August Sports Betting Shows Growth In Illinois, Outpacing 2022 By 19%

Written By Darren Cooper on October 16, 2023 - Last Updated on October 23, 2023
Photo of a solar eclipse with years 2023 and 2022 on it on a story about August sports betting revenue in Illinois.

August was no dog for sports betting operators in Illinois.

Looking over numbers just released from the Illinois Gaming Board, sports wagering during the month, by most comparisons, was solid.

July marked a milestone as Illinois became the third US state to cross the $2 billion threshold in adjusted growth income. Another milestone was marked in August: The state has surpassed $25 billion in total handle, after reporting a handle of just over $664 million for the month.

August is a notoriously slow month for sports betting, with only pre-season games in professional football to wager on and no pro basketball or hockey. September, with the start of the NFL regular season, will likely see a significant surge in betting.

August Illinois sports betting handle tops last August by more than $100M

The Illinois Gaming Board reported handle from all nine Illinois sports betting operators, plus betting broken down in Tier 1 (bets of outcome of games) and Tier 2 (props and everything else). It also keeps track of bets online and in person.

As usual, a largest majority of Illinois bets in August were made online. In-person bets accounted for just $19.6 million, while online bets were $644.7 million of the $664.2 million total.

In August 2022, Illinois had a combined wagering total of $564.8 million, so August numbers this year show an uptick of close to $100 million.

In July, Illinois reported $608.4 million in handle, so again, the total numbers were up in August.

The big IL bets in August

Pro sports continue to be the preferred bet in Illinois, accounting for $656.8 million of all bets, with college sports making up $18.2 million for August. There are few college options in August, except for a few late-August college football games.

After a big surge in July because of the NASCAR race in downtown Chicago, motor sports dropped to $820,000.

The Casino Queen (DraftKings Illinois) once again led the way with $241.7 million in total handle, up almost $10 million from July. Fairmount Park (FanDuel Illinois) was second among operators with a total handle of $217.8 million.

Illinois August handle by operators

Of the nine licenses, seven were up from July, with only Hawthorne Race Course and Alton Casino LLC seeing drop-offs.

Illinois August handle numbers by sport and parlays

Both parlays and baseball handle numbers were significantly down from July. The biggest gainer was football, rising from $3.4 million in July to $23 million in August.

  • Baseball: $196.7 million
  • Parlays: $141.6 million
  • Tennis: $92.1 million
  • Soccer: $46.1 million
  • Other: $28.5 million
  • Football: $23 million
  • Basketball: $15.1 million
  • Golf: $11.1 million
  • Boxing/MMA: $9.1 million
Photo by Shutterstock / Illustration by PlayIllinois
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Darren Cooper

Darren Cooper was born and raised in Southern Louisiana, just a short pirogue ride away from New Orleans. He started his journalism career at the New Orleans Times-Picayune and has been a writer and columnist in New Jersey since 1998. He's won 14 statewide press awards and earned his first Associated Press Sports Editors Top 10 award in 2022.

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