2023 US Sports Betting Market

  • With over 30 reports still outstanding, the current US betting total for 2023 is $102.5 billion.
  • Over $90 billion of that was won back by bettors across America.
  • Tax contributions from sportsbooks closed in on $1.8 billion for the year.
  • New York’s tax rate proves the state beats the sportsbooks and the bettors.
  • Good betting is making Nevada sportsbooks see numbers down from 2023.

PHOENIX – Though every state has yet to report December 2023’s figures, a recap of the posted data shows a lot about the amount bet on sports in the US in 2023.

By the month, October saw the most action ($12.8 billion) for the year and of all time over the last 5.5 years of legal sports betting. But trends support a healthy industry, as January, March, September and October were all months with $10 billion or more in bets placed – something that has only happened twice beforehand.

Month Handle Revenue Hold Taxes
Jan-23 $11,472,687,217 $1,061,179,039 9.20% $189,608,578
Feb-23 $9,009,567,164 $707,287,876 7.90% $134,395,336
Mar-23 $11,262,631,134 $1,079,581,623 9.60% $205,025,957
Apr-23 $9,162,312,816 $861,982,922 9.40% $172,669,490
May-23 $8,140,788,487 $919,743,035 11.30% $184,862,155
Jun-23 $6,605,584,667 $547,811,920 8.30% $115,296,070
Jul-23 $5,900,622,447 $618,974,653 10.50% $128,968,441
Aug-23 $6,677,566,827 $620,649,582 9.30% $121,958,802
Sep-23 $11,596,624,567 $1,117,115,395 9.60% $209,181,500
Oct-23 $12,802,886,360 $1,227,208,227 9.60% $236,047,511
Nov-23 $9,915,511,275 $653,141,092 6.60% $140,820,077

With the growing number of sportsbooks in the United States, the amount bet will surely increase, but so will the tax benefits, which totaled over $1 billion in just five months during 2023.

New York Government 1, Sportsbooks 49%

We’re talking Katie Ledecky 800-m freestyle dominant. NY recorded nine of the top 12 months for a state’s monthly betting handle. Twice, they broke the $2 billion barrier and hit $1.7B+ thrice before New Jersey found their way near the giant ($1.62B).

New York proves to not only lead the betting handle but also the stranglehold their government has on the market. Paying out $766 million to the state, their 11 reported months rank 1-11 of all states’ monthly government bills.

For comparison, in New York sportsbooks‘ worst month (August 2023), the books made only $99 million from over $1.1 billion in bets placed. Their $50 million tax payment was more than double that of Ohio’s payment ($20.9 million) for their revenue-record-breaking month ($209 million).

It’s so extreme that NY sportsbooks’ $50 million payment equaled the same amount as Nevada sportsbooks’ worst month (Aug, 2023) plus another 149 reported months from states for the year (of 315).

New Jersey Stays Close, Illinois and Ohio Peek In

Filling in for the other three spots in total monthly handle, New Jersey sportsbooks took in over $4.2 billion during the heart of the football betting months. From September to November 2023, books made almost $300 million before paying sports betting taxes.

But, New Jersey, Ohio, and Illinois prove to be the best states with legal sports betting for the sportsbook themselves. With friendly tax rates, the sportsbooks in these three states held over $2 billion combined after paying out their tax responsibilities.

Illinois and Ohio joined the Northeast gambling capitals as the only other two states to break the $1 billion mark for a month. Though Illinois sportsbooks marked this level four times, Ohio’s January 2023 was one for the record books and secured their spot.

Ohio Sportsbooks Hoping For A January Repeat

On the revenue side of things, Ohio sportsbooks had the best overall month in January 2023, taking in over $209 million in revenue. Despite New York having the next seven secured, Ohio’s figure still beat out number 2 (NY in Oct 23) by over 25%.

With a 10% tax rate, Ohio sportsbooks held onto $188.6 million of that, while New York saw potential profits leave the building quickly. Paying around $85 million for their month, New York’s 51% tax rate left the books with $82.4 million – less than half than that of Ohio.

Talking about losing money, it’s clear Delaware leads the pack as the worst sports bettors in US.

In fact, in October 2023, bettors lost over 25% every dollar placed when betting on sports in DE. While it may seem terrible, it’s only fitting for the state who saw back to back Novembers (2020, 2021) where bettors lost over 40% on the dollar.

But, Montana, Ohio, Kentucky, DC, South Dakota, Mississippi, and Louisiana all also had months of a 15% hold or higher for sportsbooks. With a 2023 average on pace for a hold rate of 8.9%, sportsbooks in these states are happy doing business.

Nevada Out Of The Spotlight?

Without a mention of Nevada, one might think their reign as supreme is over. While they may not lead the pack for how much Americans bet on sports, they still offer the best in-person sports betting experience. Evident from their much lower-than-average mobile betting numbers, Nevada might not be in the spotlight but they are still the focus.

Just missing the $1 billion level, Nevada’s most sports bet month in 2023 was January, bringing in $935 million. While this is a great number for most states, Nevada could be seeing some red flags in the future.

With $7.4 billion bet in 2023 (through November), they’re still looking to fall about 5% from last year’s total. Don’t be surprised to hear “experts” claim how Las Vegas is doomed, but revenue projections have the year over year numbers up.

Still, the sharps in Vegas appear to be getting better, impacting the bottom line for Nevada sportsbooks. Over the years, the average hold rate on the year has dropped significantly.

Year Nevada Hold Rate
2018 6.42%
2019 6.18%
2020 6.06%
2021 5.46%
2022 5.20%
2023 5.69%

Whereas Nevada books made $7 dollars on every $100 bet on sports, that number has been around $5.5 or less for three years. Assuming a US average hold rate, Nevada could have taken in roughly $5.5 billion in revenue in 2023 as opposed to the $3.3 billion they collected.

Don’t be surprised to see Nevada’s 2024 sportsbook revenue total close in on $5 billion.

Looking Elsewhere

Pennsylvania sportsbooks fell just short in November ($934 million) for bets taken in but still have December’s numbers to hope for. Already hitting record highs in October and then again in November, they’re still on the right track.

Outside of these major markets, Massachusetts’ new beginnings are off to a great start. Hitting $654 million in November, them and Arizona sports betting spots are the true leaders of the middle-ground states.

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