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Illinois betting handle smashes records again in March


Sports wagering revenue in Illinois grew 25.1% month-on-month to $44.3m in March, while handle hit a record high of $627.6m, up 23.1%.

FanDuel remained on top in terms of revenue, though its lead over nearest competitor DraftKings by less than $100,000.

Although the market opened on March 9, 2020, the market was severely limited by in-person venues shutting and sporting suspensions as a result of the novel coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic, before many operators had launched.

As a result, revenue and handle came to more than 600 and more than 6,000 times the previous year’s totals, respectively.

The vast majority of bets were placed online, with online handle coming to $603.5m, also a record high, compared to $24.3m for retail bets. Similarly, $41.8m of the state’s betting revenue was made online, 25.5% more than in February, compared to $2.5m for retail bets.

Breaking down revenue by operator, FanDuel and Fairmount Park narrowly edged out DraftKings and Casino Queen, with both sportsbooks bringing in $12.7m.

Rush Street Interactive, in partnership with Rush Street Gaming’s Midwest Gaming and Entertainment subsidiary, brought in $8.3m, while Penn National Gaming’s Barstool Sportsbook at Hollywood Casino Aurora’s revenue was $5.4m.

Of the state’s revenue total, $24.7m came from Cook County, which includes Chicago and carries a higher tax rate. As a result, the state’s overall tax takings for the month were $7.2m.

The most popular sport for betting was basketball, thanks to the NCAA Basketball Tournament, with wagers coming to $363.2m. Parlay bets followed with $121.4m, while tennis bets were $47.2m, hockey bets $32.6m and golf $10.1m.

Illinois also breaks wagers into “Tier 1” bets – on final results – and “Tier 2” bets, such as prop bets and point totals.

Handle from the former came to $292.9m, while for the latter it was $334.7m. Tier 1 revenue was $19.9m, compared to $24.4m for Tier 2.