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U.S. states ranked by money wagered on sports per capita

With sports betting now legal in most of the US, states have been raking in millions of dollars in tax revenue from this lucrative industry. Although commercial wagering on sports has yet to be legalized in 15 states, it is definitely on the horizon, with legislation either pending or in the works. But how much are people actually betting on sports?

The team at SportingPedia analyzed the sports wagering revenue reports for the past 12 months in the 35 states and the District of Columbia, where the activity has been legalized. Along with the GGR (gross gaming revenue) state regulators publish the total wagered amount placed at sportsbooks or the so-called handle. Over the past 12 months, Americans have wagered roughly $95.7 billion on sports, or $287 per person. As expected, Nevada ranks first with $2,686 wagered on sports per person over the past year in and around Las Vegas.

StateSports Wagering HandleSports Wagering RevenueState Population (2022 Estimate)Amount Wagered per Person (handle)
New Jersey$10,539,804,225$798,837,3599,261,699$1,138
New York$16,341,078,668$1,419,450,62719,677,151$830
New Hampshire$889,349,939$71,002,4911,395,231$637
Rhode Island$536,312,711$49,234,4041,093,734$490
West Virginia$545,286,212$51,069,3861,775,156$307
District of Columbia*$203,951,858$22,221,296671,803$304
South Dakota$7,267,889$912,584909,824$8
New MexicoN/AN/A2,113,344N/A
North CarolinaN/AN/A10,698,973N/A
North DakotaN/AN/A779,261N/A
South CarolinaN/AN/A5,282,634N/A
U.S. Total$95,695,847,167$8,064,156,801333,287,557$14,852


For this map, we looked at the sports betting handle reported over a twelve-month period in each of the states where commercial sports wagering has been legalized and is currently available. We used the latest data published by the official websites of state gambling commissions or other regulatory bodies.

For some states, the period analyzed was the twelve months ending on February 28, while for others, it covered February 2022 through January 2023, as this was the latest data available at the time of writing. For Arizona, however, we looked at figures for 2022, given that the regulator has not yet published data for January and February of this year. It should be noted that while sports betting has been legalized in Maine and Nebraska, it is not yet available. In other states such as New Mexico, North Carolina, North Dakota, Wisconsin and Washington state, betting is allowed only in tribal casinos, where revenues have not been made public. On the map, we grayed out all these states, along with the ones that have no legal betting.

In addition, several states have just launched sports betting, hence, we analyzed handle and revenue data for a few months only. These are Kansas (handle for 6 months), Massachusetts (2 months), and Ohio (1 month). The state population data was extracted from the StatsAmerica website, an initiative of the Indiana Business Research Center at Indiana University’s Kelley School of Business, which is funded in part by the U.S. Commerce Department’s Economic Development Administration.

Sports Wagering Handle, Revenue and Profit

Ever since the nationwide ban on sports betting was lifted in 2018, the sector has rapidly grown into a billion-dollar industry. In 2022, commercial sports wagering revenue reached $7.5 billion, an increase of 72.7% from the previous record $4.3 billion in 2021. According to the American Gaming Association, $93.2 billion was handled by retail, online, and through mobile sportsbooks last year.

This astronomical amount of money, known as “handle”, refers to the total amount of money wagered by bettors – and some portion of it is eventually returned to people as winnings. The rest is held by sportsbooks and is known as “gross gaming revenue” (GGR) or gaming yield. It is not equivalent to “earnings” or “profit”, however – it is simply the amount wagered less the winnings paid out to bettors. It is important to differentiate between these key metrics when looking into the betting industry, as they show different parts of the picture.

The States with the Highest Amount Wagered per Capita

Our team decided to compare the sports betting handle in each state to the number of people living there, in order to estimate how much had actually been wagered. The handle reported by sportsbooks all over the country was $95.7 billion over the past twelve months or so – this is an average of $287 per person. In comparison, in pre-pandemic times, consumer spending on movie tickets was $14.32 billion in 2018 and $13.74 billion in 2019 . Per capita expenditure on beer in 2020 was $297.

In other words, each year, $41 to $43 per person is typically spent on movie tickets, $297 on beer, and $287 on sports betting. Meanwhile, in Nevada, $2,686 is wagered on sports wagers.


For decades, Nevada was the sole state where you could place bets on sports events, but this changed after 2018. Of course, its market is a mature one compared to everywhere else, with roughly 190 sports betting (and gambling) locations, online betting options, and numerous brands. So, it is no wonder that Nevada tops the ranking – over the past twelve months, sportsbooks in the country’s gambling capital reported a handle of $8.5 billion. As the state has a population of around 3.2 million, it means that $2,686 per capita was wagered.

New Jersey

Second in the ranking comes New Jersey, which historically has been the largest gambling market outside Nevada. Within a 12-month period, sportsbooks in the state handled $10.54 billion, which means that on average, $1,138 was wagered per person. Overall, there are 24 brick-and-mortar sportsbooks in New Jersey, as well as online platforms where bets could be placed legally.


