The Arizona Department of Gaming reported sports wagering handle of $616.9 million for the month of November, creating the first $10 billion monthly nationwide handle of the post-PASPA era.
The total, which landed at $10.016 billion in wagers accepted spanning 26 states and Washington, D.C., topped the previous record of $9.84 billion established in January 2022. The overall handle for the 2022 calendar year with three reports still to be published for December is $92.2 billion, a 59.6% increase compared to the $57.8 billion wagered in 2021. Arizona, which is the last state to publish its monthly report, finished sixth nationally for handle in November, trailing New York, New Jersey, Illinois, Nevada, and Pennsylvania.
November’s figure marked the first time Arizona cleared $600 million in back-to-back months, though it was 0.3% off October’s $618.6 million. The record in the Grand Canyon State remains just shy of $691 million, established last March. Arizona became the seventh state to surpass $5 billion handle in the 2022 calendar year and the 10th to clear $7 billion in all-time handle.
“It is exciting to see a second consecutive month of over $600 million wagered on sports by patrons within the state,” said Ted Vogt, director of the Arizona Department of Gaming, in a statement. “This milestone highlights Arizona’s strong sports betting market, which has already established itself as a top-ten market nationally.”
The overall gross revenue of $56 million claimed by Arizona sportsbooks prior to deductions, promotions, and losses from some operators was a new monthly record, eclipsing the $55.2 million in winnings in September.
The state was eligible to levy taxes on $38.8 million in adjusted revenue, resulting in tax receipts of $3.9 million for the month. The state has generated $25.2 million in tax revenue through the first 11 months of the year, with November’s total lifting the overall amount in 15 months of wagering to $31.1 million.
FanDuel and BetMGM continue to pound public
FINAL November Top 10 #SportsBetting handles by state:
1 New York – $1.56B
2New Jersey – $1.1B
3 Illinois – $1.03B
4 Nevada – $927.9M
5 Pennsylvania – $789.2M
6 ARIZONA – $617.9M
7 Colorado – $552.6M
8 Virginia – $518.8M
9 Michigan – $498.1M
10 Indiana – $452.3M
— Chris Altruda (@AlTruda73) February 2, 2023
The hold on overall gross revenue for November was 9.1% in Arizona, but FanDuel and BetMGM continue to consistently outpace that mark. FanDuel, which is the only mobile operator in the Grand Canyon State to post a monthly gross revenue of at least $20 million, raised the bar higher by topping $25 million thanks to a win rate close to 13%.
It also paced all mobile operators with $5.5 million in promotional spend, but it still ended November with $19.1 million in adjusted revenue, of which the state claimed 10%. FanDuel has posted a double-digit hold for five consecutive months and in seven of the last eight.
BetMGM also extended its run of double-digit holds to five, landing on 10.9% in November to claim $10.2 million in revenue from $93.9 million wagered. It was second in promotional spend with $4.6 million, with additional deductions leaving the state eligible to tax barely more than half the gross total at $5.4 million. BetMGM’s deductions in the first 11 months of 2022 totaled $55.7 million — the highest in the state and more than half its $96.8 million in gross revenue.
DraftKings claimed the handle crown for November, narrowly pushing its streak of $200 million handle months to three. Its hold, however, was just under 6%, which resulted in a small month-over-month increase in gross revenue to $11.9 million. DraftKings had a softer promotional spend in November, as the $8.1 million in adjusted revenue eligible to be taxed was 11.8% higher compared to October.
Caesars Sportsbook was a comfortable fourth in handle, taking $61.7 million in bets, and gross revenue surged 34.7% from October to $5.3 million, thanks to an 8.5% hold. It also cleared $4 million in adjusted revenue for just the second time since launch, trailing only the $5.1 million posted in September.
Barstool Sportsbook rounded out the top five spots for handle at just over $20 million, the first time it reached that benchmark since taking $21.4 million in wagers in January. Its $1.2 million in gross revenue marked the second seven-figure total in three months and fifth in 15 months of betting there.
The sixth and final operator to post an eight-figure handle was Desert Diamond Mobile, which reached $11 million and extended a meteoric rise for the second straight month. The local outfit, run by the Tohono O’odham Tribe, has gone from $1.9 million handle in September to nearly $5 million in October before again doubling wagers taken in November. Its revenue for November did not keep pace, though, inching only $3,298 higher to $412,291.
Caesars takes a hit on the retail side
In-person wagering continues to prove more challenging for retail sportsbooks in Arizona, with Caesars and FanDuel posting monthly losses. Caesars took the bigger hit of the two, paying out $109,000 on top of the more than $1 million in bets accepted. It was its worst monthly loss, exceeding the $89,000 payouts above wagers taken in May.
FanDuel’s retail location posted a loss for the second straight month and fourth time in the last six, though the $45,000 in payouts above the $2.9 million handle was an improvement from October, when it finished $186,000 in the red.
Among limited event wagering operators, Harold’s posted its third five-figure monthly loss in the last four as bettors came out $19,000 ahead from just $116,000 wagered. The country-and-western venue based in Cave Creek has a minus 5.3% win rate through the first six months of operation using Unibet and paid out $22,000 above handle totaling $414,000.
The road to a $10 billion monthly handle
It’s somewhat mind-boggling that nationwide sports wagering handle has reached 11 figures after being legal on a state-by-state basis for less than five years since the U.S. Supreme Court struck down PASPA. Even the post-pandemic growth has been staggering — more states have come online, the NFL has gone all-in on wagering being connected to its overall product, and New York dramatically boosted handle totals with its mobile launch at the start of last year.
The industry has come a long way since Nevada, Delaware, and New Jersey combined to post a handle of $310 million in June 2018 — a figure that would have ranked 12th among states for November, between Tennessee and Louisiana. But it has been a bumpy road at times. November’s $10 billion-plus handle is almost 72 times larger than the $139.2 million during the nadir of pandemic wagering in April 2020 and was more than double the 2022 low point of $4.5 billion from July.