When bettors discuss sports betting revenue, it can be unclear whether they are speaking of the sportsbooks’ revenue or the state’s revenue. Either way, this legal sports betting revenue tracker will detail all of the economic information associated with legal sports betting within the US. When looking to understand the amount of money wagered in the United States, this is a vital tool, as we keep it updated every time a state releases a revenue report. We also cover some of the basics for beginners, such as the difference between revenue and handle as well as a variety of other sports betting terms.
Each state, with the exception of New Mexico, releases reports detailing their sportsbooks’ activity and we compile these reports, bringing the data straight to you. Besides keeping a running count of the overall money bet on sports in the country, we will also analyze the details of the revenue, the hold percentage, and the tax contributions kicked back to the state from each sportsbook. The seven states that report (NV, DE, NJ, MS, PA, RI, WV) all have different methods for accumulating their data and what they represent; however, we try to keep everything as similar as possible. Soon to be included is financial sports betting data of New York and Arkansas, as both of these states launched operations in July.
Sports Betting Revenue By State
As of August 2019, there are 10 states in the US that have legal sports betting services within their borders. While some have been in operation for about a year or more, others are just getting started in their industry. The following breakdowns use the most current figures available for the sports wagering revenue status in each of these 10 states.
Nevada Sports Betting Revenue
Nevada Sports Betting Revenue – 2018 was a record year for NV, with the state hauling in over $20.25 million on $300 million in sportsbook revenue. The total handle was just over $5 billion. On a per-month basis, Nevada books make about $25 million, though the average is skewed by the gambling-heavy NFL season. Because NV taxes sportsbooks at 6.75%, this translates to monthly tax contributions well above $1.75 million. Nevada puts its gaming revenue towards state programs, with most of the money going towards education and public health initiatives. Nevada bettors use legal domestic Internet sportsbooks to place more than 60% of the wagers taken in the state.
Delaware Sports Betting Revenue
Delaware Sports Betting Revenue – Delaware opened its doors to legal sports betting in June 2018, and since the entire sports wagering industry is state-run (helmed by the DE Lottery), the state gets 50% of the revenue. It allocates the funds various, non-specific “state budget” considerations while meting out the remainder to its sportsbook and lottery operations. Thus, even with a comparatively tiny market when viewed alongside NV, Delaware’s tax revenue on sports wagering easily clears half-a-million dollars per month. Online wagering has been approved in the state but has yet to launch. When it does, you can expect the total handle (currently averaging about $11 million per month) to steadily increase.
New Jersey Sports Betting Revenue
New Jersey Sports Betting Revenue – NJ sports betting officially opened to the public in June 2018 and quickly become the largest market alongside Nevada. New Jersey bookmakers are making about $16 million a month but the state receives varying amounts due to the sliding tax scale associated with sports betting. Land-based sportsbooks are taxed at 8.5%, online sportsbooks are taxed at 13%, and racetrack-based online books are taxed at 14.25%. Interestingly, the NJ government earmarks the majority of its sports betting tax revenue for further developing its casino and gaming industries (albeit racetrack taxes go into the New Jersey General Fund). Roughly 80% of all action occurs through online platforms, which helps the state of New Jersey bring in about $2 million per month in tax contributions.
Mississippi Sports Betting Revenue
Mississippi Sports Betting Revenue – Mississippi has sports betting available at its commercial and tribal casinos throughout the state. Though legal, online sports betting is restricted to casino grounds only, MS casinos still make about $3 million in revenue each month. This income is taxed at 12%, with the majority of that money earmarked for the DOT’s maintenance of roads and sewers. Two-thirds of that tax goes to the state and the remaining third goes to the cities where the sportsbooks are located. Each month, the state welcomes over $200,000 in contributions while the cities receive about $100,000 as well.
