Opinion

Betting momentum continues to grow

Momentum continues to build for the U.S. sports-betting industry as states once again report record handle and revenues for their licensed operators. 

Indiana’s latest monthly data shows that handle rose 70.7% on an annual basis. It reached $251m and overtook October 2020’s record handle of $231m by 8.9%.

Operators’ revenues reached $25m, a whopping 172% rise on the same period in 2019.

That was nearly 20% higher than the $21m recorded in October this year.

Penn National Gaming’s Ameristar Casino and its DraftKings sportsbook were the state leaders with $8.4m in revenue from $104m in bets. 

Tennessee also reported an impressive handle of $27.4m after just one week of regulated betting in the state.  

Some 20 states currently offer regulated sports-betting to their citizens. But only six of them offer mobile betting and around 10 of them offer mobile betting and remote registration. 

Online all important 

Those interactive features have taken on the utmost importance during the pandemic and the casino closures it has caused.

They allow bettors to wager safely and provide vital revenues for operators and state governments.

The latest monthly revenues of the biggest states should be published shortly. 

Currently New Jersey continues to lead the way in terms of handle.

$803m was bet in the Garden State in October, a 65% rise on the same month last year. It was also more than $50m on September’s $748m, which was also a record handle. 

NJ operators booked $58.5m in revenues in October and 93% of the handle was bet digitally, once again showing how important online has become.

Pennsylvania also hit new heights in October with sports-betting handle of $526m, while Nevada recorded $660m in handle for the same month.  

Illinois came in at $305m in handle for September, with Indiana not far behind at $251m the following month. 

Colorado betting handle has also grown significantly since launching in May. From $256m in the spring to $211m in October.  

Major exposure 

Numerous marketing, sponsorship and media partnerships between betting brands and sport teams, radio, TV and online media outlets are attracting large numbers of players to betting websites and apps.

The related content sports-betting generates – whether it’s from Barstool Sportsbook founder and frontman Dave Portnoy or the numerous pre-game shows featuring player form and betting lines – also helps create interest and activity. 

It also talks to sports-betting being broadly accepted across US society and business sectors.

Certainly more than in European markets, where such levels of exposure have never been on the cards. 

But with that level of coverage and marketing comes risk.

To a large extent the betting and gaming industry has been a bright light at the darkest of times. But once the dust has settled levels of industry scrutiny are sure to pick up. 

Which is why operators must ensure the highest levels of responsible gambling commitments now as they would during normal times.

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Jake Pollard

Jake Pollard is an experienced journalist and editor who has covered the online gaming and betting industry for many years. He has written for the leading media outlets as well as operators and suppliers in the igaming space. His current areas of focus are wide-ranging and include regulatory developments in the US, emerging markets in South America and how European countries are adapting to a decade of igaming regulation.

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