Anniversary of sportsbooks

  • Arizona has seen the most success of the three states celebrating their one-year anniversary.
  • South Dakota and Washington are hampered by their lack of mobile sportsbook apps.
  • Launching at the start of the NFL season has proven success for sportsbooks across the US.

PHOENIX – As the NFL season kicked off Thursday night, September is a time of celebration in more than one way. For a few states, September 9 is their sports betting launch anniversaries.

Consider it a birthday – but it’s a time when the legal sports betting market in their state changed entirely.

States Celebrating

Arizona begins Year 2 on Friday, as the state launched retail and mobile sports betting last year. Taxing sportsbooks at 8% (retail) to 10% (online), the Arizona general fund receives the benefits.

Without August’s numbers reported, Arizona sportsbooks have taken in $5 billion in wagers. Translating to $18.5 million in sports betting taxes, the help of mobile betting on the NFL played a large role.

Sportsbooks in Arizona collected nearly a half-billion dollars per month during the NFL regular season – roughly the same amount of June and July’s totals.

South Dakota may be on a different scale as far as monetary totals but shows it true comparatively. South Dakota sportsbooks have made less than $60,000 total since the end of the NCAA Tournament. During the NFL regular season, they averaged about $80,000 per month.

Going Mobile

This large discrepancy has much to do with mobile sportsbooks, which didn’t make the cut for South Dakota and Washington.

Permitting sportsbooks in SD to be in Deadwood only limits betting action to much of the population. In fact, those living in Sioux Falls – SD’s largest city (over 20% population) – would have to drive about six hours and enter a different time zone to bet on sports legally.

Due to this, South Dakota holds the smallest handle for sports betting of any US state in their first year of action – $6,384,628. Most states record this total in their first month and only a handful needed more than three months to reach this figure.

Like Arkansas (5 months) and Montana (7 months), none of these states offered a state-wide mobile betting platform. Arkansas has since launched online sports betting and the impact has seen a two- to five-fold increase for a monthly handle year over year.

Though the evidence is clear, the South Dakota House State Affairs Committee rejected a bill during the 2022 legislation session. With Senate approval, SD sports betting bill SJR502 would have allowed voters in the “next general election” to make an amendment to the constitution in regards to adding online sports betting.

Similarly, Washington celebrates their anniversary without online sportsbooks.

Legalizing and changing their tribal gaming compact, Washington sportsbooks are in the hands of the casinos. Washington is one of the few states that allow sports betting at 18, but this hasn’t helped their totals.

Washington has shown very little in wanting to change their in person requirement. Aside from the occasional news breaking of a new sportsbook in Washington launching, no talks have been brought forward.

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