Arizona Puts Bow On Record-Setting January For Sports Wagering

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The Arizona Department of Gaming reported sports wagering handle totaling $591.2 million for the month of January on Monday, completing a record-setting month nationwide in handle, revenue, and state tax revenue generated.

Arizona is usually the last to report figures for a given month, which meant the Grand Canyon State was merely putting the finishing touches on a month unlike any other in the post-PASPA era that started in June 2018. The national handle for the opening month of 2023 was $11.5 billion, with the increase from December’s short-lived record of $10.6 billion largely attributed to Ohio‘s Jan. 1 launch.

Prior to any deductions being taken, Arizona sportsbook operators reported  $47.5 million in gross revenue, which was then reduced to $46.2 million when accounting for the federal excise tax and operator losses. After promotional credits and free bets were deducted, the state was eligible to tax $29 million in adjusted gross revenue, bringing $2.9 million into its coffers.

The nationwide gross operator revenue for January was $1.07 billion, the first monthly total in the post-PASPA era to surpass $1 billion. In terms of operator performance, the house picked up where it ended 2022 to start the new year. The national hold on gross revenue for January was 9.3% — slightly below December’s 9.5% win rate, but easily outpacing what now feels to be an outdated industry standard of 7% given the shift in the marketplace, with operators emphasizing parlay wagering.

State tax revenue totaled $190.2 million for January, with New York and Ohio accounting for more than half that haul. Seven other states collected $5 million or more in receipts to begin the new year, with tax revenue running $61 million ahead of January 2022.

FanDuel humming along as revenue boss

Arizona’s handle was up 3.3% compared to the $572.5 million in accepted wagers for December and 4.9% higher compared to the $563.7 million handle to open 2022.

With the hold on gross revenue down 1.7 percentage points from December, revenue slid 14.6% from the previous month. The year-over-year numbers were more positive, with gross revenue 17.2% higher this year and the win rate up eight-tenths of a percentage point.

Still the only mobile sportsbook to surpass $20 million in monthly gross revenue in Arizona, FanDuel cleared that benchmark for the fourth straight month, eclipsing $21 million thanks to a 10.8% hold on $195.5 million handle. It was the seventh consecutive month the online titan had a double-digit win rate. Its adjusted revenue of $14.8 million, however, was down 3.8% versus December as its promotional spend was $400,000 higher at $5.8 million.

BetMGM also continued to be a formidable house against the public, posting its seventh monthly double-digit hold in a row. Its 10.5% win rate resulted in $9.5 million in gross revenue, easily outdistancing DraftKings for second in that category. DraftKings generated $8.8 million in gross revenue, but was a clear No. 2 for handle at $171.4 million.

January also saw a reversal in terms of promotional spend between DraftKings and BetMGM. The latter, which is usually more aggressive in providing credits to bettors, had a 40.8% decline in spend from December to $3.8 million. Meanwhile, DraftKings’ total promotional offers surged 47% to $5 million, its most since a $7.3 million outlay last September.

Desert Diamond was an unexpected interloper for the No. 4 spot in mobile revenue, posting more than $2.8 million in gross revenue thanks to a 14.1% hold on a record monthly handle of just over $20 million. The book had $28 million handle for all of 2022 following its February launch, and January’s gross revenue exceeded its $2.5 million haul for all of last year.

It was enough to relegate Caesars Sports to fifth for revenue while nearly overtaking Barstool Sportsbook for fifth in handle, finishing within $380,000 of the PENN Entertainment sportsbook. Caesars was a comfortable fourth in handle with $59.2 million in accepted wagers. Barstool reported $1.2 million in gross revenue, its third straight month in seven figures.

Turf Paradise stumbles out of the retail blocks

Of the retail venues throughout the state, three finished in the red to kick off 2023. Turf Paradise took the largest hit of the trio, paying out $41,360 on top of its $450,000 handle. Caesars’ books at Chase Field and Ak-Chin Casino posted a combined loss of $36,493 from $921,000 wagered, while Midtown Tavern Sports Bar & Grill — which ranked third overall in retail handle among limited event operators at $97,000 — finished $3,552 in the red.

Retail gross revenue totaled $423,335 from $5.8 million handle, resulting in a 7.3% hold. FanDuel’s retail book at the Footprint Center had an 11.4% hold on close to $2.5 million handle, with the $281,502 in gross revenue its best month since September. Harold’s Restaurant in Cave Creek paced all limited event operators with $42,597 in gross revenue thanks to a 20.1% win rate.


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