February Sports Betting Handle Up 26% Over 2023 In Illinois

Written By Phil West on April 19, 2024
Illinois Feb. Sports betting revenue up 26% year over year

Thanks largely to a boost in online wagering, Illinois sports betting handle in February was over 26% higher year over year.

The month’s total handle, encompassing both in-person and online wagering, totaled a little more than $826.2 million.

While handle was up from the previous February, it was down from the previous month. In January, sports betting handle surpassed a billion dollars ($1.06 billion) on the strength of increased betting on professional sports.

Majority of wagering was Tier 2 bets in February

Illinois sports betting includes both online and retail markets. Online betting, hosted by 13 sportsbooks, totaled a little more than $805.7 million in February. From that, about 47% ($383.6 million) were Tier 1 bets. The state defines them as “determined solely by the final score or final outcome of the sports event and is placed before the sports event has begun.”

A slight majority ($422.1 million) were Tier 2 bets. The state defines them as “a sum of money or thing of value risked on an uncertain occurrence,” mainly prop bets and in-game betting.

In-person wagering represents only a small fraction of total sports betting handle in Illinois. February’s $20.6 million was less than January’s $28.6 million yet surpassed February 2023’s total of $19.4 million.

Majority of retail sports bets in February were place through DraftKings

Two entities, the DraftKings-run Casino Queen and Midwest Gaming & Entertainment, oversaw about 56% of the Tier 1 in-person wager handle and a little more than 72% of the Tier 2 in-person wager handle.

Casino Queen also led the online wagering handle with about 44% being Tier 1 bets ($170.5 million) and about 31% Tier 2 wagers ($133.8 million). A close second was FanDuel-affiliated Fairmount Park, with a Tier 1 online handle of $147.8 million and a Tier 2 online handle of $156.1 million, which surpassed DraftKings.

Though professional sports betting was down in February compared to January – even with the Super Bowl being Feb. 11 – it still made up the lion’s share of the month’s sports wagering. Just under $396.6 million were Tier 1 wagers and $429.7 million were Tier 2 bets. College sports betting, meanwhile, brought in a little more than $145 million in Tier 1 handle and $98.3 million in Tier 2 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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