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Illinois Sports Wagering Operators Clear $70M In April Revenue


The Illinois Gaming Board reported nearly $70.5 million in adjusted sports wagering revenue for April, with parlay winnings again accounting for a substantial percentage.

The expected month-over-month downturn in traditional handle that comes with the spring was apparent with a 13.6% drop to nearly $840 million from March’s record $971.3 million wagered, but that loss was cushioned by BetMGM conducting its first full month of business on the mobile side. The seventh digital operator to enter Illinois, BetMGM generated close to $50.8 million handle — edging out both Barstool Sportsbook and Caesars for fifth — while collecting slightly more than $2.5 million in revenue.

It was the second time adjusted revenue cleared $70 million in Illinois, and April’s total ranks 13th in the post-PASPA era. The Land of Lincoln has four of the top 20 all-time monthly revenue totals, each surpassing $60 million. Despite the drop in handle, revenue climbed 16.2% from March, as the 8.4% win rate was more than two full percentage points higher.

With only Arizona yet to report, Illinois looks to have a lock on third for national handle in April. With more than $3.3 billion in year-to-date handle, the state overtook Nevada for third in that category by approximately $30 million. In March and April combined, Illinois outperformed the Silver State in handle by nearly $360 million, generating more than $1.8 billion in bets.

The state received close to $10.6 million in taxes, marking the second time it reached eight figures, along with last November’s record $11.9 million. Cook County, which includes Chicago, received $752,133 in taxes after levying 2% on the $37.6 million in adjusted revenue from wagers placed within the county. The state has collected close to $35 million in taxes thus far in 2022, running more than $9.2 million ahead of last year.

FanDuel wields the parlay hammer

For all of DraftKings founder and CEO Jason Robins’ recent talk about focusing on single-game parlays, eternal rival FanDuel clearly has set the standard for everyone to chase.

Nearly 70% of FanDuel’s $34.2 million adjusted revenue for April — an all-time monthly high for any mobile sportsbook in Illinois — came via parlay wagering, in which it claimed more than $23.3 million from $91.2 million bet for an eye-watering win rate of 25.6%. DraftKings was no slouch in the category with more than $8.5 million in revenue with a 17.2% hold, but it barely generated more than half FanDuel’s handle with close to $49.7 million.

The overall parlay hold for Illinois operators was 19.9%, more than 4 percentage points higher than March, as the category produced an all-time monthly revenue high of close to $37.8 million. Parlay wagering has generated nearly $120 million in operator revenue through the first four months of the year, compared to $260 million for all of 2021.

That number could have been higher had BetMGM not reported a loss in the category, finishing $97,044 under on more than $9.3 million handle. All six operators outside BetMGM posted a hold of 13% or higher on parlay bets, with PointsBet ($2.6 million) and Barstool ($1.3 million) reaching seven figures in revenue.

The mobile roundup

FanDuel also cleared $1 billion in mobile handle for the year, pacing all Illinois books with $287.3 million in accepted April wagers. DraftKings is less than $10 million shy of that mark after generating $214.7 million handle, though BetRivers had a six-month streak of $100 million handle come to an end after $94.7 million in wagers were placed.

Rivers did edge out PointsBet for third in revenue with more than $6.2 million, approximately $58,000 better than the Aussie-based sportsbook. Barstool was fourth with more than $3.6 million, slightly less than the combined total of BetMGM ($2.5 million) and Caesars ($1.4 million).

In handle, PointsBet was a clear fourth with close to $70.3 million, the second consecutive month it surpassed $70 million. Barstool was less than $1 million behind BetMGM to claim sixth at nearly $49.9 million, while Caesars rounded out the group with more than $45.3 million in wagers.

And on the retail side…

It was a slower month for brick-and-mortar sportsbooks, as revenue was almost halved compared to March at more than $1.7 million from close to $28.7 million in bets. Surprisingly, Argosy Casino in Alton near the Missouri border was the top revenue generator, with nearly $440,000 from more than $3 million wagered, and the only retail space to surpass $250,000.

For the second time in three months, Rivers Casino in Des Plaines had a hold of under 2%, keeping less than $220,000 from nearly $11.5 million wagered. That was still better than Grand Victoria Casino in Elgin, which took a loss of nearly $67,000 from more than $1 million wagered in person.

Hoops the top draw for bettors and operators

The conclusion of the NCAA Tournament plus the stretch drive of the NBA regular season made basketball the top draw for Illinois bettors, who wagered $296.2 million on such events in April. The $14.8 million in operator revenue was the most for any sport, despite the hold being just shy of 5%.

Baseball also generated a nine-figure handle at $133.3 million, but bettors held their own and limited operators to $5.1 million in winnings for a 3.8% hold. The house barely came out ahead in hockey, collecting less than $33,000 from $40.1 million bet as that win rate was less than 0.1%.

Tennis ($4 million), soccer ($3 million), golf ($1.5 million), and boxing/MMA ($1.1 million) all produced seven-figure revenue totals for operators, which claimed another $3.4 million in the catch-all “other” category.

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