With new legislation being passed in different states across the country, sports betting and online sportsbooks are on the rise in the United States. As of January 2022, over two dozen states have legalized sports betting and all but five are currently running operations, with most of them also legalizing online sportsbooks. In the past year, states like Nevada, New Jersey, and Illinois reported huge profits, and according to Wall Street banking giants JP Morgan, the US sports betting market could hit $9.2 billion by 2025.
As the COVID-19 pandemic struck down, land-based sports betting venues were forced to shut down physical operations and online sportsbooks became the only option for American bettors. Online betting already accounted for the bulk of wagers in 2019, but with lockdowns, health protocols, and social distancing measures in place, the disparity was magnified in 2020 and 2021, with states that offered online betting faring much better.
Even though online sports betting is not yet legal in the whole country, punters can resort to specialized online tools like betoclock.com, to find out more about state legislation, trustworthy operators and sportsbooks, thorough guides and reviews, and even special bonuses and promotions to bet on the major sport events in the United States.
When the US Supreme Court overturned the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act of 1992 and lifted the federal ban on sports betting in 2018, various states began introducing laws to legalize and decriminalize the activity.
Since then, the online gambling market has grown to enormous proportions, expanding at a striking rate. The American Gaming Association announced that a total of $13 billion was wagered in 2019, the first full year of legal sports betting in the country, representing a 100 percent increase over 2018.
In October 2020, Americans legally bet almost $3 billion in a single month for the first time in history, according to the American Gaming Association. Total sports betting income in the United States was up by 54 percent year-over-year to almost $240 million, and in December 2020, New Jersey broke the national sports betting record for the fifth straight month, taking an astounding $996 million in bets.
Last year started with Super Bowl LV concluding one of the most lucrative seasons for sportsbooks in football betting history. According to a report by the Nevada Gaming Control Board, over $130 million were bet on Super Bowl LV, and the state netted more than $12 million, one of the largest handles since bet tracking began in Nevada. States that had recently regulated sports betting also reported profits – especially New Jersey, Illinois, and Pennsylvania – breaking several sports betting handle records in 2021.
In the closing months of 2021, several states that don’t have a long-standing tradition of sports betting also disclosed important figures, showing this exponential rise in the whole country. Indiana set new monthly records for both sports betting revenue and handle in November 2021, with players wagering a total of $463.7 million. In the same period, Iowa revealed sports betting revenue and handle reached new monthly highs, as players spent more than $280 million on sports betting.
For the second year in a row, Nevada surprisingly wasn’t the state with the largest sports betting handle in the country. Despite having a decades-long head start on other states, Nevada was surpassed by New Jersey in 2020, with The Garden State maintaining this position in 2021, after becoming the first state to reach the $1 billion mark in total sports betting handle.
Mobile betting is here to stay
Sports betting in the United States has a bright future… and it’s mobile. Most land-based gambling facilities were shut down when cities fell into lockdowns and people had to stay inside to comply with social distancing measures due to the COVID-19 pandemic. This led to an increase in online sports betting, causing several states to speed up approvals of online betting.
As of January 2022, several states are expected to pass new legislation and finally regulate online betting. Last week, the Arkansas Racing Commission approved a new set of rules that will allow mobile sports betting, Maryland advanced some rules that begin to clear the path for mobile betting, and New York is expected to launch mobile sports betting platforms in mid-January.
With huge revenues and profits in 2021, and new markets under development, the United States sports betting industry is expected to be even more competitive in 2022. As more states regulate their online betting markets, new efforts are being made across the country to finally enact sports betting and launch even more platforms.