Illinois Retail Sportsbooks: Nearly $1 Billion Bet In-Person Lifetime

Written By C.J. Pierre on August 3, 2023
Caesars Sportsbook

The hot trend of online sports betting is sweeping the nation. Placing wagers on sports has never been easier, with more and more states buying into the world of betting on games. Illinois has jumped full throttle in the game. Of all lifetime sports bets in Illinois, 96% have been placed online.

Meanwhile, Illinois is home to several in-person sportsbooks at local casinos, with more on the way — including sportsbooks at Wrigley Field and the United Center. Many of them are linked to big name sports betting brands. PlayIllinois took a look at how these retail locations are doing and what factors may be playing a role in their success.

Illinois is a top 10 retail sports betting market

The whole gambling scene started with in-person betting. Retail sportsbooks only make up around 4% of the overall sports betting handle in the state. But don’t assume that there isn’t money to be made. Nearly $1 billion ($921,262,495) in bets have been placed at Illinois retail sportsbooks. In-person betting in the state has also generated over $96 million in revenue.

In fact, Illinois is ranked sixth in the US in terms of lifetime retail betting handle.

  1. Nevada – $13,141,363,077
  2. New Jersey – $3,745,886,559
  3. Mississippi – $2,231,888,213
  4. Pennsylvania – $2,040,933,283
  5. Indiana – $1,353,788,898
  6. Illinois – $921,262,495

Nevada has a long history of sports betting, but only allows it in-person, not online. Mississippi is also retail-only sports betting. The rest offer both retail and online sportsbooks.

Most Illinois retail sportsbook locations are run by well-known sports betting brands. However, some locations are seeing more action than others.

Lifetime retail only ranking of Illinois Sportsbooks:

Retail SportsbookHandleRevenueHold Percentage
Rivers Des Plaines (BetRivers)$410,696,873$42,972,45410.5%
Casino Queen East St. Louis (DraftKings)$141,134,525$16,338,08911.6%
Argosy (Barstool)$111,886,342$12,084,09210.8%
Hollywood Aurora (Barstool)$64,374,914$5,769,1929%
Hawthorne (PointsBet)$60,652,921$4,867,4338%
Hollywood Joliet (Barstool)$38,873,127$5,079,01513.1%
Grand Victoria (Caesars)$36,726,704$4,160,44811.3%
Fairmount Park (FanDuel)$35,160,565$4,066,01611.6%
Par-A-Dice (BetMGM)$21,756,524$1,410,4936.5%

Retail only sportsbook ranking by brand in Illinois:

OperatorHandleRevenueHold Percentage
Penalty Box$52,984,688$4,224,6268%

Attendance and location play a role in a retail sportsbook’s success

Recently, PlayIllinois looked at the year-to-date casino numbers from the Illinois Gaming Board and came up with an average monthly attendance for all the Illinois casinos with in-person sportsbooks on location.

Illinois casinos with retail sportsbooks ranked by average monthly attendance in 2023:

  1. Rivers Casino, Des Plaines (BetRivers) — 251,700
  2. Grand Victoria Casino, Elgin (Caesars) — 77,578
  3. Hollywood Casino, Aurora (Barstool) — 69,786
  4. Casino Queen, East St. Louis (DraftKings) — 68,295
  5. Hollywood Casino Joliet (Barstool) — 56,174
  6. Par-A-Dice Hotel Casino, , East Peoria (FanDuel) — 37,024
  7. Argosy Casino, Alton (Barstool) — 34,073

The retail sportsbook at Rivers Casino became the first in Illinois to launch in-person betting. Being run by Illinois-based operator BetRivers has helped catapult the venue into being the number one location for retail sports betting in Illinois. Rivers Casino is one of the closest casinos to the Chicago area. It also has the benefit of being located just minutes away from O’Hare International Airport. So it stands to reason that it has the highest average monthly attendance.

Meanwhile, Barstool Sportsbook has the benefit of operating three retail sportsbooks in the state. None of the three locations averages a monthly attendance of over 78,000. However, they have brought in over $97 million in handle combined. Barstool ranks sixth out of the seven Illinois sportsbooks when online betting is factored in. But in terms of retail-only sports betting, it ranks third.

In-person betting numbers have stayed pretty consistent. According to May’s revenue report, the Top 3 retail locations in terms of handle have remained ahead of the pack.

May 2023 ranking of Illinois sportsbooks:

Retail SportsbookHandleRevenueHold Percentage
Rivers Des Plaines (BetRivers)$8,958,469$1,428,83615.9%
Casino Queen East St. Louis (DraftKings)$5,243,966$606,81711.6%
Argosy (Barstool)$2,747,846$367,33513.3%
Hawthorne (PointsBet)$1,751,7678$278,62515.9%
Fairmount Park (FanDuel)$1,495,632$328,29722%
Hollywood Aurora (Barstool)$1,319,811$235,74817.9%
Grand Victoria (Caesars)$1,220,136$164,40813.5%
Hollywood Joliet (Barstool)$1,019,029$82,0008.1%
Par-A-Dice (BetMGM)$308,203(-$172,180)-55.9%

However, the BetMGM retail sportsbook at Par-A-Dice Casino had a rough month in May. Meanwhile, other Illinois retail sports are still turning a profit. That spells good news for future in-person betting locations.

Circa, Hard Rock and Bally’s are all planning to install retail betting locations at casinos in Illinois. They should also be able to generate substantial revenue just like their competitors.

Photo by David Dermer / AP Photo
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C.J. Pierre

C.J. Pierre is a Lead Writer at Play Illinois. He has been covering news and sports for over a decade for both online and TV broadcasts. He was born and raised in Minneapolis, MN and is an alum of Minnesota State University: Moorhead. He recently dove into tribal casino and online gambling news. He also covered the launch of sports betting in Arizona. C.J. has experience as a reporter and videographer and has covered high school, college and professional sports throughout his career, most notably following Arizona Cardinals, Phoenix Suns, Minnesota Vikings and North Dakota State University football.

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