The Arizona Department of Gaming reported a sports wagering handle of $393.2 million for June, a 23.3% year-over-year increase that helped it become the ninth state to surpass $11 billion in the post-PASPA era.
The Grand Canyon State narrowly missed a 10th consecutive month with $400 million worth of accepted wagers, falling short for the first time since last August. Despite missing the benchmark, Arizona did finish June ranked fifth nationally for handle — the first time it cracked the Top 5 for a month since launch in September 2021.
Sportsbook operators reported $28.3 million in gross revenue before any deductions and promotional credits were counted, resulting in a pedestrian hold of 7.2%. Promotional credits were a year-low $11.4 million, and the half-year total of $90.9 million is down 2% compared to the first six months of 2022. The state was eligible to tax $16.4 million in adjusted gross revenue, leading to more than $1.6 million in tax receipts.
Year-to-date gross revenue is up 32.6% compared to last year at $263.4 million thanks in part to an 8.2% hold that is 24.8% higher than 2022. The state has been able to levy taxes on 63.4% of gross revenue thus far in 2023, notably higher than the 53.3% for the comparable period last year. The $16.6 million in tax revenue is currently $5.6 million ahead of last year’s pace.
Desert Diamond’s wild ride continues
One of the biggest single-state mobile sportsbooks in the nation based on handle, Desert Diamond has had a series of peaks and valleys in the first half of 2023. Its 3.3% hold this year on $124 million handle hides the fact that it has posted a 10.5% or higher win rate in three months — clearing $1 million in revenue on those occasions — and a 0.7% or lower hold the other three, highlighted by a loss of nearly $1.3 million in March.
Its fortunes swung to the positive in June, keeping nearly $1.1 million in winnings with a hold of 10.6%. That was a turnaround of $1.2 million from May, when bettors came out more than $177,000 ahead on $10.2 million wagered. Desert Diamond was also the only book in the state with at least $1 million handle in June to post a double-digit hold.
Among the national mobile operators, FanDuel took top honors for gross revenue and handle at $12.4 million and $146.3 million, respectively. Its 8.5% hold, though, marked the third time this year it posted a monthly hold below 9% in Arizona. FanDuel has had exactly one sub-9% monthly hold this year in the other 11 states where it operates and handle and revenue figures are published.
Longtime rival DraftKings was a distant second in both categories, claiming $7.4 million in revenue from $111.3 million handle for a hold of 6.7%. BetMGM took the final podium spots, fashioning a 9% win rate to keep $5 million of $55.8 million in accepted wagers. Caesars Sports completed the group of five operators to reach at least $1 million in revenue in June, finishing at $1.5 million with a 3.9% hold on $39.9 million handle.
WynnBET, which announced last week that Arizona would be one of the eight states whose mobile marketplace it would be leaving, endured its worst month in the state since launch, claiming less than $14,000 from $3.6 million worth of accepted bets to post a hold below 0.4%. It was the sixth time in the last 13 months WynnBET had a sub-5% hold.
Barstool Sportsbook, which rounded out the top five in handle at $11.3 million, was sixth in revenue with more than $625,000. The PENN Entertainment book, which will be rebranded to ESPN BET in the fall, has a 5.1% win rate on the year with nearly $5 million in gross revenue from $98.5 million handle.
SuperBook eked out the narrowest of wins against the public, finishing just $594 ahead from close to $830,000 handle for a hold of less than 0.1%. That was still enough to beat out three books that posted monthly losses for June: local outfit Sahara Bets (-$12,235), Bally Bet (-$11,091), and Golden Nugget (-$3,611).
Unprecedented success nationally
June was still a good month for the house nationally, as total handle surpassed $6.6 billion and gross revenue finished just short of $550 million, resulting in an 8.3% hold. Despite it being more than a full percentage point above the industry standard of 7%, it beat out only February’s 7.9% win rate for the first six months of action.
The opening half of 2023 combined with the final six months of 2022 marked a period of unprecedented success for sportsbook operators nationwide in the post-PASPA era. The nationwide hold among commercial sportsbooks in that 12-month span was 9.4%, as they claimed $9.6 billion in gross revenue from $102.8 billion handle.
Year-over-year handle surged 28% in that time frame, boosted by the entries of large-market states Ohio and Massachusetts. Operator gross revenue in those 12 months, however, was up a whopping 72.7% compared to July 2021 through June 2022 — a difference of nearly $4.1 billion.