West Virginia Sports Betting Revenue
West Virginia Sports Betting Revenue – WV had an extremely slow start, with sports wagering available only at a pair of locales before finally expanding to all 5 gaming facilities. Online betting launched in December 2018 but underwent licensing problems and has been out of operation since the beginning of March 2019. With this, most of the first year’s data is rather irrelevant to the overall picture of sports betting in West Virginia. The state taxes the books’ revenue at 10%, removing 15% of that number for administrative purposes with the remaining 85% going to the state’s General Revenue Fund. This occurs once it fills up the state’s $15 million Sports Wagering Fund which helps operate the industry.
Pennsylvania Sports Betting Revenue
Pennsylvania Sports Betting Revenue – PA sportsbooks opened in November 2018, so there isn’t any NFL data to boost their numbers. Still, the nine operational books in the state have been averaging over $3 million per month on more than $30 million in the handle. Pennsylvania taxes its sportsbooks at one the nation’s highest rate, 36%, and with the size of their market, the state is granted with about $1 million each month – the majority of which is allocated for the PA General Fund. Now that mobile betting is active and NFL betting is occurring, these numbers are expected to increase immensely.
Rhode Island Sports Betting Revenue
Rhode Island Sports Betting Revenue – Rhode Island Sports Betting Revenue – RI offers sports wagering at its two casino venues, Twin River and Tiverton. During the NFL season, bettors were averaging a total handle around $20 million per month once things were up and running. Right now, without online sports wagering options, the books have been averaging just shy of $1 million in revenue per month since the start of the year. The state sees 51% of that revenue earmarked for the state’s General Fund, which averaged about $500,000 per month since December of last year.
All States Sports Betting Revenue
New Mexico Sports Betting Revenue – New Mexico didn’t have to legalize sports betting, as its tribal venues are able to offer the pastime by virtue of their pre-existing Class III compacts. Currently, sports betting is only available at a handful of tribal casinos in the form of retail betting only, as online sports wagering legalization will require congressional action. Their revenue numbers are not required to be released to the public but the state roughly gets 9.3% of NM tribal earnings as part of their “revenue sharing” model.
The Real Size Of The US Sports Betting Market
As revenue reports are released over time, the ability to correctly analyze the entire size of the legal US sports betting market is made much easier. The first year of operations since the PASPA repeal has given us a more defined scope, as gambling industry analysts estimated that the annual betting handle is somewhere between $200 and $400 billion. Through the first year, every licensed sportsbook (which besides New Mexico are subject to monthly reports from their states) have accumulated for a total handle of over $9 billion.
This yearly handle will be sure to increase drastically as time goes on with more states legalizing sports betting and bettors’ comfort of using in-state licensed sportsbooks over the offshore betting sites. Additionally, the expansion into mobile betting will expedite the betting handle get closer to the aforementioned estimations. In New Jersey alone, sports betting occurs over mobile devices at a rate of 4 to 1 compared to that of retail betting parlors. Once the majority of states move toward this allowance, the size of the US sports betting market will increase in every category from handle and revenue to the states’ tax revenue.
Sports Betting Tax Revenue
States are quite different in the amount of handle they receive each month. The large market states like New Jersey and Nevada easily surpass the $300 million handle milestone but this does not equate to high tax revenue. Because each state regulates its industry independently, the tax rates range immensely. For example, Nevada receives only 6.75% of their books’ sports betting revenue; however, other states like Pennsylvania tax sports betting at 36%.
Take a record month for Nevada in March 2019. The books collected over $596 million for the betting handle, keeping $32.5 million as revenue. At 6.75%, the State of Nevada received just shy of $2.2 million in tax revenue for the month. Compare that to the first month of Pennsylvania sports betting that introduced mobile sports betting – June 2019. With a handle of $46 million and $3.1 of that kept by the books, it came nowhere near Nevada’s record month. However, Pennsylvania collected over $1 million in revenue due to the fact their tax rate is over 5 times that of Nevada’s.
