Massachusetts Sports Wagering Industry Sees Revenue Decline Amid Summer Slump
Last month, Massachusetts’ sports wagering industry recorded bets totaling more than $323 million. However, this marked a decline in revenue as major sporting events experienced a summer slump. According to a report from the Massachusetts Gaming Commission, retail and online sports betting operations generated approximately $33 million in revenue for their businesses and contributed over $6.4 million in taxes to the state.
June Handle Decreased by 27%
Analysts studying the sports wagering industry noted that the June handle, which represents the total amount of bets placed during the month, was 27% lower compared to the previous month. This difference amounts to approximately $120 million. Additionally, June’s handle reduced by nearly 50% from May’s impressive haul of nearly $455 million.
Summer Slump and Decreased Promotional Ads Blamed
Most analysts attribute this decline to the summer slump of major sporting events and the decrease in promotional ads since the industry’s launch earlier this year. However, experts expect the market to pick up momentum in the fall, particularly with the onset of the football season.
Bill Speros, a senior analyst with Bookies.com, explained, “The handle decline in June was expected given the cutback in promotional spend since mobile betting began and the changes in the sports calendar. The Boston Celtics missing out on the NBA Finals also caused a major loss in potential handle and income for the books.”
Milestone of $2 Billion Wagers Within Reach
Despite the slump, experts predict that Massachusetts will reach a significant milestone this month by surpassing $2 billion in wagers. Speros highlighted this, stating, “As the market matures and stabilizes, operators expect a significant boost in September with the onset of the NFL regular season after two more months of smaller numbers in July and August.”
Online Sportsbooks Dominate Wager Placements
The commission’s report revealed that the majority of sports bets in June were placed online. DraftKings, FanDuel, and six other mobile sportsbooks authorized to accept online wagers competed for a share of the market. According to the report, DraftKings emerged as the leader, with over $159.3 million in wagers, accounting for almost half of all online wagers. FanDuel was the runner-up, reporting more than $96 million in wagers.
Matthew Bain, an analyst with the industry-affiliated PlayMA website, highlighted DraftKings’ dominance, stating, “Not only is DraftKings still the market leader in Massachusetts, but it continues to build its lead over FanDuel. In June, DraftKings captured 49.3% of the overall $323 million sports betting handle—nearly 20% more than FanDuel, which had a market share of 29.7%.”
Sports Betting Handle Exceeds Casino Revenue
Juxtaposed with previous months, the sports-betting handle in June surpassed revenue from table and slots games at the state’s casinos, generating over $35.2 million. Massachusetts lawmakers authorized sports wagering for individuals aged 21 and older, setting up a regulatory framework to tax and oversee the industry.
Positive Tax Revenue Collections
Lawmakers estimate that the state could receive approximately $60 million annually in tax revenue from the sports wagering industry, along with over $80 million in licensing fees from operators. The latest tax revenue collections suggest that the state is on track to meet or possibly exceed these projections. The commission stated that Massachusetts has collected over $40 million in taxes from sports wagering to date.
Growing Popularity of Sports Betting Nationwide
Across the United States, at least 35 states and the District of Columbia have legalized sports betting, leading to a record-breaking total of over $57.2 billion in wagers last year.
*Christian M. Wade covers the Massachusetts Statehouse for North of Boston Media Group’s newspapers and websites. Email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.