- Five states have reported their April sports betting figures: Indiana, Iowa, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and West Virginia.
- In the five states, sports betting revenues are down almost 80% from what they were in February, and handle is down almost 90%.
- These states only handled $130.5 million in wagers and earned $7.4 million in revenue—numbers that could normally be singlehandedly dwarfed by either Pennsylvania or New Jersey.
- These revenues aren’t likely to recover until major American leagues resume play, but that could still take a few months.
ATLANTIC CITY, N.J. – Since states began enforcing stay-at-home orders and shutting down large public gatherings in mid-March, American sports betting revenues have plummeted by almost 80%.
Five states have released April sports betting revenue reports so far:
These states combined for just $130.5 million in handle and $7.4 million in revenue in all of April.
For comparison, in February (the last full month of sports betting before the shutdowns began), these states totaled $1.1 billion in handle and $34.3 million in revenue.
That amounts to a 78.5% decrease in revenue and an 88.3% decrease in handle.
Even compared to the sports betting revenues of March, in which full operation was limited to roughly 11 days, the financial drop-off was massive. Handle is down 69% and revenues are down 73% since March.
All major American sports leagues remain suspended, although some have begun planning for a return in late June or July.
Some states are beginning to reopen, so casino sportsbooks might be able to resume operation in the near future, but without sports to bet on, there won’t be much economic benefit.
How Soon Will Revenue Return To Normal?
Put simply, revenues won’t be able to rebound until major leagues return to playing a relatively normal schedule.
Some international leagues, like the Korean Baseball Organization and German Bundesliga, have resumed play, but the most popular leagues for American sports bettors remain inactive.
Some leagues, including MLS, MLB, and the NBA, have begun work on detailed plans to resume play with an altered schedule. But questions still remain about how well these plans will function from a public health perspective and in terms of player compensation.
MLB and MLS in particular seem to be experiencing fraying labor relations that could dissolve any plans of a return to play. And all leagues are struggling to balance the safety of their players and employees with the lack of accessible testing equipment across the country.
A mid-Summer return would be a huge win for sportsbooks, but there are still so many unknowns at this point.
The good news is that there are some indications that once sports do return, betting revenues will greatly increase immediately.
Several horse racing tracks across the country have reopened in the past two weeks and seen record betting volume.
Even in the middle of a major national economic crisis, it appears that enthusiasm for sports betting has not dampened.
With a dual background in English and sports performance and business analytics, Carter aims to write stories that both engage and inform the reader. He prides himself on his ability to interweave empirical data and traditional narrative storytelling. When he isn’t keeping readers up to date on the latest sports betting legal news, he’s banging his head against a wall regretting his decision to be a Tampa Bay Buccaneers fan.