Online betting is now available in nine states in US
Legal Sports Report

A Look At Where People Are Betting Online In The US Ahead Of The Super Bowl

Online betting for Super Bowl

The legal US online sports betting industry is still in its very early stages. But with the Super Bowl looming, you can legally bet online statewide in nine states.

And new data from a company in the online gambling space gives us a better idea of where people are betting.

Where people are betting on sports online

Getting exact numbers on how many people are betting in the states that have legal online gambling is mostly an exercise in speculation.

We do know how much money is being bet on sports in much of the US and how much revenue comes from sports betting. Since the fall of the federal ban on sports wagering, more than $15 billion has been bet online and at retail locations in the US.

Thanks to GeoComply, we know a bit more about where people are betting from. GeoComply is the company that provides geolocation services to many US-facing sportsbooks; their technology helps to verify a person is located within state borders to legally place a bet.

GeoComply does not exclusively serve the Nevada and Iowa markets, but it does exclusively serve sportsbooks in the other seven states that have online sports betting. GeoComply aggregated the data it compiles across those seven markets and provided to Legal Sports Report the percentage of online betting sessions emanating from each state:

The data captures all bettor sessions in those states for Jan. 11 and 12, on which there were four NFL playoff games. (The data does not capture just betting on the NFL, just people logging into bet from the relevant states on those days.)

You can compare that data to similar data provided by GeoComply in October.

What can we take away from that US sports betting data?

Here are the current populations for the states above and their share of population for that pool of seven states. The populations include all people, not just those of betting age, for comparative purposes:

  • Pennsylvania: 12.8 million (35%)
  • New Jersey: 8.9 million (24%)
  • Indiana: 6.7 million (18%)
  • Oregon: 4.2 million (11%)
  • West Virginia: 1.8 million (5%)
  • New Hampshire: 1.4 million (4%)
  • Rhode Island: 1.1 million (3%)

Keep in mind that all of these states are in varying stages of rolling out sports betting, and many of them are very new markets, in some cases just months old. But here are some nuggets we can glean:

  • New Jersey remains the biggest state in terms of people betting online. That is helped somewhat by its proximity to New York City, where online betting is not yet legal.
  • Pennsylvania, despite being relatively new to the market, almost has the same amount of people betting as New Jersey. PA online sports betting launched this summer.
  • Oregon, West Virginia and Rhode Island have a lower than expected number of people betting online, at least based on share of population. Oregon’s discrepancy is the largest; the state has only a single app run as a monopoly that launched in the fall.
  • New Hampshire, which launched a few weeks ago with a single app (DraftKings) was in fourth place in terms of player volume despite being sixth among the states in population. Some of that high volume may have to do with excitement over the recent launch of sports betting in the state.

All of these states should see a considerable uptick in overall volume for betting on the Super Bowl, which is the single biggest event from a gambling standpoint in the US.

Dustin Gouker
- Dustin Gouker has been a sports journalist for more than 15 years, working as a reporter, editor and designer -- including stops at The Washington Post and the D.C. Examiner.
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