revenue tracker July 2021

Image source: Shutterstock

Jacob Wayne, analyst at sports data firm, brings us the latest monthly round up of sports wagering revenue and expert insights from across the US.

The downturn in revenue from sports betting during the month of July was fairly predictable due to the lack of professional sports during this time – the NFL has yet to kick off, the NBA and NHL are done for the year, and more discretionary income is spent on outdoor activities across the country. However, as we head into the fall, sports bettors should become more active, particularly with the NFL and NCAA Football markets starting to pick up steam. The Olympics didn’t see the volume of sports betting activity as some analysts expected, which also hurt the overall revenue for July. The lowest-volume sports betting month in 2018 and 2019 was July, so this was par for the course. August should bring an increased sports betting market.

New Jersey

Handle: $578,729,290 Revenue: $54,966,257 Taxes: $4,331,299

New Jersey is currently the largest sports betting market in the United States. Its commitment to establishing one of the first open markets in the sports wagering industry has clearly paid off. However, July 2021 was a down month for New Jersey as its handle was the lowest since July 2020, during the peak of the COVID-19 pandemic. It’s not necessarily surprising that New Jersey saw a drop-off in revenue during July with the minimal sports offerings available, but a decline of about 23% is certainly worth monitoring. New Jersey’s revenue was still the fourth-highest of the month behind only January, March, and June, partially due to a 9.5% hold rate, its highest of the year. In other words, for every dollar wagered, the sportsbooks kept 9.5 cents. New York hopes to launch online sports betting in the coming months, and New Jersey could lose a significant market share to its neighbor state. 


Handle: $409,659,756 Revenue: $33,278,000 Taxes: $2,246,265

Nevada has recently lost its title as the most profitable sports betting state in the country to New Jersey, and it didn’t seem to be close to closing the gap in July 2021. Nevada’s sports betting revenue dropped by about 25% from June to July, and there are a few potential reasons for this. For one, the lack of big-time major league sports during July certainly hurt the state’s sports betting revenue. Additionally, Nevada saw a decline in incoming tourists with rising concerns over the Delta variant of COVID-19, with Las Vegas, a significant betting destination, seeing declining visitors. Nevada’s handle is more dependent on out-of-state travelers than in any other state, so it has seen a lot of inconsistency and volatility over the past several months with changing circumstances due to the pandemic. An 8.12% hold in July 2021 helped Nevada maintain a solid amount of revenue – July was its largest revenue month since March.


Handle: $304,415,503 Revenue: $27,482,519 Taxes: $7,148,225

Pennsylvania’s sports betting numbers were down across the board in July 2021. The state’s betting handle dropped from just over $420m to just over $304 million – that’s about a 27.5% decrease. The state’s betting hold dropped from 10.1%, the highest it’s been since April 2019, to 9.0%. 10% is almost unheard of in the industry, and a high hold rate is especially impressive for sportsbooks with a hefty tax rate of 36% in the state. Pennsylvania sportsbook operators also have to pay a $10m licensing fee. A 9.0% hold for July was still the second-highest of 2021. However, the decrease in hold contributed to revenue decreasing by about 35.3%. That hefty decline in revenue led to a drop of over $5m in taxes, a decline of just under 42%. July marks the first time Pennsylvania’s sports betting tax revenue has dropped below $9m since February 2021 and just the second time since September 2020. 


Handle: $206,267,088 Revenue: $20,766,255 Taxes: $808,207

Michigan has been an exciting sports betting market to watch since the launch of online sports wagering in January 2021. Like most other states with legalized sports betting, Michigan saw a decrease in its betting handle and revenue in July 2021. The betting handle decreased by over 20% from June 2021, and revenue decreased by about 23.7%. The revenue of just $20.7 million marked Michigan’s worst revenue-generating month since February 2021, but there’s plenty of cause for optimism for this market. Michigan maintains one of the lowest tax rates for sportsbooks in the nation at just 8.4% of adjusted gross gaming revenue. That low tax rate allowed Michigan sportsbooks to maintain a high hold rate of 10.1% in July 2021. As the market continues to stabilize and sportsbooks offer fewer signup promotions, we expect sportsbooks to take home a more significant percentage of their hold and the tax revenue to increase despite the low tax rate. 


Handle: $194,492,669 Revenue $17,453,179 Taxes: $1,658,052

Indiana has maintained its standing as one of the most lucrative sports betting markets in the United States, but July 2021 represented a down month as it did for many other states. Indiana’s sports betting handle decreased by just over 21% from June to July, and the handle of just under $195m represented the lowest amount of sports bets the state has seen since August 2020. A hold rate of 9.0% helped Indiana sportsbooks maintain a solid amount of revenue, but revenue still declined by about 31.5%. July 2021 was the first month since February that Indiana sportsbooks saw revenue under $18m. Indiana’s tax rate remains among the lower rates in the country, and its tax revenue of just over $1.65m was the lowest since February 2021. However, Indiana’s hold rate continues to improve as July 2021 was the second month in a row with a hold rate of 9% or more. Indiana is coming up on its two-year anniversary of legalized and operational sports betting.