$13 billion: Amount wagered legally on sports in the U.S. during the activity’s first full year

February 6, 2020 11:43 AM
  • Howard Stutz, CDC Gaming Reports
February 6, 2020 11:43 AM
  • Howard Stutz, CDC Gaming Reports

In 2019, the first full year of legal sports betting in the U.S., Americans wagered $13 billion on sports, according to an accounting by the American Gaming Association.

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The accounting covered 11 states of the current 14 legal sports betting jurisdictions. Indian casinos in New Mexico, New Hampshire’s online sports betting operation, and New York’s upstate casinos didn’t report sports betting totals.

The $13 billion number was nearly double the $6.6 billion wagered in 2018, which covered just seven states and that launched legal sports betting following the U.S. Supreme Court ruling in May 2018, that threw out the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act. The decision allowed individual states to pass laws and regulations to legal sports betting at casinos, racetracks and online.

The AGA said legal sports betting generated $118 million in state and local tax revenue.

“America’s first full year of expanded legal sports betting is now in the books, and Americans are just beginning to embrace their newfound ability to legally wager on sports outside Nevada,” said AGA Senior Director of Research Dave Forman.

Some 59% of the money wagered in 2019 came from outside Nevada, which had a monopoly on legalized sports betting since 1960s.

Still, Nevada sportsbooks recorded their 10th consecutive year of legal sports betting totals in 2019, taking in a record $5.319 billion in wagers, an increase of 6.2%. The sportsbooks collected a $329.1 million in revenues on the wagers in 2019, an increase of 9.5% from 2018.

New Jersey, which took in $4.6 billion in sports bets, and Pennsylvania, at $1.5 billion, were the only other states to top the $1 billion threshold.

Art Manteris, vice president of race and sports operations for Las Vegas-based Station Casinos, said he is proud of the products Nevada offers sports betting customers for race and sports viewing, guest service and the tight, professional regulatory environment in which we operate.”

Station Casinos has 16 sportsbooks across Southern Nevada.

Last weekend’s Super Bowl LIV saw almost $270 million wagered on the game in 10 states, according to Legal Sports Report. In Nevada, $154.7 million was bet on the Kansas City Chiefs’ 31-20, which accounted for more the 42% of the nation’s total Super Bowl bets.

Manteris said all the Station Casinos sports books “reported very good crowds and great guest experiences. Our casino parties across Las Vegas were very well attended.”

The AGA said the overall sports wagering total since PASPA was overturned translated into $1.2 billion in sportsbook revenue and $152 million in tax dollars.

Six additional states and Washington D.C. have approved sports betting and could add the activity in 2020. Another 17 states, according to the AGA, are considering sports betting legislation.

Howard Stutz is the executive editor of CDC Gaming Reports. He can be reached at hstutz@cdcgaming.com. Follow @howardstutz on Twitter.