The Illinois Gaming Board reported that sportsbooks had a hold above 10.8% for May, an all-time high for the state that was in line with a monthly rout of the sports wagering public across the nation.

It was only the third time in 37 months of wagering in the Land of Lincoln that the win rate reached double figures, with the previous high being 10.2% in July 2021. Illinois fell in line with practically all of the states that offer commercial sports wagering in May, with its 10.84% hold on $821.7 million in traditional handle ranking 22nd out of 27 states. That actually dropped the overall hold on gross revenue to 11.4%, with only Colorado and Arizona yet to report.

The all-time, post-PASPA record monthly hold of 11.7% set in September 2018 appears safe, given that Colorado has posted a 10% or higher hold just twice in state history, with one of the two being a 10.01% win rate on $25.6 million handle during its May 2020 launch. Arizona has recorded five double-digit holds in 20 months of wagering, the most recent one coming last September at 10.3%.

The IGB reported $89 million in adjusted gross revenue, which was 32% higher than May 2022, as handle was up 7.5% year-over-year and the hold was more than two full percentage points higher. The state collected close to $13.4 million in tax revenue, while Cook County’s coffers had an inflow of nearly $1 million after collecting its 2% levy on the $49.6 million in adjusted gross revenue operators claimed on bets within Illinois’ largest county.

A house hammering on parlays

Perhaps the most telling statistic of how well Illinois sportsbooks performed on parlay wagering is that revenue ticked 0.3% higher from April to nearly $51.3 million despite completed handle dropping 12.6% to $218 million. The state’s seven mobile sportsbooks combined to produce a staggering 23.5% hold, claiming close to $49.4 million from $210.1 million handle.

FanDuel produced another knockout punch for parlays, fashioning a 26.8% hold to claim $24.4 million from $90.8 million in accepted wagers. Its chief rival, DraftKings, clocked a 21.3% hold with $13.9 million from $65.2 million handle. All told, five mobile operators notched a 20% or higher win rate on parlays.

All seven books reported at least $1.1 million in revenue from parlays, with BetRivers continuing to find success with a stronger focus on that type of wagering. The sportsbook had a 22.3% hold on nearly $16.2 million handle, collecting $3.6 million in revenue. BetRivers’ $17.1 million in winnings through the first five months of 2023 is tracking to be a four-fold increase from the $10.1 million in parlay revenue for all of 2022.

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PointsBet had the second-highest parlay win rate, edging just under 25% as it kept $3.2 million of the $13 million in accepted wagers. Barstool Sportsbook had a 21.4% win rate, which netted it $1.1 million from $5.3 million handle.

Caesars Sports and BetMGM were the two operators that failed to post a 20% hold, but both had more than healthy win rates. Caesars was just under 17% on close to $9.8 million handle, while BetMGM posted a 14.9% hold on over $9.8 million handle.

FanDuel continues to rule mobile roost

FanDuel’s proficiency in generating parlay revenue continues to give it an iron grip on the top revenue spot for mobile operators. May’s total was more than $36.1 million, as the sportsbook crafted a 12.5% hold from $288 million in completed events handle. It was the 11th consecutive month FanDuel posted a 10% or higher hold, with six of those months at 12% or better.

The online titan was one of three mobile books with overall double-digit holds, as PointsBet claimed top honors at 12.8% and BetRivers’ improved parlay success contributed to an 11.6% win rate. DraftKings narrowly missed 10% as it claimed $25.5 million in revenue from $255.7 million handle, while BetMGM notched a 9.7% win rate to claim $4.6 million from $48.1 million in accepted wagers.

The race for the No. 3 spot in handle behind FanDuel and DraftKings again had some drama, as BetRivers beat back a challenge from Caesars. Rivers’ $66.7 million in accepted bets was nearly $2.7 million more than Caesars, which had $64 million.

BetMGM rounded out the top five at $48.1 million, outpacing PointsBet by nearly $3 million, but Barstool Sportsbook’s slide deeper into the cellar continued at $27.6 million. It was the lightest online handle in Illinois for the PENN Entertainment book since accepting $26.5 million worth of wagers last August.

Retail books keep the heat on the public

Illinois’ brick-and-mortar venues also clobbered the betting public, claiming more than $3.2. million in gross revenue from $24 million handle for a 13.5% hold. Fairmount Park proved FanDuel can clean up on the retail side as well, as the horse racing venue led all operators with a 21.8% win rate to claim close to $325,000.

Rivers Casino accounted for more than one-third of the state’s in-person handle with $8.9 million and close to half the revenue with $1.4 million, good for a 15.5% hold. Hollywood Casino in Joliet and Par-A-Dice in East Peoria were the lone venues with single-digit holds in May, as the latter’s $28,132 in revenue with a 5.5% hold nearly erased all of the $37,878 loss reported for April.

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