US Sports Betting - A $100 Billion Industry in 2023

Shauli Zacks Pic
By:
Shauli Zacks
12/27/2023
Industry
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Highlights

  • US sports betting saw more than a 7.2% increaseUS sports betting saw more than a 7.2% increase in handle, going over $100 billion for the first time in handle, going over $100 billion for the first time
  • New York reports two months with more than $2 billion handle
  • Newcomers Ohio and Massachusetts in the top 10 handles for 2023.

It’s been 5 years since the Supreme Court allowed legal sports betting in the US, and now more than half the states have legalized it in some form. The response from sports fans and gamblers has been overwhelmingly positive. According to some estimates, over 10% of the people living in the US have placed a bet with a legal US Sportsbook

The total handle, the money bet on sports through a legitimate sportsbook, passed $100 billion for 2023. This shows incredible growth for an industry that just 6 years ago didn’t exist. 

Here is the total handle for each year since USA sports betting broke out:

  • 2018: $4,618,927,053
  • 2019: $13,138,741,263
  • 2020: $21,545,027,984
  • 2021: $57,754,303,855
  • 2022: $93,792,843,522
  • 2023: $100,592,277,634
  • Total: $291,442,121,311 

The handle for 2023 is only through November, as the sportsbooks haven’t submitted their reporting for December. So, the total for the year is sure to rise even higher than the 7.2% increase currently showing from 2022.  

One of the factors that contributed to the substantial increase is that 5 states launched sports betting sites, with 4 of them allowing mobile betting apps. Despite being one of the newcomers, Ohio sports betting produced the 3rd highest betting handle in September. 

Another positive factor is that sports betting is becoming more accepted. Sportsbooks have official partnerships with teams, venues, and stadiums. Every sports network has a show dedicated to betting, where you can get tips or complain about decisions made on the field that caused you to lose a bet. 

As more states legalize and regulate sports betting, these numbers will only continue to climb.  

New York Has Surpassed $2 Billion Handle Twice in 2023 

New York sports betting has been one of the most successful states when it comes to handle. It was the first state to report a $2 billion dollar handle in October and then repeated this feat in November. To put that in perspective, there were just 20 instances of a $1 billion dollar handle in a month, and half of those were from New York. The state has accounted for 1/6th of all online sports bets made in the US.

$500 Million Handle Has Been Accomplished 74 Times in 2023 

Sportsbooks have reported a handle exceeding half a billion dollars 74 times in 2023. This is a slight increase from the 70 times it happened in 2022, although the December numbers are not in yet.

Just under half of the 29 states that have legalized online sports betting have had at least 1 month with $500 million. Maryland, Tennessee, Ohio, and Massachusetts all joined this club in 2023. New Jersey is the current all-time leader in the $500 million dollar club. Out of a total of 206 months with reports over half a billion dollars since 2018, they’ve reported it 42 times.

Impressive Results From New Markets  

Ohio jumped into the legal betting scene on January 1, 2023, with a lot of promise. It launched with 18 sportsbooks, the most at any opening since sports betting was legalized in 2018. The results spoke for themselves, with a $1.1 billion handle in its first month. The numbers dropped a bit after the Super Bowl, but in September, NFL betting sites brought the handle back over $700 million.

Massachusetts sports betting also had a solid first year, after launching mobile sports betting in March. Before then, people were traveling to New York, Connecticut, or Rhode Island to bet on the NBA or other sports. Once locals had the convenience of staying at home, they quickly jumped into the top 10 for monthly handle. In fact, Massachusetts is 9th on the handle list for 2023, despite no bets in January and February.

Shauli Zacks is a big sports fan from Detroit, MI. He grew up playing hockey, basketball, football, and baseball with dreams of being a sports radio host. While that dream didn’t work out, he has enjoyed a long career as a content writer specializing in the gambling industry. Shauli has played at and reviewed many different online casinos and sportsbooks. He used his understanding of sports and casino games to write tutorials on how to play casino games, betting tips, and strategies. Although he left Detroit a few years ago, Shauli still watches the Lions, Pistons, Tigers, Red Wings, and Wolverines whenever he can. When he isn’t playing basketball or watching sports on TV, he likes to hang out with his wife and 5 kids. His hobbies include running, swimming, watching TV, and skiing when he gets the chance.