DraftKings, FanDuel Pace Online Illinois Sports Betting Handle

Posted on August 5, 2021
Illinois sports betting
Posted By on August 5, 2021

Despite still suffering from the summer doldrums of the sports schedule, Illinois sports betting further established itself as a top market in June.

Illinois bettors wagered $476.5 million during the month, down from $507.3 million in May. The total is the lowest amount bet in Illinois since November 2020. The state’s highest handle to date was $633.6 million in March.

While lower than the previous six months, Illinois sports betting still turned in the third-highest handle of active states. Sports betting in New Jersey turned in a $766.9 million handle, while Nevada sports betting hit $544.8 million.

Illinois sports betting bottom line

Operators turned in $48.2 million in total revenue, good for approximately a 10% hold. 

That revenue figure is up from May’s $36.2 million. 

The state collected $7.1 million in taxes.

Two-way online operator battle in Illinois

The online handle in Illinois was $451.7 million, making up 94.8% of the June total. Prior to the reinstatement of an in-person registration requirement, online sports betting made up more than 95% of the market. Of course, those who registered remotely during the suspension still can wager online.

DraftKings and FanDuel made up 69.2% of the online handle, with $157.1 million and $155.3 million, respectively. FanDuel led the market with $20.3 million in revenue.

Those figures suggest the remote registration period during the pandemic in 2020 thawed whatever chilling effect Rivers hoped to achieve legislatively.

BrandOnline HandleRevenueHoldMarket Share
DraftKings$157.1 million$13.9 million8.8%34.8%
FanDuel$155.3 million$20.1 million12.9%34.4%
BetRivers$71.2 million$7.5 million10.5%15.8%
PointsBet$33.6 million$3.4 million10.1%7.4%
Barstool Sportsbook$28.7 million$2.1 million7.3%6.3%
William Hill$5.9 million$504,0068.5%1.3%

Rivers Casino Des Plaines dominated the retail handle with nearly $12 million of the $24.8 million bet at retail sportsbooks.

Major operators making a push for Illinois?

During its second-quarter earnings call, Caesars Entertainment announced an investment of at least $1 billion in its digital gaming operation, which now includes William Hill. On Aug. 2, Caesars rebranded a majority of William Hill sportsbooks as Caesars Sportsbook.

In several markets, including Illinois, the sportsbook will be Caesars Sportsbook by William Hill because of in-person registration requirements at casinos.

In MGM Entertainment‘s second-quarter earnings presentation, Illinois is listed as a state with “market access secured or anticipated” for BetMGM. MGM’s application for Illinois licensure was being considered when Pritzker reinstituted in-person signup.

Promising future ahead for IL sports betting?

Illinois had jumped Nevada to No. 2 in state handle in April and May. With the vital NFL betting season ahead, Illinois bettors could bump those figures back up to challenge the March record.

Beyond the football season, the in-person registration requirement in Illinois is set to expire next year. Once that runs out, the monthly handle could see a major jump like the one seen in Iowa earlier this year.

On Thursday, the Illinois Gaming Board published online-only license applications for three initial online-only operators. The application period ends Dec. 3.

The in-person registration requirement terminates once the IGB awards the first online-only license.

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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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