Midwest Gaming Continues To Set Records, Setting Stage For Big March

Written By Nicholaus Garcia on March 15, 2022
Big March From New Records In The Midwest Sports Betting

The Midwest sports betting market continues to thrive as Illinois, Indiana, and Iowa report big numbers to kickoff 2022 – and yes, Super Bowl betting was a big part of that success. But before we dive into the details, let’s not forget about the other early-year betting biggie, the NCAA Tournament, which begins on Thursday, March 17.

This year, six NCAA tournament sites will be played in legal sports betting jurisdictions, including first-round match-ups in Indianapolis and the Sweet-16 in Chicago.

Each city has remote registration and online sports betting. Thus, March will certainly be a profitable month for both. But let’s not forget Iowa, which also saw an excellent month leading up to the big dance. 

Super Bowl helps Iowa February numbers

For February, the Iowas Racing and Gaming Commission (IRGC) reported $215.9 million in sports betting handle, up $72.3 million from the same time last year. 

Further breakdown of the numbers shows Caesars Entertainment continues to be the leading operator in the Hawkeye State. For February, Caesars had $61.9 million in online wagers. DraftKings secured the No.2 spot with $52.3 million in online handle, equating to $3.2 million in revenue. 

Iowa February numbers are:

  • Total handle – $215.9 million
  • Online handle – $195 million
  • Retail handle – $20.9 million
  • Revenue – $8.5 million
  • Tax revenue – $593,540

RELATED: FIVE FREE MARCH MADNESS BRACKET CONTESTS


Big February could lead to a bigger March for Indiana

Over in the Hoosier State, sports betting handle topped out at $409 million. However, everyone knows Indiana is basketball country. 

With the Super Bowl in the rearview mirror, Indiana gamblers wagered $201.9 million on basketball.

Last year, the Indiana sports betting market accounted for $161 million in handle for March 2021. With Indiana’s help, PlayUSA estimates the 2022 tournament could generate upwards of $3 billion across all legal US sportsbooks. 

February numbers include:

  • Total handle = $409 million
  • Online handle = $380.4 million
  • Retail handle = $28.6 million
  • Revenue = $22 million
  • Tax revenue = $1.6 million

Analysts see big March for Illinois

The Land of Lincoln has yet to report February numbers, but March will be record-breaking if they are anything like January. 

For January, revenue numbers broke down like this:

  • Total handle = $867.5 million
  • Online handle = $829 million
  • Retail handle = $38 million
  • Revenue = $59 million
  • State tax revenue = $9.9 million
  • Local tax revenue = $754,574

Experts anticipate Illinois, the 4th largest sports betting market, to generate close to $1 billion in total wagers in March. 

In 2021, the state recorded roughly $200 million in March Madness bets, with a total handle of $633.6million. With remote registration for Illinois sports betting and seven online sportsbooks to choose from, analysts are projecting at least $290 million to be wagered on the 2022 NCAA Tournament.

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Nicholaus Garcia

Nick has had stints in Chicago and Washington, D.C., writing about politics, financial markets, and sports betting. He graduated from Texas Tech University and completed his master's degree in journalism at Columbia College Chicago.

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