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Illinois Sports Betting Handle Up 29% From Last Year

Written By J.R. Duren on April 18, 2023
Strong Revenue Grip Illinois Sports Betting February 2023

Illinois sportsbooks brought in more than $875 million in handle (total bets) in February, a 29% increase over February 2022.

Sports gambling in Illinois was down month-on-month (MoM), which is to be expected since February had fewer days than January.

Overall, Illinois’ seven sportsbooks continued to generate significant action, ranking second in total handle last month among all states with sports betting.

Illinois sports betting revenue by casino

Fairmount Park led the way in sports betting revenue in February bringing in $33.5 million between retail and online sports betting, more than double the next closest casino, DraftKings at Casino Queen.

While the two casinos were relatively close in handle, Fairmount Park managed to take a 10.9% hold (revenue as a percentage of handle) compared to Casino Queen’s 5.9%

Only one casino in Illinois lost money on sports betting in February: Argosy Casino Alton. The property tallied a loss of $35,709, for a hold of -1.1%.

Overall, casinos failed to keep pace with January’s revenue totals. In February, sportsbooks revenue totaled $63.3 million, which is more than $25 million less than the previous month.

CasinoHandleRevenueHoldTaxes
Fairmount Park$307,217,253$33,461,23310.9%$5,406,172
Casino East St. Louis$278,866,173$16,347,5025.9%$2,974,534
Rivers Des Plaines$91,472,309$5,643,2956.2%$995,522
Grand Victoria$54,935,471$994,3581.8%$199,510
Hawthorne$53,446,908$3,830,1027.2%$713,158
Par-A-Dice$50,075,114$2,099,7274.2%$394,437
Hollywood Aurora$34,947,453$760,4432.2%$259,096
Argosy$3,239,894-$35,709-1.1%$0
Hollywood Joliet$1,187,212$196,95916.6%$24,865
Totals$875,387,789$63,297,9107.2%$10,967,295

February handle beats previous year by nearly $200 million

Illinois sports betting year-on-year handle was up nearly 30% in February, and was the sixth-highest total in the past year. However, February’s sub-$900 million tally broke a streak of four straight months of more than $1 billion in handle for Illinois sportsbooks.

MonthHandleRevenueHoldTaxes
February 2022$679,374,199$31,074,3814.6%$5,720,366
March 2022$971,278,389$79,421,0378.2%$9,758,140
April 2022$839,386,882$68,234,7918.1%$11,321,487
May 2022$764,591,757$65,214,3888.5%$10,838,258
June 2022$628,459,522$40,981,4756.5%$6,576,948
July 2022$516,414,719$43,849,5398.5%$7,392,918
August 2022$564,837,409$64,628,59911.4%$7,694,847
September 2022$831,805,990$83,533,80110.0%$12,559,685
October 2022$1,029,560,184$91,569,7528.9%$16,350,363
November 2022$1,029,615,448$96,937,2489.4%$15,581,846
December 2022$1,028,471,257$81,407,4707.9%$13,186,151
January 2023$1,070,033,292$88,552,0648.3%$15,410,653
February 2023$875,387,789$63,297,9107.2%$10,967,295

Based on 2022’s handle data, it’s likely we’ll see the handle break $1 billion in March, then dip below that through the summer.

Illinois keeps national sports gambling grip on second place

While Illinois experienced a significant dip in sportsbook revenue in February, there was some good news. The state remained #2 in handle among states with sports betting, edging out New Jersey by around $28 million.

RankStateHandleMonth-on-Month ChangeYear-on-Year Change
1New York$1.5 billion-18%-4%
2Illinois$875.4 million-18%29%
3New Jersey$847.4 million-22%-24%
4Nevada$659.1 million-30%-16%
5Ohio$639.8 million-43%N/A
6Pennsyvalnia$599.5 million-22%0%
7Virginia$433.8 million-15%8%
8Colorado$425.1 million-22%-3%
9Michigan$357.2 million-27%-16%
10Indiana$356.2 millino-17%-13%

More good news: Illinois’ 18% month-on-month drop in handle but year-on-year increase (YoY) was solid compared to other states. For example, New York, the leader in handle, saw an 18% drop in MoM and a 4% drop YoY. New Jersey‘s MoM handle dipped 22% and its YoY total sunk 14%.

In fact, among the top 10 states for handle in February, Illinois had the best YoY increase and the third-best MoM change.

Photo by PlayUSA
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Written by
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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