In the Summer of 2020, Illinois finally launched online sports betting and it took off quickly. Pretty much right out of the gate, five sportsbooks were made available across the state:
- DraftKings Sportsbook
- FanDuel Sportsbook
- William Hill
The Barstool Sportsbook app is expected to launch within weeks in Illinois, according to Penn National Gaming, which owns a 36 percent stake in Barstool Sports.
So far, the Barstool Sportsbook app has launched in Pennsylvania and Michigan. It also should be available in 12 states by the end of the year, including Illinois, New Jersey and Colorado.
For those who are unfamiliar, the Barstool Sportsbook app falls under the Barstool Sports brand.
Barstool Sports is a sports and media news brand that has sometimes been known for controversy. Whether it’s their founder Dave Portnoy possibly running for U.S. President or controversial takes regarding women’s sports, such as the National Women’s Hockey League, the brand has frequented the news as of late.
The CEO of Penn National Gaming, Jay Snowden, said that it was easy to choose Illinois as the next state to launch Barstool Sportsbook. According to Snowden, Chicago only trails Boston for having the largest Barstool following.
Remote registration for the Barstool Sportsbook is expected to be available on March 6. While some brick-and-mortar locations offer in-person registration as it is the law, it’s possible that lawmakers in Illinois may make it so that’s no longer a requirement.
Throughout the pandemic, Illinois officials have allowed bettors to register at home since it’s safer.
Sportsbooks are a hit in Illinois
While it took a while for sportsbooks to arrive in Illinois, their arrival was well worth the wait.
As of Feb. 1, 2021, Illinoisans have wagered over $1.3 billion and 94 percent of that has come from online wagers. $449 million was wagered on sports in Illinois in November 2020, which was the fourth-highest in a state for the month.
Sports betting revenue as a whole has created $101 million in revenue in Illinois and over $16 million in tax dollars for the state.
If anything, as more apps like Barstool Sportsbook are launched in Illinois, expect those numbers and the popularity behind them to climb.
Barstool Sportsbook to Launch before March Madness
Despite the fact that no exact launch date was given by Penn National Gaming, the hope is that the app is ready for Illinoisans by the time the 2021 NCAA March Madness tournament begins on March 18.
That targeted start date makes sense because the March Madness tournament usually generates a lot of revenue for sportsbooks.
According to Reuters, one-in-five Americans were expected to bet on the 2020 March Madness tournament. While no official number was released, it’s expected that the sum of all those bets could be anywhere around $8.5 billion.
With that being said, it’s no surprise that Barstool Sportsbook would want a piece of that, especially in a basketball-crazed state like Illinois.