SportsHandle and friends deliver another round-up of the week’s big developments in US sports betting.

New Jersey, New Record: NJ Sportsbooks Handle $668M In August, Destroy Previous Nationwide Record

At least in the world of the monthly New Jersey sports betting handle, the V-shaped recovery is real.

The New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement released August sports wagering handle and revenue figures on Monday, revealing what amounts to not only a New Jersey record, but a new height for any U.S. jurisdiction permitting legal wagering: NJ sportsbooks accepted a combined $668 million in wagers (the “handle”) in the month of August alone, clearing New Jersey’s previous high mark by more than $100 million. The previous record was $562.7 million in November 2019. The previous nationwide record was $615 million in Nevada — also in November 2019.

Of course, for the bettors and bookmakers, separate from the entertainment it provides, the only number that matters is the corresponding margin. Collectively, New Jersey sportsbooks won (or “kept”) $39.5 million of the dollars wagered, or roughly 5.9%, which is about one point lower than what New Jersey has averaged since June 2018.

Full story here.

Super Bowl Come Early? After NFL Week 1, DraftKings Sportsbook Thinks So

If there was any question about pent-up sports betting demand or how sports bettors would feel about football during the pandemic era, those questions were answered with cold, hard cash over the the opening weekend of the 2020 NFL season.

“The Bucs-Saints was the biggest game of the weekend, and it exceeded expectations,” DraftKings Head of Sportsbook Johnny Avello told Sports Handle. “It was the best handle we’ve ever had on an NFL Sunday, and the weekend was comparable to a Super Bowl.

Full story here.

Illinois Gaming Board Releases First Sports Betting Revenue Reports

The Illinois Gaming Board released its first set of sports betting revenue reports Tuesday since going live in March, and the biggest takeaway was the impact of Executive Order 2020-41 in which Gov. JB Pritzker suspended the legally mandated in-person registration provision required for mobile sports wagering in June.

According to the reports, the combined handles in Illinois for March, June, and July — there were no wagers placed in April and May due to COVID-19 restrictions during which all 10 casinos across the state were shuttered and no mobile sports betting was available — totaled nearly $60 million with only Rivers Casino in Des Plaines and Argosy Casino Alton accepting wagers in that time frame.

Full story here.


The unusual COVID-created sports calendar in August led to a record month for legal sports wagering in Pennsylvania, with bettors risking $365 million collectively on the NBA, NHL, MLB, and other contests.

The record sports betting was part of a second straight strong month for Pennsylvania’s overall gaming industry, which overcame the effects of COVID-19 to show year-over-year revenue improvement — up nearly 6% to a total $310.7 million in August — thanks to all of the online casino gambling and sports betting taking place.

Full story here.


The Tennessee sports betting market is expected to begin next month, potentially with four online/mobile sportsbooks launching on the same dayTN Bets has learned that a fifth company has applied to be a sports gaming operator in the state.

BetMGM, DraftKings, FanDuel, and Tennessee Action 24/7 have all completed applications and are currently being vetted for potential licensure in the coming weeks. The fifth sports betting company hasn’t been made public, as its application isn’t yet complete.

Full story here.


For the first time in four months, monthly revenue totals at Detroit’s three commercial casinos were greater than zero.

Monday, the MGM Grand Detroit, MotorCity Casino Hotel, and Greektown Casino-Hotel, which all closed March 16 due to the COVID-19 pandemic and were allowed to reopen in August at limited capacity and under strict safety guidelines, reported combined August revenue of $69.3 million, according to the Michigan Gaming Control Board.

MGM Grand Detroit reported $28.6 million in revenue for the month, good for a 41% market share compared to MotorCity and Greektown, whose August revenues of $25 million and $15.7 million claimed 36% and 23% market shares, respectively.

Full story here.

Million-Dollar Memo? IRS Guidance Could Be Costly for DFS Companies

In late August, the Internal Revenue Service handed down a memo in which it determined that daily fantasy sports are, in the agency’s determination, equivalent to sports betting, and that as such, daily fantasy operators should be subject to a federal excise tax. The in-house memo won’t affect daily fantasy companies — in particular DraftKings and FanDuel — immediately, but could have major ramifications in the future.

“The most recent IRS memo brings into questions what many regulators figured out years ago, that DFS is a form of sports wagering,” said one industry expert. “Nevada realized this five years ago when the Attorney General ruled that DFS was gambling and the GCB asked these companies to get licensed or leave the state. These companies may likely have to adjust their models to absorb this additional tax to make them continue to work in the states they have chosen to operate in.”

Full story here.