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Tuesday, April 16, 2024
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U.S. Sports Betting Sets Records in 2023 for Handle, Revenue

  • The American Gaming Association reports record wagering totals for last year.
  • New state legalization, high-profile arrival of ESPN Bet among the contributing factors.
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The U.S. sports betting industry previously projected 2023 to be the first 12-figure year for total handle. That expectation, as it turned out, was a bit too modest.

The American Gaming Association said the U.S. sports betting business finished with a record $119.8 billion in handle, a whopping 27.8% increase from 2022, blowing past those prior projections of hitting $100 billion for the year, and coming on the heels of a robust, football-driven fourth quarter for the year that easily surpassed the January to September handle growth rate of 22.9%. 

The full-year increase owes to several factors, such as five new jurisdictions becoming operational in 2023, including top performers Ohio and Massachusetts, as well as the high-profile arrival of ESPN Bet.

Among the other key findings in the AGA annual report released Tuesday:

  • U.S. sportsbook revenue grew 44.5% to $10.9 billion, also a record, led by New York’s $1.7 billion as the Empire State continues to be a highly coveted jurisdiction for operators despite a 51% tax on operators.
  • Trailing New York among top states in sportsbook revenue were (in order): New Jersey, Illinois, Ohio, and Pennsylvania. 
  • More than $40 billion alone was bet between October and December, up by 34.4% from the same period in 2022. 

Tap the Brakes?

Future growth at similar rates, however, could be harder to come by as top-population states California, Texas, and Florida continue to show resistance to varying degrees toward legalization, and 38 states plus D.C. now allow sports betting. North Carolina is the latest and will begin activity next month after legislative approval last June. 

“There’s a lot fewer states left on the board [for legalization],” said Chris Cylke, AGA senior vice president of government relations. “Some of them have pretty significant political challenges in terms of getting sports betting itself enacted.”

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