US Sports Betting Revenue – 2021

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This page of the Gaming Today revenue tracker has data on retail and online sports betting for 2021. For current year information, click here to view that data.

Mobile Vs. Retail Betting Handle December 2021

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**Tribal retail sports betting revenue not available

Betting handle figures represent the total amount wagered across all bets at a sportsbook. More than any other metric, state betting handle presents the best way to gauge the viability of a sports betting market.

The top four states retain their lead as sports betting’s biggest markets: New Jersey, Nevada, Illinois, and Pennsylvania. Both New Jersey and Nevada have shot past the $1 billion mark in sports betting handle, and all of these states have gone above taking in $700 million.

Nine states surpassed the $400 million mark in the total betting handle. As usual, mobile betting is a gigantic share of these bets. Outside of Nevada, all of these states with larger markets see at least 90% of their wagers being placed online.

Nevada continues to see a rapid increase in mobile betting share. This state has long been the outlier of high retail sports betting volume for obvious reasons. The year concludes with mobile betting having its highest share of the year at 75.7%. Approximately $765 million was taken in from the mobile betting handle.

Overall, sports betting handle saw slight increases and decreases across the board. For example, Pennsylvania had just over a $10 million decrease in total betting handle month-over-month. Over $20 million more in wagers were seen in Virginia during December than November.

One interesting nugget from states that tally up activity by sports, basketball held a large share in most of these places. In December, 29.6% of wagers were on professional football while 27.2% were placed on professional basketball in Colorado (this separation increases a little more when factoring in collegiate activity). Oregon had around 45,000 fewer bets on basketball than football (380,492 compared to 334,440). Indiana even saw $7 million more in betting handle for basketball than football.

Mobile Sports Betting Revenue December 2021

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Online sports betting revenue can change wildly from one month to the next. After one of the most successful months of the year across the United States in November, that dropped considerably in December. Among the markets we look at closely, West Virginia was one of the only states that saw an increase in mobile revenue from the prior month ($4.57 million to $4.64 million).

We believe a few reasons for this change are a natural regression, promotion deductions, and bettors having a better month winning. We’ll unpack those thoughts here.

First, considering how much revenue rose in November, figures wouldn’t remain as high. Trends throughout the year 2021 have shown that sports betting revenue are anything but consistent. November revenue ended up being an outlier for many states, so a natural regression is not surprising.

Another factor was likely additional bonus promotions. These will fluctuate across the year depending on what sportsbooks will offer. Virginia saw $5 million more in promotional and other deductions in December compared to November.

Nearly every state had a decreased rate from November to December in hold percentage. This is sometimes referred to as win percentage in state financial reports. Nevada went from a 6.6% hold percentage overall to just 1.6% in December – the win percentage for mobile sportsbooks was under 1%! Colorado sportsbooks had a 7.7% win rate in November, but that dropped to 5.4% in December.

Maybe football became a little more predictable. People like betting favorites, so as teams separate themselves from earlier in the season, those more obvious teams continued to win. Maybe other sports, like basketball, were easier to predict as the season started. In general, sportsbooks saw a significant decrease in hold percentage in many states. Some, like West Virginia and Iowa, fared better than others

Mobile Sports Betting State Tax Revenue December 2021*

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*Based on available information. Some states don’t report taxable mobile sports betting revenue.

US states that legalize online gambling do so with potential tax revenue in mind. Mobile sports betting revenue tax rates vary significantly among different states. This is why figures and trends can vary from the total handle and mobile betting revenue.

New Jersey had the lead in tax revenue for quite some time. Pennsylvania’s extremely high tax rate came into play during November. The Keystone State has a 36% tax on mobile sports betting revenue. However, New Jersey regained the top spot with $7.18 million in mobile tax revenue in December.

Because of the substantial decreases in mobile revenue, no state hit over $10 million in December as they did in November. As expected, Pennsylvania was still higher on the list with $5.46 million. Illinois was close by with $4.93 million. Tennessee was next on the list with $3.3 million.

2021 Aggregate Mobile Sports Betting Handle (Top US Markets)

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New Jersey continues to pull away from other states when reviewing online sports wagering handle. Mobile sports betting apps in the Garden State nearly took over $10 billion in mobile betting handle alone, but fell just short with $9.95 billion. The overall betting handle did not – that ends the year with $10.9 billion taken in.

As readers can see in the chart, there’s been a sharp incline in wagers being taken in around the fall season. This is due to the increase in football activity as the popularity of the sport is a huge boon to the industry. Now that sports bettors have jumped into the waters with promotions and bonuses, sportsbooks are now taking in the revenue.

Clearly, mobile sports betting activity is massive across the entire country where it is legal. It’s imperative for states to add online sports betting to take full advantage of the gambling market.

The state of Arizona comes in late in the year, but that will likely jump to a top market as 2022 unfolds. Of course, 2022 will end up easily surpassing a lot of these totals with the emergence of the New York market. The state successfully launched mobile sports betting in early January. Early sports betting handle numbers show that this will easily be the top market in the United States until other major cities open up.

Get 2020 revenue information here.

About the Author
Brian Spaen

Brian Spaen

Writer and Contributor
Brian Spaen is an editor and contributor for Gaming Today. He has been a content writer and editor in various industries, including sports betting, environmental technology, and higher education. Brian is a graduate of Iowa State University and currently resides in Des Moines, Iowa. He’s an NFL and MLB fan.

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