In April, the six active Massachusetts online sportsbooks reported a total handle of $546.2 million. That means MA sports fans bet more than $18 million per day.
For comparison, in March, the first month of Massachusetts online sports betting, nearly $25 million was bet per day.
The drop in $7 million per day may be big, but April’s per day betting revenue numbers are a better average representation of the Massachusetts sports betting market than March’s numbers.
Big opening push during launch
First, sports fans in Massachusetts had been waiting years to see their state implement sports betting. When it finally became official, bettors wasted no time getting in on the action.
Given the excitement and anticipation, it’s not surprising to see more money bet per day in the first month of MA online sports betting — especially with the one-time Massachusetts sportsbook welcome promos being snatched up. Launch months always have skewed data because of the massive influx of new bettors.
Secondly, the online betting industry launched in Massachusetts on March 10, just days before March Madness began. March Madness is one of the biggest sporting events every year, and it draws a ton of attention in the betting world.
Bettors went all-in on March Madness betting in Massachusetts, even without an in-state men’s team in the mix. March Madness draws even the most casual sports fan in, so it makes sense that one of the biggest betting events of the year contributed to March’s higher handle on a day-to-day basis.
Third, the launch of sports betting in Massachusetts gained a lot of attention. Most notably, DraftKings, FanDuel and BetMGM all ran ads geared toward Massachusetts audiences. The ads featured a wealth of celebrities and athletes with Massachusetts ties including Rob Gronkowski, David Ortiz, Zdeno Chara and Kevin Garnett among others.
Chances are if you were watching a live sporting event in Massachusetts this spring, you saw sportsbook ads.
All in all, March’s per day betting handle of nearly $25 million was an anomaly because of all that went into the launch.
Why April’s numbers are better average representation
April’s per day betting handle of $18.2 million might be more standard of what to expect in Massachusetts going forward. PlayMA projected earlier this year that a mature sports betting market in MA could reach $5.7 billion in handle.
That would roughly equate to $15.6 million per day.
In April, there was no anticipation leading up to launch and no major betting events like March Madness. The MLB season has started and the NBA playoffs are going on, but those events don’t drive the industry quite like major events like March Madness or the Super Bowl do. Still, NBA and NHL playoff betting is highly popular.
From now until football season, it would not be surprising to see Massachusetts’ per day betting handle hover around $10-$18 million, with lower numbers coming in the dog days of summer.
This fall, an increase in handle will be seen once college football and NFL betting in MA begins. The NFL garners more betting attention than any other league. In fact, PlayMA projects that Massachusetts could see $350-$400 million in handle each month of football season. That could mean a total handle of $11-$13.5 million bet per day on football alone.
Only time will tell what the Massachusetts sports betting market shapes out to be, but for now, April’s betting numbers give us a solid look into what’s to come.
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