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National Sports Betting Handle Skyrockets in U.S. in October

December 26, 2020

With all reporting U.S. states now accounted for, the nation's sports betting handle for October is finally in, and the verdict? The numbers were simply off the charts.

Keeping in mind that the nation's sports betting handle for September smashed all prior monthly records while coming in at $2.86 billion, it's simply amazing that the record only lasted less than 80 days. The nation's sports betting handle for October came in at a robust $3.264 billion, which represents a 14% increase from the record-breaking prior month. Each state showed an increase with the exception of West Virginia, which saw an 11.30% decrease in its handle.

What really surprised analysts was the record sports betting revenue brought in by bookmakers. That number came in at a collective profit of $267.8 million in October, a number that is nearly double September’s profit of $141.3 million. It's also noteworthy that each state's bookmakers collectively shared in the increase in revenue.

At an estimated tax rate of 10% per state, nearly $26 million in tax revenue was fed into state coffers. That bodes well for other states like Texas and California that need tax revenue and are looking at sports betting as a way to bring more money in for the state.

A Look at the Numbers By State

One of the biggest surprises among the states was the sports betting handle reported out of Illinois. In October, Illinois bookmakers handled slightly less than $434.6 million in bets. That was slightly less than 43% higher than the September handle of $305.2 million.

October's handle firmly placed Illinois in 4th place on the list of states by sports betting handle. At the top of the list was New Jersey at $801.3 million followed by Nevada ($659.2 million) and Pennsylvania ($525.8 million) in third. Indiana came in fifth at $230.9 million.

As far as the win rate is concerned, bookmakers had a very weak September with a win rate of 4.94%, which is well off the industry standard of 7%. The good news for bookmakers is they rebounded quite well in October to beat expectations and record a win rate of 8.21%.

Some state sports betting handle numbers from November are already in the books. As the rest of the states report numbers, there is every reason to expect November to be another record-setting month. With the NBA opening in December, Decembers could produce yet another record.


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