three or four additional states could soon adopt internet gambling, including Indiana, Illinois, Iowa and New York.
Richard Schwartz, CEO of Chicago-based online gambling company Rush Street Interactive, said states that already have legal sports betting are strong candidates to adopt online casino games as well.
“They already have regulators in place,” he said. “They have servers in place. It’s quicker to start up a casino addition.”
The Associated Press contributed to this article.