The year 2020 has irreversibly and firmly established sports betting as a powerhouse player in the US. Whilst the pandemic was still ongoing, October 2020 marked the date that Americans legally bet an estimated US$3 billion on sports for the first time in a single month.
According to the American Gaming Association, Sports betting revenue was up nationwide by 53.5 percent in 2020.
It’s a huge win for the U.S. gambling industry because, single-game sports wagering used to be confined to the state of Nevada, and Las Vegas became the grand canyon of U.S. sports betting Iowa. However, in May 2018, when the U.S. Supreme Court overturned the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act of 1992. it opened up state-by-state legalization and regulation of sports betting. Hence, legal sports wagering has expanded to more than 20 states and six passed a bill on the matter.
Some states have legalized only brick and mortar (B&M) sportsbooks for now, while others have also permitted online/mobile wagering; demand has been enormous and some states have seen as much as 90% of all bets in the state placed via online/mobile.
Of course, this abundance of betting all stems from the downfall of the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act (PASPA), the law which effectively outlawed sports wagering across the US save for a few states including Nevada, the home of the gambling hotspot of Las Vegas.
Below is a look at reported figures by legal markets of US Sport betting Revenue by state in 2020
According to the American Gaming Association, New Jersey holds the national sports betting record for the fifth consecutive month, taking an eye-watering US$996.3 million in bets. Online sports betting made up 93.6% (US$872.1 million) of the reported number. This State’s 2020 handle to date is US$10,850,873,475, with revenue at US$725,483,208 and tax revenue of US$93,813,623 (8.5% tax rate). Although the state almost hit US$1 billion in bets, brick and mortar casinos and racetracks saw very little of that action. With the success of sports betting, lawmakers are re-evaluating the ban on betting on college sports. If the ban is overturned, it could give the Garden State the boost needed to hit that billion-dollar mark.
At a 36% tax rate and an aggressively growing market in 2020, Pennsylvania’s hold to date is US$4,540,029,200, with revenue at US$338,806,887 and tax revenue of US$84,999,203. Pennsylvania’s highest betting handle was in October 2020, with a record of US$525,802,524, while in November, the handle came in at US$491,910,713. This decline didn’t affect its revenue due to its monthly increase, US$47,834,647 – US$48,500,443.
Nevada is considered to be the most mature betting market. Even though the pandemic hit Nevada hard, it still produced record-breaking numbers for November and continues to grow. Nevada’s 2020 handle comes in at an impressive US$12,092,470,828 billion, with US$725,483,208 million in revenue. The state generated US$93,813,623 in tax revenue at a 6.75% tax rate. The majority of its revenues come from online sports betting which accounted for 56.4% of the bets taken during the month; While casinos revenue fell 32.46% because of the COVID-19 restrictions. Football action came in at a record of US$56 million as well
Sports betting revenue nearly collapsed in Rhode Island due to the pandemic. To this effect, Governor Gina Raimondo had to sign into law two bills that eliminated the in-person registration requirement to keep sports betting alive. After the bills passed, July’s handle (US$6,738,626) started on the upswing again compared to June’s (US$2,032,803). As of November 2020, Rhode Island’s 2020 handle was US$458,727,812, Revenue US$40,371,991 and Tax Revenue US$20,589,715 at a 51% tax rate.
The numbers were looking impressive; hence, IGT and William Hill partnered up to provide the ocean state bettors a sports betting product that could handle their sports betting action. Their app and online product received 44% of October’s handle and 45% of November’s one.
Illinois had a rocky start for sports betting, it was launched on March 9th, 2020 only to be suspended on March 16th because of COVID-19 concerns. Online sports betting resumed on June 18th and the market has been growing ever since. As of October 2020, sports bettors have placed US$941,403,906 in bets, generating US$60,335,613 in revenue and US$9,749,255 in tax revenue for their state at a 15% tax rate.
Delaware sports betting was the first to be launched outside Nevada in June 2018. Bets can only be placed at three state casinos, and parlay cards for football betting are available at lottery retailers. There is no mobile betting although state law allows for it. There are no sports betting data reported for April through June 2020 because of the coronavirus pandemic.
In November 2020, Delaware had a handle of $19,510,093, Revenue $5,901,515 and Tax Revenue $4,437,584 at 30.2% tax rate. This is the highest record they had for the year 2020.
Indiana sports betting began in September 2019. It launched its first online/mobile apps about a month later.
Indiana’s numbers are pretty impressive and the state’s highest handle was a whopping $313,112,474 in December 2020. It generated a revenue of $24,306,695, and Tax revenue of $2,309,136 at 7.8% tax rate.
Iowa sports betting began in August 2019 across both retail and online/mobile channels in tandem.
Iowa’s highest betting handle comes in at an impressive $104,815,630 in December 2020. It also generated a Revenue of $7,537,004, and Tax revenue of $508,748 at 7.2% tax rate.
Mississippi sports betting launched in 2018 at casinos around the state. There have more than two dozen sportsbooks but any online wagering will only be allowed on casino grounds.
The casinos were closed in April 2020 due to the coronavirus pandemic. But the other months of betting activities brought about considerable returns. October 2020 brought about the highest handle and revenue for the year. Handle $61,192,425, Revenue $8,769,600 and Tax revenue $1,052,352 at a 14.3% tax rate.
The only sports betting offerings in New Mexico are at tribal casinos, and those numbers are not available.
New York sports betting began in July 2019 at the upstate casinos. New York has an existing law that does not make provision for statewide online/mobile betting. As such, expectations for NY sports betting revenue should be mitigated.
New York casinos were closed from March until September 9 because of the coronavirus pandemic. As of the time of writing, no data has been released concerning its handles, and as stated earlier revenues are minimal. Its highest revenue was $2,623,464 in October 2020.
West Virginia went live in 2018, before the federal ban was struck down. West Virginia remains one of the first to pass the law to allow betting in the state. Mobile and in-person betting can occur in the state, and West Virginia has taken over $250M in bets entering 2020, with a hold of nearly 10%. As of September 2020, West Virginia’s handle was $76,951,429, Revenue $4,603,811, and Tax revenue $460,381 at a 6.0% tax rate. This is the highest handle that West Virginia has ever pulled and in subsequent months, it declined considerably: October 2020 and November 2020’s handle was $44,633,016 and $48,532,442 respectively.