The Illinois Gaming Board closed out August’s national sports betting revenue reports Friday, showing close to $400.4 million in handle.
The total, which represented an 8.5% improvement from July’s figure of $369.1 million, was good for third among the 19 states and District of Columbia that offered legalized sports wagering in August. Illinois, which releases monthly revenue figures later than other states, finished approximately $27.8 million behind Nevada for second and more than $51.8 million better than Pennsylvania for the final podium spot.
Illinois also cleared the $4 billion mark for 2021 handle, trailing only New Jersey ($6.1 billion) and Nevada ($4.2 billion) nationally.
Despite the increase in handle, adjusted gaming revenue fell to its lowest monthly total of the year at more than $26.8 million. Operators had a year-low win rate of 6.71%, which was 3.48 percentage points lower than the all-time high of 10.19% established in July. Operators in the Land of Lincoln have made nearly $319.5 million this year, trailing only New Jersey in adjusted revenue.
Despite the monthly falloff in revenue, the state received more than $4 million in taxes, lifting the total for the first eight months of the year to more than $47.9 million. Cook County, which receives 2% of adjusted gaming revenue on all bets retail and online placed in the county, collected $294,458 in tax revenue for August and over $3.7 million for the year.
Through the first eight months of 2021, the national cumulative handle was less than $5 million shy of $30 billion. Each month, the national handle is further distancing itself from the pandemic-affected total of $21.5 billion generated for all of 2020.
Illinois parlay bettors acquit themselves well
A customer in Illinois placed this $5 MLB division winner parlay on April 23rd…
The ticket cashed this week for $56.6k 💰
LEGENDARY hit 👏👏👏 pic.twitter.com/oDrBI25SFb
— FanDuel Sportsbook (@FDSportsbook) October 5, 2021
Parlay wagering is a wildly popular option among Illinois sports bettors, who have placed close to $860 million in such wagers this year and nearly $1.2 billion since the state began taking bets in March 2020. But its popularity does not equate to success: Operators have reaped close to $200 million in profits from those plays while posting an eye-watering 16.76% win rate all-time.
August, however, proved different. A record parlay handle — though expected to be short-lived, considering how the NFL moves this market , combined with the expansion of single game parlay offerings from multiple operators — of $126.6 million was generated in August. While operators still came away with a hefty chunk of change at more than $12.1 million, the 9.6% hold knocked the yearly win rate down to 17.23% and marked the first time it was below 10% since September 2020 at 7.75%.
Much of the drop can be attributed to DraftKings, which accepted nearly $76 million in parlay wagers but posted only a 5.51% win rate and made just shy of $4.2 million. The other four Illinois mobile operators that offer parlay betting — FanDuel, PointsBet, Barstool Sportsbook and BetRivers — all had holds ranging from 12.32% (PointsBet) to 20.88% (BetRivers).
Parlays ranked second in handle among all categories, with baseball topping the chart at more than $138.6 million. Tennis ($43.2 million), soccer ($30.9 million) and the catch-all other category ($15.7 million) rounded out the top five for handle. Overall, parlay revenue dropped 28.2% from July and 47.2% from June’s all-time high of nearly $23 million.
On the revenue side, baseball also finished second to parlays as operators collected more than $8.9 million in that sport. Operators collected more than $5 million combined from soccer and tennis, while the “other” category ranked fifth with more than $1.2 million.
Both baseball handle and revenue set all-time monthly highs, while soccer crossed the $250 million mark for handle on the year.
Same old story: DK 1st in handle, FD in revenue
DraftKings grabbed more traditional handle market share in August, pacing the six mobile operators in the state for the seventh time in eight months with $146.6 million in accepted wagers. DraftKings also became the first online operator in Illinois to clear $2 billion in handle for completed events.
FanDuel also cleared nine figures for August, placing a comfortable second at just under $110.9 million. BetRivers ($64.8 million), PointsBet ($27.3 million), Barstool ($25.5 million) and Caesars ($5.2 million) complete the pecking order, with the Aussie-based PointsBet fending off Barstool for the third straight month to claim the No. 4 spot.
Barstool, though, did edge out PointsBet for fourth in revenue with just under $2.1 million, while PointsBet finished less than $20,000 shy of $2 million. FanDuel’s overall win rate of 8.5% powered it to the top spot for revenue with more than $9.3 million — which was 40.3% lower than July’s take of more than $15.6 million.
DraftKings’ revenue slipped 19.7% month over month to under $7.3 million, while BetRivers tumbled 26.9% to just below $4.7 million. While Caesars’ handle surged 39.4% compared to July, its revenue fell 12.4% to $198,983, due to a paltry hold of 3.57%.
Retail handle modestly higher, but revenue lags
Retail sportsbooks were not immune to better bettor performances as the seven casino venues and two race tracks posted a cumulative win rate of 6.69% on nearly $20 million wagered — an increase of 7.7% compared to July’s $18.1 million. Rivers accounted for more than 40% of the handle with over $8.5 million, and its $675,538 in revenue was more than half the $1.3 million generated.
Casino Queen in East St. Louis ($202,160), Hawthorne Race Course ($153,391) and Argosy Casino Alton ($112,194) were the only other spots to post six-figure revenue totals, with Hawthorne’s total also factoring in its two off-track sites. FanDuel Sportsbook and Horse Racing on the western side of the state barely came out ahead with $6,307 on more than $570,000 wagers, while bettors placing wagers at Par-A-Dice in East Peoria came out $975 ahead on $260,504 wagered.