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US legal sports wagers total $13bn in 2019


Consumers in the US placed legal sports bets totalling $13bn in 2019, almost double the $6.6bn that was wagered in the previous year, according to data released by the American Gaming Association (AGA).

A total of 14 states offered some form of sports wagering during the 12 months through to December 31, 2019, with certain states launching regulated markets for the first time.

The AGA said that 59% of total sports bets in 2019 were placed outside Nevada, which, prior to the repeal of PASPA in May 2018, was the only state in the US where consumers could legally wager on sports. According to the AGA, seven out of every 10 dollars wagered outside Nevada were done so online.

However, players still spent the most on betting in Nevada, with total wagers in the state amounting to $5.3bn – a new yearly record for the state – ahead of New Jersey on $4.6bn and Pennsylvania on $1.5bn.

Figures for New Hampshire were not included as the state only launched sports betting on December 30, 2019, while the AGA noted that the total figure did not include New York casinos or tribal casinos in New Mexico as the states do not publicly report their handles.

However, the total figure did include totals from tribal casinos in Mississippi and Oregon, despite both states also not publishing their sports betting handles. According to the AGA, Mississippi’s handle stood at $369m for the year, while bets placed in Oregon amounted to $45m.

The AGA said it expects a further six states, as well as Washington D.C., to launch regulated sports betting in 2020, which will in turn push the nationwide handle higher. Some 17 sports betting bills are currently active across the US as more states seek to legalise sports wagering.

Total state and local tax revenue from sports betting in the US stood at $118m for the year.

In addition, the AGA revealed that since PASPA was overturned in May 2018, players have spent more than $17bn on legal bets across the US, translating to $1.2bn in sportsbook revenue and $152m in tax revenue.