The legal betting market in America is growing even faster than expected according to recent figures. Several states have reported their handle numbers for September and records have been tumbling. New Jersey continues to lead the way and in the process broke new ground, becoming the first state to take more than $1 Billion worth of legal wagers in a single month.

As noted here recently, the Fall is the busiest time of year for sportsbooks. It is the time of year when the highest number of popular professional and college sports run concurrently. However, it is still somewhat of a surprise that September saw quite so much action. While MLB, NFL and NCAA Football were all in full swing, the NBA and NHL had yet to get started.

Bearing that in mind, many of the handle records set in September may not last long.


New Jersey Sports Betting Billionaires

New Jersey sports betting is the crown jewel of the legal market. It was therefore fitting that the Garden State made history by becoming the first in the US to record a ten-figure monthly handle. In total, an eye-watering $1.01 billion was wagered legally in NJ in September.

It was a significant year-on-year increase. In September 2020, New Jersey sports bettors placed a total of $749 million in bets.

The previous NJ and US handle record was set in December 2020 with $996 million.

Back to September 2021 where football was unsurprisingly the most popular sport. Bettors placed $401 million worth of wagers between NFL and NCAA Football. This figure does not include parlays which presumably contained a large percentage of football bets too. The total amount of parlays was $216 million.

While football clearly drove the majority of the action, baseball also proved popular. With the playoffs approaching and the clutch part of the MLB regular season underway, baseball bettors made a total of $185 million worth of wagers. Again this does not include additional baseball bets which would have been part of the parlays number above.


Michigan Betting Record Set

It was also a huge month for Michigan sports betting. In total, bettors put down $387 million of wagers in September. The previous record of $384 million had been set in March driven by the NCAA basketball tournament.

As Michigan only began legal betting in January of 2021, there is no year-on-year comparison possible. However, with basketball starting in October and two Michigan college football teams riding high in the rankings, it looks like the $400 million handle mark could well go over the next couple of months.


Indiana Betting Handle New High

Not to be outdone, Indiana sports betting also hit new levels in September. A total of $355 million in betting handle eclipsed the previous record of $348 million set in January 2021, For comparison, in September 2020, the total sports betting handle was $207 million.

Football was the most popular sport among bettors this September with a total of $149 million. Again, this does not include the portion of the parlays that were football bets. Parlays as a whole totaled $92 million while baseball accounted for $53 million of the total handle.


Iowa Betting Figures Higher Than Ever

Of the states that have officially reported already, there is yet another record-setter. Iowa sports betting saw $210 million total handle in September. The previous record of $161 million had been set earlier this year in March, again driven by March Madness.

The new record is a monstrous leap forward from 12 months ago when bettors placed $72 million worth of bets in the Hawkeye State. This comparison is somewhat unfair though as back in September 2020 there was an in-person registration requirement holding many people back. Since the start of 2021, Iowa players can download, register and bet entirely from the comfort of their own homes.


Pennsylvania Betting Comes Close

For Pennsylvania sports betting it was a case of close but no cigar. September’s total handle of $579 million came just shy of the previous record in the Keystone State. The $615 million bet in January 2021 will no doubt come under threat in the coming months.

91% of the September 2021 betting was online, a similar percentage as other states with established casinos present. If you look back at September 2020 you will see a handle total of $463 million in PA. It’s a clear example of just how quickly legal online betting is growing in popularity.