Illinois Near $600M in January Handle, US Over $4B for 1st Time

Illinois Near $600M in January Handle, US Over $4B for 1st Time
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Another successful sports betting month in Illinois has pushed the total handle in the U.S. past another milestone for January.

The $581.5 million total sports betting handle for January in Illinois allowed the U.S. total sports betting handle to exceed $4 billion for the first time in a single month and it went past that milestone easily. The total for the U.S. in January was about $4.375 billion, the fourth straight month the national handle has eclipsed $3.2 billion.

CHECK OUT: Top Illinois sportsbooks

The January handle is an Illinois state record, beating December’s $491.7 million for an 18.3% increase month over month.

Illinois took its first sports on March 9 last year and January was the seventh consecutive month Illinois has seen an increase in total sports betting handle.

Gov. JB Pritzker on March 5 extended remote registration in the state with the NCAA Tournament starting March 18, though folks in the state can’t bet on Illinois colleges. Illinois saw nearly $500 million in sports betting handle in December and the entire handle was mobile because casinos in the state were closed.

Every month since June, except for July, Illinoisans have been able to register online.

Of January’s handle, $575.2 million was from online sports wagering, up 17% from December’s $491.7 million.

Retail sports betting had a handle of $6.3 million in January, the first month casinos reopened after being closed in December.

Total sports revenue increased 100.3% from December’s $23.9 million to $47.9 million in January. The sports betting tax also saw a similar increase, going from $3.8 million in December to $7.7 million in January.

Illinois Sports Betting Handle, January vs December

Total handleMobile HandleRetail Handle
ChangeUp 18.3%Up 17.0%N/A

Illinois Remains 4th Among States

Although January was a record for Illinois sports betting, it remained behind New Jersey, Nevada and Pennsylvania in total handle.

In January, New Jersey had its third straight month of more than $900 million, with $958.7 million. The record in New Jersey and nationally was December’s figure of $996.3 million.

Nevada sportsbooks in January saw $646.5 million in total handle, an increase of 9.9% from December’s $588.5 million. January was the second-highest total for a month in Nevada, trailing October 2020’s $659 million.

Pennsylvania remained a solid third among states in January, topping $600 million in total sports betting handle for the first time with $615.3 million.

With these three states and Illinois leading the way, it was easy to see why January was the first month that total U.S. sports handle easily exceeded $4 billion. It was $3.77 billion in December.

Familiar Names Top Online Handle

Casino Queen, Inc. and DraftKings had the biggest online handle with $243.5 million. FanDuel, partnered with Par-A-Dice Gaming Corp., was next with $173.3 million. Midwest Gaming and Entertainment, LLC with BetRivers rounded out the top three at $109 millon.

CHECK OUT: One year in: A look at the impact of Illinois sports betting

Hawthorne Race Course, Inc. and PointsBet were fourth at $40.4 million, while Elgin Riverboat Resort and William Hill had a handle of $8.9 million.

Barstool Launching Thursday in Illinois

Penn National Gaming announced Tuesday that the Barstool Sportsbook would launch in Illinois on Thursday. It's the third state, after Pennsylvania and Michigan, where it will be live.

It comes in time for March Madness, but Illinois sports bettors won’t be able to wager on Illinois colleges in the men's or women's NCAA Basketball Tournaments. A bill was introduced in the House to allow betting on in-state schools.

“We are extremely excited to launch our online Barstool Sportsbook in Illinois just as the college basketball regular season wraps up and bettors begin their preparations for March Madness,” Penn National Gaming CEO Jay Snowden said in a news release Tuesday.

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