As new states continue to explore their own options for opening new online services in the sportsbooks and sometimes in the online casino space, some will ultimately open to a much bigger handle than others, particularly where support is concerned. The handle is the amount of money wagered over a specific period of time, and may not be representative of the total revenue, but does show how much interest a state has in sportsbooks during each period of time. So which states have the biggest handles since launching online sportsbooks legislation?
Having been one of the early adopters after the Supreme Court ruled in 2018, legal sports betting came to the state in 2019. Since launching, it has received international attention from European operators and has been suggested as a new tech hub for iGaming expansion in the US too – with a betting handle of $6.5 billion, it isn’t the biggest of the states in terms of betting handles but has been a great influencer of the success that can be found from making the change. The $408 million in revenue since launching its sportsbooks is nothing to turn the nose up to either.
Coming online nearly as soon as it was possible to do so back in 2018, New Jersey not only served players from its own state but also from nearby states as it became a huge hub for sportsbooks and the handle certainly reflects that – since 2018, $27.1 billion has been wagered in sporting events with a hefty $1.8 billion of that being revenue. It’s the largest handle by quite some margin but may look to slow down as neighboring states are finally starting to push change of their own.
Speaking of nearby states making change, New York sports betting came online at the start of 2022 and had a very impressive first five weeks with nearly $3 billion wagered during that time – now in May a few months in, the New York handle is at $6.6 billion with nearly $500 million in revenue and has become the fastest growing sports betting market perhaps in the world – very impressive figures.
Being the only state that had online sports betting prior to 2018, first allowing users to do so way back in 2010, the figures since 2018 are still impressive with a handle of $23.5 billion and revenue nearing $1.5 billion – there is a caveat here to the growth, however, as despite being one of the biggest and most active gambling states, for sports betting in particular users are still required to sign-up for an account in-person at a casino, restricting some of the freedom that would otherwise be available in other states with simple online registration.
To throw in some variety, perhaps an example of a state that has been slower to make substantial change – South Dakota made legalized sports betting more accessible at the start of 2022, but it is still very restrictive – as such in this time has managed a handle of just $5 million with revenues of $441,069 – compared to New York which launched at a similar time, there’s a vast difference in handles and not just for population reasons.
With other states set to legalize online gambling and betting throughout the remainder of the year, there’s an exciting opportunity to see other big handles emerge as the push for iGaming services across the US continues to grow.