How To Map Out The Multi-Billion Dollar U.S. Online Market

Among the swathes of changes to consumer behavior and business operations catalyzed by the events of 2020, the rapid emergence of the U.S. sports betting and iGaming market as the largest in the world is unlikely to feature heavily in the history books. But for stakeholders in the U.S. market, whether operators, suppliers or their rapidly growing pool of investors, 2020 may nevertheless be remembered as the year in which the multi-billion-dollar potential of these two highly-prized market segments truly began to crystallize.

Gross revenue from regulated U.S. sports betting looks likely to settle just shy of $1.6bn in the second full year of operations following the U.S. Supreme Court’s historic overturning of the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act (PASPA) in May 2018. That growth of 66 percent, achieved in the face of a severely distorted sporting calendar and flat land-based revenue, obscures huge expansion in online sports betting, which grew by around 125 percent to reach gross revenue of $1.1bn or just over 70 percent of the market total.

With land-based operations shuttered from mid-March and heavily restricted for the remainder of the year as part of mitigation efforts against the spread of coronavirus, mobile betting became even more crucial in states to have issued online licences and a starker missing piece in states, like New York or Mississippi, which have so far pursued a retail-only rollout.

Strong growth in established states such as New Jersey and Pennsylvania was supported by sizeable contributions from newly-launched markets including Colorado and Illinois, with 2020’s seven market launches taking the number of active sports betting states to 20 as of the end of the year. As state legislative sessions convene at the start of 2021, a further six to 14 states are expected to legalize sports betting this year, according to the VIXIO GamblingCompliance’s U.S. Sports Betting Tracker. 

We forecast the U.S. sports betting market to be worth between $2.9bn and $3.2bn in market size terms in 2021, depending on legislative momentum and the lingering influence of COVID-19, with online sports betting revenue projected to surpass $2bn after only breaching the $1bn mark in 2020.

Longer-term, we forecast the U.S. sports betting market to be worth $7.9bn to $10.7bn in annual gross revenue by 2025, depending on whether state-level legislative trends align with our Base Case or more optimistic Bull Case scenarios. Both of these scenarios are detailed in VIXIO GamblingCompliance’s U.S. Sports Betting & iGaming Data Dashboard, a powerful interactive tool allowing users to create their own market-size forecasts for the rapidly expanding U.S. sports betting and online gaming sectors.

As the legislative landscape rapidly evolves, users can change projected timelines and market scenarios for sports betting in all states – recasting their overall market forecasts based on whether bills are advancing or stalling and how state lawmakers are approaching mobile wagering, tax rates and other key regulatory criteria. During the first two weeks of 2021 alone, we have already updated our own forecasts within the Dashboard to account for a more optimistic timeline for online sports betting in both New York and Arizona, with policy dynamics set to evolve in such key states as Texas, Georgia and Massachusetts within the coming weeks.

Custom forecasts can also be made to account for a more limited market-access portfolio, enabling users to size the market based strictly on those states in which their company, clients, competitors or investments are licensed to do business.

Online Gaming Growth

Inclusive of iGaming, a market sector which Dashboard users can separately model under their own assumptions, we project the overall U.S. online gambling market to yield annual gross revenue of between $10.8bn and $14.3bn by 2025. 2020 marked the year in which New Jersey and Pennsylvania emerged as true global heavyweights in iGaming, with online casino revenue having soared during the early months of the pandemic before subsequently proving resilient to land-based substitution as casinos reopened in the second half of the year.

Despite comparatively glacial state-by-state regulation to date, the outperformance of online casino versus sports betting in revenue and, more crucially, tax yield terms in New Jersey and Pennsylvania has encouraged an emerging investor theory that states will be more willing to regulate the activity in the post-COVID era.

 

The huge potential of the U.S. iGaming sector was emphasized by gross online casino and poker revenue reaching $1.5bn in these two Northeastern states alone in 2020, comfortable surpassing online sportsbook revenue of $1.1bn accumulated in 13 states over the same period. With legislation likely in play in over two-dozen states in 2021, the U.S. Sports Betting & iGaming Data Dashboard keeps your finger on the pulse of how the addressable market for each vertical could expand or contract based on the activity in state capitols across the country.

U.S. Sports Betting & iGaming Data Dashboard

With legislation in play in over two-dozen states in 2021, the VIXIO Sports Betting & iGaming Data Dashboard allows you to monitor how the market could expand or contract based on activity in state capitols. Build your own unique market-size forecasts for the rapidly expanding U.S. sports betting and online gaming sectors with the VIXIO U.S. Sports Betting & iGaming Data Dashboard 

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