Illegal sports wagering reaches $196bn or 97% of US market, according to H2

Illegal sports wagering now accounts for US$196bn or 97% of all US sports betting, according to new H2 Gambling Capital analysis provided exclusively to iGB


Illegal sports wagering now accounts for an annual US$196bn or 97% of all US sports betting, according to a new analysis by the gambling sector’s leading market data provider, H2 Gambling Capital, exclusively provided to iGaming Business. The £196bn handle (or $10.4bn GGR) calculated for 2016 in H2’s ‘deep dive analysis’  (paywall) is substantially higher than the widely publicised $150bn figure previously published by the American Gaming Association.

The 97% figure produced by iGaming Business’ principal data partner also far outstrips recent International Centre for Sport Security/University of Sorbonne Paris estimates that 80% of global bets are made illegally.

Of this 2016 illegal sports betting activity in the US, 79% was conducted online, according to H2, with two states – California and New York – accounting for more than 25% of total illegal handle. H2’s figures serve to confirm the scale of the black market enabled by 1992’s Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act, the subject of a landmark Supreme Court hearing this December. The $196bn figure is also more than 47 times the handle of the currently legal US legal sports betting activity or nearly 1.5 times the total handle for all forms of gambling on the Nevada Las Vegas Strip in 2016.

To view the Manchester-based data and consulting firm’s full analysis on the size and potential of the US sports betting market based on an 8-10 year roll-out from when PASPA is repealed, please visit the iGaming Business Intelligence Centre.

H2 Gambling Capital is the leading quoted source regarding the value of the global gambling sector in company reports and investment banking analysts' notes. To find out more, please visit