Illinois sports bets top $52 million in July; online wagering gains traction as NFL season kicks off

Despite a dearth of major sports and only two places to place bets,legal sports books generated more than $52.5 million in wagers during July, the first full month of activity in Illinois.



a group of people sitting in front of a crowd: Guests and media crowd into the sports book area on Monday, March 9, 2020 at the Rivers Casino in Des Plaines.


© Stacey Wescott / Chicago Tribune/Chicago Tribune/TNS
Guests and media crowd into the sports book area on Monday, March 9, 2020 at the Rivers Casino in Des Plaines.

With the kickoff of the NFL season last weekend, and the recent launch of several online and retail sports books, Illinois’ sports betting industry could get a lot bigger in the months ahead, experts say.

“It’s very early innings,” said Chris Grove, managing director of sports betting for gaming industry research firm Eilers & Krejcik.

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

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