Top 10 Sports Betting States: Where are People Gambling the Most?

Apr 26, 2024

In 1992, President George H.W. Bush signed the federal Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act (PASPA) into law, preventing states from offering legal sports betting, with a few exceptions. Nevada, which had dominated the legal gambling scene since 1931, was the main one of just four states, including Oregon, Montana and Delaware, exempt from this bill.

That all changed in 2018 when PASPA was struck down. Leading the charge for reconsideration, New Jersey, home to Atlantic City, brought the battle to the Supreme Court. PASPA was repealed by the U.S. Supreme Court on May 14, 2018, reopening the door for individual states to dictate legal betting. In the six years since, the U.S. gambling industry has reached new heights nearly every day. 

Fast forward to April 2024, and 38 states and Washington, D.C. now offer legal gambling in some capacity, including 30 that offer easily accessible online options. While Las Vegas is still considered the mecca for sports betting, through a plethora of daily fantasy sports sites and online sportsbooks, gamblers can take advantage of countless wagering options within the comfort of home or on the go. 

Since June 2018, the estimated sports betting handle across the country has been $345 billion, but this article takes a closer look at which states are most highly contributing to the ever-growing industry. 

Biggest States for Sports Betting by Handle

For an all-encompassing identification of the top 10 sports betting states, it’s important to measure different angles. The table below presents the top 10 March 2024 betting handles by state – the amount of money wagered by bettors across online and in-person sportsbooks. By taking recency into account, it becomes easier to spot trends where people are gambling the most. 


  • North Carolina currently reports the fourth-highest handle, despite going live with legal sports betting on March 11, 2024.

  • Arizona, Colorado, Illinois, Nevada, Ohio and Virginia have consistently reported handles since September 2023 that would fit within the top 10 in the table below, but have yet to officially report for March 2024. When it’s all said and done, these states should appear.

Largest States for Sports Betting Per Capita

Building on the table above, the table below presents a reordering of the top 10 states with the largest betting handles, based on how much money was spent per person throughout March 2024: 

March 2024 Sports Betting Spent Per Capita (Handle / Population)

  1. New Jersey

  2. New York

  3. Massachusetts

  4. Maryland

  5. Louisiana

  6. Indiana

  7. Tennessee

  8. Pennsylvania

  9. North Carolina

  10. Michigan

Number of Online Sportsbooks Live in Each State

Below, discover all 29 states that provide legal online sports betting, in the order of most sportsbooks available to least:

Most Online Sportsbooks by State

  1. Colorado: 25 

  2. New Jersey: 18

  3. Iowa: 19

  4. Arizona: 17

  5. Ohio: 17

  6. Michigan: 14

  7. Virginia: 14

  8. Indiana; 13

  9. Tennessee: 13

  10. Maryland: 12

  11. Pennsylvania: 12

  12. Louisiana: 10

  13. New York: 9

  14. Illinois: 8

  15. West Virginia: 8

  16. Kentucky: 7

  17. Kansas: 6

  18. Massachusetts: 6

  19. Washington D.C.: 4

  20. North Carolina: 4

  21. Wyoming: 4

  22. Arkansas: 3

  23. Connecticut: 3

  24. Vermont: 3

  25. Maine: 2

  26. Delaware: 1

  27. Montana: 1

  28. New Hampshire: 1

  29. Rhode Island: 1

Not surprisingly, the data indicates there is some correlation between the number of sportsbooks in a state and the betting handle. 

Gambling Addiction Resources for Sports Betting

The three tables provided in this article give a measured sense of how prevalent sports betting has become throughout the nation. If you or a loved one feel pressured to gamble consistently or feel too far deep and can’t escape, there are resources and treatment to turn to. If you or someone you know could benefit from learning more about gambling addiction treatment from the comfort of home, it is worth a conversation with Birches Health. 

Birches employs licensed counselors with decades of combined problem gambling care experience under their belt, and they can work with your insurance to create a customized plan tailored to your needs. With $0-out-of-pocket costs for many patients, Birches ensures 100% confidentially, security and convenience. 


Legal US Sports Betting Revenue, Handle And Tax Totals Since PASPA Repeal

List of U.S. States by Population

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