December 18, 2020 3 min read


Illinois Reports Record Sports Betting Handle of $434 Million in October

Illinois’ sports betting handle is growing rapidly and is now the fourth-largest market in the US, despite the negative effects of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Illinois Accounts for 13% of the Total Handle in the US

Illinois sports betting reported another month of growth with October’s handle increasing by 43% month-on-month to the record $434 million.

In-person sports wagering was launched in The Prairie State on March 9, 2020, when BetRivers Sportsbook, the first brick-and-mortar sportsbook approved by the Illinois Gaming Board, opened at Rivers Casino in Des Plaines. A few months later on June 18, the casino property operated by Churchill Downs Incorporated took the first online sports bet.

Initially, each bettor was obliged to do an in-person registration inside a casino or race track, but this legal requirement was suspended with an executive order by Governor JB Pritzker due to the pandemic.

Despite the difficult second quarter due to the Covid-19 lockdown and further restrictions, Illinoisans have placed more than $941 million bets on sporting events since the launch of the activity in the state. Illinois is now the fourth largest sports betting market in the US and is expected to surpass $5 billion in bets within the next few years.

Nationwide handle in October amounted to $3.25 billion, which corresponds to a 12% rise compared to September. According to the Illinois Gaming Board report, the state collected $6.3 million in tax in October, while nearly 10% of the $434 million handle or $42.2 million was turned into revenue

Mobile Betting Leads the Market in October

The top three states with the highest sports betting handle for the month are Pennsylvania, Nevada and New Jersey. Illinois handle was around half less than New Jersey and approximately twice more than Colorado and nearby Indiana. Colorado and Indiana also reported record highs with $210.7 million and $231 million sports betting handle respectively.

Mobile betting was the main contributor of handle accounting for more than 90% of the total bets in Illinois.

BetRivers was the leader in terms of revenue with $12.9 million, although its handle has slightly declined since its launch. At a national level, it was the second top player with a 24.3% share or $115.5 million in bets.

DraftKings contributed $141.4 million, which corresponded to $11.5 million in revenue. Recently, the operator’s CEO Jason Robins announced the company is expected to grow by more than 40% in 2021 as legalization and regulation of sports betting in the US continues.

BetRivers and DraftKings were followed by FanDuel, which took $105.5 million in bets, thus generating a revenue of $11.1 million. The fourth on the list was PointsBet with $5.1 million in revenue in October.


Although Fiona doesn't have a long-spanning background within the gambling industry, she is an incredibly skilled journalist who has built a strong interest in the constantly growing iGaming network. The team at is glad to have her on our roster to help deliver the best stories as soon as they hit. Aside from writing, she loves to dabble in online casino games such as slots and roulette, both for her own enjoyment and also as research to better improve her understanding of the industry.

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