Sports betting

The big picture

The states that have legalized sports betting

Sports betting is now legal and fully operational in 18 states, plus Washington, D.C.

Updated Aug 7, 2020 - Sports
Sports bettors may be a driving force behind the stock market surge

With no live sports, they're looking for another thrill.

Jun 9, 2020 - Economy & Business
Sports betting, two years later

18 states and counting have legalized it, launching an explosive new industry.

May 14, 2020 - Sports
The growth of mobile sports betting

The best way to reach the vast majority of average sports fans is through their phones.

May 8, 2020 - Sports
The NFL's slow embrace of sports betting

Last September the league asked for congress to step in.

Sep 4, 2019 - Sports
How on-site sportsbooks could transform stadiums

Sports venues are among the most underutilized pieces of real estate on Earth.

Jun 19, 2019 - Sports

All Sports betting stories

Kendall Baker, author of Sports
Nov 13, 2020 - Sports

The emerging media landscape for sports bettors

Al Bernstein (left) and Brent Musburger unveil VSiN's first studio in 2017. Photo: Ethan Miller/Getty Images

As the U.S. sports betting market matures, a robust media landscape is forming alongside it, with companies aiming to educate and entertain bettors.

The state of play: One of the early entrants is Vegas Stats & Information Network (VSiN), which launched in January 2017. VSiN has three studios in Las Vegas (South Point, Mandalay Bay, Circa), one in Atlantic City (Borgata) and one outside Chicago (Rivers).

Kendall Baker, author of Sports
Nov 4, 2020 - Sports

The impact of the third wave: NHL 2021

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

All North American sports leagues face enormous uncertainty heading into 2021, but the NHL's reliance on ticket sales and cross-border travel puts it in a particularly tough spot.

The state of play: While leagues like the NBA and NFL make most of their revenue from media rights, the NHL is a much more gate-driven league.

Kendall Baker, author of Sports
Nov 3, 2020 - Sports

Betting operators target outcomes of 2020 election

Photos: Brian Blanco/Jim Watson/AFP via Getty Images

While legal wagers on the election aren't offered through U.S. sportsbooks, betting operators have launched free contests to drive sign ups and engagement.

Driving the news: DraftKings' $100,000 pool has attracted nearly 400,000 entries, and those who pick the winner overall and in 11 states have a chance to win.

Kendall Baker, author of Sports
Oct 28, 2020 - Sports

Now open: The world's biggest sportsbook

Courtesy: Circa Las Vegas

Circa, the first ground-up resort built in downtown Las Vegas since 1980, opens today with what's being billed as the "world's largest sportsbook."

  • The book: The three-story, 1,000 seat auditorium faces the world's largest TV screen, and the top floor is filled with media studios, where sports betting networks like VSiN will broadcast live shows.
Kendall Baker, author of Sports
Oct 16, 2020 - Sports

New Jersey is America's new sports betting capital

Data: Legal Sports Report; Chart: Andrew Witherspoon/Axios

New Jersey's sports betting market shattered its own national record in September, taking in nearly $749 million in bets.

By the numbers: Online bets accounted for 90.7% of September's handle ($678.7 million). FanDuel Sportsbook/PointsBet topped the market with $25.1 million in gross revenue.

Dion Rabouin, author of Markets
Oct 6, 2020 - Sports

Sports betting apps still have low awareness

Reproduced from CivicScience; Chart: Axios Visuals

Sports betting stocks have been some of the best performers on the market this year, with DraftKings shares up 466% and Barstool Sports-backed Penn National up 176%.

The state of play: A new survey from CivicScience, provided first to Axios, shows sports betting likely has a great deal of growth potential. But much of that may be baked into already-lofty shares prices.

Kendall Baker, author of Sports
Oct 1, 2020 - Sports

Barstool jumps into sports betting

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

Barstool Sports was founded in 2003 as a free gambling newspaper. It later became a sports blog before growing into a media empire, and now things have come full circle with the recent launch of its own branded sportsbook.

Driving the news: The Barstool Sportsbook app saw a record 21,000 downloads per day during its first weekend (Sept. 18–20), breaking DraftKings' and Fanduel's daily records despite Pennsylvania being the only state where it was operational.

Kendall Baker, author of Sports
Sep 24, 2020 - Sports

Targeting a new generation of bettors

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

As sports betting comes out of the shadows and the pool of potential bettors increases, companies are experimenting with ways to target general sports fans.

Why it matters: While some aspects of betting remain complex and require time and research, the basic concept of making predictions is understood by everybody.

Kendall Baker, author of Sports
Sep 23, 2020 - Sports

Inside the offshore betting market

For decades, the black market — which consists of offshore sports books and local "bookies" — has been the only option for U.S. sports bettors looking to place wagers.

  • Now that states can legalize and regulate sports betting, those offshore books — most of which are located in the Caribbean — are facing competition from well-financed companies running legal operations in the U.S.
  • As legal sports betting advances, some believe the offshore market will shrink and become a shell of itself, while others believe the two will live side by side with legal books unable to match what offshore books can offer.

The state of play: Sports betting is currently legal and operational in 18 states plus Washington, D.C. It's legal but not yet operational in four more states, and another seven have active legislation.

Media doubles down on sports betting

Illustration: Rebecca Zisser/Axios

Sports media companies are leaning further into sports betting as more states legalize the practice and the NFL and college football seasons kick into gear.

Driving the news: ESPN has entered into separate agreements with Caesars Entertainment and DraftKings, both of which include exclusive link integrations (i.e. affiliate partnerships) across ESPN's digital platforms.

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