National Sports Betting Handle For 2023: What Was The Total?

National Sports Betting Handle For 2023: What Was The Total?

The tally for national sports betting handle at legal U.S. sportsbooks in 2023 was staggering.

With Arizona reporting its December figures on Feb. 26, the last state to do so, we now know that the total handle nationwide exceeded $121 billion at legal, regulated sportsbooks. The final figure was $121,136,158,928, according to computations.

That speaks to a maturing market and an ever-growing list of states that offer sports betting. States are approving the practice both to boost their tax coffers and to fend off illegal, offshore books that don’t offer any tax benefits to states, nor consumer protection for bettors.

National Sports Betting Revenue For 2023

The revenue at those sportsbooks was more than $9.5 billion in 2023. That means that despite many ups and downs, the math works out to almost 8% hold, right around the average.

More than 30 states now sanction wagering on sports, either at brick-and-mortar facilities or via mobile sports betting apps, or usually both. Last year saw more states get sports betting underway including a couple of major markets.

2023 National Sports Betting Numbers

January $11.493B $934.715M
February $9.014B $620.188M
March $11.258B $960.195M
April $9.171B $787.544M
May $8.149B $832.850M
June $6.613B $484.659M
July $5.901B $550.738M
August $6.678B $531.714M
September $11.592B $878.519M
October $12.818B $980.551M
November $14.471B $730.051M
December $13.965B $1176.972M
TOTAL $121.136B $9590.694M

Leading Sports Betting Handle States

The leader was New York, with $19.2 billion in sports betting handle. That was up 17.9% from the Empire State’s 2022 total and, of course, reset New York’s own national record for handle in a calendar year.

Two other states exceeded $10 billion in handle in 2023, including Illinois, which went into 11 figures for the first time at $11.62 billion. The Land of Lincoln finished third behind New Jersey, which complied $11.97 billion in handle, a 9.4% increase over the previous year, when $10.94 billion was wagered at Garden State sportsbooks.

Next up, Nevada recorded more than $8.2 billion in sports betting handle, with the Stanley Cup-winning Vegas Golden Knights and the return of Formula 1 racing to Sin City for the first time in 41 years helping to boost numbers in 2023.

Two neighboring states posted almost identical numbers last year: Pennsylvania sportsbooks had $7.683 billion in wagers while Ohio, making its debut in 2023, had $7.672 billion. Ohio sportsbook launched on Jan. 1, 2023.

Rounding out the top 10 nationally were: Arizona, $6.57 billion; Virginia, $5.59 billion; Colorado, $5.56 billion; and Massachusetts, $4.967 billion in less than a full year. Retail sports wagering in Massachusetts launched on Jan. 31; mobile sportsbooks began taking action on March 10.

Oregon saw the largest percentage increase, with handle rising 35.6% in a year-over-year comparison, from about $498 million in 2022 to $675 million last year. The only legal, regulated option in the Beaver State is DraftKings Sportsbook. Among states with a more competitive market, the distinction of fastest riser belongs to Louisiana, where handle jumped 26%, from $2.3 billion the previous year to $2.9 billion in 2023.

The biggest declines came in three small markets with limited options: Washington D.C. (down 21.5% in handle), Delaware (a 20.8% decrease) and Rhode Island (a 13.4% drop).

Returning to revenue numbers, three states leaped over the $1 billion barrier in 2023 and it’s the same three that exceeded $10 billion in handle: New York (about $1.7 billion in revenue), New Jersey ($1.007 billion) and Illinois ($1.002 billion).

North Carolina Sports Betting Launching In March

For 2024, the big story early in the year will come with the launch of North Carolina sports betting in March. That state’s launch comes just in time for March Madness, with legal North Carolina betting apps officially set to get underway on March 11.

North Carolina will be the second state to launch this year, following Vermont, which began sports betting on Jan. 10 with three operators. The Tar Heel State promises to offer a much more competitive market in a state eager to wager on the NCAA Tournament, NASCAR, pro sports (including their own Carolina Panthers, Carolina Hurricanes, Charlotte Hornets and Charlotte FC) and much more.

As for states that currently offer sports betting, 2024 is off to a rousing start. New York ($1.965 billion), New Jersey (a state record $1.72 billion) and Pennsylvania ($858 million) already have reported huge January numbers. Several major states have yet to report figures for the first month of the year.



Jim Tomlin is a writer and editor for He has been a journalist for 30 years, with experience at publications such as the Tampa Bay Times, Saturday Tradition, Saturday Down South and FanRag.