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Sports betting legalization in the United States began in 2018. New Jersey was at the forefront, but many other states joined in once they realized the how profitable it could be, and many more are pushing for legislation.
With all of this change happening, you may be wondering about the numbers behind sports betting in the United States. We’ve got you covered—this guide goes over the most interesting sports betting statistics in the nation.
As the market expands and matures, we’ll update this guide so you can always stay on top of the latest data.
21 Interesting Sports Betting Statistics
Americans have wagered over $200 billion since June 2018
As of March 2023, the total handle of all sportsbooks in all states with regulated sports betting has exceeded $200 billion. The frontrunners are New Jersey ($34.8 billion), Nevada ($30.5 billion), Pennsylvania ($19.7 billion), Illinois ($18.7 billion), and New York ($18.5 billion), accounting for more than half of all handle. The total revenue collected by sportsbooks during the same period is around $15.4 billion.
The total sports betting handle in 2021 was over $57 billion.
2021 was a big year for sports betting in the U.S, as wagering became legal in 11 new states. This resulted in a record-breaking year with a total handle of $57.2 billion, a 165% increase over 2020.
The number of people regularly betting on sports increased by 80% in 2021.
A survey from Morning Consult found that there was an 80% increase in adults who regularly bet on sports—as defined by betting at least once per month—in December 2021 compared to January 2021.
Legal sports betting is now available in 33 states.
The count for states with legalized sports betting reached 33 at the beginning of 2023, with the addition of Washington D.C. More states are expected to join in the following months and years. Most of the states (30) allow retail betting (Tennessee, Virginia, and Wyoming do not) and 19 states have online betting.
FanDuel (40%) & DraftKings (29%) make up over two-thirds of the market share.
FanDuel and DraftKings are the two most popular sportsbooks in the U.S. and are dominating the market. Namely, September 2021 stats from three states with the highest online sports betting gross gaming revenue—New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and Michigan—show that FanDuel and DraftKings are overwhelmingly leading these markets with 40% and 29% market share, respectively.
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62.6% of sports bettors said they would bet less due to the 2022 economic recession and high inflation levels.
According to an Odds Assist study, nearly two-thirds of sports bettors said the economic recession and high inflation levels would cause them to bet “much less” (20.2%) or “somewhat less” (42.4%).
Nearly 3 in 4 bettors would use an ESPN-branded sportsbook.
According to an Odds Assist study, 73.3% of sports bettors would use an ESPN sportsbook and 71.5% said they would trust it more than other options.
57% of sports bettors have used a credit card to deposit & 51% of those have gone into debt as a result.
According to an Odds Assist study, 57.1% of bettors have used a credit card debt to deposit into their accounts and, of those, 50.7% have gone into debt as a result. Of all respondents (including those that haven't used a credit card to deposit), 28.9% of bettors have gone into debt to deposit money into their accounts.
The majority of bettors bet on their favorite teams more often than other teams.
According to an Odds Assist study, 72.7% of bettors bet on their favorite teams “much more” (38.0%) or “slightly more” (34.7%) than other teams.
The average betting unit is $172 while the median is $50
According to an Odds Assist study, the average betting unit is $172 while the median is $50.
People aged 44 or under bet more than their older peers.
According to a 2021 survey, 31% of people aged between 35 and 44 bet at least once a month compared to 28% of people aged 21 to 34. Only 10% of people aged between 45 and 64 wager monthly, while just 5% of people 65 or older claim to be regular bettors.
One-in-three women are bettors.
Unsurprisingly, most bettors are men, but as many as 33% of women claim to bet on sports, which represents a 5% increase between 2020 and 2021. We also see a narrowing of the gender gap when it comes to daily bettors, as 18% of men and 17% of women fall into this category.
83% of sports bettors are white.
According to data from Statista on FanDuel Sportsbook and DraftKings Sportsbook, 83% of bettors are White, 11% are Black, 4% are Latinx, 1% are Asian, and 2% are Other.
12% of Americans bet at least once a week.
