Illinois Finishes 2022 Strong, Posts Third Straight Billion-Dollar Legal Sports Betting Month In December

Figures recently reported by the Illinois Gaming Board show the state’s retail and online sports betting sites handled just under $1.03 billion in wagers during December 2022 — the third straight month Illinois has broken the billion-dollar mark.

Feb 10, 2023 • 11:11 ET • 1 min read
Terrence Shannon Jr. Illinois Fighting Illini college basketball
Photo By - USA TODAY Sports

Illinois closed out 2022 in strong fashion, breaking the billion-dollar mark once again in terms of legal sports betting handle.

Figures recently reported by the Illinois Gaming Board show the state's retail and online sports betting sites handled just under $1.03 billion in wagers during December — an almost identical number to the previous two months, making it three straight periods where sports betting in Illinois topped $1 billion in monthly handle.

Wagers may have stayed strong, but the adjusted gross revenue in the state continued a downward trend. After November saw a 3.3% decline from the October, December's AGR of $123.7 million is a 16.9% decline from the month prior, as the statewide hold percentage fell from 14.5% to 12%.

Total taxes paid amounted to $13.3 million, with about $826K going to Cook County, where Chicago is located.

Mobile betting continues to be almost all of the wagering in the Prairie State, with online bets accounting for 96.4% of the handle — $992.1 million — while the $119.6 million in AGR was 96.7% of the total statewide returns.

FanDuel remains on top

It's a two-horse race between DraftKings and FanDuel for Illinois mobile betting supremacy, with the NY-based FanDuel leading the way in December, generating $349.1 million in wagers, compared to the DraftKings' number of $306.5 million.

FanDuel also led the way with $56.4 million in online-based AGR (DraftKings posted $32.6 million), with the two titans accounting for 63.7% of the statewide handle and 71.9% of the AGR.

Despite the NFL being in full swing and December being college football bowl season, pigskin was barely the most-bet sport in December, generating $299.3 million in handle for the month — a 3.5% increase from the previous month, but just slightly better than basketball wagering, which accounted fro $285.8 million in the final month of 2022.

Due to the completion of the FIFA World Cup, soccer ($63.1 million) was the third-most bet sport, followed by other sports ($56.2 million) and tennis ($35.9 million) after that.

Parlays again accounted for a large chunk of the month, responsible for $245.7 million of the state's overall action.

Changes coming to the landscape?

Illinois operators may also take another hit on their bottom line, as new legislation was proposed Tuesday that would force sportsbooks to use promotional tools, such as pop-up ads, to promote users about problem gambling resources — and not customer acquisition-focused offers.

Sen. Bill Cunningham introduced SB1508, which would require betting sites to show a pop-up message about gambling addiction help after every 10 wagers a player makes — an attempted tweak at the regulations in a highly lucrative Illinois market that follows the likes of Arizona and New York.

Illinois also might have a new way to bet, as Rep. Robert Rita proposed HB1405 in late January, which would allow for betting exchanges to be legalized in the state — something only New Jersey currently allows.

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