The State of US Sports Betting

Share with your network:

The State of US Sports Betting

From the glitz of Las Vegas to the heartlands of America, sports betting has emerged as a juggernaut industry, reshaping the landscape of entertainment and finance. The rapid expansion of this once-taboo pastime has captivated enthusiasts nationwide, transforming casual fans into fervent participants. With each passing year, the numbers tell a compelling story of growth, innovation, and opportunity.

In 2023 alone, Americans collectively wagered a staggering $119.84 billion on sports—a remarkable surge of 27.5% from the previous year. This surge not only reflects a nation's growing appetite for the thrill of the game but also underscores the profound economic impact of sports betting. As revenue soared to $10.92 billion, a 44.5% increase, the industry's foothold in the American psyche became undeniable. More on that later.

But what fuels this meteoric rise? How do geographic factors, legislative decisions, and technological advancements converge to shape the landscape of sports betting across the nation? Join us as we delve into the trends, innovations, and predictions that define the state of sports betting in the United States.

Sports Betting Legality Across the US (As of May 2024)

Though more and more states are opening up to gambling, many still have restrictions on online or retail sports betting. More conservative states ban any kind of betting, but there’s a steady flow of legislation that relaxes these rules. States taking their first steps into the world of sports betting offer an opportunity for sportsbooks who want to expand into new markets.

The table below indicates which US states allow both physical and digital sports betting activities to occur. The data is correct as of May 2024.

sports betting legality across the US
Sports Betting Legality Across the US (May 2024)

Sports Betting Revenue in the US, Actual and Predicted

The graph below shows the rapid growth of sports betting revenue throughout the US, and its predicted growth up to 2027.

How Big is Sports Betting Across the US?

Sports betting in the United States has seen unprecedented growth in recent years. According to the American Gaming Association's Commercial Gaming Revenue Tracker, Americans placed a staggering $119.84 billion in bets on sports in 2023, reflecting a notable 27.5% increase from the previous year. This surge in betting activity translated into $10.92 billion in revenue for the industry—an impressive 44.5% jump from the prior year.

One key factor contributing to this growth was the increase in the national hold percentage, which rose to 9.1% in 2023, up from 8.1% in 2022. The hold percentage represents the portion of money that sportsbooks retain after settling all bets—a crucial metric for assessing the industry's profitability.

In 2023, the addition of five new states—Kentucky, Maine, Massachusetts, Nebraska, and Ohio—further fueled the industry's growth. These states collectively contributed $1.49 billion in sports betting revenue, with Ohio emerging as the fourth-highest revenue generator at $936.6 million, and Massachusetts ranking ninth with $483.2 million.

What Are the Trends in Sports Betting Participation Across the US?

What’s driving the increase in US sports betting? Advancements in the ways betters can pay and play are changing the sports gambling experience, here are the growing trends that are impacting sportsbooks the most.

Mobile and Online Betting

The online sports betting market in the US is booming, with revenue projected to hit US$9.65 billion by 2024 and expected annual growth of 12.08% until 2029, reaching a market volume of US$17.07 billion. By 2029, the number of users is estimated to reach 54.7 million, with user penetration increasing from 11.0% in 2024 to 15.6% in 2029. 

Each user is expected to contribute an average revenue of US$256.60. Although Australia leads in revenue generation globally, with US$9,757.00 million projected for 2024, Canada boasts the highest user penetration rate at 48.8%. The US's online sports betting sector demonstrates remarkable potential for continued growth and market expansion in the coming years.

eSports Betting

eSports betting in the US is on the rise, with projected revenue reaching US$0.7 billion by 2024 and an anticipated annual growth rate of 10.41% through 2028, resulting in a market volume of US$1.1 billion by that year. The US is the primary contributor to this market, generating the majority of the projected revenue in 2024. 

With an average revenue per user (ARPU) of US$53.8, the sector is gaining traction among both dedicated eSports enthusiasts and traditional sports bettors. The US's burgeoning eSports betting landscape reflects a growing number of platforms and a heightened interest in this rapidly evolving sector.

