A New Number Two? Illinois Posts Successful August Betting Handle

The Illinois Gaming Board reported its sports wagering handle for the month of August as $564.8 million, edging out New Jersey for the second place spot nationally for the month of August. 

This is the first time that Illinois is No. 2 for handle in a month since May 2021, when it topped Nevada and finished behind a then-leading New Jersey handle. Since then, New York launched sports betting, effectively taking over the U.S. sports betting market as the unanimous leader. 

A Glance At The August Numbers

Both month-over-month and year-over-year handle and revenue increased in August 2022. The $564.8 million handle is up 9.4% from July’s $516.4 million and up over 40% from August 2021 which produced a handle of around $400 million. Over 90% of this month’s handle was from online sports betting. Revenue this August was $47.8 million, up 3.7% from July and 78% from August of last year. 

The win rate in the state settled at an above-average 8.5%. Still, it ranks in the bottom three of national win rates in August, above just Louisiana and Nevada, and was one of seven states with a win rate below 10% in the month of August. 

This totalled over $7 million in tax revenue for Illinois in August, contributing to the $65.3 million total that’s been accumulated this calendar year. The number is well beyond the pace of last year, which was $17.3 million behind the current tax revenue total at this time in 2021.

FanDuel Continues Lead

FanDuel continues to lead in several states, Illinois included, in handle, revenue, and win rate. It posted a $176.7 million mobile handle in August, $18.61 million in revenue, and a 10.53% win rate. DraftKings claimed the No. 2 spot in August, almost $20 million behind FanDuel in handle, at $158.86 million. It generated $11.68 million in revenue and a win rate of 7.94%. 

DraftKings and FanDuel are the clear leaders in the Illinois market as the next highest handle, produced by BetRivers, is roughly a third of FanDuel’s August number. BetRivers bettors wagered just over $60 million in Illinois in August, and left the operator with about $5.25 million in revenue. The sportsbook’s win rate was 8.65%. 

These top three were followed in handle by PointsBet ($37.64 million), BetMGM ($33.85 million), Barstool ($28.55 million), and Caesars ($27.89 million).

Baseball & Parlays Lead The Way

Per the August report, there are 11 sports categories (baseball, basketball, boxing/MMA, football, golf, hockey, soccer, tennis, motor race, parlays, and others) that make up the $564.8 million sports betting handle and $47.8 million in revenue for the month.

Baseball was the most popular sport to bet on, unsurprisingly, totaling just over $196 million in wagers and $10.78 million in revenue. Tennis was a distant second, with Illinois bettors wagering $91.84 million on various tennis events, most likely the US Open, which began in August. 

Parlays accounted for $133.67 million of the total handle (23.67%) and $24.89 million of the total revenue (over 50%). Operators kept an astounding 22.88% of wagers. 

FanDuel led the charge on parlay bets as well, accounting for $43.88 million of the $133.67 million handle. On a 20.33% win rate, FanDuel netted $11.19 million on parlays alone. This contributes to its $119 million total in parlay revenue in the state this year. To give that some perspective, Iowa’s total year-to-date revenue is $119.9 million, which includes an extra month. 

As we await September’s revenue results, we will likely see a steady continuation of parlay bets as we’ve seen in recent months, but a shift towards a larger share of football-related betting.

Mia Fowler is a graduate of Chapman University where she studied business marketing and journalism and played on the women’s soccer team. Following her 16-year journey with soccer, she started writing for Lineups.com. She specifically enjoys analysis of the NFL.

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