Sports Betting Demographics: 2023 Guide

08 / 07 / 2023 By Ally Mielnicki

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Sports betting has been legal in the United States for nearly five years, but that does not mean every state allows it. Depending on where you live, you could be placing wagers on your favorite team online, have to bet in person, or not be able to place bets at all.

Since 2018, PASPA being revoked has revolutionized the way we look at sports. Betting on sports around the globe is legal in a lot of countries, with nearly 20 that are available to bet on sports within the land.

By taking a look at sports betting demographics, you can see what sports are being bet on the most and where these bets are taking place. It also paints a picture for how big the industry is.

Most Popular States for Sports Betting

Sports betting in 2023 has already set plenty of milestones in comparison to 2018. Sports betting seems like second nature now and is popular in American culture.

With the abundance of prominent sportsbooks, daily fantasy opportunities, and promotional agreements with major American sports leagues, it has made sports betting the focal point of sport discussions. As a result, more states continue to legalize sports betting in various forms. The following are the best states for sports betting in reflection of 2023.


Tennessee has sports betting roots since 2019, when the Sports Gaming Act became law. Only recently has the state allowed mobile and online betting, with roughly 13 sportsbooks allowed to operate.

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Tennessee has moved within the top 10 of sports betting handle, as they have amassed $8.8 billion from bettors within the state. This is huge, especially for a state that is newer to sports betting.


Virginia currently has 16 sportsbooks that are available for bettors in the state, as this number continues to grow since being legal in 2021. Virginia has brought in about $10.7 billion in sports betting handle so far. You can bet online and in-person locations in the state.


Michigan has brought in nearly $11.06 billion sports handles since January of 2021. With 16 sportsbooks, bettors have plenty of options to choose from. Bettors can use mobile devices and wager within retail locations.


Indiana has offered mobile and in-person betting since 2019. They currently feature 16 sportsbooks and have a sports betting handle of nearly $12.6 billion.


Colorado has moved up the list for sports betting, especially after the Denver Nuggets won the 2023 NBA Championship. They have been accepting online and in-person wagers since 2020 with 29 sportsbooks and have roughly $12.8 billion in sports betting handle.


Pennsylvania is one of the most popular places in the US to place sports bets. It has 13 sportsbooks and has nearly $22.5 billion in sports betting handle since 2019 with mobile and in-person locations.


Illinois features seven sportsbooks to choose from and has been legal since 2019 with mobile and in-person wagering. The state has reached nearly $24 billion in sports handle since its debut.

New York

New York has become one of the most popular places to engage in sports betting, as they have a sports betting handle hovering around $24.6 billion. The state had sports betting in casinos in 2013, launched for retail in 2019, and went mobile in 2022.


Nevada is the place where gambling dreams are made of. The state has a sports betting handle of nearly $33.5 billion for both in-person and online wagers. Despite having over an estimated 100 sportsbooks and casinos (and counting) to place wagers since the 1950’s, bettors must be within a given retail location to place bets online.

New Jersey

New Jersey has become the pinnacle of sports betting and has been leading the market for quite some time, since 2018. They have catered to every wish that bettors could possibly ask for, with 21 sportsbooks and a sports betting handle of nearly $39 billion.

Sports Betting Trends

Sports betting continues to grow every year and shows no signs of slowing down. For instance, check out these stats to see how betting trends have shifted:

  • Sports betting market on global scale expected to be valued at $155.5 billion by 2024
  • More than half of sports bets are placed on football
  • In 2020 alone, nearly 62 percent of all online gambling was sports betting related
  • It is estimated that 23 million people will have placed a bet online by the end of 2023
  • Since 2021, bettors aged 35-44 bet the most often on sports

As you can see, sports betting helps bring in tons of money for states that have it legalized. It increases viewership and attendance in games and helps fight off illegal gambling actions.

2023 Sports Betting Demographics FAQs

How many states is sports betting legal in?

Sports betting is legal in over 30 states and counting, but some only offer in-person wagers. Currently, 37 states and Washington, DC allow sports betting of some kind.

Can you place bets outside of a legal state?

No. You must be within state lines in order to place wagers. In many cases, you will need to physically be inside a retail location for some states.

What was the first state to legalize sports betting?

Nevada was the first state to legalize sports betting back in 1931. In 2013, Nevada, Delaware, and New Jersey were the first states to legalize online gambling.

How many states allow mobile sports betting?

There are 26 states that currently allow mobile sports betting, including Washington, DC. There are several states considering mobile sports betting, but pending approval.

What states have not legalized sports betting?

Sports betting is available for all states, but many have not followed suit and have failed to pass legislation. The following states have not legalized sports betting:

  • Alabama
  • Alaska
  • California
  • Hawaii
  • Idaho
  • South Carolina
  • Texas
  • Utah

The following states could potentially have sports betting in 2024:

  • Florida (in limbo)
  • Georgia
  • Minnesota
  • Missouri

The following states currently have sports betting pending approval:

  • Kentucky
  • Maine
  • Nebraska
  • Vermont

Photo Credit: Wpadington, iStock

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