Last updated on: September 13th, 2023
How Much Money Do Americans Bet On Sports?
If you’re a sports bettor, chances are good that you want to know how big the US betting industry actually is. But when it comes to finding out how much money Americans bet on sports each year, it takes some data accumulation. Still, local gaming commissions track land-based and domestic online sports wagering. This makes getting the total amount of money bet on sports in the US much easier. Over 60% of US residents identify as sports fans, but not all of them engage in legal sports betting online or in person. On top of exploring the question, “How much do Americans bet on sports”, this page looks at the sports betting revenue generated from online and in person sportsbooks.
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Who Is The US Sports Betting Leader?
New York currently sits as the leader for sports betting handle and revenue for 2023. It took NY little time to dominate the US market, launching in January 2022 and immediately surpassing New Jersey, which held the top spot since 2019. Nevada, which was the only game in town for over 20 years, saw New Jersey surpass it early on as well. New York went six consecutive months of raking in over $1 billion in bets, seeing $9.3 billion wagered in its first half year. This is more than the total combined bets of all active states during the first full year of regulated betting in the US.
How Much Money Is Bet On Sports In Nevada?
Nevada is the gambling capital of the United States. However, Nevada’s total betting handle was $1,560,395 lower than New Jersey for the first time in May 2019. In 2022, Nevada has also been topped by the legal New York sports betting market, thanks to their launch of mobile betting. March 2022 watched over $860 million bet at Nevada sportsbooks. Though this number seems impressive, it was still very short of New York’s $1.6 billion handle during the same time span.
How Much Money Is Bet On Sports In Other States?
All US sportsbooks generated $4.29 billion in combined revenue in 2021 on $57.2 billion in handle, excluding tribal-run sportsbooks). Many states recorded high handles in January 2022 and March 2023.
How Is So Much Money Bet On Sports?
Sports betting is a popular hobby throughout the country. But, states move forward with legalization, it is clearer how much money is spent on sports betting by Americans. Sports betting estimates around $150 billion per year. A conservative estimate if including offshore and local bookie betting. Roughly 45% of US residents live in a state that has legal sports betting in 2023. Expect this to jump when California, Texas, or Florida legalize their industry.
How Much Do Sportsbooks Win In The US?
The winning margin for US sports betting varies between the states. The average hold percentage for legal sports betting about 7.25%. But, this is largely balanced by Nevada and New Jersey. Still, bettors win about $92.75 per $100 bet at at legal US sportsbooks. Bettors in Nevada keep the sports betting winning at the country’s lowest rate at ~5.5%. Meanwhile, Delaware sportsbooks prove they take money from the worst sports bettors in the US (~14.5%).
States With The Most Profitable Sports Bettors
- New Jersey
- New Hampshire
States With The Worst Sports Bettors
Which Sportsbook Takes In The Most Sports Betting Money?
The top sportsbook in the US is FanDuel. FanDuel is live in the most markets across the country and rakes in billions in betting handle on a monthly basis across sports betting. In 2021, a list of market share by sportsbook was released.
- FanDuel 36%
- DraftKings 24%
- BetMGM 15%
- Caesars 7%
- Barstool 4%
- BetRivers/SugarHouse 4%
- PointsBet 4%
- All Others 6%
How Much Money Is Bet On The NFL & College Football?
If asking yourself, “how much do Americans bet on sports”, do not be surprised to see that most of the handle comes from football. The Super Bowl and NFL season alone outperform every other sport for sports betting operations each year, with college football betting seeing massive action in the US. Those betting on the NFL are typically active week to week, meaning steady action for the operators. An estimated $100 billion is wagered at legal sportsbooks during the NFL season, with billions wagered on the Super Bowl alone in the US. While not as popular as the NFL, NCAA College Football games still generate hundreds of millions for sports betting operators throughout the year. The American Gaming Association predicted more than 45.2 million Americans bet on the 2021 NFL season and expect a further increase in 2023.
How Much Money Did Americans Bet On Super Bowl 57?
