Illinois Sports Betting Handle Tops $1 Billion 4 Months In A Row In December

Written By J.R. Duren on February 9, 2024
Chicago Bears Fan During NFL Football Game

Illinois sportsbooks followed up a record-breaking November with a strong December, posting $1.3 billion in handle, according to data from the Illinois Gaming Board.

December’s handle total marks the fourth straight month that eight online sportsbooks and 11 brick-and-mortar sportsbooks in Illinois top a billion dollars.

Where Illinois’ December sports betting handle stands in 2023

Set in the context of 2023, December’s handle numbers were the second-highest of the year, falling around $60 million short of the record betting handle IL set in November 2023:

  • December: $1.3 billion
  • November: $1.4 billion
  • October: $1.1 billion
  • September: $1.08 billion
  • August: $664.3 million
  • July: $609.8 million
  • June: $665.8 million
  • May: $821.7 million
  • April: $898.6 million
  • March: $1.1 billion
  • February: $875.4 million
  • January: $1.1 billion

Overall, sportsbooks generated more than $1 billion in revenue five times in 2023, a record for the state and a confirmation that Illinois has solidified its spot among the top sports betting markets in the nation.

DraftKings at Casino Queen leads the way for handle

A look at the casino-by-casino revenue for Illinois in December reveals DraftKings at Casino Queen generated the most handle, amassing $462.9 million. Fairmount Park posted $438.5 million, followed by Rivers Casino and Hollywood Casino Aurora:

CasinoSportsbook PartnerTotal
Argosy CasinoN/A$3,519,963
DraftKings at Casino QueenDraftKings$462,906,846
Grand Victoria CasinoCaesars$74,379,034
Fairmount ParkFanDuel$438,475,724
The Temporary at American PlaceCirca$11,207,467
Hawthorne Race Course, Inc.PointsBet$65,439,606
Hollywood Casino AuroraESPN Bet$99,531,828
Hollywood Casino JolietESPN Bet$1,410,650
Rivers CasinoBetRivers$101,762,384
Par-A-Dice Hotel CasinoBetMGM$55,677,370
Harrah's Metropolis Casino HotelCaesars$88,131
Bally's Quad Cities Hotel and CasinoN/A$13,949
Total$1,314,412,954

The state’s top handle generators saw some significant fluctuation from November to December. For example, Fairmount Park’s handle dropped around $74 million month-on-month, while DraftKings at Casino Queen saw a modest decline of just under $10 million.

The month-on-month decline would’ve been greater had it not been for a handful of casinos that increased their handle from November to December:

  • Hawthorne Race Course: Up around $11.5 million
  • Par-A-Dice Hotel Casino: Up around $4.7 million
  • Argosy: Up around $600,000
  • Hollywood Casino Joliet: Up around $15,000

What’s ahead for Illinois sports betting handle?

If 2022 and 2023 are any indication of where the sportsbook handle will head in January, we’ll likely see numbers stay in the neighborhood of $1.3 billion.

From December 2022 to January 2023, the handle rose around $40 million from $1.03 billion to $1.07 billion.

Could another handle record fall? It’s possible. If sportsbooks pulled in $70 million more in January than in December, then the record of $1,375,374,445 would fall.

With the success of sports betting, could Illinois online casinos be next? There is legislation for Illinois lawmakers to consider. Keep track of Illinois and other states’ online casino legislation with our online casino bill tracker.

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J.R. Duren

J.R. Duren has covered the gambling beats for more than a dozen states for Catena Media since 2015. His past reporting experience includes two years at the Villages Daily Sun, and he is a first-place winner at the Florida Press Club Excellence in Journalism Contest.

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