Illinois Reports Record-High $840 Million in October Sports Betting Handle


We’ve seen some awesome numbers be reported in regards to sports betting volume in the month of October, and Illinois has now joined the party by reporting its massive month. On Wednesday, the Illinois Gaming Board reported $840.4 million in October sports betting handle, putting the state inside the top ten all-time for sports betting handle in a single month. Illinois pushed the overall nationwide handle for October over $7 billion, making it look silly that everyone had been celebrating passing $5 billion for the first time in September.

Massive Financial Results in Illinois

Illinois is quickly becoming one of the most significant sports betting markets in the United States, and October showed it has the power to compete with the top markets as it ranked behind only New Jersey and Nevada in the overall handle. Illinois saw its sports betting handle increase by 40.9% from $596.5 million in September and 93.4% from $434.6 million in October 2020. The previous record in the state had been $633.6 million in March 2021 and October beat that number by 32.6%. Illinois joined New Jersey, Nevada, and Pennsylvania as the only states to ever clear $7 billion in all-time sports betting handle.

As a result of the massive volume, Illinois saw an impressive amount of revenue come from sports betting. Operators reported $52.6 million in revenue on a 6.26% hold rate, a 31.5% increase from September and a 24.6% increase year-over-year. October 2020 had a hold rate of 9.71% which explains the smaller revenue increase despite the large increase in volume. Illinois became the third state all-time after New Jersey and Nevada to surpass $50 million in revenue in a single month. The significant revenue increase led to an all-time high of $7.9 million in taxes, bringing Illinois to over $60 million in taxes for the year and over $80 million since sports betting began in the state in March 2020.

Sportsbooks Struggle with Football Bets

Part of the monstrous volume for sportsbooks in October came from the advantage of having five football weekends instead of four in September. However, sportsbooks had just a 2.0% win rate on just over $330 million in bets on football in October, leading to just over $9 million in revenue. While football represented just under 40% of the state’s total handle, sportsbooks generated only about 17% of their revenue from football bets. Baseball came just behind football with $6.7 million in revenue while tennis ($3.3 million), basketball ($2.2 million), and soccer ($2.1 million) trailed behind.


Specific Operator Results

DraftKings dominated in Illinois as the top operator with about $310 million in total handle, representing 40% of the total market. DraftKings was the first operator in the state to clear $310 million in handle in a single month. DraftKings excelled on parlays with $190.7 million in parlay bets generating $26.6 million in revenue on a 13.9% hold. However, DraftKings generated just $12.9 million in overall revenue, representing just a 4.2% hold rate on its total handle.

FanDuel trailed just behind DraftKings with about $236 million in total sports betting handle, giving the sportsbook about a 30% market share in the state. However, FanDuel easily outpaced DraftKings with $23.2 million in revenue. Almost two-thirds of FanDuel’s revenue came from parlays with $15.3 million in revenue on $78 million in wagers representing a 19.65% hold rate. Overall, FanDuel saw a 9.8% hold rate compared to 4.2% for DraftKings.

Trailing behind the two sports betting behemoths was BetRivers with $119.3 million in handle as October was the first time that sportsbook saw nine figures in handle since January. Barstool Sportsbook increased 53.2% month-over-month to a record $68.7 million in the handle. PointsBet, meanwhile, came just under its all-time high with $60 million in total handle. Caesars trailed significantly behind the other states, which is not usually the case for the company, as it saw just $12.7 million in total handle.

I've been a huge sports fan for as long as I can remember and I've always loved writing. In 2020, I joined the Lineups team, and I've been producing written and video content on football and basketball ever since. In May 2021, I graduated from the University of Michigan with a degree in sport management. My goal is to tell enthralling stories and provide meaningful insight on the sports I write about while helping you cash some bets along the way.

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