With a large betting market, Nevada can get away with a rate of 6.75%. Smaller markets like Rhode Island and Delaware tax their industry at 51% and 50%, respectively, and are currently the highest tax rates of the legal sports betting states. Not every state is able to tax the industry this high; however, as both of these states use their lottery as the retailer, they remove the middle man. Currently, the tax rates of the legal sports betting states that have launched are:
- Nevada – 6.75%
- Delaware – 50%
- New Jersey – 8% (land-based), 13% (online)
- Mississippi – 12%
- West Virginia – 10%
- Pennsylvania – 36%
- Rhode Island – 51%
- Arkansas – 13% (up to $150 million in sportsbook revenue), 20% ($150 million+)
- New York – 8.5%
Every state allocates the money they collect into different coffers. The ones who allow horse-racing tracks to offer sports betting use a small percentage to boost the purses for the races. However, on the grand scale, the majority of states use the funds to help fund the new industry with administrative costs, marketing efforts, and policing the sportsbooks. After this amount is taken out, infrastructure projects like rebuilding roads, tunnels, and bridges are amongst the highest priorities. With most of the state’s allocating the money to their state’s general fund, they also assist in providing essential programs for education and further developing the health services department. Some states (Mississippi, Pennsylvania, and Arkansas) even provide a small percentage to the city or county that hosts the sportsbooks.
Glossary Of Sports Betting Terms
- Action – Any submitted wager.
- Arbitrage – Betting on the same game in a different fashion to guarantee a profit.
- Bad Beat – Action that took a turn for the worst in the final moments of a contest.
- Bankroll – The total amount of money a bettor has available.
- Bookmaker – An operator who accepts action.
- Buying Points – Adjusting the odds to receive a more favorable point spread.
- Even – Odds that do no cost vigorish.
- Favorite – The team projected to win (aka chalk).
- Field – A collection of players or teams not listed in a specific wager.
- Futures – A wager that involves a long-term proposition.
- Grand Salami – The projected number of runs/points/goals for all games within a league.
- Handle – The total amount of money wagered by bettors and received by Bookmakers.
- Hedge – A method to control losing money by wagering on the opposite side of the original wager.
- Hold – The percentage of revenue divided by the handle (aka keep).
- Hook – A half-point line movement.
- In-Play – The ability to wager on games while they are taking place (aka live betting).
- Liability – The total amount of money a Bookmaker will lose in the result of a game’s conclusion.
- Limit – The highest amount of money a Bookmaker will accept for a wager (aka circled game).
- Lock – A wager that seems like it can’t lose.
- Longshot – A wager that is highly unlikely but pays out well.
- Middle – Submitting two wagers to create a channel. Bettors can win both bets or lose one’s vigorish.
- Moneyline – Odds for selecting a team to win a match regardless of points.
- Odds – The payout associated with a wager.
- Odds Board – The display which features betting lines and odds on all of the available wagers.
- Off the Board – A wager that has been removed the odds board due to unknown circumstances.
- Parlay – A combination of multiple wagers in which all must be correct to win.
- Pick ‘Em – When no favorite is declared and odds are even or extremely close to.
- Propositional Bet – A wager involving an independent aspect of a game/season (aka prop bet).
- Point Spread – The projected margin of victory or defeat for a sporting event (aka line).
- Push – A bet that ends in a tie and returns the bettor’s wager amount (aka draw or no action).
- Revenue – The amount kept by sportsbooks from losing wagers.
- Round Robin – A combination of multiple wagers broken down into varying parlays.
- Sharp – A professional gambler or one with enough money to influence the odds.
- Teaser – A parlay that involves moving the spreads in the bettor’s favor for lessened odds.
- Total – The projected number of points scored for a sporting event (aka over/under).
- Tout – One who sells picks or their advice to other bettors.
- Underdog – The team projected to lose (aka dog).
- Unit – A percentage of a bettor’s bankroll, usually 1%.
- Vigorish – The commission made from a Bookmaker accepting a wager (aka vig or juice).