Illinois Sportsbooks Post $1.3 Billion Handle in November

Written By Dan Holmes on January 16, 2024
Photo of Chicago Bear defender Tyrique Stevenson celebrating a play on a story about sports betting revenue in Illinois for November.

The state of Illinois has reported total handle of $1.3 billion from sports betting in November. About 95% came from online betting.

Professional and college football were the most popular sports to bet on in November, followed by college and professional basketball.

Total handle was up 8% over October, and a big jump from the $1.03 billion recorded in November 2022. In the 11 months reported in 2023, Illinois was 16% ahead of its pace in 2022. Historically, the state has reported a total handle in excess of $25 billion since sports betting launched in 2020.

Most money bet on professional sports in November

The Illinois sports betting market features eight online sportsbooks. Three more are expected to come online in the next few months.

The Illinois Gaming Board categorizes betting in two tiers. Tier 1 are bets on single games (moneyline or the spread, for example), while Tier 2 are bets placed on futures or parlays. In November, $549 million was wagered on Tier 1 professional sporting events and $491.9 million was wagered on Tier 2 pro sports.

At online sportsbooks, Tier 1 bets on college sports accounted for $188.1 million in total handle in November. Tier 2 college sports bets generated $107.2 million in total handle. There were nearly 4 million bets placed on college sports online in Illinois in November, and 31.5 million on professional sports.

Football (either pro or college) accounted for 36% of all money bet in November, based on $389.5 million in wagers.

Parlay bets continue to be a staple for sports betting operators in Illinois. In November, 21.8 million parlay bets were placed, which accounted for nearly 60% of all wagers.

A parlay is when a bettor places wagers on multiple events, whether for the same game or across several sporting events. Parlay bets pay only if all legs of the bet are won. Parlay wagers have been profitable for sportsbooks. They also attract new bettors.

FanDuel leapfrogs DraftKings in total handle

After DraftKings held the top spot in October total sports betting handle, rival FanDuel flipped the script in November. FanDuel enjoyed $511 million in total handle, compared to $470 million for DraftKings. The two sports betting operators have agreements with Fairmount Park (FanDuel Illinois) and Casino Queen (DraftKings Illinois).

The state does not break down revenue nor does it show revenue by sports betting operator. Along with the eight online sportsbooks, the state has 11 retail sportsbooks.

December is typically a slower month for football betting, as many college teams have completed their seasons. But the NFL is a huge draw for bettors, and January is expected to be a boon for sportsbooks with the NFL playoffs ramping up. In February, there’s the Super Bowl, which will be played in Las Vegas on Feb. 11.

Photo by Matt Ludtke/AP
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Dan Holmes

Dan Holmes is a contributor for PlayIllinois with plenty of experience under his belt. Dan has written three books about sports and previously worked for the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Major League Baseball. He also has extensive experience covering the launch of sports betting in other states, including Ohio, Massachusetts and Maryland. Currently, Dan resides in Michigan with his family.

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