Gambling Revenue in Illinois Drops After All-Time High in December 2020

As sports bettors in the state of Illinois set another record for handle in December 2020, extending up to a staggering $491.7m, which is 9% higher than the previous month, the territory reports a drop in revenues for 41.3% compared to November’s $23.9m, mostly due to no retail activity.

Many casinos across the area were closed over the entire month, resulting with a minor retail betting revenue of just $97,915. According to the report, the retail handle has barely reached $182,701, mostly thanks to the income coming from bets placed before casinos closed in November.

DraftKings Leading in Retail

Despite the FanDuel’s recent investments into Illinois racetracks and sportsbooks, it’s actually DraftKings’ betting shop at Casino Queen in East St Louis that took the leading place in retail revenue, bringing in a lot more than the state’s total at USD 106,254. As indicated, Rush Street Interactive’s sportsbook at Rivers Casino Des Plaines lost money for the entire month.

That being said, the online revenue plummeted to $23.8 million, which is approximately down 40.0% when compared with numbers from November. It is estimated that online players placed wagers worth $487.3 million, which is 12.4% higher since many customers have reportedly won from online betting.

Despite a close three-way race in the state’s sports betting market, it seems that FanDuel managed to keep the first-place with $7.1 million in revenue. DraftKings followed with $6.9 million while Rush Street Interactive brought in a fantastic $6.8 million profit.

At the end of the day, online bets made up almost all of the reported $23.9 million in total revenue, allowing FanDuel to keep the first place with an overall handle of $7.1 million, while DraftKings amassed $7.0 million. Coming in last is RSI with $6.8 million, as previously disclosed.

In relation to tax payment, the operators in the state of Illinois paid a combined $3.8 million toll, whereby the leading three brands paid more than $1.1 million each. Since $3.6 million is based on the state’s initial 15% tax rate, the remaining $242,656 originate from an additional 2% tax placed on bets in Cook County, including Chicago.

Parlay Bets Ahead of Singles

In addition to the official financial report, bets on final results (known as “Tier 1” wagers) contributed just over half of betting handle at $251.4 million. These stakes brought in extra $12.1 million in revenue. The remaining $240.3 million in handle and $11.8 million in revenue came from “Tier 2” bets, such as prop bets and point totals.

Interestingly, professional sports bets made up most of the state’s handle at $321.0 million. As the report reads, these wagers brought in revenue of $15.0 million. Bettors staked $165.9 million on college sports as well, with casinos taking $8.6m. Motor sports produced a revenue of USD 6,404.

To conclude, parlay bets brought in more revenue than any single sport at $5.4 million, which is ahead of football’s $4.9 million. However, football saw the highest handle due to the Super Bowl, reaching up to $204.4 million.

The state of Illinois opened applications for sportsbook operators in December 2019. The territory now allows betting at casinos, racetracks and large stadiums.


“Illinois betting revenue drops despite record handle in December”, Daniel Oboyle,, February 17, 2021.

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