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Illinois Sportsbooks Collect Nearly $100 Million In March Revenue

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Illinois Sportsbooks Collect Nearly $100 Million In March Revenue


The Illinois Gaming Board reported $99.4 million in adjusted gross sports betting revenue for March on Wednesday afternoon, as sportsbooks narrowly missed a nine-figure haul for the fifth time in state history.

Revenue was up only 2.3% compared to last March despite a 17.9% surge in traditional handle to $1.26 billion. The 7.9% hold this year was 1.2 percentage points lower, leaving operator winnings $580,000 shy of $100 million.

March’s handle was the fourth-highest in 47 months of wagering in the Land of Lincoln and came within $21.7 million of January’s total for third. The $3.62 billion in accepted bets for the first quarter of 2024 is up 20% from last year.

The state received $14.9 million in tax revenue, and the $47.7 million collected in the opening three months of 2024 is $8.5 million ahead of last year’s pace, as year-to-date revenue is up 21.6% from 2023.

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Operator taxes are a point of discussion in Illinois after Gov. JB Pritzker called to more than double the rate to 35% in February for the upcoming fiscal year that starts July 1.

Had that rate been in effect for the first three months of 2024, the state would have received $111.4 million — an increase of $63.6 million. Pritzker’s Fiscal Year 2025 budget estimates an additional $200 million in tax revenue with the 35% rate in place.

Cook County received close to $1.1 million in tax revenue from a 2% levy placed on the $54.7 million in adjusted gross revenue generated within its borders, which includes Chicago.

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The city itself collected $910 in taxes from its 2% levy placed on the $45,500 in revenue generated at the DraftKings at Wrigley Field, which began taking wagers in March.

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Plenty of March Madness action

The Illinois Gaming Board does not break out handle between NBA and college basketball, but total wagering on the sport totaled $633.7 million for March — an all-time monthly high and an increase of 23.4% from last year.

It did note that total wagering on college sports for the month, which would be overwhelmingly on basketball given the time of year, totaled $394.8 million. In-person college wagering totaled $16.2 million.

Operators claimed $26 million in revenue from all basketball bets placed, good for a 4.1% hold. That was the largest single source of revenue from a specific sport, while winnings from parlays and same-game parlays accounted for more than half the overall amount at $56.8 million. Illinois bettors wagered $349.7 million on multi-leg bets, resulting in a 16.2% win rate for the house.

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Tennis was a distant second when it came to operator revenue at $5.1 million, as the house had a 6.6% hold on $76.6 million in handle. Soccer was the only other sport to produce more than $3 million in revenue, clearing that mark by $88,000 as handle totaled $43.7 million.

FanDuel tops in revenue; DraftKings leads in handle

Betting via the state’s eight sports betting apps accounted for 97% of the total handle at $1.23 billion.

FanDuel took top honors for revenue with $41.4 million, fashioning a 9.5% hold from $433.8 million in completed events handle. The $435.3 million in traditional handle was within $1.3 million of its all-time high set last December.

DraftKings also narrowly missed its top mark for wagers at $461.5 million, $2.4 million shy of its best total. It collected $32.8 million in winnings — the fourth consecutive month over $30 million — while attaining a 7.1% win rate.

BetRivers joined FanDuel as the only mobile book to top an 8% hold, landing at 8.1% in collecting $6.5 million in revenue from $79.8 million worth of bets placed.

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The fourth through seventh spots for handle were separated by $9.7 million, with ESPN BET the best of the bunch at $62.7 million, followed by Caesars ($61.9 million), BetMGM ($60.4 million), and Fanatics Sportsbook ($52.3 million).

ESPN BET also took the No. 4 spot for revenue with $4.7 million, while Caesars rounded out the top five with just over $4 million. Fanatics pipped BetMGM for sixth by $419,000. Circa Sports set a record for revenue with $324,200 while posting an eight-digit handle for just the second time since launch with $11 million worth of wagers.

DraftKings at Wrigley draws college hoops fans

Bettors who had been waiting nearly a year to place bets at the DraftKings location adjacent to iconic Wrigley Field put a notable chunk of their action on basketball wagers, with almost $494,100 — nearly 70% of the total completed events handle — bet on pro and college basketball. That percentage eclipsed 90% when including the $151,400 in parlays.

Perhaps more impressively was that bettors came out nearly $14,000 ahead on their parlay bets in contrast to the 8.1% hold on basketball that netted DraftKings $40,100 in revenue.

DraftKings’ other retail sportsbook on the other side of the state — at Casino Queen near the Missouri border — enjoyed a solid March with $563,900 in winnings while crafting a 7.2% hold.

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Rivers Casino paced all brick-and-mortar venues with $875,200 in revenue thanks to a 7.4% win rate from $11.8 million worth of bets. Argosy Casino in Alton grossed $592,700 in revenue while notching a 15.7% hold, with $397,300 eligible to be taxed.





