April Sports Betting Remains Strong With $1.1B Handle

Written By Phil West on June 12, 2024
New York, Illinois, and New Jersey, ranked first, second and third for April sports betting revenue

Illinois Sports betting handle of $1.1 billion in April remained strong despite a drop-off from March.

April’s total bet spending (handle) was nearly $200 million less than the previous month’s March-Madness-driven $1.3 billion.

In fact, Illinois trailed just New York’s nearly $2 billion in total handle from sports betting in April.

It was also the seventh straight month that Illinois sports betting surpassed $1 billion, a clear sign of a robust industry.

Most bets in April made on professional sports

Online professional sports betting made up the lion’s share of handle in April. Nearly $521 million were Tier 1 bets, while just over $508 million were Tier 2 bets. Tier 1 are bets made on the final score or outcome of a game, placed before a game begins. All other bets, including prop bets and in-game betting, are in the Tier 2 category.

Most online bets were made with the two dominant sportsbooks in Illinois: DraftKings IL and FanDuel IL. Both will soon see their tax bills rise in Illinois when a new rate structure kicks in starting July 1. Their rates will rise from 15% to 40%.

There have been rumblings that the two could consider leaving the market over the increase. That seems highly unlikely considering the amount of money the two make in Illinois. Also, both have recently renewed their Illinois licenses through 2028.

Illinois on pace to generate $14B in sports betting handle

Illinois bested New Jersey in April sports betting handle, which generated $1.04 billion. The Land of Lincoln regained second place for the highest betting handle among US states. It fell to third in March, as New Jersey’s $1.329 billion handle was more than $100 million higher than Illinois’ $1.265 billion.

So far in 2024, Illinois has generated an impressive $4.7 billion in sports betting handle, which projects out to more than $14 billion for the year.

In the first four months of 2024, DraftKings and retail partner Casino Queen, Inc. have enjoyed more than $1.72 billion in sports betting handle. FanDuel and its two licensed operators in the state – Fairmount Park, Inc. and Par-A-Dice Gaming Corporation – have combined for nearly $1.96 billion.

Together, FanDuel and DraftKings generate close to 78% of the state’s total sports betting handle.

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Phil West

Phil West is a longtime journalist based in Austin, Texas, whose bylines have appeared in The Daily Dot, Nautilus, Pro Soccer USA, Howler, Los Angeles Times, Seattle Times, Philadelphia Inquirer, San Antonio Express-News, Austin American-Statesman, and Austin Chronicle. He has also written two books about soccer.

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