New Jersey Handle Up; Illinois Handle Down

NJ January betting handle


Alex W



Huge sports fan. Football & MLS fanatic. Lover of all things gambling - Sports betting, Casino, Poker and of course, Las Vegas.

Two of the biggest sports betting markets just recently announced monthly sports betting totals.

The New Jersey Division of Gaming announced the January sports betting numbers, while the Illinois Gaming Board just revealed the December report.

Both of these states had a monster 2020, and 2021 should be another huge year for each market. New Jersey began the 2021 year with a slight decrease, while Illinois ended 2020 by setting a new state record.

Lack of In-Person Betting Hurting NJ

New Jersey continues to have strict COVID-19 restrictions in place, and it has really hurt the in-person sports betting numbers. In January, this impacted the entire market, and the New Jersey numbers decreased from December 2020.

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Total sports betting handle in New Jersey for January came in at $958.72 million, but the state was hoping to eclipse the $1 billion mark for the first time. This figure represented a decrease of nearly 4% from the $996.3 million that established an industry record in December 2020.

January 2021 sports betting handle did represent an increase of more than 77% from the January 2020 total when it was just $540 million. Online sports betting continues to represent more than 90 percent of all of the wagers placed in New Jersey.

Even though the handle went way down for New Jersey in January, the total sports betting revenue saw a sharp increase. The state brought in more than $82.6 million to begin 2021, up from $66.3 million in December 2020.

Basketball accounted for more than $320 million of the January sports betting handle, becoming the most popular sports betting option. Football brought in just $201 million, and the NFL bye-week at the end of January accounted for this difference.

Illinois Continues to Impress

Illinois sports betting launched at the beginning of March, and the state got off to a very slow start in the sports betting industry. Things ramped up quickly over the summer, and Illinois is now the fourth biggest market in the United States.

In December, the total sports betting handle was $492 million, surpassing the November total by almost 10%. While most states have already started to reveal the January figures, the Illinois Gaming Board is always a step behind.

Even though the handle set a new monthly record, the state also saw a sharp decrease in hold and total revenue. Total sports betting revenue was $28.4 million for December, a decrease of nearly 23 percent from November.

Football was the most popular sport to bet on in Illinois in December, accounting for 42 percent of all wagers. Basketball brought in nearly 30 percent of the bets in December, while parlay wagers accounted for 19 percent of the handle.

There are just five online sportsbooks in Illinois, but three of them continue to dominate the market. DraftKings (30%), FanDuel (29%), and BetRivers (26%) made up a large percentage of the total sports betting handle, with PointsBet and William Hill falling behind.

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