According to a PBS report, expectations had Americans betting at least $16 billion on Super Bowl LVII. That estimate was more than double the handle from Super Bowl 56, which came in at $7.61 billion. The addition of state-regulated sportsbooks in Kansas, Massachusetts, and Ohio is likely one reason for that increase. The more influential factor for the rise of bets on the Big Game is likely the overall increased interest in sports betting and the easily accessible Super Bowl sports betting sites for all Americans.
How Much Is Bet On The NBA
The amount wagered on individual NBA games varies depending on how popular the teams involved are and how important the game is. The NBA Finals is the accumulation of the full NBA season and NBA betting fans wager on these 4-7 games more than any other NBA event throughout the year. After the Super Bowl and March Madness, the NBA Finals sees the most money wagered at online sportsb betting sites that take US players – estimates place the Finals at more than $5 million wagered per game at Las Vegas books alone, meaning that the sports betting revenue generated on it is far more.
How Much Is Bet On Baseball?
As America’s pastime, the amount of money bet on sports does not slow down during the MLB season. Sportsbooks around the world that cater to U.S. players handle billions of dollars in wagers, the vast majority of which are for Major League Baseball. Betting on the MLB is a big business that accounts for hundreds of millions of dollars in sports betting revenue and millions in sports betting taxes. The majority of this money is still wagered with international sports betting sites that allow US players, although with more states legalizing sports betting every year, a greater percentage is going toward state-licensed operators.
Betting On The NHL
Betting on the NHL took off when Las Vegas Golden Knights were introduced to the league in 2017 and has continued to grow as states have started to legalize sports betting in greater numbers. While sports betting was and continues to be available in every state via offshore betting sites, increased regulation has brought increased attention to the sector. Hockey was estimated to have the sixth highest share in the sports betting market globally, behind football, basketball, baseball, horse racing and cricket. The NHL itself expects to see a boost of more than $200 million based on increased interest generated by sports betting revenue in the US.
How Much Is Bet On The Kentucky Derby?
Each year it changes, but the total betting handle has increased over time, looking at the amount bet on the Kentucky Derby as the entire event. Expectations put the Kentucky Derby betting total somewhere in the $200-300 million range. In 2022, the amount bet on the Kentucky Derby main event was under $180 million bet at state-licensed sportsbooks in the US. This was the record until 2023, when $188.7 million was bet at Churchill Downs on the main event. This number is much higher if you factor in local bookies, online sportsbooks, and friendly wagers amongst partygoers.
State Sports Betting Revenues
Please note that depending on the reporting standards of each state’s gaming commission, these figures may be months behind. The most current numbers as published by each state’s linked gaming commission have been used in each case and are accurate as of the end of 2021. The numbers for states with vendor fees paid out by the state (as in DE) are listed minus those vendor fees. For a more detailed monthly sports betting revenue breakdown, visit the Legal Sports Betting revenue tracker.
2018: $115.3 million handle, $21.2 million revenue
2019: $132.4 million handle, $25.8 million revenue
2020: $90.2 million handle, $23.5 million revenue
2021: $93.6 million handle, $18.8 million revenue
2018: $157.1 million handle, $15.1 million revenue
2019: $369.2 million handle, $44.5 million revenue
2020: $363.7 million handle, $43.7 million revenue
2021: $529.2 million handle, $62.6 million revenue
2018: $3.0 billion handle, $193.9 million revenue
2019: $5.3 billion handle, $329.0 million revenue
2020: $4.2 billion handle, $260.1 million revenue
2021: $7.1 billion handle, $429.1 million revenue
2018: $1.2 billion handle, $94.1 million revenue
2019: $4.5 billion handle, $301.2 million revenue
2020: $6.0 billion handle, $398.5 million revenue
2021: $9.7 billion handle, $756.9 million revenue
New Mexico sports wagering is only available at a pair of tribal venues, and they are not bound to report earnings to the state on a monthly basis. As such, there is no official data describing the sports betting numbers in the state to date.
