These 10 States Make the Most From Sports Betting
March Madness — the annual NCAA basketball tournament — has arrived, and betting on the event has exploded with legalized sports betting.
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What used to be a fun $5 or $10 contest in the office or the neighborhood, with you and friends filling out brackets, has turned into a multibillion-dollar event.
Before the 2022 NCAA tournament, an American Gaming Association survey showed that more than 17% of American adults — 45 million people — planned to bet a cumulative $3.1 billion on the event. Among them, 21 million people said they intended to place bets other than on bracket contests and spend 76% of their total wagers on something besides brackets.
Not that long ago, Las Vegas was the hub of sports betting, but no more. In May 2018, by a 6-3 vote, the U.S. Supreme Court overturned the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act of 1992, which barred legal betting on games in all states but Nevada.
The court ruling put gambling in the hands of the states, with some legislatures moving to approve sports betting and others putting it in the hands of voters. In all, 33 states offer some kind of sports betting.
States Make Millions Off Sports
What’s in it for the states? Money, of course. States assess taxes on the sportsbooks, along with licensing fees in some areas. They use the revenues to boost their general funds or contribute toward causes such as education, senior citizens, youth sports and even programs to address problem gambling.
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New York, which launched online sports gambling on Jan. 1, 2022, took in millions in revenue in the first year. Gov. Kathy Hochul said the state collected more than $709.2 million in taxes, plus $200 million in licensing fees. New York taxes the sportsbooks’ revenues at 51%, but it varies widely by state. In neighboring New Jersey, the rate is 14.25%.
At that rate, it’s no surprise that New York leads the nation in state revenues from sports betting. But which other states bring in big money? Read on to find out.
Also see what fantasy sports might cost you in taxes.
Which States Allow Sports Betting?
The answer to this question changes frequently, with states continuing to approve sports betting.
Just over two-thirds of states, plus Washington, D.C., are active in sports betting. Among them, 21 states allow wagering online and in person. In 10 states, you must place your bets in person, and in two states, only online betting is available.
Here’s the state-by-state breakdown, based on information compiled from the Action Network, LegalSportsReport.com, SportsBetting.legal and local media reports.
States with online and in-person betting: Arizona, Arkansas, Colorado, Connecticut, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Louisiana, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Virginia and West Virginia — plus the District of Columbia.
States with in-person betting only: Delaware, Mississippi, Montana, New Mexico, North Carolina, North Dakota, South Dakota, Washington, Wisconsin.
States with online betting only: Tennessee and Wyoming.
States where betting has been legalized but not yet implemented: Maine and Nebraska.
States where sports betting is illegal: Alabama, Alaska, California, Georgia, Hawaii, Idaho, Kentucky, Minnesota, Missouri, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Texas, Utah and Vermont.
State where gambling is in legal limbo: Florida.
Most All-Time Betting
Despite New York joining the sports betting game late, it’s already No. 1 when it comes to revenue received, according to LegalSportsReport.com. And it isn’t even close. That’s because of New York’s high tax rates on sportsbooks’ revenues. In just one year, New York’s state revenue is more than double that of Pennsylvania.
Below are the total wagers (handle), sportsbook revenue and tax and local revenues for the top 10 jurisdictions.
These numbers reflect all bets placed from the time betting became legal in a state through March 14, 2023.
|State||Handle||Revenue||State Tax Revenue|
A Monthly Betting Snippet
The all-time numbers are impressive, but when you break it down by month there’s a wow factor there, too.
SportsBettingLegal.com looked at betting revenue reports from last fall and determined these to be the top 10 states in terms of money being returned to the jurisdiction.
|State||Revenue||State Tax Revenue||2022 Month Reported|
The Bottom Line
Betting on sports now is easier than ever, but it’s important to know your limits — both financially and in terms of skill. If you’re not comfortable with the risks or the process, just stick to your March Madness bracket.
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