Arizona came just $800,000 short of $500 million in sports betting handle in December, the state’s Department of Gaming reported Tuesday.
With two new operators in the fold — SuperBook and Fubo — the December total of $499.2 million eclipsed the October record of $486.1 million. In the first four months since launch, the Copper State has generated just shy of $1.75 billion in wagers as Arizona has quickly made its presence known as a top-10 national market.
Operators claimed close to $38.6 million in gross gaming revenue, a drop of 23.2% compared to November as the 7.7% win rate for December was 3 full percentage points lower from the previous month. Promotional credits and free bets accounted for more than half that amount, as operators reported $21.3 million in such play.
That left nearly $17.3 million available for the state to tax, 45.8% less than the nearly $31.9 million from November, and Arizona’s coffers received more than $1.7 million. Nearly all the taxable revenue came from mobile and online wagering, as the 8% tax on retail revenue generated barely more than $17,000.
Arizona’s figures also put a cap on 2021 reporting among the legalized states, and the nationwide handle for the year totaled close to $57.8 billion. It was more than double 2020’s amount of $21.5 million, not surprising considering how the COVID-19 pandemic wreaked havoc during 2020 and how many states launched anew over the course of 2021.
Virginia became the 20th state to start accepting wagers in January 2021, and near year’s end in December, Maryland was the 26th. In between, South Dakota, Wyoming, Louisiana, and Connecticut all launched in addition to Arizona.
Gross gaming revenue from U.S. sports wagering in 2021 topped $4.3 billion, while adjusted revenue surpassed $3.5 billion after more than $800 million in promotional credits and other deductions were taken in multiple states where operators may do so. States with legalized sports wagering collected $562.3 million in tax receipts, which was more than in the entirety of the period from June 2018 — when states outside Nevada first started allowing wagers — through 2020.
DraftKings leads handle and gross revenue
Running Top 10 December 2021 #SportsBetting handle by state:
1 New Jersey: $1.23B
2 Nevada: $1.01B
3 Illinois: $789.6M
4 Pennsylvania: $750.39M
5 Michigan: $514.63M
6 ARIZONA: $499.2M
7 Indiana: $463M
8 Colorado: $461.4M
9 Virginia: $426.6M
10 Tennessee: $341.8M
— Chris Altruda (@AlTruda73) March 8, 2022
With mobile wagering accounting for nearly 99% of Arizona’s all-time handle, DraftKings, FanDuel, and BetMGM have emerged as the top tier of operators through the first four months. All three cleared $100 million in handle for December, with DraftKings leading the way at $146 million, followed by FanDuel ($128.5 million) and BetMGM ($103.8 million).
DraftKings edged FanDuel for most gross operator revenue at nearly $11 million compared to $10.7 million, but FanDuel’s promotional spend dropped 24.9% compared to 5.9% for DraftKings. That resulted in FanDuel reporting close to $7.2 million in adjusted revenue, nearly one-half million more than its eternal rival. DraftKings has doled out nearly $30 million in promotional credits and free bets in Arizona compared to $20.2 million by FanDuel.
BetMGM also has been aggressive with enticements, and December was no different as promotional credits and free bets accounted for 86% of its $8.8 million in gross revenue. Its overall spend of $26.3 million has represented 72% of its $36.6 million in gross revenue.
Caesars is the last of the “Big 4” that have separated themselves among mobile operators, with its handle climbing 16.4% from November to an all-time high of $73.9 million. Its promotional spend also reached a peak since launch of $4.4 million, leaving less than $520,000 eligible for taxation.
Barstool Sportsbook ($20.6 million) and WynnBET ($14.3 million) were the best of the rest in handle, with Barstool’s gross revenue tumbling 42.2% to $930,000 as its hold plummeted more than 5 percentage points compared to November. Wynn’s GGR was nearly halved from December at slightly more than $1 million, with its win rate also dropping more than 4 full points.
The new kids in the sandbox
Both SuperBook and Fubo launched mobile operations shortly before Christmas, and Superbook looks to have gotten out of the blocks quicker. Its handle of more than $170,000 was nearly five-fold that of Fubo ($34,497). Bettors are 1-0 against Fubo in monthly reporting after coming out nearly $3,500 ahead. SuperBook had a 21% win rate, resulting in nearly $36,000 in gross revenue, with only $1,754 of that qualifying as adjusted revenue.
Three operators — Unibet, BetRivers, and TwinSpires — did not report any adjusted revenue in December, and the latter two have yet to report any since launch. With close to $4.9 million, BetRivers nearly doubled its November handle, but its gross revenue climbed just 2.7% as its hold fell nearly 4 percentage points.
It was the third time in the four months of operations Unibet did not have adjusted revenue, with its December handle of slightly more than $700,000 a 43.4% drop from its October peak of more than $1.2 million. TwinSpires, whose owner Churchill Downs Inc. recently announced it would be getting out of the sports betting industry, has a 13.3% overall hold from $5.3 million handle since launch, but the entirety of its $709,551 in gross revenue has been marked as promotional credits and free play.
Mobile and online promotional credits and free play have totaled nearly $96.8 million since launch, representing 62.5% of the $154.9 million in operator gross revenue.