More than 2.5 years have now passed since the U.S. Supreme Court handed back the control of sports betting to the states to decide for themselves whether to take up the practice or not. Many have, with varying degrees of success via different models. Some states have decided to go down the path of land-based sportsbooks, others like Tennessee have adopted an online sportsbook-only model, while the most successful sports wagering states to date like Pennsylvania, New Jersey, West Virginia, Indiana, Colorado and Iowa have adopted a mix of online and bricks-and-mortar sports wagering locations.
Let’s examine some of the legal sports betting states a little closer and look at which sportsbooks are doing well in each market, and some of the regional trends.
Set to soon become the first state to cross the $1 billion barrier in monthly sports betting handle, the Garden State of New Jersey is the undeniable leading legal sports betting state. The dual jewel in the New Jersey sports betting crown is FanDuel and PointsBet, operating at 62.5% of the state’s market share. Part of the reason for that success is they both run under a license attached to the Meadowlands Racetrack, the closest sportsbook by geographical position to New York City. With FanDuel spreading its wings and opening another bricks-and-mortar sportsbook at Bally’s in Atlantic City in time for NFL playoffs, they appear set to dominate the sportsbook scene in the Garden State for the foreseeable future.
Another FanDuel-led state, Pennsylvania has the potential to eventually become a bigger sports betting market than New Jersey. Bigger in terms of population and with multiple sports franchises across multiple cities (in Philadelphia and Pittsburgh), the Keystone State could possibly takeover as the leading sports betting state in the nation.
DraftKings and the challenge of the new player in the PA market, Barstool Sportsbook round out the top 3 sportsbooks in Pennsylvania. Watch for Barstool Sports to rise in the national rankings after announcing they expect to launch in every sports betting state by the end of 2021.
William Hill is king in Nevada, however, it is worthwhile to note that the online sports betting handle in Nevada is only approximately 55%, compared to the 90% of both New Jersey and Pennsylvania. William Hill has a strangle hold on the online sports wagering market in Nevada, boasting a 33% market share.
The Hoosier State boasts over 83% of its sports betting handle being generated through online sportsbooks. Indiana sportsbook market leader is DraftKings with FanDuel and BetMGM rounding out the top 3. Watch for Caesars/William Hill to rise through the rankings soon after signing a recent deal with the Indianapolis Colts, the favorite professional sports franchise in the state.
The Mile-High State boasts an astonishing 98.4% of its sports betting handle being generated online. Unfortunately, however, the state chooses not to release sportsbook operator market share in their statistics. FanDuel, BetMGM and Betfred all have agreements in place with the Denver Broncos, so their visibility and market share is possibly better than most in Colorado.
Caesars/William Hill is so far dominating the online sportsbook field in Iowa, with PointsBet and DraftKings locked in a tight battle for second place. Curiously, the online sector of the sports wagering market in Iowa only makes up 70% of all bets placed.
West Virginia comes close to New Jersey in Pennsylvania in the percentage (77%) of its sports betting handle being market being generated online. DraftKings leads the way as the state’s most popular sportsbook, with BetMGM and FanDuel battling it out for a distant second place.