The sports wagering handle nationwide continues to spiral higher at a near-dizzying pace, with the national amount wagered in the post-PASPA era surpassing $200 billion Thursday. That came after the Colorado Department of Revenue posted January handle totaling more than $547 million.
If you blinked, you almost missed the $50 billion wagered across the country from late August through the new year after it took eight or so months for bettors to drop that same amount to get the post-PASPA total to $150 billion. The staying power of mobile wagering in New York — where billion-dollar handles are now commonplace — bundled with the popularity of NFL wagering, Illinois’ ascension to rarified air, and the smashing debut of Ohio meant the timeline compressed noticeably to get to $200 billion.
The expectation is the pace will slow somewhat for the next $50 billion as this month’s NCAA Tournament signifies the unofficial end of the busy wagering season. Massachusetts is one week away from launching mobile wagering, however, which could help make March an all-time monthly record for handle.
New York and New Jersey continue to lead
The chart below ranks states in betting handle from September through January.
With New York City’s population size and density, it is no surprise New York and New Jersey accounted for a solid portion of this latest $50 billion when counting handle from September to January. The Empire State led all jurisdictions with $7.8 billion, highlighted by its new national monthly record in January at just shy of $1.8 billion.
New Jersey was a distant second for the five months at $5.2 billion, though Illinois challenged the Garden State. Illinois pipped New Jersey for the No. 2 spot in September and was within shouting distance each of the final three months of 2022. Since Illinois has yet to release January figures, Nevada currently stands at third during September-January with $4.4 billion.
Overall, 10 states had handle totaling at least $2 billion from September through January. Arizona will be the 11th state when it releases December and January numbers, as it had close to $1.8 billion in accepted wagers from September through November.
Another four states, including Maryland, had at least $1 billion in wagers in that five-month span, while Kansas fell just shy of that benchmark with $924.8 million handle in its first five months since launch.
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The entrance of Massachusetts into the mobile wagering space could mean a slowdown in handle for smaller bordering states Connecticut, Rhode Island, and New Hampshire. All three had nine-figure handle totals from September through January, with Connecticut close to $790 million. New Hampshire topped $450 million as it also welcomed bettors from Maine and Vermont. Rhode Island, which had close to $280 million handle over the five months, generated a record handle of $62.3 million in January.
Oregon, which still does not permit wagering on college sports, saw its top four all-time handles come in the last four months, with January’s $62.3 million the current all-time high. Meanwhile, the full expansion of mobile wagering last fall moved Arkansas from flirting with eight-figure handle totals to a five-month run of record handles that has currently crested at nearly $33 million.
The range of handle from each commercial jurisdiction with legal sports betting the last five months spanned from New York’s $7.8 billion to South Dakota’s $4.1 million.