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.
Handle: $859,617,96 Revenue: $60,755,472 Taxes: $7,746,512
New Jersey sports betting rebounded extremely well between March and February. We saw an increase of over $100m in total wagers between the two months. This is a common theme that we saw throughout the United States as March Madness aided a large boost to handles and revenues. When comparing 2020 and 2021, the numbers are not in the same stratosphere, as 2020 brought in only $181m in wagers. This low total is because the pandemic really kicked off in March of 2020, leading to tons of canceled sporting events and the closure of retail sportsbooks. However, we can use 2019 as a much better barometer. Still, March of 2019 only brought in $372m, showcasing how far sports betting has risen in the Garden State.
The revenue that New Jersey sportsbooks brought in during March was the third-highest ever, and the tax revenue was the second-highest ever. New Jersey sports betting is thriving and reigns supreme as the largest sports betting state in the country.
Handle: $560,259,181 Revenue: $29,352,345 Taxes: $10,566,844
A state that has been on the rise for some time is Pennsylvania. It currently only trails New Jersey and Nevada when it comes to sports betting. The numbers coming in for March are promising, although not mind-blowing. The handle, revenue, and taxes all sit firmly between the numbers we saw in January and February. While there was still a rebound in the Keystone State, we did not see a full bounce back to the record-breaking numbers that were being recorded in January of 2021. Nevertheless, $560m wagered is the second-highest ever recorded in Pennsylvania, as it surpasses December 2020, $548 million, for that crown.
Note that despite collecting 34.8% less in wagers, Pennsylvania hauled in 26.7% more money in taxes than New Jersey. It seems that the state’s higher tax rate and stricter guidelines are paying off.
Handle: $383,691,892 Revenue: $35,238,593 Taxes: $785,423
Michigan has only had online sports betting since late January, making March only the second full month with fully launched online sports wagering. The Wolverine State saw a decent-sized increase in this second full month, adding nearly $60 million in wagers. However, the massive increase really came in the way of revenue, with the state’s sportsbooks nearing a 400% increase in revenue collected. While this translated to a large increase in tax revenue, coming in at $700k, it is still low compared to other states.
Michigan is probably the most likely candidate to see an increase from March to April as the newness of sports betting will still drive a major portion of the handle in the state. While there will be no March Madness, there will still be new customers trying out betting for the first time.
Handle: $205,900,000 Revenue: $16,100,00 Taxes: $3,200,000
Tennessee’s sports betting report is one of the least informative in the nation. The report handed out by the Tennessee Education Lottery, the regulators of sports betting, only lists the handle, revenue, taxes, and payouts. However, what we can see is that March almost broke the record for the largest handle coming in at $205.9m. It falls only $5.4m short of January 2021’s total. This was a massive month for Tennessee’s sports betting as experts were able to see that sports betting would not be solely driven by football in the Volunteer State.
Tennessee also had a bit of controversy in March with the suspension of a local sportsbook, Action 24/7. However, a court decided that the Tennessee Education Lottery did not have the power to do that and reinstated the licenses. Regardless of this minor hiccup, sports betting still thrived in March.
Handle: $316,717,762 Revenue: $26,350,639 Taxes: $2,503,311
Indiana is another state that saw itself record the second-largest monthly sports betting handle in its history. Indiana barely surpassed its December 2020 handle of $313m and fell short of January 2021’s totals by roughly $31m. The state also saw a whopping $26.3m in sportsbook revenue, once again a record that is only second to January 2021.
Indiana was able to collect a good chunk of change at $2.5m in tax revenue. Comparing that number to the $522K collected last March, it is clear that sports betting is becoming larger in the state. Now, of course, there was the pandemic last year at this time, but this tax revenue far surpasses any amount pre-March 2020 as well.
Handle: $161,439,561 Revenue: $13,454,157 Taxes: $908,011
Iowa is the first state on our list to break a sports betting handle record in March of 2021, coming in at $161.4m wagered. This surpasses the previous record, January 2021, by over $11m. The state also saw record revenues for sportsbooks, $13.5m, and the state, $908K.
It is clear that Iowa is still reaping the benefits of allowing online registration for sports betting; however, another major factor was Iowa’s run in the NCAA tournament. Iowa allows for wagering on in-state schools, and that clearly was a contributing factor to the massive handle posted on March Madness.
Handle: $300,990,842.17 Revenue: $20,365,119 Taxes: $1,060,854
Colorado sports betting followed a similar trend to most states. Sportsbooks were able to collect more wagers than they did in February; however, the amount was simply not enough to pass up January 2021. It was actually surprising to see March go this will for Colorado, as many think of the state as a major football location. Having $300m in total wagers during a month only consisting of the NBA, NHL, and March Madness, when it comes to major American sports, is rather impressive.
Colorado has a detailed report that breaks down where the money was wagered. Basketball and NCAA Basketball combined for $176m of the $300m total handle. Hockey came in third on the list with $13.7m. Parlays and combination bets also took a major chunk of the handle at $55m. Many of these parlays most likely also contained a basketball bet, showing just how vital the NBA games and March Madness were.