U.S. Online Sports Betting Breaks Record in 2022

Note: This article is based on Variety Intelligence Platform’s special report “Sports Gambling & Media,” available exclusively to subscribers.

With 2022 not yet over, U.S. mobile sports betting has seen an eye-watering $80 billion wagered so far as consumers embrace the activity. 

Looking at the monthly totals for 2022 to date, it’s clear the NFL exercises a magnetic pull upon gamblers, given the spikes that occur for the regular and postseason. As the report details, while the college-football season takes place concurrently with that of the NFL, it is nowhere near as popular with bettors. 

NCAA March Madness also provides a boost in revenues, with this meaning that broadcast partners for both sports should lean into the engagement that gambling can bring. 

Note too that November’s total is incomplete (with figures available from AR, CT, IA, IN, KA, LA, MI, NJ, NY, PA, TN, and WV at time of writing) but, even so, is greater than totals for June, July and August. To see state breakdowns for Jan-Oct, refer to the special report. 

2022 saw five states launch online sports betting, including the gambling powerhouse of New York. This has helped to increase the totals wagered, and with more states launching operations in 2023 and beyond, we will continue to see increases in totals wagered in the short-term. 

As noted in VIP+’s report, the amount wagered is not the same thing as the amount that consumers are spending on sports betting. Imagine you bet $10 and won $100 (including your original stake returned). You then bet the $100 gained. This means you spent $10, but have wagered $110, and it is the latter figure that states where online betting is legalized publish monthly. 

With that said, 2022 is proving to be a record year for amounts wagered. The chart above shows how the return of the NFL each year sees wagering increase and goes a long way toward explaining how the league has a large number of official betting partners. 

There was no March Madness spike in 2020 as the COVID-19 pandemic struck and saw the tournament cancelled. The spike is seen in 2021 and continued into 2022.

VIP+ compared totals wagered in each year for January through to October, the most recent month with close-to-complete data available for 2022. Even with Arizona missing from that month, the $73.3 billion wagered reflects a 98% year-over-year increase for 2021, 569% y-o-y versus 2020, and 2,268% y-o-y increases when compared to 2019. 

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