Illinois Sports Betting Market Still Growing

Sports betting in the state of Illinois has been successful. That is reflected in the record setting numbers.

The Illinois Gaming Board has announced the sports betting numbers for the month of September, and it was a record-setting month for the state. The total sports betting handle came in at a $1.08 billion, and it’s the sixth time in 12 months that the state has gone over $1 billion in monthly handle. 

This wasn’t a record-shattering number though as the sportsbooks in the state saw just $5.7 million more in September than in March 2023. What should make those in the Illinois industry happy is the fact that the September 2023 handle was a 60% jump from the 2022 numbers. 

One thing that is surprising from these numbers is the fact that Illinois was just the third-largest sports betting market in the United States. There was a long stretch where Illinois was number two behind New York, but New Jersey has made a strong push. 

Mobile sportsbooks in Illinois are not performing as well as some other states as the hold rate was still less than 8%. While that number is still right around the national average, some of the other bigger markets are posting a hold rate of higher than 10%. 

Many states with legal sports betting have seen things start to slow down a bit in 2023, but that hasn’t been the case in Illinois. Total sports betting handle in 2023 is sitting at $7.8 billion, and that represents a 16% increase from the first three quarters in 2022. 

DraftKings Sportsbook was the big winner for the month of September as it became the first operator to go over $400 million in monthly handle. While DraftKings was attracting the most wagers for the month, FanDuel Sportsbook posted the highest monthly revenue with $32.4 million. 

BetRivers continues to perform better in Illinois than anywhere else in the country, but there is still a massive gap after the top two spots. Illinois sportsbooks continue to win big when it comes to parlay wagers, and the total handle on parlays was nearly $300 million. 

Circa In; BetWay Out

Circa Sportsbook launched in the state of Illinois in September, and it was the first time in 18 months that a new launch occurred. This is a massive name in the online sports betting industry, but it’s not expected to have a big presence in Illinois. 

Looking ahead at the November sports betting numbers could provide a change as ESPN BET officially went live in the state. While Circa Sportsbook was able to enter Illinois, Betway Sportsbook decided to give up the chance at a license. 

Betway Sportsbook decided that the cost of a license was just too high and it didn’t want to get involved. 

Nationwide Numbers are Large

The state of Kentucky still hasn’t announced it’s sports betting numbers from the month of September, but a record has already been set. Total national sports betting handle in September came in at more than $11.5 billion, and there is a chance that it could approach $12 billion. 

This shows that sports betting has rebounded after a slower summer, and there were some industry experts were worried about the negative trends. The September launch in Kentucky also didn’t prove to have a big impact on Illinois as the Land of Lincoln was still able to see plenty of betting action. 

The Kentucky launch could have an impact on some of the other border states, but Illinois has a large enough population that it won’t matter in the end.