revenue tracker August 2021

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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.

August 2021 was a significant month for sports betting across the country as revenue bounced back significantly from July, typically the worst month of the year in terms of sports betting handle. 

However, the hold rate for most states decreased in August as we saw sportsbooks provide an increased amount of promotional credits in hopes of gaining new customers in advance of the football season. 

That decrease in hold rate resulted in less revenue and fewer taxes paid to the states. A notable trend in most states is the prominence of mobile sports betting – around 90% of users in each state placed their wagers on mobile or desktop devices. Some of that is due to continued concerns over COVID-19. 

Still, even as vaccines become more widespread, we expect mobile sports betting to dominate the market. The month of September will be one to watch as sports betting revenue will increase significantly from the start of the football season. 

New Jersey

Handle: $664,675,859 Revenue: $52,023,081 Hold: 7.8% Taxes: $6,678,542

New Jersey is the largest sports betting market in the United States, and it continued to increase the gap over Nevada, the next-largest market, in August 2021. New Jersey saw about 80% of its August handle come from sportsbook mobile applications and websites. The overall handle increased 15% month-over-month from July to August. However, revenues saw a 5% decrease month-over-month from July and a 26.7% decrease from June. That trend is unlikely to stick as the NFL season kicked off in September and should allow New Jersey to compete with its record months in terms of revenue. The sports betting hold in New Jersey normalized as it decreased from 9.5% in July to 7.8% in August; the all-time hold rate is 7%. The overall handle was flat year-over-year despite a full slate of NBA games in August 2020; that’s a promising sign for the potential for further growth over the remainder of the year. The Meadowlands license that includes FanDuel, PointsBet, and SuperBook USA continues to dominate in the state with $26.9m in revenue, over 50% of the total revenue in the state. The introduction of the legal sports betting market in New York is the only thing on the horizon that could potentially slow down the rapid growth in the New Jersey market.


Handle: $348,520,369 Revenue: $25,315,958 Hold 7.3% Taxes $6,482,608

August 2021 was a significant month for Pennsylvania as the state snapped a four-month streak of decline in the overall betting handle. The total sports betting handle was up about 14.5% from July’s handle of just over $304m. However, August 2021 saw the overall sports betting handle decline 4.5% from August 2020. COVID-19 caused a delay of the 2020 NBA season, resulting in a full slate of games in August 2020. While the betting handle increased in August, overall revenue decreased by about 7.8% from July 2021 and over 40% from June 2021. The decrease in revenue is a common theme in many states and should not be expected to continue with the start of the football season. With $7.3m in promotional credits given to customers, taxable revenue was about $18m in August 2021; that’s a 9.3% drop from July. Pennsylvania maintains one of the highest costs of doing business in the country as it has an effective tax rate of 36% and a $10m licensing fee. FanDuel Sportsbook continues to be the most popular platform in Pennsylvania with $137.4m in total handle, 39.4% of the overall market.


Handle: $208,565,955 Revenue $17,537,778 Hold 8.4% Taxes $679,308

Michigan is one of the newest sports betting markets in the United States as legal retail sports wagering launched in March 2020 and online sports betting launched in January 2021. July 2021 had represented the worst month in Michigan’s short sports betting history, with a 20% decline in the overall handle, so a slight 1.2% increase in August 2021 was a welcome sight. August’s results also pushed Michigan past $2bn in total online and retail sports wagering for the year. $2bn is a significant number as only six other states have reported that level of success. Many of those states have had sports betting markets established for much longer than Michigan. In August, online sports betting accounted for $192.3m of the total handle, 92.1% of the total market. While the handle did increase, August 2021 brought just $17.5m in total revenue, the lowest total since January 2021 when the sports betting market launched. The hold rate also decreased to 8.4% in August, down from over 10% in each of the prior two months. DraftKings topped FanDuel for the first time in Michigan in August as FanDuel had a total handle of $61.3m, 31.9% of the total market, while DraftKings had a total handle of $47.6m, 24.8% of the total market.


Handle: $215,636,824 Revenue: $16,537,681 Hold: 7.7% Taxes: $1,571,080

Indiana reached a significant milestone in August 2021 as it became the fifth state in the country to reach $4bn in total sports betting handle all-time. Indiana joined New Jersey, Nevada, Pennsylvania, and Illinois as the only states to reach that number. In August 2021, Indiana’s total sports betting handle increased 10.8% from July 2021, a month that had seen a 21% decrease from June. However, August 2021 was still the second-worst month of the year in terms of total sports betting handle. The adjusted sports wagering revenue in the state was $16.5m, down 5.2% from July’s $17.4m and the lowest number since September 2020. The hold rate decreased from 9% in July and 10.3% in June to 7.7% in August 2021. As we’ve seen with other states, 92% of sports bets were placed on a mobile device with a total mobile sports betting handle of $199.8m, up 11.6% from July’s $179m. DraftKings Sportsbook maintained its standing as the top online platform in Indiana with $72.4m in bets and $4.4m in gross receipts. FanDuel trailed with $52.6m in wagers but surpassed DraftKings with $4.9m in gross receipts.


Handle: $211,918,185 Revenue: $15,228,343 Hold: 7.2% Taxes: $726,366

In August 2021, Colorado surpassed $3bn in total sports betting handle all-time, making it the sixth-largest market in the United States. The total sports betting handle increased 16.8% from the month prior. That increase was a welcome development as July 2021 represented the first time Colorado had dipped below $200m in total handle since August 2020, shortly launching its sports betting market. Colorado saw a 64.7% year-over-year increase in total handle from August 2020 to August 2021. However, August saw a 3.1% decline in gross gaming revenue (GGR) as August’s GGR was $15.2m and July’s was $15.7m. August also brought a 26% decrease in net proceeds as Colorado’s sportsbooks dropped from $9.6m in net proceeds to $7.1m. As such, taxes fell by over $250,000. The hold rate also decreased from 8.6% to 7.2%; that’s still above the 6.7% hold rate since the launch of the sports betting market. 95% of sports bets were placed online in August. In August, one significant development was that the Colorado water projects had already received $7.9m in taxes after being promised $8.5m in tax revenue from sports betting when the market launched in 2019. That is despite a tax rate of 10% that is significantly lower than some other states.