revenue tracker December 2021

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

December 2021 was yet another monumental month in the rapid growth of sports betting as it closed out the biggest year of all time for the industry. Football season kept rolling while basketball and hockey reached a fever pitch in the middle of arguably the best time of the year for sports fans. Despite the wide range of sports to bet on, most sportsbooks reported declining revenue for December, and states posted lower taxable revenue as a result. Hold rate declined across the board as compared to the sizable rates reported in November, as well. The volume remained strong overall, with states reporting near-record high handles, but the decline in revenue did impact the industry as a whole. 

You won’t find numbers on the New York launch in this article, as mobile sports betting only became available in January. December was the third straight month with over $20 million in sports betting handle coming from retail casinos, but you can expect that number to jump drastically in the January 2022 revenue round-up. Recent reports have suggested sportsbooks have seen more than $1.1 billion in handle through just the first two weeks of sports betting being available, and the largest state to launch mobile sports betting to date will quickly become a leader in the industry.

In this article, I’ll break down some of the reported numbers for a handful of the most prominent states in the sports betting industry. In addition, I’ll discuss some trends to look out for in the near future for each state. You can visit our site for more information on sports betting in each of the following states and many more.

New Jersey

Handle: $1,229,561,891 Revenue: $59,047,673 Hold Rate: 4.8% Taxes: $7,482,614

December capped off a massive year in sports betting in New Jersey, with the $1.2 billion in handle reported bringing the state’s total to $10.9 billion for the full year. That’s a drastic increase from $6 billion in 2020. New Jersey became the first state to surpass $1 billion in sports bets in a month in September before setting its record high in October with $1.3 billion in wagers. December’s handle remained above the $1.2 billion threshold set in October and November, but revenue dropped drastically. December revenue was down about 48.4% from November as sportsbooks reported a 4.8% hold rate compared to 9.1% in November. That decline led to taxes coming in at just $7.4 million compared to $14.6 million in November. 

It’s quite notable that revenue was actually down year-over-year in New Jersey. In December 2020, sportsbooks reported $66.3 million in revenue, 10% more than in December 2021. The hold rate came in at 6.7% that month, leaving New Jersey more profit and more taxes, as well. Questions remain about New Jersey’s ability to maintain its standing as the largest sports betting market now that New York has launched mobile sports betting. About 80% of New Jersey’s total handle comes from mobile wagers, and previous estimates have suggested that around 20-25% of New Jersey’s handle has come from New York residents crossing the border to place bets. It will be interesting to see if New Jersey’s numbers decline significantly next month.


Handle: $1,104,986,618 Revenue: $15,960,000 Hold Rate: 1.57% Taxes: $1,077,300

We didn’t have Nevada’s numbers for November reported yet when I wrote this article last month, so I’m excited to dive into their results as the current second-largest sports betting market in the country. December represented the third straight month that Nevada has seen over $1 billion in total sports bets placed, but its revenue declined sharply last month. The hold rate of 1.57% was the state’s lowest since June 2020 at the height of the COVID-19 pandemic and significantly lower than 6.63% in November. As a result, revenue fell about 78% to just under $16 million from just under $72 million in November. Taxes also declined by over $3 million from $4.8 million in November.

Online sports betting continues to grow in the state with the oldest sports betting market in the country as 75.4% of the total handle in December was from mobile wagering compared to 71.6% in November. Prior to November 2021, the online share of sports betting was regularly between 50-60%. The in-person registration requirement for mobile sports betting has held back that growth somewhat, but on January 20, the Nevada Gaming Commission approved the remote registering and funding of cashless accounts for casino gaming. That approval doesn’t extend to sports betting, but we’d wager that the state will make similar accommodations for sports bettors in the near future. 


Handle: $750,388,696 Revenue: $37,953,474 Hold Rate: 5.1% Taxes: $6,774,396

Pennsylvania’s December sports betting handle didn’t quite live up to the lofty numbers set in October and November – October holds the record with a $776 million handle – but it still represented the state’s third-greatest month by volume since launching mobile sports betting in May 2019. Pennsylvania brought in over $6.5 billion in total sports bets in 2021 and a country-best $122.5 million in tax revenue. Pennsylvania has one of the highest sports betting tax rates in the U.S. at 36%, in addition to its $10 million licensing fee, so it’s not a surprise to see the state lead the way in tax revenue despite not having quite the same volume as New Jersey and Nevada. 

The $750.4 million in December 2021 handle represented a 36.8% increase from $548.6 million in December 2020. Revenue decreased year-over-year, however, as December 2020’s $45.3 million in revenue was about 20% more than was reported this past month. December 2020’s hold rate came in at 8.3%, so that explains the discrepancy in revenue. Sportsbooks reported $19.1 million in promotional spending, bringing down the taxable revenue. FanDuel continues to dominate in Pennsylvania with $246.8 million in online wagers, 32.9% of the state’s online market, and $13.7 million in revenue to lead all Pennsylvania operators. 


Handle: $514,630,536 Revenue: $35,870,437 Hold Rate: 7.0% Taxes: $843,617

While most other states reported sports betting handles that fell just below record highs, Michigan set a new record to celebrate the end of 2021. Michigan’s $514.6 million handle came in at 2.86% higher than the previous high in November 2021. Mobile sports betting also set a new record high with $484.6 million in total wagers, 2.3% higher than November and 94% of the total market. It’s not a surprise that Michigan’s market is predominantly made up of mobile wagering, especially during the cold winter months when casino visits are far less frequent. Retail sports betting still saw an increase of 12.7% from November, with December’s $30.1 million handle beating out $26.7 million in November. 

While the handle did increase, Michigan sportsbooks reported just $35.8 million in revenue, a decrease of 38.6% from November. As a result, taxes decreased from $1.9 million in November to $843,617 in December. Michigan is home to 14 sportsbooks, and DraftKings continues to lead the market with $120.3 million reported in December handle, narrowly beating out FanDuel’s $119.9 million. Year-over-year, the growth has been massive in the Michigan sports betting market, as can be expected since the mobile market only just launched in January 2021. Michigan closed out 2021 with over $3.6 billion in total bets with $110.6 million in adjusted gross revenue and $7.3 million in taxes.


Handle: $463,015,613 Revenue: $25,772,428 Hold Rate: 5.6% Taxes: $2,448,381

2021 was a phenomenal year for Indiana sports betting as sportsbooks closed out the year with almost $4 billion in total wagers. In December 2021, Indiana produced over $460 million in total sports bets for the third straight month, although its revenue came in at the lowest amount over that stretch. Revenue decreased by about 46% from $47.6 million in November as hold rate declined from 10.3% in November to 5.6% in December. As a result, taxes were also almost cut in half from $4.5 million in November to $2.4 million in December. Still, Indiana was the seventh-largest sports betting market in 2021, with its $3.8 billion handle increasing by over 116% from $1.8 billion in 2020. 

Indiana’s revenue also increased considerably from 2020 to 2021 as it reported $307.6 million in gross revenue, up 125.5% from $136.4 million in 2020. The state’s handle increased by about 64% year-over-year from $313 million in December 2020, but revenue only increased by about 5% as December 2020 had a hold rate of 7.8% compared to 5.6% this past month. Online wagering represented 91.3% of December’s handle with $422.8 million in total wagers, and DraftKings was the most popular sportsbook with $148.2 million in bets (35% of the market).