Illinois Basketball Bets Reach All-Time High in March

Basketball was incredibly popular for sports bettors in Illinois in March. A total of $633.7 million was wagered on basketball, across the NBA and college basketball, which is an all-time record in Illinois.

The state’s operators collected $26 million in revenue from basketball, equating to a win rate of just over 4% on the sport. Betting on college sports was $394.8 million, which comprised of March Madness. Of that, $16.2 million was bet at retail locations.

Combination bets were again the most lucrative category of sports betting for operators. Gross revenue on parlays totaled $56.8 million, more than half of the total profit in March, on wagers of $349.7 million at a hold rate of more than 16%.

Tennis was another popular option for bettors among the middle-tier sports, with $76.6 million in wagers. Operators collected more than $5 million at a win rate of 6.6%. With a handle of $43.7 million, operators also picked up a handy profit on soccer, with a little under $3.1 million.

DraftKings vs. FanDuel Illinois Rages On

Both DraftKings and FanDuel continued their spirited fight for the top spot in market share in Illinois in March. DraftKings led the state in handle, with $461.5 million in wagers, which was a little over $2 million less than an all-time record. At a hold rate of 7%, DraftKings collected $32.8 million in revenue.

FanDuel continued to excel at retaining more handle than its closest competitor. FanDuel was able to retain close to 10% of its handle, which resulted in gross revenue of $41.4 million on handle of $433.8 million.

BetRivers had an impressive month, with close to $80 million in wagers. It was the only other operator with a hold rate of more than 8% as BetRivers came out of March with revenue of $6.5 million.

The race for fourth in the state intensified as ESPN BET, Caesars, Fanatics, and BetMGM all threw their hat in the ring to follow BetRivers. Penn Entertainment-owned ESPN BET narrowly came out on top of that fight with $62.7 million in handle and $4.7 million in revenue.

Caesars was next, with $62 million in handle and revenue of a little over $4 million. BetMGM rounded off the $60 million club in March with handle of $60.4 million. Fanatics Sportsbook picked up $52.3 million worth of wagers.

Illinois Records Another $1 Billion Month

Illinois continued its impressive streak by recording another month with handle in excess of $1 billion. In March, Illinois reported sports betting handle of $1.26 billion, which was significantly up from February’s tally of $1.08 billion.

Illinois’ sports betting operators combined to record $99.4 million in gross revenue at a win rate of 8%. Illinois collected close to $15 million in tax receipts. Cook County took in $1.1 million in tax based on the 2% tax on $54.7 million in adjusted revenue.

In terms of tax, Illinois has had a fantastic start to the year, with total collections of $47.7 million in the first quarter, which is up more than 21% from last year’s tally during this period of $39.2 million.

Illinois Sports Betting Market Continues To Grow

Illinois sports betting has only moved up since its inception, which is another indicator of the strength of the market. Sports betting handle increased 18% from last March’s total of $1.07 billion. In 2024, Illinois has collected handle of $3.62 billion in three months, which is up 20% from 2023.  

Illinois collected in excess of $10 billion in annual handle for the first time in 2023, finishing with wagers of $11.6 billion. At a hold rate of 8.2%, sports betting operators in the state collected revenue of $794 million, resulting in tax revenue of $161 million.

For context, Illinois’ handle increased by almost $10 billion from its first year, in 2020. In its first complete year, it was apparent that Illinois would be one of the most lucrative sports betting markets in the US, with handle of $7 billion and tax revenue collected of $83.8 million.

With more than $3.5 billion already in the first quarter, Illinois could be set for a record-breaking year, with handle of more than $12 billion. If Illinois changes its current tax structure, which is currently under consideration, there could be significant revenue to be collected for the state in the coming years from one of the biggest sports betting markets in the country.


About the Author
Nikhil Kalro

Nikhil Kalro

Nikhil Kalro covers the sports betting industry and revenue reporting at Gaming Today. Much of his work analyzes state revenue information, including betting activity and revenue for individual states and sportsbook operators. In addition, Nikhil provides news updates on the gambling industry itself, including product launches and legal issues. Nikhil’s previous experience includes five years with ESPN.

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