Arizona became the fastest state in the post-PASPA era to surpass $10 billion in sports wagering handle, doing so in 20 months after its Department of Gaming reported $535.7 million worth of accepted bets for April on Thursday.
The Grand Canyon State eclipsed Illinois, which reached the benchmark in 22 months in February 2022 when excluding two months of no retail wagering in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Arizona launched sports betting operations in September 2021 and quickly settled into a top 10 market nationally. The April handle ranked seventh among 29 states and marked the 11th time Arizona cleared half a billion dollars in handle.
Arizona is the 10th state to reach the $10 billion threshold, joining New Jersey, Nevada, New York, Illinois, Pennsylvania, Indiana, Colorado, Michigan, and Virginia. It is the third state to reach the milestone this year, along with Michigan and Virginia.
Sportsbook operators reported $49.2 million in gross revenue prior to deductions in April, resulting in a statewide hold of 9.2%. The state was eligible to tax $34.4 million of that amount, resulting in an inflow of $3.4 million to Arizona’s coffers.
Handle was up 4.5% versus April 2022, but gross revenue surged 68.1%, as this year’s hold was nearly 3.5 percentage points higher. Adjusted gross revenue more than doubled compared to the same period, though the $13.6 million in promotional spend was an increase of only 6.8% from last year.
The year-to-date win rate of 7.8% is nearly two percentage points above the first four months of 2022, resulting in a 41.2% increase in gross revenue to $185.6 million. AGR has surged 89.2% to $116.6 million, and the $11.6 million in tax receipts for the first four months of 2023 is running $5.5 million ahead of last year’s pace.
Strong springs starts for Big Three
Top 10 post-PASPA #SportsBetting handles by state. (May in CAPS)
1 NEW JERSEY ~$38.3B
2 NEVADA $33.02B
3 NEW YORK $24.63B
4 Illinois $22.57B
5 PENNSYLVANIA $22.06B
6 INDIANA $12.32B
7 Colorado ~$12.1B
8 MICHIGAN $10.8B
9 Arizona $10.16B
10 Virginia $10.02B#GamblingTwitter
— Chris Altruda (@AlTruda73) June 29, 2023
FanDuel ruled the roost for handle and revenue, accepting $212.9 million in bets while claiming $21.9 million in gross revenue for a 10.3% win rate — its first in double digits since January. The online titan also closed within $50 million of DraftKings for the top spot in total Arizona handle while surpassing $3 billion.
DraftKings was a distant second in both categories, also clearing $3 billion in all-time handle after accepting $148.7 million worth of wagers. Its $13.9 million in gross revenue marked the fifth time in the last 12 months it reaped at least $13 million from bettors. The sportsbook also topped $200 million in all-time gross revenue.
BetMGM had a 10.6% hold, the ninth time in the last 10 months it posted a double-digit win rate. It claimed nearly $7.7 million in gross revenue from $72.4 million handle, while its all-time promotional spend in Arizona surpassed $100 million after reporting more than $3.1 million worth of such credits for April.
Caesars‘ gross revenue plunged more than 50% from March to $2.4 million, as its 4.8% hold from $49.9 million handle was nearly four percentage points lower month-over-month. Local sportsbook Desert Diamond narrowly ceded the No. 5 handle spot to Barstool Sportsbook, with the PENN Entertainment outfit’s $12.4 million creating a gap of some $316,000.
Desert Diamond, though, had a month-to-month positive revenue swing of $2.6 million after a seven-figure loss in March, keeping nearly $1.4 million to fashion an 11.2% hold — more than doubling Barstool’s $630,000. The Tucson-based casino has been feast or famine in the first four months of the year, with gross revenue of $4.2 million and a 13% hold in January and April bracketing a combined loss of more than $975,000 from $71.7 million wagered in February and March.
Putting a bow on April’s national numbers
Top 10 YTD #SportsBeting handle by state (thru May in CAPS)
1 NEW YORK $7.98B
2 NEW JERSEY $4.57B
3 Illinois $3.92B
4 NEVADA $3.55B
5 PENNSYLVANIA $3.16B
6 Ohio $3.02B
7 Arizona $2.38B
8 MICHIGAN $1.91B
9 Colorado $1.88B
10 Virginia $1.88B#GamblingTwitter
— Chris Altruda (@AlTruda73) June 29, 2023
Arizona’s numbers completed a busy April of sports wagering nationwide with close to $9.2 billion handle.
Sportsbooks extended their strong run that began last July, posting a hold of 9.5% for April to claim nearly $870.4 million in gross revenue. After deductions and adjustments, the 29 states offering commercial wagering were able to tax $790.8 million of that amount, which resulted in receipts totaling $173.2 million.
While not a true like-for-like comparison to the first four months of 2022 with Ohio and Massachusetts launching operations this year, the $40.9 billion handle through the first third of 2023 is 18.6% higher than last year’s total. But there is an even bigger difference in gross revenue thanks to the extended surge by operators, accelerated by those two new entrants into the marketplace.
Gross revenue totaled $3.7 billion in the first four months of 2023, but the 9.1% hold in that span is more than 2.8 percentage points higher than the comparable stretch in 2022. That has sent revenue surging 71.6% higher than the $2.2 billion accrued by the house last January through April.
Adjusted gross revenue is also substantially higher in this four-month span, spiking 88.1% to $3.3 billion. While bettors may bemoan their luck, state governments have been a beneficiary of the action, as the $701.9 million in total state taxes generated is $270.8 million ahead of last year’s pace, or up 62.8% versus the first four months of 2022.