Illinois Sportsbooks Rebound To Clear $400 Million In Handle In August

Written By Derek Helling on October 12, 2021

If July represented the summer swoon, then August’s Illinois sports betting numbers show that swoon is ending.

The state’s legal sportsbooks returned to take more than $400 million in wagers in the month, signaling better things to come.

Despite the uptick in handle, IL bettors fared better in August as compared to July. While tennis and baseball betting were behind the resurgence, another sport seems primed to take it from here.

Breaking down the August sports betting numbers

Altogether, IL sportsbooks collected $400,359,762 in bets in August of 2021. That’s an uptick of 8.5% on July’s $369.1 million in handle. It also puts Illinois on pace with the rest of the country, as the average growth rate across all markets from July to August this year was 9.5%.

That $400.4 million put IL in third place in that category as well, falling about $28 million behind Nevada and $264 million short of New Jersey. While that’s good news for IL sports betting app operators, win didn’t go their way.

According to the report from the Illinois Gaming Board (IGB), gross gaming revenue fell 12.3% to $32.7 million in August from $37.3 million in July. That produced $26.8 million in adjusted gross revenue and $4.3 million in taxes.

LicenseeOnline BrandTotal HandleOnline HandleRetail HandleTotal RevenueState TaxLocal Tax
Casino QueenDraftKings$149,193,129$146,623,109$2,570,020$11,266,766$1,123,315$66,260
Fairmount ParkFanDuel$111,485,664$110,889,427$596,237$10,532,019$1,400,660$102,777
Rivers Des PlainesBetRivers$73,529,107$64,790,199$8,738,908$6,110,099$804,863$76,007
Hawthorne Race CoursePointsBet$28,944,210$27,284,174$1,660,036$2,496,332$320,055$26,545
Hollywood AuroraBarstool$26,367,434$25,469,362$898,072$2,147,375$318,889$22,413
Grand VictoriaCaesars$6,457,076$5,161,006$1,296,070-$157,256$34,733$456
ArgosyN/A$3,344,871$0$3,344,871$242,700$16,829$0
Hollywood JolietN/A$771,613$0$771,613$74,856$8,030$0
Par-A-DiceN/A$266,658$0$266,658$5,043$0$0
Total$400,359,762$380,217,277$20,142,485$32,717,934$4,027,374$294,458

With the Chicago White Sox playoff-bound, MLB betting led the way.

MLB playoffs, US Open buoy August numbers

The IGB says baseball was the most bet-on sport in August in terms of the money, coming in at $139.6 million. Tennis betting, undoubtedly enjoying the effect of the US Open, was second at $43.4 million.

The return of the English Premier League gave an assist to soccer bets in this category, taking it to third with $30.8 million in wagers. Across all the eligible sports, the same two players remain in control of betting in the Prairie State.

DraftKings Sportsbook and FanDuel Sportsbook retained their positions atop the handle and revenue piles, respectively.

Their shares in those categories grew from July to August. In July, DraftKings took in about 33.2% of all dollars wagered in IL while FanDuel accounted for around 25.5% of the total gross revenue.

August’s numbers revealed a 37.2% share of the handle for DraftKings and a 32.1% slice of revenue for FanDuel. However, Illinoisans should expect September’s numbers to dwarf this performance, as college football and NFL betting remain hugely popular betting products.

National trends point to huge September for IL sports betting

Across the Mississippi River, Iowa sportsbooks just had their biggest betting month in that state’s history, surpassing the $200 million mark in wagers in a month for the first time. Indiana also reported a new monthly high for handle as well in September.

With the Chicago Bears out of hibernation during that month, there’s little reason to expect anything different in IL. Whether September 2021 will represent a new record for IL sports betting remains to be seen. So far, all the indications are pointing toward that end.

Photo by Nam Y. Huh / AP
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Derek Helling

Derek Helling is a freelance journalist who resides in Chicago. He is a 2013 graduate of the University of Iowa and covers the intersections of sports with business and the law.

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