For the first time the new Illinois state sportsbook business declined on a month-over-month basis, it was reported last week.
The betting volume for the website, opened only in late July last year, still managed to perform a fraction better than Pennsylvania to come third in the US states’ performance rating for the month.
Worrying for the promoters, however, is the return of the in-person registration that could hold up online sports betting growth, reports PlayIllinois, that provides the news and analysis of the state’s gaming industry.
“Passing Pennsylvania should be momentous, but it is almost certainly going to be short-lived, as the decision to return to in-person registration will likely mean the end of growth for the Illinois sports betting industry,” said Jessica Welman, analyst for PlayIllinois.com.
“Open registration has been a key component in making Illinois one of the largest sports betting markets in the country. Forcing people to physically appear in a retail sportsbook is a counter-productive measure, which should be apparent whenever Illinois April data is released.”
With open registration in place in February, Illinois sportsbooks attracted $509.8m in bets, down 12.3 per cent from the record $581.6m in January.