Why Arizona Sports Betting Handle And Revenue Don’t Match Up

Posted on January 4, 2022
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Written By on January 4, 2022

The reports were delayed but the first two months of Arizona sports betting show promising handle, with a potentially large catch.

Arizona sportsbooks drew $291.2 million in bets in September, according to a state report released Dec. 31. The sportsbooks turned in an even better October, drawing $486.1 million in bets, according to a report released the same day by the Arizona Department of Gaming.

The strong first two months of wagering for Arizona were expected, benefiting from a hungry market watching other states with legalized betting and a launch early in a month. Arizona sportsbooks starting with the NFL opening weekend certainly helped.

Promo rule puts clamps on AZ sports betting revenue

Sportsbooks recorded $31.6 million in gross revenue, good for a 10.9% hold.

The sportsbooks, however, were able to deduct $31.2 million of promotional credits from that total.

That left the state with just $31,393 in taxes.

Strongest handle start to legal sports betting market

After launching Sept. 9, Arizona’s September was the best debut month ever for a legal US sports betting market. It shatters the previous record first-month handle of $131.4 million set by Tennessee sports betting in November 2020.

In February 2021, their first full month of action after a late January launch, Virginia sportsbooks took $265.8 million.

Leading the market after one month

While daily fantasy sports launched roughly two weeks before sports betting, DraftKings Sportsbook still stormed out to a big lead in Arizona. The sportsbook took $97.7 million in bets, for more than 30% market share.

BetMGM Sportsbook outpaced FanDuel Sportsbook for the no. 2 online sportsbook, $58.9 million to $57.9 million. FanDuel did turn in an additional $2.2 million in retail handle at Footprint Center, best for the two physical sportsbooks operating in September.

Caesars Sportsbook was a solid fourth at $42.2 million in online handle, with another $840,747 coming at a temporary book at Chase Field. WynnBet slipped in at No. 5 with $17.4 million, ahead of the Barstool Sportsbook handle of $13 million.

OperatorOnline HandleRetail HandleGross RevenueHoldPromosOnline Market Share
DraftKings$97.7 million--$12.5 million12.8%$12.5 million33.9%
BetMGM$58.9 million--$10.6 million18.0%$10.6 million20.4%
FanDuel$57.9 million$2.2 million$461,7980.8%$145,73720.1%
Caesars$42.2 million$840,797$3.7 million8.6%$3.6 million14.6%
WynnBet$17.4 million--$3.5 million20.1%$3.5 million6.0%
Barstool$13.0 million--$833,4146.4%$833,4144.5%
TwinSpires$489,556--$27,8065.7%$27,806<1%
Unibet$420,983--$16,2513.9%$16,251<1%

How Arizona sports betting stacks up

The $486.1 million October handle was seventh among US sports betting markets. The sportsbooks generated $36.3 million in revenue, a 7.5% hold, while deducting $25.9 million in promotions.

The $10.3 million in adjusted revenue left the state with a little more than $1 million in taxes.

DraftKings continues to lead

DraftKings grew its market lead during October, taking $151.4 million in bets. FanDuel won the battle for second, drawing $115.9 million in bets to BetMGM’s $92.1 million.

Caesars maintained a hold on fourth with $69.2 million in handle. Barstool surpasseed WynnBet for fifth in the second month, $26.3 million in handle to $20.7 million, respectively.

OperatorOnline HandleRetail HandleGross RevenueHoldPromosOnline Market Share
DraftKings$151.4 million--$11.0 million7.3%$8.6 million31.6%
FanDuel$115.9 million$4.8 million$9.1 million7.5%$6.3 million24.2%
BetMGM$92.1 million--$7.6 million8.3%$4.8 million19.2%
Caesars$69.2 million$2.0 million$4.8 million6.7%$4.0 million14.4
Barstool$26.3 million--$1.8 million6.8%$640,2855.5%
WynnBet$20.7 million--$1.7 million8.2%$1.4 million4.3%
TwinSpires$1.6 million--$195,88112.2%$195,881<1%
Unibet$1.2 million-- $28,5762.4%$28,576<1%
Rush Street Interactive$581,570--$65,76511.3%$65,765<1%

Top October handle by state

  1. New Jersey sports betting: $1.3 billion
  2. Nevada sports betting: $1.1 billion
  3. Illinois sports betting: $840.4 million
  4. Pennsylvania sports betting: $776.3 million
  5. Michigan sports betting: $497.6 million
  6. Colorado sports betting: $491.5 million
  7. Arizona: $486.1 million
  8. Indiana sports betting: $451.1 million
  9. Virginia: $427.3 million
  10. Tennessee: $375.3 million

Still growing in Arizona

The Arizona Department of Gaming is still working to issue all of the licenses it awarded in August. There are 11 online sportsbooks operating in the state, with another seven waiting in the wings.

In December 2021, SuperBook and Fubo Sportsbook launched online sportsbooks, while Betfred Sports rolled out kiosks at the We-Ko-Pa Casino Resort in November.

In November, the ADG opened an application period for limited event wagering operator licenses, which will allow retail sportsbooks at racetracks and off-track betting locations. The application period closed December 30, according to the ADG website.

A lawsuit filed to stop sports betting in the state could be settled out of court, as both parties work toward a resolution following a motion to stay the case.

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Pat Evans

Pat Evans is a Las Vegas-based reporter covering sports business. Evans previously worked at Front Office Sports and the Grand Rapids Business Journal. He has authored two books: Grand Rapids Beer and Nevada Beer.

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