Illinois Sports Betting Handle Drops In June, Now No. 3 In The US

Posted By Derek Helling on August 5, 2021

Illinois sports betting numbers are out for the month of June. And while they do reflect the lazy days of summer, the figures are enough to keep the Prairie State among the leaders in the US industry. Altogether, the state’s nine licensees took in over $476.51 million in handle and held more than $48.18 million of that money.

FanDuel, together with its retail partner FanDuel Sportsbook and Horse Racing, again blew away the competition in terms of win, holding over $20.29 million last month. FanDuel was also nipping on the heels of the leader in handle, DraftKings Sportsbook, falling just about $1.81 million short of DraftKings’ $157.09 million in bets.

For Illinoisans, the numbers are another proof that the gambling industry in the state is among the most lucrative in the nation.

Illinois June handle, revenue by sportsbook

Here’s how each Illinois sportsbook performed in June:

LicenseeOnline BrandTotal HandleOnline HandleRetail HandleTotal RevenueState TaxLocal Tax
Casino QueenDraftKings$160,232,154$157,097,096$3,135,058$13,959,204$2,043,430$142,788
FanDuelFanDuel$156,273,469$155,282,868$990,601$20,299,723$3,044,422$246,717
Rivers Des PlainesBetRivers$83,170,641$71,205,903$11,964,738$7,527,408$1,097,844$96,861
HawthornePointsBet$35,609,805$33,558,617$2,051,188$3,427,134$517,420$46,960
Hollywood AuroraBarstool$30,407,563$28,681,992$1,725,571$2,084,480$338,451$21,390
Grand VictoriaWilliam Hill$6,644,281$5,865,460$778,821$504,006$19,306$2,450
ArgosyN/A$2,643,310$0$2,643,310$359,010$50,966$0
Hollywood JolietN/A$1,175,282$0$1,175,282$95,949$12,415$0
Par-A-DiceN/A$360,804$0$360,804-$69,131$3,328$0
Total$476,517,309$451,691,936$24,825,373$48,187,783$7,127,582$557,166

June swoon in effect but context is important

In a month-over-month comparison, June struck out but did so swinging.

In May, sportsbook took in over $507.3 million. That means handle was down about 6.1%. However, revenue was up almost $12 million, or around 24%. That last figure likely has operators DraftKings and FanDuel not hating things.

June’s $557,166 in taxes was up by more than $137,000.

It’s remarkable because June is typically one of the weakest months for handle due to the sports calendar in North America. So, holding around 9.89% for the month is essentially a win for Illinois sportsbooks.

Perhaps the most important point of context here is Illinois’ numbers in comparison to other active jurisdictions, though.

For June, Illinois placed third in handle in the US. New Jersey sportsbooks took in over $766.88 million in bets and Nevada sportsbooks collected $545.51 million in wagers.

In terms of revenue, however, Illinois was second only to NJ’s $71.26 million. FanDuel has again led the charge there, holding almost more than the DraftKings and BetRivers Sportsbook combined. What gives there? Well, we’re starting to see a trend here.

Possible reasons why FanDuel is raking it in

This is the second-consecutive month that FanDuel’s revenue in IL has topped $20 million. While May’s hold percentage for the book was 12.9%, that same measurement climbed a tenth-of-a-point in June. So, are bettors putting down their money at DraftKings just that much better than those doing the same thing at FanDuel in IL?

Not exactly. For one thing, despite the onerous in-person registration requirement in place for at least the rest of this year in Illinois, we don’t know how many bettors losing bets at FanDuel are simultaneously placing wagers at other books.

Additionally, it seems FanDuel customers are still in love with parlay wagers, especially same-game parlays. As veteran bettors know, those bets are typically wins for sportsbooks. As long as FanDuel can keep bettors adding legs to their bets, it seems in control in terms of revenue.

With college football and the NFL season nearly here, FanDuel might start pushing those parlays even more soon. Smart bettors in the Land of Lincoln know that while the payouts can be eye-popping, the odds of hitting those payouts can be larger than FanDuel’s win for June.

Photo by Aaron Gash / 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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