Massachusetts Mobile Sports-Betting Opening Tops $568m In Handle

April 19, 2023
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Online sportsbooks in Massachusetts brought in just over $46m in gross revenue in the state’s abbreviated first month of business, a strong opening performance that immediately catapults the state into the upper echelon of U.S. sports-betting markets.

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Online sportsbooks in Massachusetts brought in just over $46m in gross revenue in the state’s abbreviated first month of business, a strong opening performance that immediately catapults the state into the upper echelon of U.S. sports-betting markets.

Six online sportsbooks launched when first eligible on March 10, joining the retail sportsbooks that launched earlier this year at the state’s three commercial casinos.

The state saw more than $568m in total monthly sports wagering handle, according to data released Tuesday (April 18) by the Massachusetts Gaming Commission (MGC), a figure that will likely place Massachusetts among the top ten states when all sports-betting markets release their monthly reports despite ten days less activity.

Who holds the state’s early online market share lead is in the eye of the beholder.

In terms of betting handle, Boston-based DraftKings jumped out to an early lead on its home turf, with about 47 percent of handle.

Mass sports

However, in terms of gross revenue, higher-holding FanDuel slightly edged out its closest competitor with about 35 percent share despite only having about a third of the state’s handle.

The four other mobile sportsbooks to launch — BetMGM, Barstool, WynnBet, and Caesars — all saw single digit shares in handle, although BetMGM turned in a stronger performance of about 15 percent of gross revenue powered by a state-high 16.4 percent online hold, higher than the state’s 10.7 percent average.

Although the Massachusetts performance is a strong one, it does differ noticeably from the frantic start in Ohio that resulted in a $209m opening month of revenue.

Even adjusting for population, of which Massachusetts boasts about 60 percent of Ohio, according to U.S. census data, the opening performance is slightly below pace for the most recent U.S. state launch.

There are several mitigating factors, however. One notable one is that Ohio’s January launch coincided with the National Football League (NFL) playoffs, while Massachusetts launched in time for the NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament.

Football remains the overwhelming leader in the U.S. in terms of betting handle by sport, despite the popularity of March Madness basketball.

In addition, Ohio’s market opened with 16 mobile operators all launching throughout the first month, in addition to a large retail component including Ohio Lottery-operated kiosks featuring at more than 900 locations throughout the state. Massachusetts' market remains limited to just six mobile operators, three of which are tethered to casinos, as well as just three retail sportsbooks at those land-based casino venues.

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