It’s been an amazing couple of months for the legal sports betting industry. First, the total amount of legal wagers placed in September exceeded expectations. At that point, some states were already starting to post record handle numbers. And that was before the anticipated busiest time of year for sportsbooks. But the October figures have been nothing short of staggering.

State after state has reported total betting handle numbers way above and beyond anything they had previously seen. Is it possible interest in betting has peaked earlier this season or can the trend continue upwards? That will be revealed over the next few weeks as states will publish their November handle figures. While we wait for that to happen, let’s see where the most legal betting is already happening across the country.


1. New Jersey

It’s no surprise to see NJ sports betting continue to reign supreme. It has been at the top of the mountain since legal sports betting began in 2018. It is easily the biggest online betting state and the only threat to its supremacy could come when New York sports betting kicks off in early 2022.

Handle Record: $1.303 Billion (October 2021)
Previous Best: $1.011 Billion (September 2021)


2. Nevada

The traditional powerhouse of gambling, Nevada became the second state to hit the billion dollar mark after New Jersey did it in October. The difference between Nevada and other states is it still relies on retail locations for the bulk of its action. With travel to Las Vegas back in full swing, the sportsbooks in the state have seen their coffers swell.

Handle Record: $1.101 Billion (October 2021)
Previous Best: $786 Million (September 2021)


3. Pennsylvania

Again, no surprise to see PA sports betting feature so high on the list. Pennsylvania was one of the states to adopt legal online betting early on. Philadelphia and Pittsburgh are both full of sports fans so the recipe for success is simple.

Handle Record: $776 Million (October 2021)
Previous Best: $615 Million (January 2021)


4. Illinois

Illinois does things differently. First, it reports numbers about a month later than other states so there is a lag in the figures. Second, things are growing more slowly at the moment because of the return of the in-person registration requirement. Some would argue they are shooting themselves in the foot considering the majority of legal betting takes place online. But it should just be a temporary glitch as Illinois sports betting will be fully mobile again by March 2022.

Handle Record: $634 Million (March 2021)


5. Michigan

Michigan sports betting is on a straight upward trajectory. It absolutely shattered its monthly handle record in October, coming in just shy of the half billion dollar mark. That was a whopping 28.6% increase over its previous best month. All indications are things are not slowing down in November either.

Handle Record: $498 Million (October 2021)
Previous Best: $387 Million (September 2021)


6. Colorado

It is also happy times for Colorado sports betting. The $491 million wagered in the state in October was $83 million higher than the previous month. It looks inevitable that Colorado will break through the $500 million barrier in November.

Handle Record: $491 Million (October 2021)
Previous Best: $408 Million (September 2021)


7. Indiana

Indiana sports betting had an even bigger month on month increase than Colorado. The $461 million bet in October was a 29.9% improvement on its previous best ever month. How long can this growth be maintained as sportsbooks enter the busiest time of the year?

Handle Record: $461 Million (October 2021)
Previous Best: $355 Million (September 2021)


8. Virginia

Virginia sports betting saw a remarkable volume of wagering in October for a relative newcomer. In terms of percentage increases, the 40% growth compared to its previous best from March pushed Virginia closer to other established states than most would have predicted.

Handle Record: $427 Million (October 2021)
Previous Best: $304 Million (March 2021)


9. Tennessee

After a strong start, Tennessee sports betting had been flying under the radar for most of the year. That all changed in October which turned out to be a breakout month for the Volunteer State. The $375 million wagered was 46% more than had ever been seen before in a single month.

Handle Record: $375 Million (October 2021)
Previous Best: $257 Million (September 2021)


10. Iowa

For a relatively smaller population, Iowa is certainly punching above its weight. While online betting has been legal since 2019, it really only got going properly in January of 2021. That’s when Iowa sports betting finally removed the in-person registration requirement which had been slowing things down. They are now fully reaping the reward with a huge jump in total handle in October.

Handle Record: $281 Million (October 2021)
Previous Best: $210 Million (September 2021)