The Illinois Gaming Board has finally announced the sports betting numbers for the month of August, and it was an impressive haul for the industry. The total sports betting handle was $400.4 million, which was a jump of 8.5% from July.
Illinois was seeing a downward trend in its sports betting industry, but August was expected to bring about a boost. There were four straight months with a decrease in the total handle, but there should be an increase in numbers each month for the rest of the calendar year.
Now that Illinois has announced its sports betting totals, the top five in the US are set. New Jersey and Nevada took the top two spots, while Illinois finished in third place for the month of August.
Baseball brought in nearly $140 million in wagers during the month of August, and it was easily the most popular sport to bet on. The beginning of football season helped spark a turnaround in Illinois, and that sport will be the most popular sport moving forward.
Revenue Heads in Wrong Direction
Despite a massive jump in the total sports betting handle, the revenue headed in the opposite direction. The adjusted gaming revenue was the lowest monthly total for the entire year as bettors were able to beat the sportsbooks more often in August.
The total revenue for sportsbooks was still over $32.7 million, but that was a drop of more than 12 percent from July. Illinois has brought in more sports betting revenue in 2021 than any state outside of New Jersey.
The Land of Lincoln received just over $4 million in tax revenue from the August sports betting haul. Total tax revenue for the month is now up to nearly $48 million, and providing another revenue source was the reason for legalizing sports betting in Illinois.
DraftKings the Clear Leader
DraftKings has emerged as the clear sports betting leader in the state of Illinois, and the operator is starting to build its lead on other sportsbooks. The online sports betting handle at DraftKings was $146.6 million in August, and it also saw $2.5 million in retail handle.
DraftKings has partnered with the Casino Queen in East St. Louis, and that has allowed it to attract bettors from the state of Missouri. While the in-person registration requirement has hurt some online sportsbooks, DraftKings continues to perform well.
FanDuel Sportsbook had a total online sports betting handle of $110.8 million in August to come in second place on the list. BetRivers placed third for the month of August with an online total betting handle of $64.7 million.
When it comes to retail sports betting, BetRivers has been the clear leader in Illinois thanks to its location. The Rivers Casino in Des Plaines is drawing bettors from the city of Chicago, and BetRivers had a retail sports betting handle of $8.7 million in August.
There are still just six online sportsbooks available in Illinois, and it’s unclear when the next mobile sportsbook will become available.