Retail sportsbooks officially opened in March 2020, with the first Illinois betting app launch in June 2020.
Since then, Illinois has emerged as one of the fastest-growing sports betting markets since launching in 2020.
Illinoislagged behind only New York in May betting handle and revenue while paying the third most taxes in the country.
Several online operators have staked their claim, but a few giants have separated themselves from the pack.
5 Most Popular Sportsbooks In Illinois
Here’s a look at the top 5 online sportsbooks in Illinois driving Prairie State’s massive sports betting expansion, ranked by their betting handle.
- FanDuel has established itself as the clear Illinois market leader. In May of 2023, FanDuel and its retail partner Fairmount Park generated a staggering $290 million in sports betting handle, earning $36.9 million in revenue on $5.8 million in taxes. FanDuel’s 12.7% hold rate is the best among the top operators. The sportsbook accounted for over 25% of Illinois’ total handle.
- DraftKings and on-site partner Casino Queen have excelled as FanDuel’s chief rival. DraftKings compiled nearly $262 million in May 2023 handle in Illinois, raking in $27 million in revenue on a 10.4% hold and $4.1 million in state taxes. DraftKings’ innovative betting options and daily fantasy dominance have fueled its growth.
- BetRivers and Rivers Casino Des Plaines maintained the No. 3 position in May 2023. BetRivers compiled over $75 million handle, generating $9.2 million in revenue on a 12.2% hold rate. Taxes paid exceeded $1.4 million. BetRivers has carved out a loyal niche through competitive odds and parlay options.
- Despite slipping to 4th in sports betting handle, Caesars remains a major Illinois player thanks partly to its casino partner Grand Victoria. Caesars handled nearly $66 million in May 2023 bets, producing $4.5 million in revenue and $625K in taxes paid. The world-renowned Industry leader Caesars is still a top destination in Illinois.
- Rounding out the top 5 is BetMGM and its on-site licensee Par-A-Dice Casino. In May of 2023, BetMGM handled $48.5 million in wagers, earning almost $4.7 million in revenue on a 9.6% hold and $756K in taxes. BetMGM’s brand recognition and rewards program help drive its Illinois presence.
With nearly $5 billion wagered in Illinois through the first five months of 2023, the top 5 online operators have fueled the boom through competitive promotions, advanced apps, and retail casino partnerships.
These sports betting giants have put their stamp on the surging Illinois market, with only New York and New Jersey as its closest US rival.
The upcoming NFL and NCAAF seasons and the addition of Circa Sports in September could push the Prairie State to the top spot in the country by year’s end.