Arizona Posts $572 Million Sports Wagering Handle For December

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The Arizona Department of Gaming reported sports wagering handle of $572.5 million for the month of December on Friday, putting the Grand Canyon State over $6 billion for the calendar year and helping set a national handle record for the second consecutive month to close out 2022.

While the handle was down 7.3% compared to November’s $616.9 million, it was still the fourth-highest total in 16 months of wagering in Arizona and the fourth straight month operators accepted more than half a billion dollars in wagers. Arizona has generated close to $7.8 billion in handle since the first wagers were accepted in September 2021.

Gross revenue totaled more than $54.4 million after operator losses and federal excise taxes were included, resulting in a 9.5% hold. The $55.6 million after payouts was within $450,000 of the all-time high of $56 million set in November. The state was eligible to levy taxes on $37.3 million of that total, with the 8% levy on retail revenue and 10% tax on adjusted gross revenue generating an inflow of $3.7 million to state coffers.

Sports wagering generated $28.9 million in tax receipts in the first full year of wagering in Arizona, while operators totaled $473.1 million in revenue prior to losses and federal excise tax.

The national monthly handle to close out 2022 was slightly more than $10.06 billion, topping November’s total by nearly $45 million to set a new standard. December’s record is also likely to be short-lived, as January’s current handle — boosted largely by the launch of sports wagering in Ohio plus one day of retail betting in Massachusetts — is more than $9.8 billion, with both Illinois and Arizona yet to publish numbers.

Year in review: DK wins handle, FD revenue

A scenario that played out in a handful of other states in 2022 took place in Arizona, as DraftKings held the top spot when it came to handle among mobile operators. It finished less than $53 million shy of $2 billion handle for the year, approximately $153.5 million higher than FanDuel.

But in a scene that has played out in practically every state where both operators vie for business, FanDuel was the undisputed champ of operator revenue. It posted a double-digit hold for the sixth consecutive month, with December’s landing at 11.7%, and the sportsbook had $21.2 million in gross revenue to lift its total for the year to $180.4 million.

BetMGM pipped DraftKings for the No. 2 revenue spot in the Grand Canyon State, also posting win rates of 10% or higher for each of the last six months. It edged out FanDuel for highest hold among top-tier operators for the calendar year at 10.1%, .04 percentage points better than its frontrunning rival. BetMGM’s $11.6 million in gross revenue for December was an all-time monthly high and nudged its final number over $108.3 million, nearly $3.2 million better than DraftKings.

BetMGM, though, aggressively sought business all year and topped all operators in promotional spend at a whopping $62.1 million — $10.4 million more than FanDuel and $20.5 million more than DraftKings. As a result, BetMGM’s adjusted gross revenue was 42.5% of its gross revenue, compared to 71.1% for FanDuel and 60.1% for DraftKings.

Three other mobile sportsbooks — Caesars Sportsbook, Barstool Sportsbook, and WynnBET — reached nine-figure handle totals for 2022, with Caesars comfortably fourth with $675.9 million in accepted bets. Barstool rounded out the top five at $188.3 million, while WynnBET scraped over the $100 million mark to land at $103.4 million, with $6.2 million in handle for December.

Caesars closed the year with back-to-back months of over $5 million in gross revenue. Barstool edged over $20 million in handle for the second straight month and $1.2 million in gross revenue for the third time in four. After posting a 6% or higher hold in just two of the first seven months of 2022, WynnBET had win rates of 7.2% or better for each of the final five months, with the $3.2 million accounting for 47.4% of its $6.9 million in gross revenue.

December also saw one of the state’s smaller operators, Desert Diamond, clear $1 million in gross revenue despite its handle falling off 50.3% from November to close to $5.5 million. Its win rate was 23.5% to close out the year, nearly 20 percentage points higher versus the previous month, when it claimed less than $185,000 from $11 million in accepted bets.

Three operators — SuperBook, BetRivers, and Unibet — posted losing months for December. SuperBook paid out $97,000 above its $4 million-plus handle, while BetRivers was on the hook for $70,000 on top of $7.6 million in accepted bets. Unibet’s loss was a paltry $2,047 on nearly $650,000 handle.

Wrapping up 2022 around the nation

There was $93.8 billion wagered in legal commercial markets nationwide in 2022, an increase of 62.4% compared to 2021’s total of $57.8 billion. December was an all-time monthly record for handle, as operators grossed $955.7 million in revenue and claimed close to $798.6 million in adjusted revenue.

December’s gross revenue of $7.56 billion was 74% higher than 2021, and the adjusted revenue of $6.4 billion was an increase of 80.7%. Mainly thanks to New York‘s 51% tax on mobile revenue with no deductions for promotional credit, the $1.5 billion-plus in state tax revenue was a 168% increase from the previous year, up $944.3 million in terms of dollars. The Empire State alone accounted for $690 million of that amount, approximately 46% of the overall total.


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