One of the leading states when it comes to overall handle, bettors in the Prairie State fashioned a traditional handle of $898.6 million for April to currently rank second to New York. The completed events handle was slightly higher at $906.7 million, as the men’s and women’s NCAA Tournaments wrapped up in the first week.
Parlay wagering accounted for 27.5% of the completed handle, finishing about $600,000 short of $250 million. All seven mobile operators in Illinois generated $1.2 million or more in revenue from parlays, with FanDuel accounting for more than half the $49.8 million in online revenue as the group had a collective 20.7% win rate. FanDuel posted an eye-watering 26% hold on $99.9 million handle in that category, reaping just shy of $26 million in winnings.
Both FanDuel and DraftKings derived more than half of their total monthly revenue from parlay winnings, but four other mobile books had parlays account for at least 44% of April revenue. BetMGM, which had the lowest parlay hold among the seven at 12%, had parlays account for slightly more than a third of its revenue.
The 20.7% hold for parlay wagering boosted the state’s overall wagering hold to just shy of 10%, the fourth-highest in 36 months of betting. Revenue was up 27% year-over-year as the statewide win rate was 1.6 percentage points higher than April 2022. Handle was also up 7.1% compared to last year, continuing a positive trend in Illinois, as the $3.9 billion wagered through the first four months of the year is 16.7% higher than the comparable span last year.
April’s handle marked just the second time in seven months that Illinois failed to reach $1 billion, though the 16.2% downturn from March’s record $1.072 billion was expected with the end of the NBA and NHL regular seasons coming mid-month.
The state received $13.4 million in taxes, while Cook County — which includes Chicago — received just over $1 million in levies from the $50.1 million in AGR generated within its borders. Illinois has generated some $52.7 million in state taxes from sports wagering thus far in 2023, more than $17.7 million ahead of last year’s pace.
Putting FanDuel’s parlay dominance in focus
Running April Top 10 #SportsBetting handle by state:
1 New York $1.55B
2 ILLINOIS $898.6M <-NEW
3 New Jersey ~$834M
4 Nevada $598M
5 Massachusetts $579.3M
6 Pennsylvania $572.2M
7 Ohio $522.7M
8 Virginia ~$426M
9 Colorado $417.8M
10 Michigan $338.1M#GamblingTwitter
— Chris Altruda (@AlTruda73) June 13, 2023
It’s no secret that parlay wagering is wildly popular in Illinois, which has been trying to assert itself as the second-largest market in total handle in the U.S., ahead of New Jersey and behind New York. FanDuel, whose status as first mover in same-game parlay wagering has created separation in overall operator revenue among mobile books, has enjoyed an even wider chasm when it comes to Illinois.
FanDuel has claimed at least $25 million in monthly revenue from parlays for seven months running and crossed the $500 million mark in all-time revenue in Illinois with April’s numbers. The online juggernaut has posted a 20% or better hold on parlays in the Land of Lincoln for 10 consecutive months and is currently at 23.9% in 2023. FanDuel’s $110.2 million in parlay revenue this year accounts for nearly 70% of its total online revenue in Illinois and is more than any other mobile operator’s total revenue for the year.
That is not to say other operators are faltering — far from it. DraftKings narrowly missed a 9% overall hold as it landed just shy of $25 million in AGR for April. Its parlay win rate was 17.3%, resulting in $13.4 million from $77.6 million wagered, and DraftKings’ year-to-date parlay revenue of $52.1 million is 71.8% higher than the first four months of 2022.
BetRivers is where the most interesting shift has occurred when it comes to parlay wagering among the early mobile entrants in the state. Its $84.4 million handle in the category has already exceeded its full-year 2022 total of $67.2 million, while the $13.5 million claimed in revenue is a five-fold increase from the first four months of last year.
Caesars, which did not begin offering parlays until March of last year, has also stepped its game up this year as part of its overall rise in the state. The $11.6 million parlay handle for April is an all-time monthly high, as was the $1.7 million in revenue generated. Caesars topped $70 million handle for the second straight month, finishing at $74 million as it narrowed the gap to BetRivers in fourth to $7.1 million.
PointsBet has recovered quite nicely from paying out Marco Piemonte‘s $3 million parlay win last September, claiming at least $2 million in winnings from the wagering category each of the last seven months. The Aussie-based book reaped $2.6 million in April thanks to an 18.7% hold, part of a strong month in which it had an all-time high win rate of 11.4% to post nearly $5.4 million in revenue.
Rivers tops $1 million in retail revenue
Rivers Casino in Des Plaines was again atop the leaderboard for retail revenue for April and was the only sportsbook to clear $1 million for the month. Its $1.1 million in winnings came from $11 million in accepted bets for a 10.2% hold.
Both PENN Entertainment venues — Hollywood Aurora and Hollywood Joliet — posted double-digit win rates, with Aurora recording a state-best 16.8% mark to keep $250,379 from $1.5 million handle. The Joliet venue had a more modest $117,388 win from $1.1 million in bets.
Conversely, Par-A-Dice Casino in East Peoria posted its first monthly loss since March 2022 as bettors came out $37,878 ahead on more than $630,000 wagered. The statewide hold on retail betting was 8.1% for April, with the brick-and-mortar books collecting $2.4 million in gross revenue from $29.3 million handle.