Explaining The Most Confusing Term In Sports Betting: Handle And Revenue

The handle is the amount wagered by the punters, whereas revenue is the profit margin of a sportsbook in a particular bet.

The term “Handle” may be a new term to many gamblers new to sports gambling. One of the most fundamental concepts in sports betting is this concept. In short and simplified terms, the handle is nothing but the amount wagered by the gamblers. The money is required to gamble or play in casinos, sportsbooks, or any online gambling site. In addition, a handle can be a country’s, state’s, or even a sportsbook’s wagered amount played for a particular period.

Now let’s classify the other most commonly used term in sports betting “Revenue.” The revenue is calculated after all the bets are placed, the winner gets his funds, and the losers lose their bet money. A handle is different from the sportsbook’s revenue.

Terms Associated with Handle

Ticket Percentage: Ticket Percentage is the raw number of wagers. It is independent of the amount of money bet. For example, a $10 bet on Chelsea and a $1000 bet on Chelsea will count as individual tickets. Both the bets will act as each one ticket.

Handle Percentage: It is calculated on the amount of money wagered in each bet. For example, 20 bets of $5 will be counted as the same as that of $100.

Revenue of a sportsbook

Generally, sportsbooks hold just 5% of the handle. But in 2017, a record worth of $4.87 billion in handle comprised the Nevada Gaming Control Board confirmed all the state’s sportsbooks. It was a benchmark as the revenue collected was $248.4 billion. Therefore this calculation recorded a steep 5.1% of the handle.  

Difference between the terms

The difference between a handle and revenue is quite straightforward. The handle of a sportsbook refers to the amount bet on a game for a particular time. In contrast, revenue represents the profit margin on each bet. It’s usually around 5%. As a result, the distinction is obvious and simple to comprehend.

Importance of Revenue and Handle

Revenue and handle are essential aspects of sports gambling. You want to know how much betting volume an operator has when it comes to handle. Increased volume means more liquidity, which means higher wagering limits. When there is a higher volume of bets, sportsbooks are more inclined to allow larger wagers. It is the sole reason why NBA and NFL wagering limits are always higher. Moreover, if you bet on a large sum, you must select sportsbooks with a higher handle. Therefore, you will have a higher possibility of a long-term win with less vigorish.


It is critical to have accurate information about handle and revenue, or you could suffer significant losses. The overall take in a bet is the margin of a sportsbook or its revenue. Hence, having proper knowledge on revenue and handle helps you find better opportunities at the sportsbooks.

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