Illinois Online Sports Betting Handle Hit New High To End 2020

In its short time as a legal sports betting state, Illinois has emerged as one of the biggest sports wagering hubs in the US. December marked the biggest month yet for the Illinois sports betting market, with overall betting handle nearly hitting the $500 billion mark.

COVID-19 closures forced land-based casinos to shutter in November, but that didn’t affect Illinois’ rocketing online sports betting market. Mobile sports betting apps did big business in the Land of Lincoln in 2020, and Illinois stands poised to persist as one of the nation’s top sports betting markets in 2021.

Illinois Mobile Vs. Retail Betting Handle December 2020

 Overall Betting HandleMobile Betting Handle% Handle From MobileMTM Handle Change
Illinois$491,720,536
$491,720,536100%+9.5%
2020 Totals$1,882,617,422$1,799,053,49395.6%

A Nov. 18 COVID-19 emergency order shut down land-based casinos in Illinois, and that closure stayed in effect throughout the remainder of 2020. The lack of in-person wagering options, however, didn’t stop Illinois sportsbooks from post new betting handle highs in December.

With 100% of bets coming from mobile apps, Illinois sportsbooks nearly hit the half-billion mark in overall betting handle. Illinois took $491,720,536 in sports wagers in December.

Illinois represented the country’s third-largest online sports betting market in December, behind only New Jersey and Pennsylvania. After launching online sports betting in June 2020, Illinois pulled $1,882,617,422 in overall betting handle for 2020.

Of that total, 95.6% of all bets came from mobile sportsbooks. Illinois lawmakers have waived the state’s in-person registration requirement for online sports betting through March 8.

Illinois Online Sports Betting Revenue December 2020

Retail OperatorOnline SkinsDecember 2020 RevenueMonth-to-Month Change2020 YTD Revenue
Par-A-Dice Gaming CorporationFanDuel Sportsbook$7,070,778-50.9%
$32,538,651
Casino Queen Inc.DraftKings Sportsbook$6,908,764
-44.3%
$30,901,222
Midwest Gaming & EntertainmentBetRivers$6,811,333
-34.3%
$43,054,493
Hawthorne Race Course Inc.PointsBet$2,407,996
+16.1%
$9,698,092
Elgin Riverboat ResortWilliam Hill$576,365+37.2%
$1,398,471
Totals$23,775,236
-40.1%
$117,590,929

The market share breakdown at the top of the Illinois sports betting industry plays out as a three-way battle among sports betting giants. FanDuel Sportsbook, DraftKings Sportsbook, and BetRivers each held roughly 30% of market share in December.

BetRivers, the first online sportsbook to launch in Illinois, finished 2020 as the state’s top-earning mobile sports wagering app. From its debut on June 18 through the rest of the year, BetRivers produced $43,054,493 in online sports betting revenue.

DraftKings Sportsbook went live on June 28, while FanDuel Sportsbook launched on August 28. Despite launching two months after its closest competitors, FanDuel Sportsbook ended 2020 as the No. 2 online sports betting platform in Illinois by revenue.

PointsBet and William Hill have a lot of ground to make up in the race for revenue in Illinois. Both platforms realized month-to-month revenue gains from November to December, however.

You can visit The Illinois Gaming Board website and take a look at the interactive reports for both betting handle and revenue.

About the Author

Geoff Fisk

Geoff Fisk is a San Diego-based freelance writer, specializing in the poker and gambling industries. He’s written for numerous platforms and has traveled the globe as a live poker tournament reporter. Geoff’s interests include the legal online poker industry in the U.S. and abroad.