Legal Sports Betting in the US Surpasses $5 Billion in a Month
Legal sports betting jurisdictions have so far reported that sportsbooks handled $5.2 billion in wagers in September
Regulated U.S. sportsbooks have officially taken in more than $5 billion in wagers over a single month for the first time in history, according to data compiled by PlayUSA.com, a leading source for news and analysis on the U.S. regulated gaming industry.
Legal sports betting jurisdictions have so far reported that sportsbooks handled $5.2 billion in wagers in September, a month that saw a surge in betting across the country with a full schedule of college football and the first three weekends of the NFL season. Those legal sportsbooks realized $412.5 million in gross revenue from those bets.
"Football has created a wave of bettor enthusiasm that has met the higher end of our expectations, but the increase is more than just interest in a single sport or an expansion of legalized sports betting into new states," said Dustin Gouker, lead analyst for the PlayUSA.com Network.
"Relatively young markets such as Michigan and Virginia, where bettors got their first opportunity to wager on regular season football through online sportsbooks, expectedly saw a massive surge in interest. But New Jersey and Nevada posted record months, too, signaling a similar broadening in the most mature markets in the U.S."
The country's first $5 billion month became official on Monday afternoon following Illinois'announcement that its sportsbooks had attracted $596.5 million in September wagers. The previous U.S. record for a month was the $4.6 billion that was wagered in March. And because Arizona has yet to report data, September's handle will still inch higher.
By comparison, betting in September is up 80.6% so far from the $2.9 billion in wagers legal U.S. sportsbooks attracted in September 2020.
Football was expected to bring records in many of the 28 states and Washington D.C. that allowed legal sports betting in some form in September, including Arizona, Connecticut, Louisiana, South Dakota, and Wyoming, which all launched that month. Excluding those new markets, nine jurisdictions set monthly handle records and six posted new highs in gross revenue. That includes a $1 billion handle in New Jersey, the first time bettors poured more than $1 billion into any single state's sportsbooks over the course of a month.
The handle in the top 10 U.S. markets to report September wagering (* denotes state record):
As impressive as September was, the record will almost certainly fall in October. Five weekends of football over the month will be the catalyst, but the beginning of the NBA and NHL seasons in addition to baseball's postseason will make it a perfect storm of sorts.
In Iowa — the lone major legal sports jurisdiction in the U.S. to already report October data, sportsbooks handled $280.9 million during the month. That shattered the state record set in September by 33.5%.
"The U.S. sports betting market has not yet come close to reaching its ceiling," said Eric Ramsey, data analyst for the PlayUSA.com Network.
"Florida recently launched sports betting, and other large states such as Ohio and California continue to grapple with legalization. Every established sports betting state in the U.S. is still growing. So, records will continue to be in jeopardy for the foreseeable future."
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