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.
Coming fresh off the heels of March Madness, it would seem hard for April’s sports betting numbers to compete with March’s. However, there was some hope with Major League Baseball beginning its season. In the end, the American market as a whole had a significant down month in both sports betting handle and revenue when comparing the numbers to March.
Of course, when comparing April 2021 to April 2020, it’s no competition. The pandemic and lockdown destroyed revenues during this time last season, and this year’s April revenue has nearly 10x’d in some states.
This article will cover the top five sports betting handles for the month of April. Note that not all states have yet to submit their April numbers, specifically Illinois who very well may have ended up on this list. We will know once those numbers are released sometime in the near future.
Handle: $747,986,522 Revenue: $54,839,217 Taxes: $6,789,849
New Jersey keeps its first place spot among the states with its $747m sports betting handle. However, when comparing this month to March, it does not look great for the Garden State. March was able to produce $859m in total wagers and raised almost an entire million dollars more in taxes. This drop-in wagering goes hand-in-hand with the lack of major events in April.
After the NFL season, New Jersey saw a tremendous decline in the month of February. While the state temporarily bounced back in March, mainly due to March Madness, April once again saw lower wagering totals. New Jersey will hope that NBA and NHL Playoff games will boost the amount wagered and the revenue made for May and June, but this downward trend could continue up until NFL and FBS football begins again.
Handle: $479,411,021 Gross Revenue: $26,296,483 Taxes: $8,940,804
Pennsylvania has taken the second spot away from Nevada when it comes to monthly handles. This is a milestone moment for the Keystone State as it continues its upward trend in the sports betting world. One thing to note is that Illinois has not released their April sports betting handle as of this article and could come in above Pennsylvania.
While Pennsylvania saw a significant decrease of over $80m wagered between March and April, it was not nearly as catastrophic for the Keystone State as it was for others. One thing that might be helping Pennsylvania more so than other states is the passionate fan bases of their professional teams. The 76ers are one of the favorites in the East and pull in significant wagers. The Pirates and Phillies also both got their MLB seasons started in April and undoubtedly had some role in the $479m handle.
A big thing to note with Pennsylvania’s numbers is the massive $8.9m in tax revenue. That surpassed New Jersey who almost doubled Pennsylvania’s monthly handle. This means that the Keystone State is doing a great job of turning its betting success into tangible benefits for the state.
Handle: $454,734,387 Revenue: $27,240,000 Taxes: $1,838,700
Maybe no other state was hit harder in April than Nevada. The state saw a massive decrease in sports betting handle between March and April, nearing a dip of almost $200m. While one may chalk this up to the lack of big events, something simply seems off with this decrease. Nevada has slowly seen a resurgence in visitors since March, so one would expect that with more Vegas trips, more money would be wagered. However, the increase in travel did nothing to halt the drop-off in March sports betting revenue.
The April 2021 handle is the lowest monthly handle that the state has recorded since July of 2020, when no sports were going on and the pandemic was raging. This should be a cause for concern for those in the sports betting industry. If these numbers continue to go down, it could spell trouble for the long-term outlook of Nevada sports betting. It could be that as states continue to legalize, fewer and fewer people bet in Vegas and Nevada.
Handle: $304,066,245 Revenue: $26,573,877 Taxes: $1,183,488
Virginia continues to impress in just its third full month of sports betting. It is rare to see a state climb into the top five in sports betting handle so early on, but here we are. Virginia could very likely end up as one of the top states come the end of the NFL season when the sportsbooks have had a whole year to sign up bettors.
Virginia is one of the very few states that saw its handle grow between March and April in 2021. The handle grew nearly $50m, a growth of 14.4%. The state’s sportsbooks also saw revenue more than double. This led to the state more than tripling its tax revenue between March and April. It is safe to say that Virginia is still growing. Sports betting is still so new to the state. Bettors in Virginia are still signing up and finding out that they can wager and wager online in the state.
This growth may begin to slow down in the coming months as there are fewer and fewer new bettors to sign up. It has to be noted that Virginia does not have any professional teams, and it is likely that the NBA and MLB handles will not be very large during the summer.
Handle: $274,212,630 Revenue: $21,922,961 Taxes: $442,397
Michigan has officially had its first down month since online sports betting was introduced in January 2021. The sports betting handle fell over $100m from its March total of $383m. While Michigan is a big state in terms of professional sports, none of those teams are doing well at the moment. The Blackhawks and Pistons both missed the playoffs, which means no local NBA or NHL playoffs for Michigan. On top of that, the Tigers are doing atrociously in the AL Central at the moment.
Another thing to consider is that college sports are massive in Michigan, and the state does not have restrictions on in-state betting. This is most likely why March destroyed previous records in Michigan and why March Madness was such a big event for the state.
It is unlikely that we see anything close to that March handle until college football and NFL football both start up again in September. It could be completely possible that Michigan actually gets knocked off this list in the near future if the summer months continue this April trend of lower sports betting.