The ides of March were kind to Illinois sports betting, with the state reporting more than $286 million in wagers during this year’s NCAA men’s and women’s basketball tournaments.
In total, Illinois reported $274.406 million in online handle between the two tournaments, with another $11.786 million in retail handle.
This year’s March Madness saw $266.786 million wagered on the men’s tournament, to go with another $7.619 million on the women’s side.
It helped that a pair of Illinois teams, in the University of Illinois and Loyola Chicago, qualified on the men’s side this year, to go with Illinois State and DePaul on the women’s side.
Illinois began fully mobile sports betting March 4, but you could only bet on state teams in the tournament at retail sportsbooks. In 2021, it was estimated that Illinois had about $200 million in NCAA tournament wagering.
Here’s a breakdown of this year’s March Madness betting numbers from the Illinois Gaming Control Board:
DraftKings Far and Away the Leader
A theme that emerges as you look through the Illinois numbers from March Madness is the strong performance turned in by DraftKings Sportsbook Illinois, which led the pack during the tournament.
The Boston-based operator made $103.176 million in total handle off the men’s tournament, along with $2.043 million on the women’s event — lapping No. 2 finisher FanDuel Sportsbook Illinois, which had $71.796 million and $2.052 million in handle.
A pair of operators in Rivers Casino (BetRivers Illinois) and Hawthorne Casino and Race Course (PointsBet), were the only others to make more than $25 million in handle during March Madness.
BetRivers took in $27.825 million on the men’s side and $1.005 million on the women’s side, while PointsBet raked in $27.158 million and $653,820.
The No. 4 finisher on the women’s basketball side was Par-A-Dice Hotel Casino, which had $736,363 in handle, while Hollywood Casino Aurora was the No. 5 finisher on the men’s side at $22.714 million.
How Other Illinois Sportsbooks Did
BetMGM is Par-A-Dice’s online sports betting partner and launched for the first time in the state on March 4.
BetMGM Sportsbook took in $12.687 million on the men’s tournament, followed by Grand Victoria Casino's Caesars Sportsbook ($11.383 million), Argosy Casino Alton ($1.127 million), Hollywood Casino Aurora ($641,213) and Hollywood Casino Juliet ($464,981).
On the women’s side, Hawthorne Casino and Race Course was No. 5 ($653,820), followed by Hollywood Casino Aurora ($653,564), Grand Victoria ($643,671), Argosy Casino Alton ($29,326), and Hollywood Casino Joliet ($8,097).
The two tournaments combined to produce $2.146 million in wagering taxes, along with $14.309 million in total adjusted gross receipts.
The IGCB is expected to release the rest of March’s sports betting information later this month.