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Illinois

Top seed Illinois falls to Georgia Tech in quarterfinals of NCAA men’s golf championships

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Top seed Illinois falls to Georgia Tech in quarterfinals of NCAA men’s golf championships


Another trip to match play in the NCAA men’s golf championships ended short of a national title for Illinois.

Coach Mike Small’s Illini — who earned the No. 1 seed by finishing 16 shots clear of the field after 72 holes of stroke play — lost 3-1 to eighth-seeded Georgia Tech in a quarterfinal match Tuesday morning in Carlsbad, Calif.

Max Herendeen, who tied for second Monday in the individual competition, was the only Illinois player to win his match, recording the day’s first point with a 5-and-4 rout of Carson Kim.

But the Yellow Jackets clinched the match with wins by Bartley Forrester over Tyler Goecke (3 and 1), Aidan Tran over Piercen Hunt (3 and 2) and NCAA individual champion Hiroshi Tai over Ryan Voois (3 and 2). That rendered Jackson Buchanan’s match against Georgia Tech’s Kale Fontenot moot.

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“For whatever reason we lost our way and started guiding it and started worrying about things,” Small said in a press release. “I think a lot of our guys fell back on some of the tendencies that they were getting better at all spring, and I think under the pressure and tension they reverted back to some of that stuff.

“We were in control of the match halfway through and the back nine is one we took care of all week, so maybe the pressure got to them and maybe they got ahead of themselves and were thinking of the outcome for whatever reason.”

This was Illinois’ ninth time qualifying for match play since the current format was adopted in 2009, and the Illini have made the NCAA championships 17 times and won 13 Big Ten titles in Small’s 25 years in charge. But they still are seeking the program’s first national championship.

Georgia Tech moved on to a semifinal match later Tuesday against No. 5 seed Florida State, a 3-1 winner over fourth-seeded North Carolina.

No. 6 seed Auburn faced No. 7 Ohio State in the other semifinal as all four quarterfinals were won by the lower seed. The Tigers beat third-seeded Virginia 3-1, while the Buckeyes advanced with a 3-1-1 victory over second-seeded Vanderbilt.

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The championship match is Wednesday at La Costa (6 p.m. CDT, Golf Channel).



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Oldest Farmers Market In Illinois To Reopen For 113th Season

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Oldest Farmers Market In Illinois To Reopen For 113th Season


AURORA, IL — The Aurora Farmers Market, said to be the oldest in the state, will reopen June 1 for its 113th season.

New vendors will join dozens of returning farmers and fan favorites from 8 a.m. to noon every Saturday at Water Street Square, 65 S. Water St., across from City Hall. The season will run through Oct. 5.

To mark the new season, the city will hold a ribbon-cutting ceremony at 9 a.m. Saturday. The inaugural market day will also feature entertainment for children from Miss Jaime from the Farm at 10 a.m., live music from Nick Scarpinato, and a petting zoo courtesy of Phillips Park Zoo, officials said.

Similar to years past, the Aurora Farmers Market is partnering with Link Up Illinois and Ascension Mercy’s Fresh First Program. The partnerships, respectively, double the value of Link/EBT purchases and provide vouchers for children on select days throughout the season.

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Illinois hunters take a record number of turkeys

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Illinois hunters take a record number of turkeys


Illinois hunters took a preliminary statewide record of 17,208 wild turkeys during the 2024 Illinois spring turkey season.

This year’s total surpassed the previous high of 16,569 set in 2006 and is an increase from the 2023 season, in which 16,123 wild turkeys were hunted.

La Salle, Bureau and Livingston counties saw increases from 2023 to 2024. In La Salle County, there were 103 turkeys taken in 2023 and that number increased to 110 in 2024. In Bureau County, one more turkey was taken in 2024 than 2023 as 197 were hunted in 2024. Livingston County saw an increase of 47 turkeys taken in 2024 compared to 32 in 2023.

The amount of turkeys hunted decreased in Marshall-Putnam counties from 125 to 114 from 2023 to 2024.

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The top five counties statewide for the 2024 spring turkey harvest were Jo Daviess, 654; Jefferson, 472; Marion, 435; Pope, 397; and Randolph, 395.

The 2024 state total includes the record youth turkey harvest of 2,009 birds, which compares with the 2023 youth harvest of 1,309. The previous youth season record of 1,733 was set in 2020.

This year, hunters purchased 86,083 permits compared to 80,642 last year. Spring turkey hunting was open in 100 of Illinois’ 102 counties. The 2024 regular season dates were April 8 through May 9 in the South Zone and April 15 through May 16 in the North Zone. The 2024 youth spring turkey season was March 30-31 and April 6-7 statewide.



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