It appears the United States has taken a liking to legal sports betting.
Numbers released by the American Gaming Association (AGA) on Wednesday showed commercial sports betting in the U.S. set an all-time quarterly record with a handle of $26.34 billion for the three months ended March 31.
The total was up over 102% from the $13.02 billion mark reached in the first quarter of 2021. Sports-wagering revenue soared as well, as the $1.58 billion brought in narrowly broke the previous record of $1.55 billion in last year’s Q4.
First-quarter revenue saw a dramatic increase of 64.6% compared to Q1 2021 due in large part to additional states and online sportsbooks coming to market.
The impressive numbers were also set up by a quarter chock-full of sports action that included NFL playoffs, the Super Bowl, and March Madness — one of the biggest betting events of the year.
“Four years post-PASPA, legal sports betting’s success is proving what we’ve known all along: American consumers are eager to wager within the protections of the regulated market,” AGA President and CEO Bill Miller said in a press release. “It also reinforces the need to stamp out offshore, illegal operators who prey on vulnerable customers.”
New York leads the way
There were six new regulated markets compared to the first quarter of last year in addition to the legal launch of online sports betting in New York, which previously only offered in-person wagering.
The Empire State has proven to be a betting behemoth and has instantly taken over as America’s top sports wagering market since its mobile launch on January 8.
Total wagers for the first quarter in New York hit an eye-popping $4.87 billion, leading to $320.9 million in revenue. The revenue in Q1 was more than smaller markets like Michigan and Virginia took home in all of 2021.
New York shares the nation’s highest tax rate with New Hampshire at 51% and secured over $163 million for its education fund in Q1.
Any fears that neighboring states Pennsylvania and New Jersey had of New York swallowing up their markets were put to rest as well. New Jersey and Pennsylvania saw year-over-year growth in wagering of 34.9% and 25%, respectively, according to the AGA's tracker.
Sports betting and iGaming continued to experience tremendous growth, with both verticals setting all-time quarterly records. Together, they combined for $2.79B in Q1 revenue, accounting for 19.5% of total gaming revenue. pic.twitter.com/SyAODQnfVa— American Gaming Association (@AmericanGaming) May 11, 2022
Bigger betting days ahead
While the AGA’s latest report shines a light on a healthy sports betting industry, the market will only continue to grow. Currently, more than 30 states have legalized sports betting, and some only offer in-person wagering, stifling revenue potential.
Maine recently became the first state to legalize sports betting in 2022, but it could be as much as 18 months before the first bet is placed.
More markets are expected to enter the fray this year, including Ohio, which by law must launch by Jan. 1, 2023, at the latest. And Maryland, which offers in-person wagering but not mobile, could launch online sportsbooks in late 2022.