Although November Illinois Sports Betting Handle Dips, Revenue Goes Way Up

Although November Illinois Sports Betting Handle Dips, Revenue Goes Way Up

The total sports wagering handle in Illinois slipped a bit in November from October but revenue for Illinois sports betting was up considerably, mostly due a much higher hold percentage than the previous month.

In comparison to other sports gambling jurisdictions, Illinois sports fans continued to show that they are strongly motivated to put their money in play and made Illinois the country’s third leading sports handle state for November with the caveat that Arizona, another strong sports betting state, has yet to report its November figures.

Illinois Sports Betting Handle, November vs. October

Total handleMobile HandleRevenue
ChangeDown 7.2% Down 7.2%Up 50.8%

Illinois Revenue Numbers Through The Roof

In November, Illinois sports betting operators saw a whopping 50.8% increase in November 2021 revenues over October. The November revenues for Illinois were more than $79 million, a new record, compared to the October revenue figures of about $52.6 million, which was the old record.

The reason for the dramatic jump in Illinois gambling on sports, it would seem, was a much higher hold rate in November of about 10.2% compared to the October hold of 6.5%.

Illinois’ Tax Take Increases Substantially

The increase in revenue meant an increase in taxes, and a benefit to Illinois taxpayers. The November sports betting tax was about $12.8 million, up 48.5% from October (about $8.6 million).

Handle Down in November

Although there was an impressive uptick in revenue, the monthly handle was down.

The Illinois sports wagering handle was down 7.2% for November compared to October. Illinois bettors wagered almost $780 million during the month compared to about $840 million in October.

Still, that November number was good for third place among sports gambling states that have recorded their figures so far, trailing just New Jersey and Nevada. Online sports betting accounted for about $746 million of the state’s handle, about 96% of the total state handle.

That was impressive considering Illinois still requires in-person registration to bet online. That requirement is expected to expire in March after a new bill that eliminates it was signed into law.



Bill Ordine covers state gambling issues for He was a reporter and editor in news and sports for the Philadelphia Inquirer and Baltimore Sun for 25 years, and was a lead reporter on a team that was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize in Breaking News. Bill started reporting on casinos and gaming shortly after Atlantic City’s first gambling halls opened and wrote a syndicated column on travel to casino destinations for 10 years.

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