Nick Wojcik, analyst at sports data firm LineUps.com brings us the latest monthly round up of sports wagering revenue and insights from across the US.
December is showing to be another lucrative month for the US betting industry. Six states have reported December numbers, with many hitting key marks to finish 2020 off strong. While we wait on states like Illinois, Pennsylvania, Nevada, and others, states like Iowa and Indiana released their betting handle for December and they did not disappoint. The demand for sports betting continues to grow across the US and should continue as more states begin to report December betting numbers.
Handle: $15,696,681 Revenue: $3,097,115 Taxes: $2,341,189
Delaware took a step back in December, reporting a $15.7m betting handle, a 19.5% decrease from November. The state failed to see an increase to finish 2020 strong and also finished lower than December 2019 when the state saw a $20.5m betting handle to end that year.
One of the things that have hurt Delaware this year is no mobile sports betting. Delaware sportsbooks had to close from April to July due to the pandemic becoming a major health concern during the pandemic. Sportsbooks were able to open back up in time for major US sports returning this summer. However, 2020 was a lackluster year for Delaware sports betting, with sportsbooks at limited capacity and no avenue for mobile betting to fill the gap.
The First State should see more consistent growth in 2021 despite limited capacity. Although the state has not been able to surpass its single-month high from November 2018, a full year of sports betting will help it rebound in 2021, and the chance of the US going back to normal from the pandemic could help sportsbooks next football season.
Handle: $313,112,474 Revenue: $24,306,695 Taxes: $2,309,136
Indiana finished 2020 with its best month ever. December saw its betting handle surpass the $300m mark, becoming the fifth US state to do so. The Hoosier state finished December with $313.1m in bets, as the state saw over $1.75bn wagered in 2020. The numbers are even more impressive when Indiana saw its betting handle nearly 10 times lower from April to June. Although the betting revenue decreased from $25.3m to $24.3m, Indiana should be happy where the betting industry is heading into the new year.
84% of the betting handle came from mobile devices, which has been a huge boost for the Hoosier State. With Covid-19 limiting sportsbook capacity in 2020, states with online wagering have prospered more than anyone. Indiana saw a 24.5% increase from November to December, and it has been the sixth month in a row that has seen its betting handle increase. Even as neighboring states begin to launch sports betting, Indiana continues to go strong with its betting reports. It will be interesting to see the ceiling Indiana sports betting has in 2021.
Handle: $104,815,630 Revenue: $7,537,004 Taxes: $508,748
For the first time in its state’s history, Iowa surpassed the $100m betting handle in December. The milestone is impressive, with Iowa having 3.1 million residents in the state. As mobile betting continues to increase in the Hawkeye State, Iowa will continue to have great months as they saw in December. Although the betting handle has increased in the last three months, the state revenue has decreased in that time. Iowa brought in $7.5m in revenue, down from its all-time high of $9.1m in October 2020.
Iowa should keep seeing a lot of growth in 2021. On January 1, the Hawkeye State allowed Iowans to register for sports betting accounts online instead of in-person. This opens up the state’s sports betting industry exponentially as sports bettors can register for any sportsbook in Iowa instead of the one that is in the local area. Also, Iowans in more rural areas can create accounts and get in on the action. 2021 should see a lot more months with a $100m betting handle.
Handle: $9,720,393 Revenue: $1,883,240 Taxes: $158,192
This is the last month Michigan will have without online sports betting to benefit from. Michigan saw its betting handle hit $9.7m for the month, a 61.2% decrease from November. The Great Lake State also struggled as Michigan casinos began to close for a majority of the month. Covid-19 cases spiked across the state, forcing Gov. Gretchen Whitmer to close businesses down again.
The numbers are skewed for December, but Michigan should rebound in January and beyond. The state announced that sports betting would go live with mobile betting on January 22 and begin taking bets four days later. Michigan is also expecting at least 15 sports betting operators to launch in the first weeks of sports betting, giving bettors plenty of options to choose from. Although December was a tough way to end 2020, Michigan should begin seeing a lot of growth thanks to online betting.
Handle: $26,987,303 Revenue: $3,050,785 Taxes: N/A
Oregon finished 2020 with just under a $27m betting handle. The Beaver State saw a 7.6% increase from November. Although it is still down from its October record of $29.4m, it is beginning to trend in the right direction. Oregon also saw only $3m from its betting revenue compared to $4.1m in November. Taxes were not disclosed in the report.
Oregon has the 27th largest population in the US but has a betting handle that has been consistently smaller than Iowa, Nevada, Mississippi, West Virginia, and Rhode Island. All five states have smaller populations. Oregon uses the lottery system for sports betting, but that could change in 2021. Gov. Kate Brown is looking to create a new sports betting bill that would expand Oregon’s industry from one mobile operator to multiple. This would create healthy competition and increase the amount of revenue the state sees annually from sports wagering. If a new bill is passed, then Oregon could see the betting handle get into nine figures.
Handle: $70,134,202 Revenue: $6,466,132 Taxes: $646,613
West Virginia had a great month to end 2020 with a $70.1m betting handle. This is a 44.5% increase from November that saw a $48.5m handle. Although it is still down from its all-time high of $76.9m in September, the Mountaineer State has to be happy with a nice rebound heading into 2021.
The Mountaineer State reports sports betting numbers every week, compared to other states doing it monthly. December’s period went from November 28 to January 2. Although that includes an additional NFL Sunday from November 29 and College Football Playoff games on January 1, the increase is still better than expected, even when factoring out the two days that gave West Virginia a massive boost. How much of a boost is uncertain, but most of the betting handle still came from December 1-31. Growth should continue into 2021 and beyond.