September means one thing for sports fans — football, the most popular sport in the US, and the NFL are back, and everyone is talking about it.
Sports betting is also benefiting from the interest. It’s been calculated that 58.2 million transactions went through from Thursday to Sunday, marking a 126% increase from the 2020 opening weekend, when 25.8 million bets were placed.
That should not come as a surprise, as since 2018 when the Supreme Court legalized sports betting, more and more states are jumping into the industry. The latest numbers come from 18 states and DC., while 26 states and DC have legalized sports betting.
Arizona went live just hours before Thursday’s opening game between Tampa Bay and Dallas. 271,000 accounts and 6.1 million transactions were recorded for the weekend in the state.
Those numbers put Arizona in the top-performing states. The leader was New Jersey, where 12.5 million transactions were recorded. New Jersey (21.4% of all transactions) and Pennsylvania ( 11.5 million transactions or 19.8%) accounted for almost half of all transactions.
A spokesperson for DraftKings, one of the nation’s leading sports betting companies, said that they expect this weekend to be their best ever.
With the expansion of sports betting, some people have been worried about how it would impact Nevada, as gambling is the state economy’s leading sector. But numbers have been positive there as well.
The SuperBook at Westgate Las Vegas reported a 20% YOY increase in betting handle.
Another reason to smile for the sportsbook is that the underdogs went 11-4 against the spread, and 8 were outright upsets.