Illinois Records Another Month of $1 Billion in Sports Betting Handle

Illinois continued its impressive streak with another month of sports betting handle in excess of $1 billion. The Illinois Gaming Board (IGB) recorded $1.07 billion in wagers, the sixth successive month of handle more than $1 billion. In terms of gross revenue, Illinois’ eight sports betting operators generated $83.5 million.

Illinois collected $12.5 million in tax in February, taking its 2024 collection to close to $33 million. Illinois generated $21.6 million in tax receipts in January this year. Over the first two months of the new year, Illinois’s operators have combined to collect $218.8 million in gaming revenue, an increase of 33% year-on-year from 2023.

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FanDuel Illinois Leads Revenue Collection

FanDuel assumed the leading position in handle and revenue collection in Illinois. FanDuel collected $31.8 million in gross revenue, highest in the state, in February, primarily based off a strong performance in parlays.

FanDuel collected $129.6 million in wagers in parlays and generated close to $27 million in revenue from accumulators alone. However, FanDuel was beaten badly in football, accumulating a loss of $3.8 million on the sport on handle of $18.8 million.

DraftKings was not too far behind, collecting $31.4 million in gross revenue. DraftKings managed to generate $392.6 million in betting handle with a hold rate of 8%. The company collected $28.4 million in handle on football. With a hold rate of 4.3%, DraftKings managed $1.2 million in revenue from the sport alone.

BetRivers was a distant third in the state with handle of $71.3 million, a hold rate of 7.4%, and revenue of $5.2 million followed by the Penn Entertainment-owned ESPN BET at $57.4 million in handle, a hold rate of 7.5%, and $4.3 million in gross revenue.

Caesars Sportsbook finished fifth with betting handle of $55.2 million, a low hold rate of 3.7%, and gross revenue just over $2 million. BetMGM finished sixth in Illinois in February, with $49.1 million in handle, a hold rate of 7.3%, and a profit of $3.8 million.

Rounding up the lower rung of operators in handle was PointsBet (now Fanatics). PointsBet managed just $41.6 million in handle but had the highest hold rate (9.1%) of all online operators, generating $3.8 million in profits. Circa just about staved off a loss-bearing month, with a profit of a little over $3,000 on wagers of $7.8 million at a hold rate of 0.04%.

Basketball dominated the source of profits for the eight online books, generating $13.7 million in revenue. Tennis raked in $5.6 million in profits on handle of $92 million at a hold rate of 6.2%. At a hold rate of over 10%, golf was another profitable sport for operators, with revenue of $1.6 million. Parlay bets comprised the majority of the profits, with more than 60% of the revenue generated through multi-leg wagers.

Steady Growth, Hold in Illinois

Since August last year, Illinois’ betting handle has not dipped below $1 billion for any calendar month. Hold was below 9% in only one of those months: November (5.3%). In all of those months, tax collections were in double-digit millions, peaking with January’s $21.6 million.

Illinois’ gaming power is only growing stronger but the IGB has repeatedly warned against sportsbooks that are not licensed by the board. “Unlike licensed sportsbooks, unlawful actors do not undergo strict suitability reviews and background investigations,” IGB Administrator Marcus Fruchter said. “These illegal operators do not contribute tax revenue to our communities. They maintain no age verification requirements to protect minors, no controls to prevent money laundering, and no guarantees that customers will receive fair payouts.”

Even in terms of year-on-year growth, Illinois’ metrics are looking strong. In February last year, Illinois managed $875.4 million in handle. At a hold rate of 7.2%, the state’s operators managed $63.3 million in revenue with tax collection of $10.9 million. February’s numbers this year surpassed all of those metrics, albeit not by significant margins.


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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