Blockchain Technology

Wyoming's recent adoption of blockchain technology for sports betting transactions is making waves in the industry. Despite being the least populous state, its progressive stance allows players to fund their accounts with cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin, setting a precedent for innovation. Legislative support, evidenced by bills like House Bill 133, positions Wyoming as a leader in embracing blockchain. This move not only promises faster and safer transactions but also opens doors to peer-to-peer wagering and digital wallet integration, transforming the betting experience. 

As sportsbooks explore blockchain's potential, Wyoming's pioneering spirit lays the groundwork for a future where blockchain seamlessly integrates with mainstream betting, ushering in a new era of innovation and engagement.

The Most Bet on Sports in the US

Here’s where the most money to be made is…

It’s no surprise that the NFL leads the charge with 61% of betters across the country participating in gambling on the sport. The Super Bowl frequently breaks its own betting and viewership records, so has always been one of the most lucrative avenues for sports betting.

The NBA follows closely behind with 58% of the betting population as participants. After that, there’s Major League Baseball (53%), boxing (42%), horse racing (35%), the National Hockey League (32%), stock car auto racing (28%) and eSports (23%).

most bet on professional sports in the Unites states

How Can Sports Betting Marketers Take Advantage of the Growth?

As the sports betting industry experiences rapid growth and new markets emerge across regions like the Middle East and Latin America (LatAm), US sportsbooks face both unprecedented opportunities and challenges. 

To capitalise on this growth and effectively compete for market share, sportsbooks must optimise their marketing strategies to ensure every dollar spent delivers maximum impact. However, the proliferation of invalid traffic (IVT), including ad fraud, bots, and returning users, poses a significant barrier to expansion by draining digital advertising budgets and reducing ROI. 

As more operators look to expand into online gaming markets in the US, it becomes imperative for sportsbooks to refine their digital marketing efforts and mitigate the impact of IVT to seize the vast potential of these new markets. By implementing proactive measures such as real-time traffic monitoring, leveraging ad verification platforms, and implementing custom verification rules, sportsbooks can safeguard their budgets, maintain optimal engagement, and focus on achieving critical mass in newly opened markets. 

Through strategic deployment of resources and a commitment to combating IVT, US sports betting businesses can position themselves for success and capitalise on the immense growth opportunities presented by emerging markets worldwide.


For sports betting enthusiasts, including professionals, policymakers, and consumers, grasping how geographic factors, legislative decisions, and technological advancements shape the industry's growth across the US is vital. Any standout examples or case studies demonstrating these influences in various regions or states?

Understanding the dynamic interplay of geographic factors, legislative decisions, and technological advancements is pivotal for stakeholders in the sports betting domain. Case studies, such as the juxtaposition of Nevada and New Jersey, vividly illustrate this nexus. Nevada's early embrace of legalised sports betting, leveraging its geographic advantage, contrasted with New Jersey's strategic legislative moves post-PASPA repeal, illuminates how regional dynamics and regulatory frameworks shape market growth. These examples highlight the critical importance of adaptability and foresight in navigating the evolving sports betting landscape.

What are the primary challenges sports betting operators face as they navigate the dynamic landscape of online and mobile betting?

Sportsbooks might face regulatory hurdles, such as varying state laws and compliance requirements, which could significantly impact their operations and profitability. Equally important are consumer protection concerns, including responsible gambling practices and the prevention of underage betting. A thorough exploration of these challenges will provide readers with a comprehensive understanding of the intricacies involved in the sports betting landscape.

What are some actionable strategies or best practices that sportsbooks can employ to mitigate the impact of IVT on their digital advertising campaigns and ensure optimal engagement with their target audience?

Sports betting marketers can employ various strategies to mitigate the impact of IVT, including real-time traffic monitoring, ad verification platforms, and custom verification rules. By implementing proactive measures to combat fraud, sportsbooks can safeguard their advertising budgets, maintain optimal engagement with their target audience, and maximise ROI. Providing actionable strategies and best practices would equip readers with practical insights to enhance their marketing efforts in the face of evolving challenges.

Get started - it's free

You can set up a TrafficGuard account in minutes, so we’ll be protecting your campaigns before you can say ‘sky-high ROI’.

Share with your network:


Subscribe now to get all the latest news and insights on digital advertising, machine learning and ad fraud.

Thank you! Your submission has been received!
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.