Colorado comes next with $5.16 billion in sports book handle over a twelve-month period and wagered amount totaling $883 per person. Sports betting was launched in May 2020, right in the middle of the Covid-19 pandemic. Still, casinos with sports wagering licenses reported a total handle of over $25.6 billion during the first month, as well as a gross gaming revenue of $2.57 million. In 2022, the average monthly handle was around $419 million, whereas revenues averaged $28.9 million per month.

New York

New York State ranks fourth on the list with $830 wagered on sports in the past year. This is also the state with the largest reported sports wagering handle and revenue totals for the period – sportsbooks took $16.34 billion in sports bets, while their gross gaming revenue was $1.42 billion. In January 2023, the handle reported by the state’s 4 land-based and 9 online sportsbooks reached a record-breaking $1.79 billion.


Arizona swiftly legalized sports wagering in 2021, with several brands launching their land-based and online sportsbooks on September 9. The state also quickly grew to be one of the largest betting markets in the country, with a monthly handle of over half a billion dollars by late 2022. Last year, sportsbooks reported annual revenue of nearly $447.4 million and a handle of over $6 billion, which means that on average, Arizonans wagered $820 on sports.


Sports betting in Illinois went live on March 9, 2020, and since then, a total of 12 land-based and 7 online sportsbooks have been opened. In October 2022, it became the fourth state ever to reach a monthly handle of over $1 billion. During the twelve months that ended on January 31, bettors in the state have wagered $9.95 billion or $791 per person.


Iowa lands in the 7th position on this ranking, with $705 wagered per capita in the past twelve months. The Hawkeye State legalized the practice in May 2019 and the first brick-and-mortar and online sportsbooks were launched on August 15 of the same year. Between March 2022 and February 2023, operators handled $2.26 billion in bets, while the gross gaming revenue totaled more than $117 million.

New Hampshire

New Hampshire legalized sports betting in the summer of 2019, and in 2023, there were three land-based sportsbooks, as well as one online/mobile operator. DraftKings pays the state a 51% tax on the gross gaming revenue in order to have a monopoly on the mobile market. The state ranks 8th on this list, as within a year, the few operators reported a handle of $889.3 million, which means that $637 wagered on sports.


Since sports betting was legalized in 2019, Indiana saw a large number of sportsbooks open in the state – as of March 2023, there are 15 land-based venues and 14 mobile platforms where you can legally bet on sports. Over the past twelve months, the total handle reached $4.34 billion, which means that $635 was wagered per capita.


With a $569 per capita handle reported by sportsbooks over the past year, Virginia ranks 10th on this list. The state legalized sports betting in 2020, while the first mobile platform went live in January 2021. Since then, operators have handled billions of dollars worth of wagers, while revenues over the past months have exceeded $50 million.

The States with the Highest Sports Betting Revenues

When it comes to sports wagering, Nevada may be the bets-per-capita leader, but in terms of overall handle and gross gaming revenue, it does not even come close to New York State. Figures for the past twelve months (from March 2022 to February 2023) show that most of the time, sportsbooks in the state reported a monthly handle of over $1 billion, as well as a GGR of more than $100 million per month. The overall revenue for that period totaled $1.42 billion – nearly a billion dollars more than Nevada’s $447 million.

This means that millions of dollars have been paid in state taxes. Last year, The Empire State received US$693 million in tax revenue from sportsbooks. Since betting was legalized, the state has generated more than $1 billion in tax revenue – this includes around $200 million in licensing fees, as well as $830 million in tax on revenue. These astronomical figures are due to the high GGR reported by companies that operate in New York State, as well as the high tax rate on betting revenues – while a modest 10% on land-based revenue, it amounts to 51% on GGR from mobile platforms

Illinois sportsbooks have also reported huge revenues within the past year – $824.78 million. October 2022 was a record-breaking month for operators in the state as GGR exceeded $102 million. However, due to the relatively low tax on betting revenues – 15% – Illinois has generated significantly less tax revenue than New York state. Since the launch of sports wagering in the state, revenues from taxes have totaled $230.4 million.

Over the past year, total gross revenue from sports bets in New Jersey has reached $798.84 million. Since betting was legalized and launched, the state has received around $310 million in tax revenue from companies operating in New Jersey. Pennsylvania is the other state where gross gaming revenue over the past year has surpassed half a billion dollars. Sportsbooks in the state have reported revenues of nearly $642 million, yet due to the so-called promotional credits, taxes are not levied on the entire amount.

These are funds wagered on promotions such as free bets, matching deposits, or boosts on wagers, and operators in several states are allowed to claim them as untaxable revenue. Along with Pennsylvania, this tax deduction exists in Colorado, Arizona, Michigan, Virginia, Louisiana, Tennessee, Connecticut, and Wyoming. As a result, tax collection in these states is lower than in the rest of the country. Pennsylvania, for example, received $361.37 million in taxes between November 2018 and January 2023 based on adjusted taxable revenue of $1.057 billion rather than the gross revenue of $1.545 billion.