The Illinois Gaming Board reported a traditional sports wagering handle for September of $596.5 million Monday, sending the national monthly total over $5 billion for the first time in the post-PASPA era.
The milestone was expected to be reached after multiple states — 10 in fact — posted all-time record monthly handles. While Illinois was not among them, its September figure trails only the $633.6 million generated in March as it became one of four states to post its second-highest single-month figure. The Land of Lincoln also became the fourth state to surpass $6 billion in overall handle, joining New Jersey, Nevada, and Pennsylvania in that select circle.
With only newcomer Arizona yet to provide figures, the total handle from 22 states and the District of Columbia has totaled $5.19 billion, easily blowing past the previous record of $4.63 billion established in March thanks in large part to the NCAA men’s basketball tournament. September offers a high-volume convergence of the NFL, Major League Baseball, and college football, and the increasing popularity of parlay wagering — both in offerings among operators and bettors participating — also fueled the rise. Additionally, there are now more jurisdictions accepting legal bets than ever before.
Illinois operators totaled just shy of $40 million in adjusted revenue for September, posting a 6.7% win rate that was nearly identical to August. State tax coffers received just shy of $6 million in receipts, while Cook County generated a separate $451,911 in tax receipts.
The state has generated $53.9 million in tax revenue this year, trailing only Pennsylvania and New Jersey.
DraftKings takes handle crown, takes some hits
DraftKings remains the only mobile operator in Illinois to clear $200 million in monthly handle, accomplishing the feat for the third time in September with close to $231 million in wagers, but bettors came out ahead in a few sports. Additionally, operators are not allowed to set aside promotional play as untaxed revenue, which is a likely contributing factor to DK paying out nearly $2.4 million more than the $92.5 million wagered.
Bettors squeaked out wins in baseball, coming out nearly $664,000 ahead, and basketball, at just shy of $47,000. One area where DraftKings recouped some of those losses was tennis, coming out more than $850,000 to the good. Its leading revenue driver was parlays, claiming more than $8 million off $49.8 million wagered for a 16.13% win rate.
DraftKings‘ handle represented 40.8% of the market share among the six mobile operators in the state, with FanDuel (27.2%) and BetRivers (15.3%) each claiming a double-digit percentage of the pie. At $44.9 million, Barstool edged PointsBet ($41.6 million) for fourth, with Caesars ($8.1 million) a distant sixth while accounting for 1.4% of the state’s completed events online handle of $566 million.
FanDuel extended its run as top revenue generator to 10 months as it claimed more than $16.7 million in revenue. BetRivers’ total of nearly $7.3 million was good enough for its first second-place finish since October 2020, as DraftKings’ revenue slipped 9.6% from August to nearly $6.6 million despite a 61.6% increase in handle month over month.
Barstool ($3.6 million) and PointsBet ($3.1 million) rounded out the top five, with Caesars claiming $269,303 as it also saw bettors fare well and limit the book to a 3.3% win rate.
Parlays again prove outsized portion of revenue
FanDuel’s lengthy run of being the top revenue generator in Illinois has been largely due to parlays, and September was no different as $10.7 million of its revenue came from such plays on an eye-watering 22.3% win rate. It actually had a lighter parlay handle than DraftKings, totaling just over $48 million in that area.
PointsBet had 61.3% of its revenue originate from parlays, as it reaped $1.9 million from close to $9.9 million wagered for a 19.3% win rate.
Overall, parlay wagering created nearly $22.9 million in revenue, accounting for 57.2% of the overall total. Parlay revenue for the year has surpassed $171 million on $983.6 million wagered, resulting in a 17.4% hold. The $25.7 million in tax revenue from parlay winnings alone accounts for 47.6% of the total taxes the state has received for the year.
Rivers continues to rule retail roost
Rivers Casino continues to do most of the heavy retail sportsbook lifting as it accepted nearly $10.9 million in wagers and topped $1 million in revenue for the fifth time since accepting the state’s first bet in March 2020. Overall, retailers set an all-time high for monthly handle at $25.8 million, eclipsing the previous mark of $24.7 million set in October 2020.
Despite not having the Barstool Sportsbook tether for in-person registration, Hollywood Casino in Joliet nearly outpaced its Aurora counterpart in hand and actually outperformed it in revenue by slightly more than $900,000 with revenue totaling $164,381.
The in-person house’s hold of 9.3% resulted in close to $2.4 million in revenue and was closer in line to the year-to-date win rate of 9.7%.