National Sports Betting Handle Shatters Record In October

National sports betting

There’s still one state yet to tabulate its results but, as they say on election night, we can call this race: October 2023 was a big winner for legal online sportsbooks and their retail counterparts in national sports betting.

The nationwide handle so far for October, with Arizona yet to submit its financial figures, has soared past $12.17 billion. That amount, which represents money wagered, sailed past the September U.S. betting market figure of almost $11.6 billion.

The record fell late last week when Illinois reported taking in more than $1.16 billion in sports bets. That set a state record, and the Land of Lincoln wasn’t the only place where the record books were rewritten.

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October National Sports Betting Details

The biggest national sports betting headline for October was that New York became the first state ever to break $2 billion for wagers in one month. Action at mobile sports betting apps alone topped $2B in the Empire State that month as NFL, NHL, NBA, college football and MLB playoffs all converged. The state’s total figure was $2.017 billion.

Other markets where statewide records fell in October were: Pennsylvania ($829 million), Virginia $571.3M), Michigan ($571M), Tennessee ($443.8M), Louisiana ($308.6M), Kansas ($249M), Connecticut ($189.6M), Oregon ($71.9M), Arkansas ($44.9M) and Wyoming ($21.2M). Even South Dakota, which has retail only at very limited locations, exceeded $1 million in sports wagers for the first time.

In September, Arizona reported $610.7 million in wagers accepted. If the Grand Canyon State duplicated that in October, we’ll be looking at somewhere in the range of $12.8 billion in nationwide action for that month.

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Kentucky Sports Betting Makes Debut

Another major national sports betting story in October was that it was the first full month for folks using Kentucky sports betting promos to wager online. That state made its debut with a partial month in September; retail outlets began taking wagers Sept. 7 and online operators launched Sept. 28.

For October, Kentucky accepted $294.95 million in sports wagers, with the vast majority ($286.8M) coming from online operators. As the market matures and March Madness approaches in the basketball-mad commonwealth, you can bet that October figure will be surpassed a few times over the holiday season and into spring. That’s the national trend as well; when NFL season ends, the biggest month for wagering is always March because the NCAA Basketball Tournament is an absolute darling among bettors.

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Will Records Fall Again In November?

November could be on track to set even more records for national sports betting handle. New York has already reset its own mark with $2.122 billion in wagers for November, and New Jersey ($1.623B) smashed its record as well.

Louisiana just reported its November figures (nearly $356.5 million) on Monday and it, too, broke the record that it had just set the previous month. Massachusetts took $600 million in bets for the first time in November at $654.4 million. Maryland also exceeded $500 million in sports wagers for the first time and Connecticut took $200 million in wagers on sporting events, also a first.

Many other major states have yet to report November financial figures, so it will be well into January 2024 before we have a complete picture. But don’[t be shocked if the $13 billion barrier is cleared.

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Jim Tomlin


Jim Tomlin has more than 30 years of experience in sports journalism as an editor and writer and now lends his sports and gambling expertise to US Betting Report among other websites. He has covered pro and college sports from football, baseball, basketball, soccer, golf, motorsports and more for publications such as the Tampa Bay Times, SaturdayDownSouth.com, SaturdayTradition.com and FanRag Sports.

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