Illinois Sports Betting Handle Nears New Heights In January

Posted on March 10, 2021
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Written By on March 10, 2021

Illinois sports betting reached another record in January with $581.6 million in wagers.

Operators generated $49.4 million in revenue, for roughly an 8.5% hold. The state collecting $7.2 million in taxes, according to numbers released by the state Wednesday.

The Illinois sports betting numbers all are up from December’s $491.7 million in bets and $23.9 million in revenue.

It’s the fourth state to surpass $500 million in bets in a single month. Illinois stays in the No. 4 spot in state handle, behind Pennsylvania, Nevada and New Jersey. Pennsylvania reported $615.3 million in January bets, good for No. 3.

DraftKings continues to lead the way in Illinois

DraftKings led the way with $244.2 million in handle, or 42%. FanDuel and BetRivers were close behind with 30% and 19% of the state handle, respectively.

FanDuel actually generated more revenue than DraftKings, $16.9 million to $16.4 million.

PointsBet and William Hill with 7% and 2%, respectively, to round out the online operators.

Online dominates in January

More than $575.1 million of the bets were placed online, comprising essentially all of the monthly wagers. Illinois sportsbooks continue to benefit from Gov. J.B. Pritzker‘s decision last year to suspend the state’s in-person registration requirement because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

A major competitor to the online market share will enter the market in March, with Penn National‘s Barstool Sportsbook going live this week in time for the NCAA Tournament.

Online Handle Breakdown:

  • DraftKings: $243.5 million
  • FanDuel: $173.3 million
  • BetRivers: $109 million
  • PointsBet: $40.4 million
  • William Hill: $8.9 million

Basketball a slam dunk for Illinois sports betting

Illinois bettors wagered $230 million on basketball, to lead the way. With the NFL playoffs in action, $159 million was bet on football in January.

Parlays filled out the top 3 categories, with $109.2 million bet.

Soccer remained in the fourth slot with $30 million bet, with hockey coming up behind at No. 5 with $17.9 million in wagers.

Sports betting growth in store for Illinois?

The state’s bettors are still cannot wager on in-state college teams. That will continue to hamstring the overall handle, particularly as the University of Illinois basketball team heads into March Madness as a likely No. 1 seed.

Even without the in-state college wagers, the state is on pace to break $6 billion in bets in 2021.

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Pat Evans

Pat Evans is a Las Vegas-based reporter covering sports business. Evans previously worked at Front Office Sports and the Grand Rapids Business Journal. He has authored two books: Grand Rapids Beer and Nevada Beer.

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