Sports Betting States Grabbed a Good Deal of Revenue in March

Jay Dieffenbach

Wed Apr 21 2021

Sports Betting States Grabbed a Good Deal of Revenue in March

Sports betting numbers among states in which it’s been legalized showed varying levels of results across several states reporting them recently.

While Nevada and New Jersey are likely to continue to claim the top two spots in the US as the sports betting boom keeps growing, several other states are showing signs that they may be competing for positions high on the list over the coming months.

Pennsylvania keeps moving forward

The Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board reported the total sports betting handle for March was $560.3 million, up from $509.5 million for February.

As with most comparisons to 2020 and its pandemic numbers, the 2021 month of March was way up. Sports betting last month revealed a 326.6 percent hike from the same period 12 months ago.

But numbers are still off a little since January when the total sports betting handle topped $615 million.

Gross revenue for March was north of $29 million, up 79 percent from February.

And, to no one’s surprise, mobile wagers accounted for $514.3 million of the total handle, typical of the approximately 90 percent rate for all wagers placed in the state.

The state gaming board report showed Valley Forge, which is partnered with FanDuel, leading the way with a handle of $205.9 million.

The Meadows Casinos in Pittsburgh (DraftKings partner) showed a betting handle of $118.4 million.

BetRivers handled $55 million in March while the Barstool Sportsbook app had more than $65 million in sports betting handle.

Illinois risking a fall in the standings

The Illinois Gaming Board has yet to report March numbers but, due to the in-person registration requirement, the state could soon fall behind Pennsylvania.

Its February numbers prevailed over Pennsylvania by a small amount, but April likely will show Illinois falling behind Pennsylvania in the race for the No. 3 spot among U.S. sports betting markets.

New York still sputtering, but the potential is evident

New York sports betting is still hoped to be in place by the start of football season, but that’s probably a best-case scenario because of all the political hurdles remaining to be cleared.

Sports betting was part of the state’s budget that passed a few weeks ago, and the single-operator system may mean it will take longer to decide who will get to run the market.

The next few months could be very limited as retail casinos are currently the only way to wager, and more money leaked over to New Jersey from New York because of the limited betting options.

Mississippi sports bettors bring the action

The Mississippi Gaming Commission reported revenue in March was 13 percent higher than the $4.6 million posted in February of this year.

Consumers in the state wagered a total of $50.5 million on sports during March, which was 5.7 percent higher than the year’s high of $47.8 million in January this year.

As for the year-over-year comparison, only $10.7 million was wagered in March 2020.

Revenue in March amounted to $5.2 million, up from $648,647 in the same month last year when the pandemic took hold, causing state casinos to close and canceling a number of sports events.

Michigan shows it can be a big-time player

In terms of the U.S. market rankings: Look out for Michigan.

The high expectations for Michigan’s sports betting business were not unreasonable. And it’s only the end of the state’s second full month of legalized online gambling.

Sports betting operators in the state enjoyed March Madness, reporting a total handle of $359.5 million and gross sports betting receipts of $32.3 million for the month, according to numbers released Tuesday by the Michigan Gaming Control Board.

In a story from the Detroit News, Richard Kalm, the board's executive director, said in the statement that the NCAA Tournament helped the 19.1 percent increase from February. reported that only New Jersey, Nevada, Pennsylvania and Illinois have collected more in a single month, and none has generated such a large amount so quickly after launching internet sports betting.

“Online casinos are on pace to earn $760 million in revenue this year, and that’s a staggering number," analyst Geoff Fisk of said in a statement Tuesday. "I think that figure shatters even the loftiest expectations for Michigan’s online casinos.”

"This led to increases in taxes and payments, which means more funding for the city of Detroit, K-12 education, economic development and tribal communities," he said.

Everybody wins, right?

Already, the state is approaching $1 billion in lifetime handle from online and retail sports betting, according to

According to a statement from Dustin Gouker, an analyst for "The growth in online casino gaming has been off-the-charts. No other state has enjoyed a launch of online casino gaming and sports betting quite like this." said Tuesday that Michigan is just the third state to generate more than $90 million in online casino and poker revenue in a single month.

The state was the country's third-largest online casino market in March, behind only New Jersey and Pennsylvania.

The city of Detroit received $5.2 million in wagering taxes and municipal services fees from the two forms of online gambling last month. Internet gaming taxes and fees made up $4.9 million of the total.

Online gambling launched in Michigan in mid-January. As of March, 12 operators were authorized to offer one or both forms of online gambling.

BetMGM, partnered with the MGM Grand Detroit casino, was the top operator at $30.8 million in gross receipts in March.

In terms of sports betting handle, FanDuel, partnered with Detroit's MotorCity Casino Hotel, was best in March at nearly $107.2 million.

BetMGM had the most gross receipts, with more than $8.7 million.

Jay Dieffenbach
Jay Dieffenbach