Business By The Books: ‘Same-Game’ Changed Sports Betting, Flutter Says

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John Maguire says the first same-game parlays were looked into in 2014 as it was becoming an “obvious” problem to solve for sports betting customers.

Betting a parlay with multiple legs from the same event was a common request at that point, the then-head of trading for Australian bookmaker Sportsbet said in a Flutter post detailing the history of same-game parlays.

Sportsbet eventually launched “same game multis” for the 2016 Australian Football League Grand Final. Same-game parlays launched with FanDuel in the US in 2019 and have been a major focus for many US sports betting operators for the past few years, given their popularity with customers and the inherently higher hold they provide.

Last year, DraftKings CEO Jason Robins called deeper parlay products a “win-win” for both the company and its customers.

Same-game parlays by the numbers

The significant growth in same-game parlays bet year over year shows how much progress is still being made in the product.

There were 262 million same-game bets placed across Flutter’s key brands globally in the fourth quarter of 2023. That is up nearly 75% from the prior year. Flutter also cited a UBS report that showed 90% of respondents had placed a same-game parlay.

Another cited study from Deutsche Bank showed same-game parlay bets as a percentage of handle was 24.3% in 2023, up from 19.2% in 2019. Margin on those products jumped to 18.5% from 13.1% in 2019 as customers add more legs on average.

Sports betting parlay innovation future

Same-game parlays have fundamentally shifted hold expectations for sportsbooks, which means there will be no shortage of options and innovations for SGPs moving forward.

DraftKings, for example, kept Super Bowl hold at expected levels with SGPs and popular props despite an unfavorable outcome for sportsbooks.

“We ended up actually holding right in line with what we thought we would from a hold rate perspective,” Robins said on the company’s fourth-quarter call. “So that was really, I think, a testament to the great work the team has done over the last few years to drive more diversified bets and more parlays.”

Jay Snowden, CEO of Penn Entertainment, said last month that all of Penn’s interactive team is focused on improving parlay options through the start of football season. Snowden said “the gap” between ESPN Bet and betting leaders FanDuel and DraftKings is the parlay product.

Fanatics adding sports betting VIPs?

The breakout of gross gaming revenue by operator in New Jersey suggests Fanatics could be taking VIP share from DraftKings, Eilers & Krejick suggested in its EKG Line weekly email.

The growth is driven by a “very small number of VIPs” and the data suggests that activity came from DraftKings as its market share fell.

DraftKings, of course, is suing the former head of its VIP program for leaving to join Fanatics. DraftKings alleges Michael Hermalyn left with the intention of sharing corporate secrets and stealing customers for Fanatics to help grow its VIP program.

The Fanatics brand will stand alone next week in New Jersey, according to Play NJ. Fanatics closed the $225 million acquisition of PointsBet‘s US assets earlier this month.

MGM sues FTC over due process

MGM is suing the Federal Trade Commission and its chairwoman for violating the company’s right to due process concerning an investigation into September‘s cyberattack.

Lina Khan and a senior aide happened to be staying at MGM Grand during the cyberattack. A few days later, Bloomberg reported that both questioned MGM’s procedures such as asking them to write down credit card information on pieces of paper.

The information requested by the FTC included requests “seemingly derived directly from Chair Khan’s personal experience.”

MGM reported it lost $100 million in adjusted EBITDA in September from the attack. BetMGM customers were safe from data leaks as the stolen data came from MGM customers before March 2019.