A survey from December 2021 showed that 12% of people bet weekly, 6% wager at least once every month, 7% bet less than monthly, and 76% never bet.
87% of bettors place wagers weekly.
When looking specifically at sports betting, an Odds Assist study found that 15.8% bet daily, 50.3% bet a few times a week, and 21.2% bet at least once a week.
Sports bettors 3 times more likely to develop gambling addiction than other gamblers.
NCPG research concluded that sports bettors are at least three times more likely to exhibit risky behavior than gamblers not betting on sports, while those that bet more than once a week are at least five times more likely to report behavior indicating problem gambling.
Hockey fans are most interested in sports betting.
62% of NHL fans are interested in sports betting, followed by 59% of NCAA basketball fans and 57% of NBA fans. NFL fans are most disinterested in sports betting at only 48%.
Almost all sports bettors wager for entertainment or to make money.
According to an Odds Assist study, 48.3% of sports bettors primarily wager for entertainment, 44.1% to make money, and 7.6% to compete with friends.
64.4% of bettors do research before betting.
According to the same Odds Assist study, 64.4% of bettors conduct research before betting, 49.2% go with their gut, 30.9% use free expert picks, 24.2% pay for expert picks, 25% follow a specific strategy (such as fading the public), and 16.4% mainly bet odds boosts and promotions.
Spread and total bets are the most common types of wagers.
Unsurprisingly, spread bets (58.8%) and total bets (51.7%) are the most common type of wagers, according to an Odds Assist study. After that, the results go parlay (42.0%), moneyline (40.2%), prop bets (28.2%), round robin (19.4%), and teasers (19.1%).
81.1% of bettors use multiple sportsbooks but only 35.9% compare odds and lines most of the time or always.
The same Odds Assist study found that 81.1% of bettors use multiple sportsbooks but only 12.9% always compare odds and lines, 23.0% compare most of the time, 46.7% compare sometimes, 13.0% compare rarely, and 4.4% never compare.
Amount of Money Bet on Sports With Legal Sportsbooks by Year
Below you can see the all-time sports betting statistics by year, including handle, revenue, and hold according to Legal Sports Report. 2022 numbers should be available by March 2023.
Sports Betting Handle, Revenue, Hold, & Taxes Statistics by State (All-Time)
Below you can see the all-time sports betting statistics by state, including handle, revenue, hold, and taxes according to Legal Sports Report.
Data begins from June 2018 for states that had legalized sports betting then and the month when sports betting went live in other states. Data goes up until January 2023 for all states except December 2022 for Illinois and Wyoming, and November 2022 for Arizona.
|30||New Mexico||$ –||$ –||—||$ –||N/A|
Sports Betting Handle, Revenue, Hold, & Taxes Statistics by State in Most Recent Month
Below you can see the sports betting statistics by state for the last month that data is available for (as of the last update of this page), including handle, revenue, hold, and taxes according to Legal Sports Report.
|Wash D.C. – Commercial|
Wash D.C. – Gambet
Stats on What Sports Bettors Want in Sportsbooks
There can be multiple reasons a person may want to choose a particular sportsbook, including the quality of odds, promotion value, brand experience, and more. That said, here are the most common answers from a Hot Paper Lanterns survey:
- Brand reputation/trust – 47%
- High-level product/experience – 45%
- Ease of financial transactions – 43%
- Better odds and promotions – 38%
- Expert content – 35%
- Referred by friends or family – 34%
- Social media content that drives me to engage with the brand – 33%
- I like their advertisements/celebrity endorsements – 30%
Sports Betting Legalization by State Statistics
May 14, 2018, was the turning point for the U.S. sports betting industry, as it was the day the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act (PASPA) was overturned, effectively giving individual states the right to decide on whether to authorize sports betting inside their borders.
Although only a few states legalized sports betting as early as 2018, that number grew over the years to more than 30 that we now have in 2022. With that in mind, here are some key stats and numbers for each state with a regulated betting market.
District of Columbia