The US sports betting industry closed out 2019 with a strong showing in December. All told, the legal US sports betting markets tallied an impressive $13 billion in handle for the year, according to a press release from the American Gaming Association.
According to the AGA report, 2019 handle by state was as follows:
- Arkansas: $11 million
- Delaware: $103 million
- Indiana: $436 million
- Iowa: $212 million
- Mississippi: $369 million*
- Nevada: $5.3 billion
- New Hampshire: Sports betting launched 12/30/2019
- New Jersey: $4.6 billion
- New Mexico: N/A*
- New York: N/A*
- Oregon: $45 million*
- Pennsylvania: $1.5 billion
- Rhode Island: $246 million
- West Virginia: $226 million
*Handle from NY and tribal casinos in MS, NM, and OR is not publicly reported.
And as the AGA pointed out, those numbers resulted in $118 million in state and local taxes.
December: Four States Tally a Combined $1.6 Billion in Bets
For December, the total amount wagered in legal, reporting markets was $1.8 billion, with total revenue of $110 million.
The combination of Nevada, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and Indiana accounted for more than $1.6 billion of the total amount wagered during the month of December and over $95 million of the $110 million of revenue generated.
For those counting at home that’s 89% of all wagers and 86% of revenue.
A Look at the US Sports Betting Leaders
In what resembles the situation in Major League Baseball with small and large market teams, four legal sports betting markets continue to separate themselves from the pack.
They are the aforementioned:
- New Jersey
And even among those four, there’s a significant difference between the Top 2 and the Bottom 2. In December, Nevada and New Jersey accounted for 61% of all wagers (down from 63% in November), with Pennsylvania and Indiana continuing to close the gap.
Pennsylvania’s market share is closing in on 20%, as the market shows very few signs that the high taxes and licensing fees are taking a toll. And then there’s the “little” state of Indiana.
Even though it’s in the #4 spot, Indiana’s 9% market share is nearly equal to Iowa, Mississippi, Rhode Island, West Virginia, Oregon, and Delaware combined. The secret sauce in Indiana is almost certainly its industry-friendly policies, as well as benefitting from Chicago bettors willing to make the short trip across the border to place mobile wagers.
Nevada Quick Notes
Nevada has seen a significant increase in sports betting handle and revenue since the repeal of PASPA. At least in the short-term, it appears the increased access to legal betting across the country is creating enough new bettors to more than offset whatever Nevada is losing to local markets.
New Jersey Quick Notes
After overtaking Nevada for a couple of months during the summer, New Jersey has fallen into the #2 position behind the Silver State for several months.
Pennsylvania Quick Notes
As noted above, Pennsylvania is proving the critics who said the substantial operator burdens would hamper the industry. At this stage in its development, nothing could be further from the truth.
And then there is the other side of the Pennsylvania coin: Indiana. Indiana took the advice of the industry and launched with a modest tax rate and licensing fees, an open market that fostered competition, and mobile registration. The result is the fourth-best sports betting market in the country.
Welcome Aboard New Hampshire
Following the launch of DraftKings on December 30, 2019, New Hampshire became the fourteenth state with legal sports betting. The early numbers look promising, as the Granite State is drawing customers from Massachusetts, Vermont, and Maine.
More Sports Betting States on the Way
In addition to the 14 states that are already up and running, six more states (and the District of Columbia) are in the preparatory phase:
- Colorado (Legalized November 2019)
- Illinois (Legalized June 2019)
- Michigan (Legalized December 2019)
- Montana (Legalized May 2019)
- North Carolina (Legalized July 2019)
- Tennessee (Legalized May 2019)
And plenty of other states have their sights set on joining them.