U.S. Sports Betting Markets Surpassess $100 Billion in Wagers in 2023

Grant Mitchell
By:
Grant Mitchell
12/21/2023
Industry
Mobile Online Betting Message

Highlights

  • Sports betting produced $93.7 billion in wagers in 2022
  • The expansion of sports betting combined with several other factors helped produce the new record
  • Gaming companies paid nearly $3.5 billion in taxes in 2023

The American sports betting market surpassed $100 billion in total wagers in a calendar year for the first time since the U.S. Supreme Court legalized the pastime in 2018.

The 2022 yearly sports betting handle tallied $93.7 billion in wagers. A strong start to 2023, which included $79 billion in wagers during the first nine months (a 33% year-to-year increase), the launch of new markets in states such as Massachusetts, Florida, and Ohio, and general momentum allowed the industry to produce its record-setting total.

There’s still time to add onto the annual total with big-money bets expected to come in on the College Football Playoff, the NBA on Christmas, and other marquee events near the end of December.

A team effort 

The hundred-billion-dollar handle was only possible because of a coming together of positive trends.

“[The $100 billion milestone] is due to expansion into new markets that we didn’t have last year,” said American Gaming Association vice president of research, David Forman. “But part of it is also just a continuing maturation of existing markets that have only been online for a year or two at this point.”

As the national handle increased, so too did legal sportsbooks’ revenues. Online and retail operators combined to generate $16.2 billion in gross gaming revenue (GGR) in Q3 2023, a 6.7% improvement on Q3 2022.

Q3 also marked the 11th straight quarter that the national market beat out its GGR totals from a year before. 

Sportsbooks also produced $5.6 billion in GGR in October, the first month of Q4.

New York, New Jersey, Ohio, Massachusetts, and Pennsylvania helped power the massive results in 2023.

New York reported nearly $167 million in GGR in September alone. It also handled $1.77 billion in total wagers, the third-largest amount in a single month and just off the state’s record of $1.8 billion set in January, the month it launched its sports betting market.

Pennsylvania significantly outperformed its previous standards and was responsible for pushing the national handle over $100 billion after it reported its figures. The state’s robust gaming market produced a record-setting month in November and added $934.1 million to the national handle.

More growth to come? 

As popular as legal sports betting has become, slot machine gaming is still the driving force in the national gambling market. Slots produced $8.8 billion in revenue in Q3 2023, 57.1% higher than sports betting revenue and a 1.7% increase year-to-year. 

Table gaming and iGaming contributed another $2.6 billion and $1.5 billion in Q3 respectively. Notably, iGaming was up 26% compared to 2022. 

In total, gaming companies paid $3.44 billion in state and local taxes in Q3.

Looking around the sports betting landscape, it’s reasonable to expect more growth and competition in 2024.

Texas is one marquee state that could give serious thought to legalizing sports betting for the first time. Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban sent a message by selling a majority of his team to Miriam Adelson, the largest individual shareholder of casino company Las Vegas Sands.

There’s also positive sentiment regarding sports betting in Georgia, which is one of 12 states that have not passed legislation. Alabama legislators also have plans to discuss paths to legalization when they report back in 2024. 

Two new sportsbooks, Fanatics and ESPN Bet, are also going to add a new layer of competition to the market.

Fanatics is live in seven states and has a unique catalog that combines sports betting with fandom in the form of merchandise and apparel. It also has a special currency called Fancash that helps users accumulate rewards just for placing wagers.

Meanwhile, ESPN Bet already introduced a new betting market,  the “no” anytime touchdown scorer, and alternative “under” betting lines for player props. The company aims to acquire 10% of the national sports betting market within three years of operation.

Grant is a sports and sports betting journalist who prides himself in his up-to-the-minute reporting on the latest events in the industry. A member of Virginia Tech’s 2021 graduating class, he has quickly put together an impressive portfolio since moving to the professional world full-time. Grant’s favorite sports to cover are basketball and both types of football (American and soccer), and he is pushing written, audio, and video content. He has been employed by companies as highly regarded as Forbes and continues on a great trajectory in the industry. When he’s not on the clock, you can find Grant at the gym, looking for adventures, or hanging out with his family.