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BETTING

Boston-Based DraftKings Rules Massachusetts in Record-Setting October

Boston Celtics Cheerleader v Golden State Warriors
A Boston Celtics cheerleader holds up a sign for fans in the second quarter against the Golden State Warriors at TD Garden in Boston, Massachusetts. Elsa/Getty Images/AFP

According to the Bay State authorities revenue report, October was the second-highest revenue-producing month in Massachusetts sports betting incipient history, and locally-based DraftKings towered above all others.

DraftKings Holds Court in the Bay State

April 2023 remains the highest-grossing and revenue-producing mobile sports betting month in Massachusetts history but October 2023 came very close to eclipsing those figures. A total of $555.7 million was wagered via the mobile sportsbooks ($571.8 million when adding in retail) producing revenues of $58.1 million on a 10.47% hold of which $11.6 million was earmarked for the state’s tax coffers.

Those figures were slightly less than April’s mobile sports betting numbers which generated $566.2 million generating revenue of $58.5 million on a 10.34% hold of which $11.7 million went to the state.

And of the eight online sportsbooks operating in Massachusetts, homegrown DraftKings dwarfed all its challengers including its arch nemesis, FanDuel. When the dust cleared, DraftKings broke its own record of $290.1 million in September and became the first Massachusetts sportsbook to shatter the $300 million handle barrier with $304.8 million in accepted wagers.

By the Numbers

The October gaming report released by the Massachusetts Gaming Commission revealed the following handle, revenue, and hold data for each of the eight online sportsbooks.

  • DraftKings – $304.8 million handle – $34.3 million revenue
  • FanDuel – $156.6 million handle – $15.9 million revenue
  • BetMGM – $35 million handle – $4.4 million revenue
  • Caesars Sportsbook – $19.1 million handle – $1.55 million revenue
  • Barstool – $13.9 million handle – $1.8 million revenue
  • Fanatics – $13.6 million handle – $1.3 million revenue
  • WynnBET – $13.5 million handle – $1.0 million revenue
  • Betr – $325,000 handle – $21,000 revenue

 

Not the Exception

As we have seen throughout the nation, the vast majority of sports bets are placed online and Massachusetts is no exception. Of the $571.8 million in sports bets in October, $555.7 million were placed online and less than $17 million at brick-and-mortar locations. This represents over 97% of the sports bets being placed on mobile devices or PCs. Virtually all of the states where sports betting is legal have a digital sports betting rate of 90% or higher.

The sole exception is Nevada due to the sheer number of sportsbooks nestled inside the many casinos dotting the landscape and, just as importantly, mobile customers in the Silver State are required to register for a mobile sportsbook account in person. This has kept the mobile betting rate at around 70% in Nevada which is what the land-based casinos were hoping for when they lobbied for this requirement.

In-person registration was also the case in Illinois when it first launched mobile sports betting but it soon did away with the requirement as it proved to be a major obstacle in capturing as much of the market as possible. Many casual bettors would easily forego a trip to the casino to register but would sign up from the convenience of their mobile devices.

Top 10 Handles

The sports betting industry in Massachusetts has been an unequivocal success as evidenced by the state muscling its way to the top 10 in the nation’s sports betting handles despite the launch not occurring until March. Therefore, no handles or revenues were generated in January and February of this year in Massachusetts.

Through October the following states have the top handles in the nation:

  1. New York $15.02B
  2. New Jersey $7.77B
  3. Illinois $6.69B
  4. Nevada $5.68B
  5. Ohio $5.23B
  6. Pennsylvania $4.99B
  7. Arizona $3.91B
  8. Virginia $3.75B
  9. Colorado $3.68B
  10. Massachusetts $3.65B
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