Jacob Wayne, 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.
September 2021 was a massive month for sports betting across the country as the start of football season predictably brought sizable betting handles and significant revenue growth. The beginning of football season is crucial for customer acquisition and retention, as evidenced by the rising number of commercial spots during broadcasts and sportsbooks handed out millions of dollars in promotions to attract customers.
GeoComply, a geolocation services company, reported over 330 million geolocation transactions during the first four weeks of the National Football League (NFL) season – that’s a 122% increase in sports betting transactions over the first four weeks of the 2020 season. GeoComply is relied upon by nearly 100% of the United States sports betting industry.
The American Gaming Association had previously reported that an estimated record 45.2 million Americans (18% of the adult population) were expected to wager on the NFL during the 2021 season, up 36% compared to the 2020 season. Lineups tracked a significant increase in sports betting handle and revenue across the country in September.
Handle: $1,011,114,311 Revenue: $82,440,420 Hold Rate: 8.2% Taxes: $10,172,247
In September, New Jersey became the first state to handle $1 billion in sports bets in a single month. The total sports betting handle of $1.011 billion represented a 35.1% increase from the $748.6 million handle in September 2020 and a 34.2% increase from the $664.7 million handle in August 2021. According to GeoComply, New Jersey had 70.5 million total online gambling transactions over the first four weeks of the NFL season, the most out of any state and 21.4% of all United States transactions over that span. New Jersey also saw a 43.3% increase in transactions in September from last year.
New Jersey operators should be particularly excited about revenue of $82.4 million, just shy of the record of $82.6 million in January 2021. With an 8.5% tax rate for in-person sports bets and a 13% tax rate for online sports bets, New Jersey generated $10.1 million in tax revenue in September. That’s also just shy of a record $10.3 million in January 2021. $400.8 million (39.6%) of the state’s handle was bet on football, leading to just $10.3 million in revenue on a 2.6% hold. The big money-maker was parlays with a $216.1 million handle generating $42.3 million for sportsbooks on a hold rate of 19.6%.
The Meadowlands license, a combination of FanDuel Sportsbook, PointsBet, and SuperBook, generated a combined $41.3 million in total revenue to lead the state. The Resorts AC license, a combination of DraftKings Sportsbook, Fox Bet, and Resorts’ brand, came in second with $13.6 million in combined revenue. In the three previous football seasons with operational sports betting in New Jersey, the handle grew month-over-month from September to October and November. While it is expected that New Jersey will continue to remain above $1 billion in sports betting handle, much of the projections depend on when New York launches its legal sports betting market – 20-25% of New Jersey’s handle comes from New York-based bettors.
Handle: $786,508,562 Revenue: $54,205,000 Hold Rate: 6.89% Taxes: $3,658,838
According to the Nevada Gaming Control Board, Nevada also set a new record with a $786.5 million sports betting handle in September. The previous record-high came in October 2020 with a $659.9 million handle; September’s handle represented a 19.1% increase from that prior high. September also brought an 84% increase from a $427.4 million handle in August 2021 and a 36.7% increase from a $575.1 million handle in September 2020. Nevada remains slightly behind New Jersey in all-time sports betting handle with $17.6 billion to New Jersey’s $18.9 billion.
In September, Nevada sportsbooks generated $54.2 million on a 6.9% hold rate that significantly increased from 3.4% in August 2021. That revenue total marked the third-highest month all-time for Nevada sports betting, behind $61.8 million in November 2020 and $56.3 million in September 2018. Revenue increased 279% from $14.3 million in August and 64.7% from $32.9 million in September 2020. Nevada generated a $477.7 million total handle – 61% of the total handle – and $36.3 million in revenue – 66.9% of the total amount – from football betting. Nevada also generated $4 million in revenue from parlay betting.
Handle: $578,760,746 Revenue: $48,113,670 Hold Rate: 8.3% Taxes: $10,171,365
Pennsylvania joined the list of states to report massive September numbers with $578.8 million in handle representing its second-highest month on record behind only January 2021 with $615.3 million in handle. September 2021 represented a 66% increase from $348.5 million in August and a 25% increase from $462.8 million in September 2020. Pennsylvania also saw $48.1 million in revenue on the strength of an 8.3% hold rate, close behind the record-high $48.5 million in revenue in November 2020. September’s revenue represented a 90% increase from $25.3 million in August.
With one of the highest tax rates in the country of 36%, Pennsylvania generated $10.1 million in tax revenue. For reference, that’s essentially the same number as New Jersey despite the Garden State nearly doubling Pennsylvania’s handle. September’s tax revenue was up 55.3% from August’s $6.5 million and up 340% from September 2020’s $2.3 million. FanDuel Sportsbook led the online market with a handle of $183.7 million (34.8% market share) and a considerable hold rate of 11.6%. FanDuel’s dominance was most apparent in terms of revenue, where it generated $21.2 million – DraftKings came in second with $5.1 million in revenue.
Handle: $386,780,231 Revenue: $27,138,074 Hold Rate: 7.0% Taxes: $717,728
Another state, another record – Michigan brought in an all-time high $386.7 million in sports betting handle in September. As one of the newer markets in the United States, Michigan is far from done growing. September’s betting handle represented an 85.6% increase from August 2021. It narrowly edged out the previous monthly high of a $383.7 million handle in March 2021 on the strength of a deep March Madness run by the University of Michigan. Sportsbooks had a hold rate of just 7.0%, the lowest since February 2021, but still generated $27.2 million in revenue, the third-highest mark in the state’s history. September’s revenue of $27.2 million was up 54.8% from August’s $17.5 million.
Sports betting in Michigan is taxed at a rate of 8.4%. Sportsbooks generated $717,728 in tax revenue in September, just a small 5.6% increase from August’s tax revenue. Surprisingly, Michigan generated 56% more tax revenue in June 2021 despite a very limited sports betting market – a 10.5% hold rate powered Michigan to $27.2 million in revenue that month. DraftKings leads Michigan’s online sports betting market with a total handle of $106.9 million (30.2% market share). However, BetMGM generated a state-leading $10.2 million in gross gaming revenue on just a 23.1% market share compared to just $3.1 million for DraftKings. FanDuel had the second-highest market share at $82.1 million (23.2% share) and generated $8.4 million in revenue.
Handle: $355,425,184 Revenue: $33,878,239 Hold Rate: 9.5% Taxes: $3,218,433
According to the Indiana Gaming Commission, Indiana also reached a new record-high with $355 million placed on sports bets in September. The previous record was $348 million in January 2021. Indiana’s $355.4 million in bets placed in September represented an increase of 64.8% from $215.6 million in August 2021 and 71.3% from $207.4 million in September 2020. The record betting handle also helped the state bring in a record-high $33.8 million in revenue in September, representing a 104.8% increase from August’s $16.5 million and a 137% increase from September 2020’s $14.3 million. The record revenue translated to $3.2 million in taxes for Indiana, another record and over double August’s $1.6 million.
In September, Indiana’s leading sports betting license was a joint license between DraftKings Sportsbook and theScore under Ameristar East Chicago. That license represented $138.5 million in total handle, 38.9% of the total market, and $8.3 million in revenue, 24.5% of the state’s total. FanDuel Sportsbook, licensed under Blue Chip, trailed behind with $78.2 million in handle (22% share) but generated $10.7 million in revenue, the highest number among sportsbooks in the state. Football represented $148.2 million in bets placed in September, a 41.7% market share. Last year, the state’s betting handle increased each month throughout the football season, so we may continue to see record numbers from Indiana this year.