- Since 2018, over $200 billion dollars have been wagered amongst regulated betting states.
- Nevada has the lowest revenue kept by sportsbooks of states with at least $10 billion in wagers.
- Delaware is the worst betting state, with over 15% of their handle being retained by sportsbooks.
LAS VEGAS – Since the 2018 Supreme Court ruling that allowed for states outside of Nevada to hold sports betting, over $200 billion has been bet in the US. With this, looking which states are the best and worst sports bettors is easy.
This metric is known as the hold and tells what percentage of the total handle is being kept by sportsbooks.
The handle is simply the amount of money wagered, with New Jersey having the highest handle since 2018 at over $30 billion.
Best Sports Betting States
Nevada is the poster child of sports betting and was the only place to do so prior to the Supreme Court opening sports betting outside of the Silver State. Nevada has the lowest hold (5.67%) out of all states with at least $10 billion in sports wagers since 2018.
The Nevada Gaming Commission reported that since 2018, sportsbooks have kept $1.73 billion of the $30.47 billion wagered.
The average between all reporting legal sports betting states (and Washington D.C.) is a 7.7% hold. At 5.67%, this confirms Nevada as one of the best sports betting states in the country in terms of bettors’ success.
Kansas has promise to keep up with Nevada’s low hold if the Kansas City Chiefs continue to win too. Out of all states, Kansas is the closest to beating the ‘books, with sportsbooks only holding 2.4% of their handle.
This number is inflated as legal Kansas sports betting launched in September of 2022. But, since their launch, Kansas sports bettors have wagered over $1 billion in sports bets. Out of that large number, sportsbooks have only kept $27 million.
The Kansas City Chiefs Super Bowl win is responsible for bettors’ success, with a high concentration of Chiefs fans living in Kansas and close proximity to Kansas City.
Worst Sports Betting States
The amount of Ohio’s handle held by sportsbooks may also be accredited to their NFL teams. The Cincinnati Bengals were victims of the Chiefs’ Super Bowl run, losing to them in the AFC Championship.
Ohio sports betting launched in January of 2023, right in time for playoff football. A large chunk of the sportsbook’s 18.8% hold on the handle is courtesy of unsuccessful Bengals bettors.
Delaware has only wagered roughly $555 million since becoming the second legal sports betting state in 2018.
Ohio doubled this number in a month, which makes sense considering they have nearly 11 million more people and more sports teams to bet on.
But Delaware bettors have had it rough, with sportsbooks keeping over 15% of their handle. This high hold percentage only trails Ohio, who will likely even out around the state average once they get more months under their belt.
Nevada and Delaware are the two oldest states with sports betting, yet Delaware has nearly a 10% worse hold than Nevada.
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Zach graduated from Florida State University with a degree in Writing, Editing, and Media. Zach is interested in the legalization aspect of sports betting and enjoys participating in DFS. He has a passion for sports writing and most enjoys writing about football and baseball both professional and collegiate.