Illinois Sports Betting Breaks Out of Summer Doldrums as August Handle Rises

Illinois Sports Betting Breaks Out of Summer Doldrums as August Handle Rises
Fact Checked by Michael Peters

It was an August to remember for Illinois sports betting, and a September to forget for the casinos in the state.

Illinois online and retail sportsbooks reported a wagering handle of $564.837 million during the eighth month of the year, representing a 9.4% jump from July and a 41.1% climb, year-over-year.

The casino numbers, on the other hand, fell for a second straight month in September, with $113.812 million reported, including $85.217 million from electronic gaming devices and another $28.594 million from table games. There are no legal Illinois online casinos.

For the sportsbooks in the state, August represented a clean slate after the slower summer months, with a 3.7% jump in sports betting revenue, month-over-month, from $46.080 million in July to $47.788 million in August.

August also saw an increase in wagering taxes collected, with $7.739 million coming to the state during the month, up 3.8% from $7.452 million in July.

Here’s what else stood out from the Illinois Gaming Control Board’s August report for sports betting and September casino breakdown.

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Illinois Sports Betting Handle, August vs. July

Total handleMobile HandleRevenue
Change Up 9.4% Up 8.8% Up 3.7%

Illinois Sports Betting Hitting Its Stride Entering Fall

There’s little debate the fall months are prime season for wagering, with the NFL and college football seasons in full swing.

It’s also the first fall betting season since Illinois dropped its in-person registration requirement for signing up at Illinois betting apps, meaning the state could see historic handles the rest of the year.

The August report still showed baseball is king during the dog days of summer, however, with $196.010 million wagered on the nation’s pastime, compared to $91.836 million on tennis, $45.895 million on soccer, and $16.145 million on football.

In total, $556.885 million was wagered in Illinois on professional sports during August, with an additional $7.024 million bet on college sports during the month.

Illinois Casino Play Falls During September

The month of September wasn’t as rosy for Illinois’ casinos, with a second consecutive month of declines in revenue, according to figures posted by the Illinois Gaming Board.

In total, $113.812 million in revenue was reported in casino play during September, down 3.0% from August’s figure of $117.326 million.

The state’s haul was up, year-over-year, from the $106.264 million the gaming facilities reported during September 2021.

Both August and September have failed to live up to Illinois’ high-water months of July ($122.886 million) and April ($122.501 million), though there’s plenty of time for the state’s facilities to turn things around.

Last year, the same facilities saw upticks in casino revenues in October, November, and December, culminating in the state’s $109.807 million haul in the final month of the year.

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Christopher Boan is a lead writer at specializing in covering state issues. He covered sports and sports betting in Arizona for more than seven years, including stops at, the Tucson Weekly and the Green Valley News.

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