Illinois Easily Blows Past $500 Million Handle In January Sports Betting

Written By Joe Boozell on March 10, 2021 - Last Updated on March 23, 2021

Illinois posted $581.6 million in January sports betting handle, setting yet another monthly record.

Illinois sportsbooks profited $47.9 million in January, also a new record. That resulted in $7.1 million in state tax revenue.

The Land of Lincoln remains the No. 4 sports betting state in the US. Pennsylvania, which is third, posted a $615.3 million handle in January.

In December, Illinois took in $491.7 million worth of wagers. Thanks to the NFL Playoffs, College Football Playoff, NBA, NHL and college basketball, IL made yet another sizable jump in both handle and revenue.

Illinois has also passed another key milestone: With the January numbers, it has now passed $2 billion in all-time sports betting handle.

The Prairie State recently had its one-year sports betting anniversary, and it’s been a tumultuous year.

But it’s also been a prosperous one, as online registration has helped IL become one of the top sports betting states in the nation.

Illinois sports betting revenue, by sportsbook

Casinos reopened in late January after a lengthy COVID-19-induced shutdown. Retail handle made up about $6.3 million of the pot.

About 98.9% of the handle came online, though that was expected considering that casinos weren’t operating for most of the month.

Here were the full sports betting numbers by sportsbook:

LicenseeOnline BrandTotal HandleOnline HandleRetail HandleTotal RevenueState TaxLocal Tax
Casino QueenDraftKings$244,196,209$243,538,843$657,366$16,423,303$2,334,761$154,716
Par-A-DiceFanDuel$173,480,933$173,346,161$134,771$16,890,680$2,514,187$178,071
RiversBetRivers$112,737,857$108,990,832$3,747,025$10,807,475$1,615,643$135,856
Hawthorne Race CoursePointsBet$40,591,090$40,439,434$151,657$4,412,405$630,133$7,247
Grand VictoriaWilliam Hill$9,270,978$8,917,196$353,782$616,486$73,260$3,162
ArgosyN/A$707,080$0$707,080$103,761$11,744$0
Hollywood JolietN/A$309,047$0$309,047$73,440$9,001$0
Hollywood AuroraN/A$260,106$0$260,106$37,939$3,065$0
Total$581,553,300$575,232,466$6,320,834$49,365,489$7,191,795$479,052

DraftKings is far and away the handle leader, but once again, FanDuel brought in more revenue.

FanDuel profited $16.9 million in IL in January, while DraftKings profited $16.4 million. DraftKings, despite leading the state in handle for four straight months, has still yet to lead in revenue.

Will Barstool shake things up?

Barstool Sportsbook is set to launch in Illinois on Thursday, and it figures to be a player in Illinois.

It has a dedicated Chicago following, and has performed well in Pennsylvania and Michigan. Barstool is a top-three option in both markets.

Will it crack the top three in Illinois? Perhaps not immediately, but it’s easy to see it jumping BetRivers at some point.

DraftKings and FanDuel each increased their handle by at least $29 million form December to January. BetRivers’ essentially remained flat, and that’s without the Barstool factor.

Online registration continues to boost Illinois market

After a couple of revenue reports that may have cooled expectations, the Illinois handle increased by about $90 million from December to January.

None of this would be possible had all gone as planned, and in-person registration was in effect for the first 18 months.

Gov. JB Pritzker once again extended his executive order last week, allowing for online registration. That’s despite record low COVID-19 case positivity rates in Illinois.

At this point, it’s hard to envision going back to in-person registration. The provision was supposed to expire in September anyway, and the market is booming without it.

Expect to see more big numbers in February, which will include the Super Bowl. We already know that Illinoisans bet $45.6 million on the big game, so we can tack that on to any baseline projections.

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Joe Boozell

Joe Boozell has also been a college sports writer for NCAA.com since 2015. His work has also appeared in Bleacher Report, FoxSports.com and NBA.com. Growing up, Boozell squared off against both Anthony Davis and Frank Kaminsky in the Chicagoland basketball scene ... you can imagine how that went.

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