Illinois Inches Its Wagering Handle Record Higher To $1.07 Billion

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The Illinois Gaming Board reported traditional sports wagering handle of slightly more than $1.07 billion for January on Tuesday, setting an all-time high while surpassing $1 billion for the fourth consecutive month.

The state’s previous record of $1.03 billion was established in October, with both November and December handle coming within $1.1 million of that amount. January’s figure was a 4% increase from December and 23.3% higher than the $867.5 million generated in January 2022.

Illinois’ January figures also resulted in a national monthly record for handle for the third straight month, rising to $10.9 billion with Arizona yet to report. It was also the first time operator gross revenue surpassed $1 billion in a month, with January’s current total of $1.02 billion easing past December’s short-lived standard of $955.7 million. The $187.3 million in state tax revenue generated to start the year is also a new record, topping the $174 million from November.

Adjusted gross revenue in Illinois totaled just over $96 million, the third-highest mark in Illinois history, as the hold settled just under 9%. Those top three monthly revenue totals have come in the last four months of wagering in the Land of Lincoln, which has cleared $1.5 billion in all-time adjusted gross revenue dating to its March 2020 launch. Illinois is also $275 million shy of surpassing $20 billion in all-time handle.

The state received more than $14.4 million in tax receipts from its 15% rate on adjusted gross revenue. Cook County, which includes the city of Chicago, received just over $1 million in receipts based on the additional 2% levy on all operator revenue from wagers placed within the county.

FanDuel pushes mobile monthly records higher

For the second straight month, FanDuel set an all-time monthly record for traditional handle, upping the standard to nearly $371.6 million. It completed the double of setting a new monthly state standard for revenue, claiming close to $46.4 million in January as it posted a 12.4% win rate on a completed handle of $374.6 million.

More than 62% of that revenue came via parlay wagering, with the online titan collecting $28.9 million from such wagers and posting a robust 21.5% hold via $134.6 million in accepted parlay plays. It was the seventh consecutive month FanDuel’s hold on parlays was at least 20%, while the handle shattered the previous record it set in October at just shy of $111 million.

FanDuel’s eternal foil DraftKings was the only other mobile operator to reach nine figures for handle at $331.4 million, trailing only the $338.8 million in October for its busiest month. DraftKings had a more modest 7.5% win rate to claim $24.9 million in revenue. Like FanDuel, more than half of its revenue came by way of parlays, with the operator winning $13.3 million on such bets with a 14.9% win rate.

BetRivers was third in handle at $96.6 million, but its parlay handle increased nearly four-fold from December to $24.5 million and represented 25.2% of its completed handle, compared to 6.9% the previous month. Its revenue was relatively flat month-over-month at $7.3 million, an increase of less than $31,000.

Statewide parlay revenue totaled $54.6 million in January, the third-highest total in state history, while parlay handle cracked $300 million for the first time in Illinois, with traditional handle totaling $303.5 million.

PointsBet started the year in strong fashion with fourth-place finishes in both handle ($72.7 million) and revenue ($4.6 million). It was the fourth straight month the Aussie-based book cleared $70 million in accepted wagers, while revenue picked up by 37.5% as the 6.3% win rate was more than 2 percentage points better than December.

Caesars Sportsbook set an all-time best in handle for the third straight month, reaching $57.6 million, and edged out BetMGM for the No. 5 slot by less than $700,000. Bettors kept the emperor and his house below a 4% hold as Caesars finished with just $2.3 million in revenue.

BetMGM finished less than $53,000 shy of $4 million, and while Barstool Sportsbook was last in handle for the third month in a row at $46.7 million, its 7.2% win rate gave the PENN Entertainment book a soft landing for sixth in revenue among the seven mobile operators at more than $3.4 million.

Football the top sport for revenue

When removing parlay wagering from the equation, Illinois bettors appeared to more than hold their own in single-event wagering, as the hold for such bets was only 5.4% on $771 million wagered. Football proved to be the biggest money maker among sports for the house at close to $15 million, with basketball second at $12.2 million.

The public held the house to a 3.6% win rate from $338.1 million wagered on hoops, compared to a 6.8% hold on $221.1 million in football bets. The Australian Open may have proved to be the difference maker in setting a new record for handle, as the first tennis major of the calendar year lifted that sport’s handle to $77.2 million, more than double that of December. Tennis also ranked third in operator revenue at close to $5.5 million with a 7.1% win rate.

The catch-all “other” category was fourth in non-parlay revenue, totaling almost $4.1 million, while soccer revenue came close to $2.9 million thanks to a 7.6% win rate to round out the top five.

PointsBet gets boost from new OTB book

PointsBet had its best month in terms of retail handle, boosted by the opening of its third off-track betting retail sportsbook in Villa Park. The $3.8 million combined handle from the track and OTB venues was an increase of nearly $1.1 million from December and topped the previous record of $3.2 million set in January 2022. Revenue did not rise in step, though, as the 6.6% hold resulted in a 12.1% increase in revenue to nearly $247,000.

Rivers reclaimed its customary spot for top revenue generator among brick-and-mortar sportsbooks, finishing with more than $1.2 million from $14 million. Casino Queen, which took honors in December, backslid to No. 2 in December as the DraftKings-powered book finished with nearly $575,000 in revenue on the strength of a 10.2% win rate.

PENN Entertainment’s Barstool books in Joliet and Aurora produced just over $511,000 in revenue, while FanDuel’s book at Fairmount Park paced all retail operators with a 20.7% hold to generate $411,000 in winnings. Bettors fared far bettor in East Peoria, limiting Par-A-Dice’s sportsbook to a paltry $3,650 in revenue from close to $1.2 million handle, resulting in a 0.3% hold.


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