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DJ Moore #2 of the Chicago Bears warms-up prior to a game as we look at Illinois' sportsbook financials for January 2024
DJ Moore #2 of the Chicago Bears warms-up prior to a game against the Atlanta Falcons at Soldier Field on December 31, 2023 in Chicago, Illinois. Photo by Quinn Harris/Getty Images via AFP.

The notoriously slow Illinois Gaming Board monthly revenue report for January was finally released last Wednesday. It revealed not only the fifth straight month of $1 billion handles for the Land of Lincoln but the second straight month in which providers in the state enjoyed record revenues. Our best sports betting sites have started 2024 strong.

Illinois sports betting ranked third in the nation in terms of handle in January. Only New York’s $1.97 billion and New Jersey’s $1.72 billion were better, beating out Pennsylvania and Ohio for third.

Illinois sports betting apps and the state's retail providers saw a slight dip in month-over-month sports betting activity during January. Still, thanks to the public's struggles against state providers, revenues set a new high-water mark.

FanDuel, Parlays, and football led the way in their respective categories in the Illinois market during January.

$1.29 billion January handle

Sports bettors spent a total of $1.29 billion at Illinois sports betting sites and retail outlets in January. This snapped an impressive two-month streak of $1.3 billion monthly handles and was about 2.1% lower than the $1.31 billion handle reported in December.

That $1.29 billion figure is about a $220 million - or 16.8% - year-over-year improvement from the $1.07 billion handle from January 2023.

Illinois' best sportsbooks extended their streak of $1 billion monthly handles to five - a record for the state. Residents will surely continue to take advantage of Illinois sportsbook promos.

$135.2 million in adjusted gross sports betting revenue

Illinois sportsbooks benefitted in January with $135.2 million in adjusted gross sports betting revenue, a new record for the state and the second straight month in which monthly revenues reached an all-time high.

That $135.2 million represents a 5.3% month-over-month revenue increase from the previous record of $128.4 million from December and is a nearly $57 million year-over-year improvement from the $88.55 million reported in January 2023.

January marked the third time in four months that sportsbook revenues in Illinois have topped $100 million.

Illinois sports betting apps generated $131.6 million of the overall January revenue, while retail accounted for $3.6 million.

Second highest hold rate ever leads to generous tax contribution

Illinois sportsbook profits benefitted from the second-highest hold ever for Land of Lincoln providers in 45 months of operation. Huge upsets in the NFL playoffs likely contributed to a 10.5% statewide win rate for Illinois sportsbooks, the second best ever to the 10.8% reported in May 2023.

The combination of high revenues and a high hold rate allowed needy state and local tax coffers to see an influx of over $20 million for a single month for the first time. Illinois' good month of January resulted in a total of $20.3 million in tax revenue.

Parlay power

To nobody's surprise, football made up most of the betting activity in January. And because of some incredible upsets in the early rounds of the NFL playoffs, revenues from parlay betting hit an all-time high.

In January, the public did not do well on parlays against Illinois sports betting sites. Illinois best sportsbooks held a whopping 24% on parlay wagers in January, which is the second highest ever for that market in the state, behind only a 26.6% hold in November 2021.

It all led to a record $86.7 million in revenue for Illinois sportsbooks from multi-leg wagers in January. That’s about 64% of Illinois's total gross gaming revenue during January.