The Kansas Jayhawks, who staged the largest comeback in NCAA males’s basketball historical past to win the nationwide championship over North Carolina final week, weren’t the one March Insanity record-setters.
In Illinois, sports activities bettors legally wagered a report $278.4 million throughout the males’s event this yr, in keeping with income totals launched Tuesday by the Illinois Gaming Board. The ladies’s basketball event added one other $7.8 million in wagers.
Almost 96% of the bets had been positioned on-line, boosted by a change in Illinois legislation that allowed on-line sportsbooks to compete throughout the state for brand spanking new prospects.
The $286 million in whole March Insanity bets netted Illinois sportsbooks $14.3 million in adjusted gross receipts — the cash stored after winnings are paid out — with the state receiving about $2.1 million in tax income, in keeping with the gaming board.
By comparability, Tremendous Bowl LVI on Feb. 13 generated about $61 million in bets and $9.5 million in adjusted gross receipts at Illinois sportsbooks, in keeping with the gaming board.
Whereas it was solely the second March Insanity with authorized betting in Illinois, the rise was helped by a change within the state’s sport wagering act final month, which completely eradicated an in-person registration requirement. Illinois authorised sports activities wagering in 2019 as a part of a sweeping playing enlargement invoice, however prospects beforehand wanted to enroll at a bricks-and-mortar sportsbook to guess on-line.
Illinois has 9 working retail sportsbooks, seven of which provide on-line sports activities betting. FanDuel, DraftKings and BetMGM, the three largest on-line sportsbooks within the U.S., are all partnered with downstate casinos. The amended legislation opened up the floodgates for the sportsbooks to woo Chicago-area prospects, precipitating a seemingly nonstop blitz of TV adverts all through the month.
The state’s first sportsbook opened at Rivers On line casino Des Plaines in March 2020. Inside days, BetRivers was closed and March Insanity was canceled on the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic. Gov. J.B. Pritzker waived the in-person registration requirement for 10 months throughout the pandemic, earlier than the state completely eradicated it March 5.
This yr, for the primary time, Illinois bettors had been allowed to wager on Illinois faculty groups, however solely in particular person at 4 Illinois sportsbooks. The 2 Illinois entrants within the 68-team discipline didn’t final lengthy, with Illinois shedding to Houston within the second spherical, and Loyola making a first-round exit by the hands of Ohio State.
When Kansas overcame a 16-point deficit to win the championship, it broke a 59-year report held by the Ramblers, who fought again from 15 factors all the way down to win the 1963 title towards Cincinnati.
Analysts projected the amended legislation would enhance Illinois to a report $1 billion in authorized sports activities bets in March. Totals for the month have but to be launched by the state.