FanDuel and most Illinois sportsbooks started 2024 the same way they ended 2023 — routing the public en route to a record revenue haul.

The Illinois Gaming Board reported a record $135.2 million in adjusted gross sports betting revenue for January on Wednesday, the second straight month operators set an all-time high for winnings. Three of the four instances Illinois sportsbooks have generated $100 million in revenue have occurred in the last four months.

The total was 5.3% higher than the $128.4 million accumulated in December despite a 2.1% dip in month-over-month traditional handle to $1.29 billion. It was the fifth consecutive month Illinois posted a $1 billion handle, the longest streak in state history. The 10.5% statewide hold was the first in double digits since sportsbooks fashioned a 10.8% win rate last May and second-highest in 45 months of wagering in state history.

FanDuel was at the center of the winnings with a state record of $59.4 million, smashing its previous standard of $51.5 million established in December, and becoming the first mobile sportsbook to surpass $1 billion in all-time revenue in Illinois. The 13.7% hold was its best in Illinois since attaining a win rate just shy of 15% in September 2022.

Revenue from Illinois’ eight sports betting apps totaled $131.6 million, while retail books added another $3.6 million. That adjusted revenue does not count the $351,600 loss absorbed by the brick-and-mortar Argosy Casino sportsbook in Alton.

The state saw a $20 million monthly inflow of tax revenue into coffers for the first time, with January’s $20.3 million over $1 million more than December. Had the 35% rate Illinois Gov. JB Pritzker proposed in his state budget last month been in place, tax revenue would have totaled $47.3 million.

Cook County, which includes Chicago and levies a separate 2% tax on AGR generated within the county limits, claimed $1.4 million in receipts.

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Another big month for parlays, but football as well

The rash of upsets in the NFL playoffs, which included the Chicago Bears’ archrival Green Bay Packers stunning the Dallas Cowboys on the road in the wild card round, appears to have wreaked havoc on many same-game parlays in Illinois. Revenue from the multi-leg wagers reached an eye-watering, all-time monthly high of $86.7 million.

The statewide hold on parlays was 24%, the highest since a 26.6% win rate in November 2021. The record revenue came despite a 7.8% decline in parlay handle from December to $361.1 million.

FanDuel again shined in this betting vertical, but all eight mobile books did — BetMGM had the lowest hold of the group at a still-robust 16.3%. FanDuel, though, again took it to a stratospheric level by cashing $42.6 million worth of busted tickets while putting together a 26.7% hold against $159.6 million handle.

It was another all-time state high in parlay revenue for the digital leviathan, keeping $4 of every $15 wagered while toppling its previous standard of $38.8 million established in December.

FanDuel’s long shadow cast with its parlay dominance again obscured another all-time monthly high by its eternal rival DraftKings. It collected $28.2 million in winnings from $116.9 million worth of multi-leg bets in notching a 24.2% hold for January — its highest in the discipline in Illinois.

BetRivers took the final podium spot for parlay revenue, edging over $4 million thanks to an 18.6% hold against $21.5 million handle. It was the third time in 11 months BetRivers collected $4 million from parlay winnings, but January’s total was well off the record $4.5 million set in October.

ESPN BET had an 18.4% win rate in collecting $3.6 million in parlay revenue, but that was where most of the success stopped for the PENN Entertainment-powered mobile book. ESPN BET absorbed a $1.4 million loss in the catch-all “other” category and paid out $380,080 above its $39.3 million basketball handle. The result was ESPN BET’s parlay revenue accounted for all but $63,800 of its total January winnings.

Football was the other primary source of Illinois sportsbook revenue in January as operators collected $22.7 million in winnings while posting an 8.9% hold from $256.5 million worth of wagers. FanDuel again notched its all-time best for revenue with $10.1 million as it fashioned a 13.5% win rate against $75 million handle.

DraftKings had just over half that amount — $5.2 million — despite a $92.5 million handle that was 23.4% higher compared to FanDuel.

Three other mobile sportsbooks in addition to FanDuel set all-time monthly highs for overall revenue. DraftKings had its first back-to-back months with $40 million in winnings, landing at $44.2 million with a 9.9% hold from a state-leading $446.6 million handle.

BetMGM surpassed $5 million in revenue for the first time, clearing the benchmark by $28,148 and posting an 8.4% win rate. Caesars rounded out the record-setters with $4.9 million, claiming a 6.8% hold from $71.9 million.

DraftKings and FanDuel also shared another Illinois milestone in January as both surpassed $10 billion in all-time mobile handle. While DraftKings has generated $348.5 million more worth of action, FanDuel has amassed $332.2 more in revenue thanks to a 10.2% hold that is 3.5 percentage points higher than its long-time rival.

Brick-and-mortar books dragged down by Argosy

Even with Argosy Casino’s six-figure loss, the $3.2 million in gross revenue still provided an 8.7% hold against $37.4 million handle. Rivers Casino in Des Plaines accounted for nearly half the operator winnings, totaling $1.5 million on the strength of an 11.1% hold. Casino Queen in East St. Louis was a distant second with $782,600 in winnings but had a solid 12.5% win rate.

Hawthorne Race Course, which has three off-track betting locations where retail sports wagers can be placed, rounded out the podium spots for revenue with $493,900. It had a 15% hold on $3.3 million handle, which ranked fourth among the 12 brick-and-mortar licensees.

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