Tracking the Expansion of Online Sports Betting in the US
As 2021 draws to a close, this has been a highly volatile year in the legal US sportsbook industry. As more and more states went live with legal sports betting, more and more sportsbook operators entered the marketplace.
The big three of FanDuel, DraftKings and BetMGM continued to expand their overall footprint through aggressive marketing plans. This includes retail sportsbooks as part of land-based casinos and horse racing tracks. This also includes the launch of their mobile sports betting apps in a larger number of states.
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These three US-based sportsbook operators control more than 80% of the market across the entire country. However, that is not stopping other sports betting entities from trying to carve out their own piece of the pie wherever they operate in the marketplace.
Through the first 10 months of the year, legal sports betting revenue in the US market sits at $3.16 billion. The money that US books have made off the 10-month betting handle is close to 230% higher than the revenue generated during the same time frame last year.
This is like comparing apples to oranges in some extent given the impact of Covid on the 2020 sports calendar. However, the numbers still highlight the overall growth potential of this industry.
Driving this growth is 11 new legal markets in 2021 alone. Heading into 2022, more than 30 states plus the District of Columbia will be offering legal sports betting in some form.
New York has a very small betting volume tied to a limited offering of retail sportsbooks in upstate casinos. That market is about to change in a major way with the launch of legal online sports betting across the entire state early in 2022.
Florida is another major sports betting market poised to make its impact on the US industry in 2022. Working through the legal challenges to online betting on sports, Florida has the potential to become one of the biggest states with sports betting once those legal challenges have been resolved.
Waiting in the wings is Texas and California. While it may still take a year or two to get the proper laws in place, these two states probably have the biggest potential for growth and expansion of legal sports betting in the nation.
Maryland just went live with legal retail sports betting in its casinos. The process to allow online betting through mobile sportsbook apps is moving forward.
Major online operators in Louisiana have been given the green light to open up the preregistration process for an online betting account.
Ohio lawmakers just passed legislation that would set the stage for the regulation process to begin. Legal sports betting in that key Midwest state could begin by the end of 2022.
Most of the other states in the country that are still working through the legalization process will address the matter during the 2022 legislative session.
From the smallest betting market in the US (South Dakota) to the industry leader in monthly betting volume (New Jersey), just about every state understands the value that legal sports betting brings to the table.
The biggest benefit to the states is increased tax revenue that can fill in some of the existing holes in state and local budgets.
However, demand from avid sports fans is also impacting expansion. It is no longer enough to cheer on your favorite teams. Today’s sports fan wants the ability to place some real money betting action on the games.
The offshore sportsbook industry still covers most of the US market with easy access to their betting sites. However, the big guns such as FanDuel and DraftKings are dumping millions into ad campaigns and promotional offers aimed at getting your typical US sports fan in the game.
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