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Illinois Continues to Be Major Sports Betting Market

The return of football in September has caused a massive jump in the United States sports betting numbers throughout many states. While many states are going to be announcing October sports betting totals as soon as this month is over, the state of Illinois is still behind.

Illinois is not behind when it comes to handle and revenue numbers, as the August sports betting report was just released by the Illinois Gaming Board. August is typically a slower month when it comes to sports betting, but Illinois sportsbooks saw a growth of nearly 20% from 2022.

Total sports betting handle went over the $664 million mark in August, and that should keep the state on a path of over $1 billion in September. Illinois is now over $25 billion in lifetime handle as it reclaimed the number two spot behind New York.

While the state does have some retail sportsbooks scattered around the Land of Lincoln, the total in-person handle was less than $20 million.

Baseball, Parlays Lead the Way

While there was some football betting action taking place during the month of August, the total handle on that sport was just $23 million. That was the first time that football brought in any bets since February, and there wasn’t any basketball action either.

Sportsbooks in Illinois were able to bring in $196.7 million on baseball bets in August, and it helped that the Cubs were playing well. Baseball should reflect strongly in the September reports as well, even as the Cubs were beginning to slide.

Bettors in Illinois have always loved betting on parlays, and the total handle for that betting type came in at $141.6 million. Tennis and soccer were actually third and fourth on the list, but the betting interest in those sports will diminish once the bigger sports return.

The total handle in August 2022 was actually $100 million less than what was reported this year, and that speaks to the growth of this market as a whole.

A Look at the Operators

Illinois saw Circa Sports launch in September, but there were still just seven mobile sportsbooks available in August. As expected, it was DraftKings and FanDuel that were on top of the charts when the final numbers were announced.

DraftKings Sportsbooks was the leader in online market share in August, as it took in 37% of the wagers. FanDuel Sportsbook wasn’t far behind in terms of online market share, and it actually made the most money for the month.

BetRivers Sportsbook continues to be one of the biggest online sportsbooks in the state, as it posted 10% of the online market share. That operator is sort of an afterthought in many of the other markets in the country, but it has always been a big name in Illinois.

PointsBet was on its way out of Illinois back in August as it will be rebranded as Fanatics Sportsbook. That was clear in the overall numbers that PointsBet posted as it dipped 30% year-over-year.

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