What Google Data Tell Us About US, Ontario Sports Betting Markets

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US sports betting

The US sports betting industry is not short of data. State-by-state reporting means there is far more visibility into the market than just about anywhere else.

But there are still plenty of gray areas without much clarity, starting with the offshore market.  To shed some light on these shadows, LSR procured some ‘softer’ data courtesy of Google.

Here’s what we learned:

Offshore US sports betting is still huge

Google cannot give specific names, but one offshore brand is searched 3.6 times as often as a regulated equivalent across the US, Google said. That number drops to 1.4x in regulated sportsbook states.

That lines up with LSR’s own analysis that found offshore sports betting is still booming:

What about mature markets?

In legacy states including New Jersey, Pennsylvania and Indiana, the trend is flipped.

Regulated brands are searched more than 3x as much as unregulated brands:

For instance, in Pennsylvania, FanDuel Sportsbook gets 97% of combined searches for ‘FanDuel’ and ‘Bovada.’

In Texas, it gets just 14%.

Regulation helps channel shift

Arizona sports betting helps highlights the shift that happens as a market regulates:

Conversely, Florida helps to highlight what happens when there are no legal sports wagering options. In Florida, Bovada alone accounts for half of all searches.

Novice bettors driving NY sports betting surge

The Google data also helped to detail who actually signed up for the roughly 1 million new accounts opened in the first month of New York sports betting.

NY search figures suggested a massive jump in novice gamblers. For instance, overall betting search was up 94% year-on-year.

But search for “how to sports bet” was up 383% year-on-year. 

Same game parlays are king in US sports betting

The Google data also highlighted the changing nature of the product itself.

From December 2021 to January 2022, searches for ‘same game parlay’ were up 177% month-on-month. For comparison, searches for ‘sports betting’ were up 24%.

That growth is likely driven by the operators themselves pushing SGP in their marketing.

That is hardly surprising given the massive hold rate on those products.

Gray-market firms leading the way in Ontario?

Finally, some of the early data out of Ontario sports betting suggests gray-market firms are leading the way:

Of course, theScore Bet looks to be performing best by app downloads, so old-fashioned handle figures might be necessary to draw conclusions.