US Sports Betting Monthly Handle Hits Record High of $2.1bn in August

  • Sportsbook operators saw revenue of $119.4m in August, the second-best month on record
  • Online gaming revenue rose by 224.2% year-on-year to $145.3m in August
  • New Jersey set a national record for the highest monthly sports betting handle with $668m
  • Land-based gambling facilities are still struggling, with overall GGR down 20% year-on-year
Upward-trending line graph
AGA data shows that the total US sports betting handle in August hit a record monthly high of $2.1bn, a 174.8% year-on-year increase. [Image:]

Getting back on track

American Gaming Association (AGA) figures show that August sports betting handle across the country hit a monthly record high of $2.1bn. 

August was the fourth consecutive month of sequential growth as the betting sector continues to recover from the cancellation of most major sports earlier in the year due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The AGA tweeted out a useful graphic showcasing the fluctuations in monthly betting handle and revenue over the past year:

From the handle, operators received revenue of $119.4m in August, which is the second-highest month ever. It was a 90.2% year-on-year increase, with the NBA, MLB, and NHL seasons in action and the NFL season preparing to start. 

Online gaming revenue also had a strong month, rising by 224.2% to $145.3m.

Best performing states

New Jersey led the August betting handle rankings, with total handle of $668m, a 127.5% year-on-year increase. This was also the most sports betting handle ever taken in by a single state in one month. The Garden State’s revenue share was the largest in the country for the month at $39.5m, a jump of 56.5% from August 2019.

Four other states saw their handles bypass the $100m mark in August. Nevada’s handle was $474.5m, with Pennsylvania coming in at $365m, Indiana recording handle of $169m, and Colorado reaching $128.6m. Indiana, West Virginia, and Pennsylvania all posted record monthly betting handles.

Overall gambling sector

Despite the strong performance of online gaming and sports betting, gross gaming revenue (GGR) for all gambling channels and products was still down almost 20% for the month year-on-year at $3bn.

This was mainly due to land-based casinos across the country still dealing with the pandemic fallout, including reductions in capacity and extensive health and safety rules. Total GGR did manage to grow by 5.6% from July.

Slots revenue fell by 21.7% to $1.9bn in August 2020, with table games dropping by 29% to $528.7m. Pennsylvania, Mississippi, and Ohio did post year-on-year GGR increases, with the latter breaking its monthly GGR record in August with $172.1m.

eight states reported gaming revenue approaching last year’s level”

Speaking about the gradual recovery, an AGA spokesperson said: “Eight states reported gaming revenue approaching last year’s level, despite continuing to operate with limited capacity, game availability, and non-gaming amenities.”

In total, US GGR is down 39.4% year-to-date at $17.5bn, compared to the same period in 2019. This is despite betting revenue being up 31.5% and online gambling being up 203.3%.

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