Illinois Sports Betting Numbers Down In May, But Sector Still Red Hot

Written By Dave Briggs on July 12, 2023 - Last Updated on July 13, 2023
Man betting while floating on inner tube.

Illinois sports betting numbers declined as expected in May. Still, comparatively speaking, the Illinois sports betting sector is still hot.

Numbers released today by the Illinois Gaming Board show Illinois sportsbook sites had total bets (called handle) of $821.7 million in May. That’s down 8.5% from April’s total of just shy of $900 million.

The lighter professional and college sports calendar is the biggest reason for the downward trend in Illinois sportsbook revenue.

Though May’s numbers were off considerably from April, figures were up 7.5% when compared to the more than $764.5 million wagered in May 2022.

Still, the Prairie State is not far removed from its best sports betting month in history.

Illinois set an all-time record in March with $1.072 billion in total bets. It was the fifth month in the previous six in which it surpassed $1 billion in handle. Though April’s handle was down 16% from March, the April figures kept Illinois in second place in the US in both total bets and revenue for that month.

May Illinois sports betting revenue exceeded $91.5 million, up 40% from revenue of some $65 million in May 2022.

Revenue in the sports betting realm is defined as the amount of money a sportsbook retains from total handle after paying out winners. As with handle, revenue can be measured utilizing multiple time and sports/bet-type splits.

Illinois ranked second in the nation in bets and revenue in May, third in taxes

Illinois ranked second in the US in May in total handle and revenue behind only New York (nearly $1.36 billion bet, more than $152.6 million in revenue).

Though, there are seven million more people living in New York than live in Illinois.

New Jersey was third with total handle of nearly $778.9 million.

Illinois ranked third in sports betting taxes collected in May at $14,3 million. New York collected $77.5 million in taxes. Pennsylvania was second in the nation with taxes of nearly $14.8 million in May.

It’s important to note that the effective sports betting tax rate is 50.8% in New York and 25.7% in Pennsylvania. Sportsbooks in Illinois were taxed at an effective rate of 15.7% in May.

IL sports betting revenue – May 2023

LicenseeOnline BrandHandleRevenueHoldTaxes
Fairmount ParkFanDuel$290,047,685$36,966,63712.7%$5,874,081
Casino Queen East St. LouisDraftKings$262,056,511$27,265,06810.4%$4,171,216
Rivers Des PlainesBetRivers$75,702,651$9,272,17012.2%$1,499,095
Grand VictoriaCaesars$65,818,549$4,537,5496.9%$625,754
Hollywood AuroraBarstool$28,700,636$2,266,7427.9%$385,171
Hollywood Joliet$1,019,029$82,1118.1%$9,478

May 2023


  1. New York — $1.36 billion
  2. Illinois — $821.7 million
  3. New Jersey — $778.9 million
  4. Nevada — $527.2 million
  5. Pennsylvania — $495.5 million


  1. New York — $152.6 million
  2. Illinois — $91.6 million
  3. New Jersey — $82 million
  4. Massachusetts — $62 million
  5. Ohio — nearly $58 million


  1. New York — $77.5 million
  2. Pennsylvania — $14.8 million
  3. Illinois — $14.4 million
  4. Massachusetts — $12 million
  5. New Jersey — $11.5 million

Illinois one of only two states showing sports betting growth

In the top 10 US sports betting jurisdictions, only Illinois and New York continue to show growth in 2023.

New Jersey, which ranks neck-and-neck with Illinois, is showing signs of cooling off.

PlayIllinois is still predicting that by the end of the year Illinois will hold down a solid spot as the second-best sports betting market in the nation, especially with the Circa Sportsbook expected to launch in August before the NFL season begins.

Through the first five months of the year, Illinois ranks second in handle (over $4.7 billion) behind only New York (just shy of $8 billion). The Prairie State is third in revenue ($432 million) behind New York (nearly $714 million) and Ohio ($509 million). Illinois is third in taxes in 2023 ($70.8 million) behind New York ($363 million) and Pennsylvania ($76 million).

By comparison, in May of 2022, Illinois had handle of more than $764.5 million (3rd), revenue of more than $65 million (2nd) and collected taxes of more than $10.8 million (3rd).

Year-to-date through May 2022, Illinois was third in handle (over $4.1 billion), second in revenue (over $303 million) and second in taxes (nearly $48.3 million).

It’s important to note that in March of 2022, fresh legislation came into effect allowing Illinois residents to sign-up online for sportsbooks, rather than doing so at one of the state’s land-based casinos. The decision to allow residents to register online with one of the state’s seven legal sportsbooks has been a boon to the industry.

Year-to-date rankings through May 2023:


  1. New York — just shy of $8 billion
  2. Illinois — $4.7 billion
  3. New Jersey — $4.6 billion
  4. Nevada — $3.5 billion
  5. Ohio — $3.46 billion


  1. New York — nearly $714 million
  2. Ohio — nearly $509 million
  3. Illinois — $432 million
  4. New Jersey — $374.5 million
  5. Pennsylvania — $296 million


  1. New York — $363 million
  2. Pennsylvania — $76 million
  3. Illinois — $70.8 million
  4. New Jersey — $52.8 million
  5. Ohio — $51 million

Illinois surpasses lifetime sports betting tax revenue of $300 million

In May, Illinois surpassed a milestone when it topped $300 million in lifetime sports betting tax revenue. Over $303.3 million in taxes have been collected from sports betting in Illinois since sports betting was legalized in Illinois in March 2020.

That tax revenue is earmarked to the state’s Sports Wagering Fund. Money left over in that fund, after expenses, is transferred to the Capital Projects Fund that helps build and maintain infrastructure in Illinois.

Illinois will exceed $2 billion in lifetime sports betting revenue when either June or July figures are released.

Lifetime, more than $23 billion ($23,394,094,957 to be exact) has been bet on sports in Illinois. The Land of Lincoln exceeded $20 billion in lifetime handle in February and now ranks fourth behind New Jersey ($38.2 billion), Nevada ($33 billion) and New York ($23.4 billion).

Through May (with not all sports betting states yet to report), more than $239.4 billion has been bet on sports through legal sportsbooks in the United States. That amounts to some $19.3 billion in total revenue and nearly $3.4 billion in taxes.

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Dave Briggs

Dave Briggs is a managing editor and writer for Catena Media. His expertise is covering the gambling industry in North America with an emphasis on the casino, sports betting, horse racing and poker sectors. He is currently reporting on the gaming industries in Illinois and Canada.

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