SPRINGFIELD, Ill. – Sports betting is heating up in Illinois. Online and in-person betting sites combined handled more than $1 billion in October setting a record for the total amount of money wagered in one month. 

Dave Briggs, the managing editor for PlayIllinois.com, said this is the prime time of year for sports betting as so many leagues have started their seasons, including the NFL which started in September. According to data from the Illinois Gaming Board, more than $350 million dollars was waged on football just in October, making it the most bet-on sport in the state. 

“It’s better suited than some of the other sports for options to bet on, and it’s also the most popular,” Briggs said. “It’s the most popular league in the United States. So … it explains why, it’s just general popularity would transfer over to sports betting.”

In 2019, the state legalized sports betting. Since then, Briggs said it’s brought in over $200 million for the state. In October, sports betting sites generated $91.5 million for Illinois. And with the record numbers of betting taking place, he said it will continue to benefit the state.

“The great impact is there’s tax revenue for the state of Illinois for local and state authorities, so that higher percentage is going back to them or higher total is going back to them,” Briggs said.

Right now, Briggs says there are 14 spots open for sports book companies to come to the state. One casino is opening up in Chicago which would be the ninth one in the state, and he expects the industry to continue to grow.

“Given that there’ll be more operators, given that it’s more prevalent everywhere you go in the country, given that it’s just becoming more of a natural thing for some people to want to do, it’ll grow,” Briggs said.