Wednesday November 29, 2023

Report: Americans Place $63.8B in Illegal Sports Bets Each Year

  • That leads to an estimated $3.8B in lost revenue for legal sportsbooks.
  • States with legal sports betting lose an estimated $700 million in tax revenue.
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Erin Woodiel / Argus Leader / USA TODAY NETWORK
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Even as the legal sports betting market continues to grow and rake in revenue in the United States, the prevalence of illegal sports betting remains relatively widespread.

According to a new report from the American Gaming Association, bettors place an estimated $63.8 billion on sports bets with illegal offshore sportsbooks and bookies every year.

That leads to an estimated $3.8 billion in lost revenue for legal sportsbooks, and an estimated $700 million in lost tax revenue for states with legal sports betting.

In the past year, 49% of sports bettors have placed a wager with an illegal operator; past AGA research shows that more than half of bettors who place bets illegally believe they are doing so legally.

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By handle, illegal sports betting was more prevalent in certain regions of the country than others.

  • South: $29.5B
  • Midwest: $17B
  • Northeast: $10.4B
  • West: $7B

It’s worth noting that, among southern states, mobile sports betting is currently only operational in Arkansas, Louisiana, and Tennessee.

Still, even with all of this money passing through illegal channels, the American sports betting industry is on pace for a landmark year.

Legal sportsbooks are expecting to handle $100 billion in bets this year, and the industry posted $4.78 billion in revenue through three quarters — already higher than the full-year record of $4.34 billion set in 2021.

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