Massachusetts got plenty of bang for its sports wagering buck in March as its mobile launch contributed to an impressive overall handle of $568.1 million, according to figures released Tuesday by the Massachusetts Gaming Commission.
The Bay State launched retail wagering Jan. 31 and generated $25.7 million handle in February across three retail sportsbooks. Mobile betting commenced March 10, less than one week before the first round of the NCAA Tournament, and the six licensed operators quickly served notice Massachusetts will be vying for a top-10 spot nationally for monthly handle among the 29 states and jurisdictions currently conducting commercial sports betting.
Considering mobile wagering was available for only two-thirds of the month, the strong handle augurs well for this fall’s NFL season.
The combined gross revenue from retail and mobile wagering totaled $48.3 million, equating to a solid 8.5% hold. After deductions, the state was eligible to collect taxes from $47.1 million in adjusted gross revenue. The 20% tax on the $45.6 million in mobile wagering revenue generated $9.1 million in tax receipts, while the 15% levy on retail revenue added another $218,000 to state coffers.
Massachusetts was the second state to launch in 2023, joining Ohio, which had operators accept more than $1.1 billion in wagers in January. That number was substantially boosted by nearly $320 million in promotional credits, and it is unclear how much of the Bay State’s handle came on such offers, as those figures are not released by the MGC.
DraftKings comes out swinging
Running March Top 10 #SportsBetting handles by state:
1 New York $1.79B
2 New Jersey $1.03B
3 MASSACHUSETTS $568.1M <-NEW
4 Indiana $433M
5 Michigan $421.7M
6 Tennessee $392.7M
7 Maryland ~$386M
8 Louisiana $249.3M
9 Iowa $232.6M
10 Kansas $206.3M
— Chris Altruda (@AlTruda73) April 18, 2023
Given its Massachusetts roots, there was pressure on DraftKings to protect its turf against eternal rival FanDuel. When it came to handle, DraftKings more than answered the bell, as the $257.6 million in accepted bets led all mobile operators and accounted for 47% of the mobile handle in March.
But FanDuel’s unrivaled status in same-game parlay markets contributed to it squeaking past DraftKings for the first monthly mobile revenue crown. The 9% hold on $181.1 million handle generated $16.3 million in gross revenue — nearly $223,000 more than DraftKings, whose 6.3% hold was the lowest among the six mobile operators.
Another Boston local gone big, Barstool Sports founder Dave Portnoy, saw Barstool Sportsbook finish fourth in both handle and revenue with $29.5 million and $2.9 million, respectively, and producing a hold of 10.1%. FanDuel and DraftKings were the only operators among the sextet not to post double-digit holds.
BetMGM had the best hold among Bay State mobile books at 16.4%, collecting $7.4 million in gross revenue from $45.3 million handle. WynnBET and Caesars Sportsbook had similar opening-month results, with holds better than 11.3% — WynnBET collected just over $2 million in winnings from $18.2 million handle and Caesars cleared $1.8 million off $16.4 million in accepted wagers.
Scanning the retail scene
The availability of mobile wagering resulted in an expected drag for in-person betting. Handle slipped 22.3% to just shy of $20 million, and the three venues combined for a 7.5% win rate to claim $1.5 million in revenue.
Encore Boston Harbor accounted for the bulk of the action, accepting $13.4 million worth of wagers, and finished with a 5.2% hold to claim close just over $700,000 in revenue. Plainridge Park continued its strong start, posting a second consecutive monthly hold of 12.8% on $4.9 million handle for $627,000 in revenue.
MGM Springfield also posted a second consecutive double-digit hold at 10.7%, reaping $177,000 from $1.7 million in accepted bets.