Matthew Amato, analyst at sports data firm LineUps.com brings us the latest monthly round up of sports wagering revenue and expert insights from across the US.
One of the most interesting months for sports betting is February. This is because it is a complete tale of two different stories. The first week gets the massive benefit of Super Bowl wagers, but following that is one of the quietest times with sports betting. Not only are the NHL and NBA the only two major American sports going on, but on top of this, the NBA All-star break also takes place in February and is not a large event for sports wagering.
You put all of this together, and it is always interesting how it compares to January, which benefits from the NFL Playoffs, and March, which has March Madness, a massive American tradition.
Handle: $742,953,328 Revenue: $46,213,864 Taxes: $5,800,343
New Jersey saw one of the sharpest drop-offs in sports betting from January to February as it lost more than $200m in sports handle. On top of this, New Jersey only had around half the gross revenue and state revenue that it did the month prior. Regardless, New Jersey is still leading the sports betting market in America.
Maybe a more fair comparison is looking at the February 2020 and 2019 numbers. In 2020 February had a total of $494.8m wagered, and 2019 had $320.4m wagered. This is a much more favorable comparison as you see a drastic increase in 2021’s numbers. The growth rate has stayed around a 50% mark, with a growth of 54.4% between 2019 and 2020 and a 51.1% increase between 2020 and 2021.
Handle: $509,547,820 Revenue: $16,379,807 Taxes:$5,896,73
Similar to New Jersey, Pennsylvania also saw a drop in sports handle but retained its #2 status in the sports betting world. Pennsylvania pulled in over $600m in wagers the month prior in January. The Keystone State still had a fantastic month as the $5.9m in taxes will surely help the state as it recovers from the pandemic.
The trend that is important to note is that Pennsylvania saw a 54% increase in the total amount wagered when looking at the numbers from February 2020 and February 2021. On top of this, revenue shot up 247% from $4.7m to $16.4m between February of 2020 and 2021. This is the headline that is much more important than the slight drop in month-to-month revenue.
Handle: $325,569,037 Revenue: $9,395,292 Taxes: $151,884
Online sports betting has truly arrived in the Wolverine State. After the first full month of sports betting, Michigan has come in with a massive $325m wagered. This is an incredible mark for a state’s second month of online and mobile wagering and represents a trend that could see Michigan come to compete with Pennsylvania and New Jersey for the largest markets in the coming years.
One thing to note here is that the amount of tax revenue will not pick up for a few months in Michigan. This is because these sportsbooks are taxed on gross revenue. Many sportsbooks are offering big promotions and values in order to attract more bettors to their respective platforms. While this is going on, the revenue and taxable revenue is going to stay relatively low.
Handle:$273,893,073 Revenue: $16,955,904 Taxes: $1,610,811
Indiana continues the trend of states that saw a decrease in sports wagering month-to-month between January and February. Sportsbooks saw a 21.4% decrease in sports handle following the best month that it had ever posted in January of 2021. The revenue also dropped $12m+ between January and February. When looking at the yearly comparison, there is positive news as Indiana was able to increase the sports betting handle by 46.3% between the single months of February of 2020 and February 2021. This is huge news as Indiana starts to really ramp up and compete with other large sports betting markets.
It is interesting to note that if both Kentucky and Ohio legalize, Indiana will be one of the first states to be completely surrounded by legalized sports betting. This may severely hamper the number of wagers as there would be just about no reason to travel from a neighboring state to bet in Indiana.
Handle: $143,615,169.91 Revenue: $7,708,148.13 Taxes: $520,444.13
Iowa only saw a very slight decrease in wagers between January and February, moving from $149.5m wagered to $143.6m wagered. The big story here is online registration. While Iowa has had online and mobile sports betting for quite a while now, you needed to register at a casino to play. As of January 1st, 2021, you can register online with any one of the mobile/online licensed sportsbooks in the state. This move has been doing wonders as the handle has skyrocketed from the previous months’ of December 2020 and November 2020, and February is likely seeing some residual positive effects from the new users who registered online.
This renders the year-to-year comparison between February 2020 and 2021 not very fair. Nevertheless, there was a 152.3% increase in the sports handle between last year’s and this year’s handle for February.
Iowa has not really seen a large increase in the tax revenue collected month-to-month because alongside online registration came online welcome bonuses that players have been taking advantage of and using, decreasing the taxable revenue of sportsbooks.
Handle: $50,995,349 Revenue: $1,787,930 Taxes: $768,387
While New Hampshire saw a decrease in sports wagering handle between January and February in 2021, the real blow came in revenue. The sports handle only dropped from $59.7m to $50.9m, a 14.7% decrease. However, the revenue dropped from $4.2m to $1.8m, a 57.4% decrease. New Hampshire was hit hard by the lack of sports betting, and the single sportsbook, DraftKings, did not have a great month with revenue.
New Hampshire is an interesting case study as it has granted DraftKings a monopoly on sports betting and, in return, receives around 50% of the gross revenue that the sportsbook makes. This means that despite the small handle and revenue, the state still pulled in over $750k in taxes. This was larger than Iowa, which in the same month totaled $143m+ in handle and $7.7m in sports betting revenue. It seems that this model is working for the New Hampshire government.