With a new year already rolling in, data from the industry might indicate that the USA sports betting industry might have just hit its most incredible milestone yet. For the first time in its sports betting history, the US sports betting industry has reached an unprecedented $100 billion handle in a calendar year.
This historic achievement has been attributed substantially to the turnover generated from several newcomer markets across multiple states. Some of these newcomer states include Ohio, Massachusetts, Kansas, and Kentucky.
Among these states, Ohio is a noteworthy standout, contributing an approximately $6 billion handle in only its first year. And with several new states preparing to launch their sports betting operations in 2024, this incredible momentum shows no sign of slowing down and this record is most likely to be surpassed.
The American Gaming Association (AGA) has been instrumental in tracking the trajectory of the US Sports wagering handle. Per their data, the total handle across the US sports betting market was $93.7 billion.
But 2023 took off to a strong start, with bettors across the US wagering approximately $79 billion within the first nine months of the year. This figure represents a 33% increase from the wager total in 2022.
AGA Vice President of Research David Forman attributed the growth in part to the expansion into new markets:
“Part of that is due to expansion into new markets that we didn’t have last year, “But part of it is also just a continuing maturation of existing markets that have only been online for a year or two at this point,” he said in a press statement.
Another state that contributed massively to driving this year’s historic figure is Pennsylvania. The state, which happens to be the US’ fourth largest sports betting market, collated a record volume of $934 million in the month of November alone. This represents a $105 million increase from the previous month.
Other states that contributed substantially include Massachusetts, Tennessee, and Maryland, with each having at least one month with a $500 million handle. But the jurisdiction with the largest contribution by far was the state of New York, with the state reporting a record volume $2 billion monthly handle and has alone been responsible for 10 out of the 20 times a monthly handle was up to a billion dollars.
Illinois, now ranked third nationally behind New Jersey, is poised to exceed a $10 billion handle for the first time, experiencing double-digit growth compared to 2022, reaching $1.1 billion in October. Virginia's sports betting is on track for a double-digit YoY increase, surpassing $4 billion in wagers along with Maryland.
The NFL playoffs and Super Bowl are expected to mitigate any drop-in betting activities between January and February. And with the NCAA Tournament in March, a regular surge in activity is anticipated, wagers from which alone pushed the monthly totals above $11 billion in 2023.
While market leading private entities such as FanDuel and DraftKings remain key players, actively competing with giants like ESPN BET in customer incentives spending potentially indicates a $10 billion handle in December. The two companies have continued to maintain their dominance on the industry's parlay wagering on mobile apps.
Overall, the U.S. legalized sports wagering industry has shown consistent tremendous growth, initially handling $6.6 billion in 2018, culminating in $57.5 billion in 2021. Notably, Ohio's 2023 figures alone matched the entire national handle from the inaugural year.
Looking ahead to 2024, the industry is expected to surpass $100 million, driven by the addition of new markets like Vermont and North Carolina. This suggests a promising trajectory for setting a new record in the overall U.S. handle.
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