NFL Kickoff Sparks Nearly $500 Million In Bets At MA Online Sportsbooks

Written By C.J. Pierre on October 16, 2023 - Last Updated on October 17, 2023
A picture of New England Patriots quarterback Mac Jones for a story about how the first NFL season for Massachusetts online sports betting led to nearly $500 million worth of wagers.

Following a hot start to legal online sports wagering earlier this year, the Massachusetts sports betting market cooled off a bit during the summer. However, that’s typical for most markets, and betting usually increases in the fall once football season started.

We now have the evidence that confirms that football is still the king of sports betting in the US. According to the September revenue report from the Massachusetts Gaming Commission, Bay State sports bettors wagered $499.7 million with online operators.

That’s an increase of more than $192 million from August’s Massachusetts online sports betting numbers.

Operators generated $49 million in taxable sports wagering revenue from that handle. As a result, the state received $9.8 million in sports betting tax payments in September.

Since legal sports wagering launched earlier this year, Massachusetts sportsbooks have handled around $3 billion in bets while recording $296 million in taxable MA sports betting revenue. Thus, those operators paid approximately $59 million to the state.

How big is DraftKings Sportsbook’s lead in Massachusetts?

New month, same story. Once again, DraftKings Massachusetts remains head and shoulders above the competition. The Boston-based company took 58% of the state’s sports betting market share in September, accepting $290.1 million worth of bets.

This is a clear sign that DraftKings was able to capitalize on the kickoff to the 2023 NFL season better than any other sportsbook in Massachusetts. The operator increased its market share by more than 5% compared to August’s numbers.

Meanwhile, FanDuel Massachusetts is still running as the second-largest operator in the state. They took 24.3% of the state sports betting market share by taking in $121.9 million worth of bets in September.

Here is a look at how all eight Massachusetts sportsbooks faired in September in terms of handle:

📱 Sportsbook💰 September Handle📈 Market Share
DraftKings$290.1 million58%
FanDuel$121.9 million24.3%
BetMGM$33.5 million6.7%
Caesars$18.1 million3.6%
WynnBET$13.8 million2.7%
Barstool$12.9 million2.5%
Fanatics$8.8 million1.7%
TOTAL$499.7 million

Other than DraftKings increasing its dominance in the market, the other significant change is Barstool Sportsbook falling in the rankings. The operator dropped from fourth to sixth in terms of handle from August to September. Caesars and WynnBET both passed the PENN Entertainment-owned sportsbook.

This is one of the markets PENN Entertainment is looking to climb in once they rebrand the sportsbook as ESPN Bet later this fall. However, this isn’t the best showing coming off the heels of the start of football season.

NFL season kickoff brings new bettors to MA sportsbooks

This first full season of NFL betting action is a big test for sportsbooks in Massachusetts. Geolocation firm GeoComply says the NFL season has historically produced about 60% of online sportsbook operators’ annual revenue, making it one of the most critical times of the year for online sports betting operators.

A recent GeoComply report shows how many people in The Bay State were making bets during the first week of NFL action. The report shows 9.2 million Week 1 geolocation checks across GeoComply’s sportsbook customers in Massachusetts between September 3 and September 10. Furthermore, around 59,000 new sports betting accounts were created in that time frame.

Those statistics do not include bets placed at physical sportsbooks. However, mobile betting is by far the dominant form of sports wagering.

In-person betting is allowed at the three Massachusetts casinos: MGM Springfield in Springfield, Encore Boston Harbor in Everett, and Plainridge Park Casino in Plainville.

According to the September revenue report, The Bay State’s retail sports betting location brought in $12.4 million worth of bets. That’s $4.8 million more than August’s totals.

Photo by AP Photo / David Becker
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C.J. Pierre

C.J. Pierre is a Lead Writer at PlayMA. He has been covering news and sports for over a decade for both online and TV broadcasts. He was born and raised in Minneapolis and an alum of Minnesota State University: Moorhead. He recently dove into tribal casino news. He also covered the launch of sports betting in Arizona. C.J. has experience as a reporter and videographer and has covered high school, college and professional sports throughout his career. Most notably following Arizona Cardinals, Phoenix Suns, Minnesota Vikings and North Dakota State University football.

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