The Illinois Gaming Board reported traditional sports wagering handle totaling $564.8 million for August, pushing Illinois ahead of New Jersey for the No. 2 spot nationally for the month.
Only Arizona has yet to release handle and revenue for August, but it has never topped Illinois in handle since launching in September 2021. That makes the Land of Lincoln — home to Chicago and popular for putting giardiniera on its hot dogs — a near-lock to finish between New York and the Garden State.
Illinois generated more than $1.9 billion handle from May to July, just $22 million less than New Jersey in that span as it finished less than $2 million off the pace in May and less than $5 million off in June. If Illinois finishes ahead of Arizona as expected, it would mark the first time Illinois was No. 2 for handle since May 2021, when it edged out Nevada to finish behind New Jersey.
At that time, the Empire State was still working to figure out its mobile plans. New York launched online wagering in January and has been atop the national rankings the entire year.
Illinois handle was up 9.4% compared to July’s $516.4 million and 41.1% higher versus the $400.4 million wagered in August 2021. As for revenue, the $47.8 million claimed by the house in August 2022 was 3.7% better than July and 78% more than last year.
The state’s 8.5% win rate, while notably above the industry standard of 7%, ranks third worst among the 25 states to publish figures for August, ahead of only Louisiana (7.6%) and Nevada (3.9%). Illinois was one of only seven states to post an August win rate below 10%.
The state reaped close to $7.2 million in tax receipts, while Cook County netted $526,206 from its 2% levy on all operator revenue placed on wagers placed inside county limits — which includes Chicago. Illinois has collected $65.3 million in sports wagering tax revenue for the calendar year, $17.3 million ahead of the first eight months of 2021. The $4.7 million in Cook County’s coffers through August is nearly $1 million ahead of last year’s pace.
FanDuel again at the double
Parlays have been the key differentiator for FanDuel as it holds sway as the nation’s top mobile option, and Illinois was no different in August. FanDuel posted a robust 10.5% hold on $176.7 million in completed events handle, netting more than $18.6 million in adjusted revenue. More than half that total came via parlay winnings, with the $11.2 million marking its sixth straight month reaching eight figures.
The 20.3% hold was actually below FanDuel’s 21% hold for the year on parlays in Illinois and second-best to PointsBet (21.4%) among the state’s seven online operators for August in the category. FanDuel has generated $119 million in parlay revenue this year alone in Illinois. As a point of comparison, the overall sports wagering revenue in Iowa is $119.9 million for the first nine months of 2022.
DraftKings was a comfortable second in both categories with a completed events handle of $158.9 million and $11.7 million in revenue for a 7.9% win rate. It also had a strong August when it came to parlays, reaping $6.9 million in revenue from $32.8 million handle for a 17.4% hold.
BetRivers rounded out the top three in both completed events handle ($60.6 million) and revenue ($5.2 million). BetMGM‘s entrance into the state in March has made the jockeying for fourth through seventh in handle more pronounced. The most recent debutant finished fifth at $33.8 million, slotting behind PointsBet’s $37.6 million.
Caesars Sportsbook, which finished approximately $450,000 ahead of Barstool Sportsbook for sixth in traditional handle, narrowly missed doing likewise for completed handle as its $27.9 million was just below Barstool’s $28.5 million figure.
PointsBet cleared a 10% hold for the second consecutive month, reaching 10.3% while netting $3.9 million in revenue. BetMGM topped $2 million for the fifth time in six months of reports with $2.4 million, while Barstool fended off Caesars for sixth in revenue by $22,154 as it claimed close to $1.8 million in operator winnings.
Parlays and baseball serve as revenue drivers
The overall parlay win rate on completed events handle was an eye-watering 22.9% as operators kept $24.9 million of the $133.7 million wagered. All seven mobile operators had a hold of 10.1% or better, with BetRivers (20.1%) joining PointsBet and FanDuel among those above 20%.
PointsBet finished just shy of $2.4 million in parlay revenue while Barstool netted $1.1 million on such bets. Australian-based PointsBet, however, may struggle to match its total in September considering it paid out nearly $3 million to Marco Piemonte after he hit a six-leg wager.
Baseball was the other big moneymaker for the books, though the $10.8 million retained from $196 million handle resulted in a more modest 5.8% win rate. Tennis again claimed the No. 3 spots for handle and revenue at $91.8 million and $5.8 million, respectively. FanDuel was a primary driver of handle here as well, accepting an all-time high of $33.9 million in tennis wagers.
The start of international club soccer also provided a boost to handle numbers, with $45.9 million in completed handle generating $2.6 million in revenue. The catch-all “other” category netted almost the exact same amount of revenue on $28.5 million handle for a 9.9% hold.
And on the retail side …
Though Rivers Casino remains the handle bellcow for brick-and-mortar sportsbooks in the Land of Lincoln, bettors held the Des Plaines location to a state-low 5.5% win rate. The $693,281 in revenue from $12.6 million in completed events handle was still enough to be tops in Illinois, but Argosy Casino in Alton was a much closer second in revenue at $544,285 thanks to a 18.3% hold.
DraftKings at CasinoQueen was third at $462,574 with a 15.2% win rate, while Hollywood Casino in Aurora — Barstool’s tether — was the only other venue to finish above $200,000. The overall retail win rate was just under 10.2% as the state’s 11 total venues, when including Hawthorne Race Course’s two OTB locations, generated $23.9 million in completed events handle and more than $2.4 million in revenue.