Illinois Sports Betting Sets Record Despite March Madness Dropoff

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Illinois sports betting

Illinois sports betting had its most active month yet, despite no NFL games and a dropin basketball betting during March Madness.

Illinois sports betting saw a record $1.07 billion handle in March, edging out its previous January 2023 record by $2.7 million, according to a report this month from the Illinois Gaming Board.

Basketball down, parlays up

Last year, Illinois and the other largest betting state, saw their highest handles during the NFL betting season. March Madness is traditionally the largest multi-game sports betting event.

However, it was not a new embrace of college basketball that pushed March handle over the top. Rather, bettors are loving the longshot bet-types that sportsbooks are promoting furiously.

Parlays, or bets that combine multiple bets for higher payouts, accounted for $294 million in handle, up $78 million from last March. Basketball betting was down $40 million year-over-year, according to the report. Basketball was still by far the most bet on individual sport, at $513 million, followed by tennis at $80 million, a $17 million uptick from last March.

IL sportsbooks break revenue record

What was a great March for Illinois tax collectors, who took their second most in a month at $15.6 million, was even better for sportsbooks.

Illinois sportsbooks held 10% of total handle, their first double-digit month since September and nearly 2% more than last March. That translated to a record $107.4 million in gross gaming revenue for operators, their first triple-digit month in Illinois.

FanDuel holds IL sports betting handle lead

FanDuel led all operators in handle at $367.6 million, as it typically has each month since Illinois launched.

It was followed by:

Among 25 states to report March revenue, Illinois was second in handle behind New York. It marks the fifth billion-dollar month in three years for Illinois, each occurring over a streak of the last five months.