Since the US Supreme Court ended the 1992 federal ban on sports betting in May, many states have passed legislation or are in the process of doing so. New Jersey and Delaware have had their sportsbooks in operation for a couple of months now, while West Virginia has just completed its first weekend of accepting sports wagers.
Sports betting jurisdictions
While Nevada has always been allowed to offer full-fledged sports betting, other states never had this opportunity. As soon as the Supreme Court made its decision, a lot of states quickly enacted their own sports betting bills.
Quickest off the mark were Delaware and New Jersey. They were followed by Mississippi and West Virginia, and Rhode Island and Pennsylvania are now very close to legalizing sports betting.
The bills take several different forms, with varying levels of taxation. As a whole, sports betting has been well received, with certain states seeing great results in their opening months.
Delaware narrowly beat out New Jersey to be the first state outside of Nevada to open legalized sportsbooks, on June 5. In the first 20 days, Delaware’s three licensed properties, Harrington, Dover Downs, and Delaware Park, took in just over $1m (£770,000) in sports bets profits. A total of more than $7m (£5.4m) was wagered.
Of this amount, $125,000 (£97,000) went to StadiumTech, Scientific Games, and William Hill for providing the technology behind these sportsbooks.
The venues keep 40% of the revenue, while 10% goes toward horse racing purses. The state receives a 50% cut, which totaled about half a million dollars in the first 20 days. Of course, a lot of excitement and publicity surrounded the launch, which probably inflated the figures somewhat.
In July, revenues went past the $8.2m mark, with Delaware Park being responsible for $5.8m (£4.5m). There was a 6% decrease in August to $7.7m (£6m). However, with the college football and NFL seasons kicking off, the sports betting operators in Delaware are expecting a significant uptick in September.
Sports betting launched in New Jersey nine days after Delaware, with the first sports bet placed on June 14. In the first 17 days, $16.4m (£12.7m) was wagered on sports. Revenues totaled less than $3.5m (£2.7m) for the sportsbooks themselves, and operating profits were about $1.2m (£930,000).
Most of the bets were placed at Monmouth Park, and $10m (£7.7m) was wagered on MLB games. July saw a decent increase in total revenues of $40.6m (£31.4m) in New Jersey.
With college football getting up and running the weekend that West Virginia opened up its sportsbook offering, it was expected to perform well. College football is a big deal in the region; the Southeastern Conference (SEC) being the most competitive conference in the sport.
Since the surrounding states have not legalized sports betting, this is a great opportunity for West Virginia to capitalize. Over the years, the region has had high levels of illegal sports betting.
Taxable revenue of around $320,000 (£248,000) was taken in over the first weekend. The West Virginia Lottery, which is in control of the sportsbooks in the state, reported these figures.
The NFL season begins next weekend, which is expected to be another lucrative event for the operators. The Hollywood Casino at the Charles Town Races was the first operator in West Virginia to accept a sports bet.
So far, the results have been positive in the states that are accepting sports wagers, and this is expected to continue as the various popular sports get back into the swing of things.