February is an exciting time for sports betting. One of the main reasons for this is that the first week during this month gets a massive boost from Super Bowl gamblers. However, things turn a notch down right after that. NBA and NHL also take place during this period. Better yet, the NBA All-star break happens in February. It is worth noting that this is not a large event for sports betting.
Combine all these together, and you will realize that February is more interesting compared to the quiet January. The only thing that lightens up January is the fact that NFL Playoffs take place during this period. Moving on to March, you will stumble upon March Madness, an American tradition that has been there for ages.
Sports betting in New Jersey was not at its best in January and February. It faced a large drop-off after losing over $200M in sports handle. Furthermore, the state revenue and the gross revenue also fell sharply as it only collected half the amount it did the previous month. But New Jersey still leads the sports betting market in America.
A look at the figures for February 2019 and 2020 provides a clear comparison of how sports betting performed in the region. In February 2019, about $320.4m was wagered, which increased to $494.8m in 2020. Generally, the growth rate has been about 50%. Between 2019 and 2020, the growth rate is 54.4%. There was a slight drop in 2021 as the growth rate stood at 51.1%.
Like New Jersey, Pennsylvania also saw a decrease in sports handle. However, it managed to retain its number 2 status in the sports betting market. Approximately $600m was wagered in the preceding month of January. The Keystone State continued to perform well with 5.9m collected in taxes. Arguably, the revenue collected would be a huge boost to the state as it seeks to recover from the pandemic.
Pennsylvania saw a 54% rise in the amount wagered between February 2020 and 2021. Besides, total revenue collected also increased from $4.7m to $16.4m around the same period.
Sports betting has also picked up in the Wolverine State. Just after a month of sports betting in the region, the state amassed a total of $325m. The rising trend in betting could mean that Michigan could compete with New Jersey and Pennsylvania for the top spots in the coming few months or years.
However, one of the main challenges that Michigan faces with regards to the sports betting world is that sportsbooks are taxed based on their gross revenue. Competition among sportsbooks is also on the rise. The different companies lure bettors to their platforms through big promotions and values. Regardless, the tax issue on these firms will keep their revenues low.
Indiana also saw a sharp fall in the amount wagered between January and February. Betting firms saw a 21.4% reduction in sports handle during this period. This drop came at a time when Indiana had previously recorded its highest sports wagering in January 2021. The fall in sports wagering also affected the amount of revenue collected as it dropped by $12m during the same months. Despite the drop in figures, there was a huge improvement in betting handle from February 2020 and February 2021. At least this is something worth smiling about for Indiana state.
It is worth mentioning that if Ohio and Kentucky legalize sports betting, this would mean that Indiana would be among the first states to have legalized sports betting surrounding the state.
Things were not badly off for Iowa as it saw a slight decline in the amount wagered between January and February. The amount wagered dropped from $149.5m to $143.6m. One challenge that bettors previously face in this state is that one has to register at a casino to gamble online. In 2021, this changed as online registration was introduced. As a result, there was a positive change in sports handle in February 2021 compared to December 2020. More specifically, there was a 152.3% growth in the sports handle.
In terms of tax revenue collected, online registration introduction led to welcome bonuses that wagers took advantage of. This lowered the taxable revenue of sportsbooks.
Like other states described, New Hampshire also saw a fall in sports wagering in the first two months of January and February. The state also suffered a huge blow in terms of revenue collected. The sports handle only fell from $59.7m to 50.8m, while the revenue collected dropped significantly from $4.2m to $1.8m. The lack of sports betting in New Hampshire added the extra burden of decreasing numbers in the region.
Interestingly, New Hampshire had licensed DraftKings monopoly over sports betting. In return, the state would receive approximately 50% of the total revenue from the betting firm. So, despite the low amount of sports handle and revenue collected, the state still managed to collect over $750k in taxes. Compared to Michigan and Iowa, New Hampshire collected more taxes. This is a clear indication that the monopoly strategy they used worked for them.