2018: $13.7 million handle, $1.0 million revenue
2019: $245.8 million handle, $17.8 million revenue
2020: $221.9 million handle, $34.0 million revenue
2021: $399.5 million handle, $37.5 million revenue
2018: $17.5 million handle, $2.5 million revenue
2019: $1.4 billion handle, $103.2 million revenue
2020: $3.5 billion handle, $189.7 million revenue
2021: $5.8 billion handle, $396.0 million revenue
2018: $46.4 million handle, $6.5 million revenue
2019: $226.0 million handle, $18.6 million revenue
2020: $392.4 million handle, $26.4 million revenue
2021: $486.9 million handle, $42.8 million revenue
* New Mexico sports wagering is only available at a pair of tribal venues, and they are not bound to report earnings to the state on a monthly basis. As such, there is no official data describing the sports betting numbers in the state to date.
** Arkansas took its first sports bets on July 1, 2019. No financial data has yet been released by the Arkansas Racing Commission.
*** Oregon does not publicly disclose sports betting financial data, but representatives did send out a press release with their updated projections for the fiscal year.
Where Does The Sports Betting Money Go
When looking at the amount of money bet on sports, most if it goes back to the players in the form of winnings. After paying the winners, the remaining cash – i.e. the house take or vigorish – goes to several different places. With a regulated US sportsbook, the house will get its take (between 4% and 6% of the handle, typically), which is then taxed at various rates depending on the state where the sportsbook operates. Gaming taxes are then used to fund state and local programs (usually something to do with roads or education), which is why many proponents of sports betting view gaming as a way to improve local infrastructure.
Money Spent By Americans On Unregulated Sports Betting Sites
Though there is a negative connotation behind the term “unregulated sports betting”, it does not deter millions of Americans from betting on their favorite sports. The bottom line is that most of what the US gambling industry describes as unlawful is, in fact, 100% legal. There are no laws in any state against using offshore sportsbooks, and the sites are so big and so popular that most people already forego engaging with unlicensed local bookies and black-market sharks to use these trusted, legitimate sports betting sites.
Honestly, while analyzing how much money is spent on sports betting by Americans is interesting from a mathematical and observational standpoint, the real question is: How much money can you win at a legal online sportsbook? And the answer… a lot!
State Gambling Revenue Allocation
|Arizona||General fund, focused on regulating sports betting|
|Arkansas||General fund, focus on city and regional governments|
|Colorado||State water plan is main recipient, as well as other public services|
|Connecticut||Money from tribal casinos goes to consumer protection|
|Delaware||General fund and race purses|
|Illinois||Infrastructure projects such as rec centers and schools|
|Indiana||General fund and problem gambling treatment|
|Louisiana||Paying bond liabilities, early childhood education, redistribution to parishes,|
|Maryland||To assist with diversity in sports wagering as well as education reforms|
|Michigan||School aid fund, firefighters with cancer|
|Mississippi||Mississippi Dept. of Revenue allocates the revenue towards government projects|
|Nebraska||Property tax relief and local governments, in that order|
|Nevada||General fund, with a focus on health and education services|
|New Jersey||Casino Revenue Fund|
|New York||Education, local government, property tax relief|
|Oregon||Money pays down state’s public pension liability|
|Rhode Island||General fund|
|South Dakota||Education receives about 45%, the rest goes to other projects|
|Tennessee||Education, local government, problem gambling treatment|
|Virginia||2.5% to problem gambling, the rest to the general fund|
|Washington||Tribes pay money to state for oversight, money not specifically allocated.|
|West Virginia||Benefits to public employees|
|Wyoming||Problem gambling treatment, then general fund|
Outlook on Sports Betting Revenue In The US
As more states start to legalize and regulate sports betting, answering the question, “How much do Americans bet on sports”, is going to become more difficult. The future of sports betting in the United States is on an upward trend. More than 60% of the states in the United States have legalized sports betting in some capacity and with more room for the country to grow it’s expected that the United States will soon eclipse the United Kingdom as the sports betting Mecca of the world. The biggest boost still to come is that the US will be getting more money out of sports betting revenue, especially once states like Florida and California allow residents to bet on sports.