Sportsbooks in Arizona posted a monthly decline in sports betting for the first time as handle dropped by 13% month-on-month, according to PlayAZ.com, which tracks the state’s sports betting market.
Players wagered $491.7m via Arizona’s online and retail sportsbooks in February, 13% down on January’s record total of $563.7m. This was due to fewer football fixtures in the month, though the Super Bowl did contribute significantly to the total.
Bettors placed $17.6m in wagers per day over the 28 days of February, which was slightly down on the $18.2m per day across the 31 days in January.
Despite the decline, February still represented the third-highest monthly handle since sports betting launched in the Grand Canyon State in September.
“Arizona is following a similar pattern to more mature markets,” said Eric Ramsey, analyst for the PlayUSA.com Network, which includes PlayAZ.com.
“As big a single event as the Super Bowl is, it can’t match a month like January that had five full weekends of football games. U.S. sports betting has predictable seasonal ebbs and flows that generally follow the football season, with a one-month exception in March because of the NCAA Tournament.”
Across the first six months of legal sports betting in Arizona, sportsbooks have generated $2.8bn in online and retail wagers, $228.6m in gross revenues and $8.6m in fees for the state.
“The first six months have been pretty extraordinary. If it wasn’t for New York, Arizona would be off to the fastest start in U.S. sports betting history,” said C.J. Pierre, lead analyst for PlayAZ.com.
“As the industry begins its seasonal dip, which typically begins in April, operators can take heart in knowing that the market has taken a giant leap forward.”
Breaking down the revenue per operator, FanDuel led the way in February, generating $142.4m in online wagers and $149.8m in total. DraftKings was in second place, generating $131.7m in wagers, 100% of which were made online. BetMGM took $99.8m, all online, taking $8.8m in gross revenue and Caesars handled $79m in wagers, $78.4m online and took $2.5m in gross revenue.
A key sporting event that drove handle was the Super Bowl, which was cited as a key opportunity to acquire new customers.
“The Super Bowl is a key part of operators’ long-term strategies to expand their reach,” Pierre added. “Even if the game itself was mildly profitable, it can mean a big win down the road for sportsbooks that successfully utilize the game to attract new customers. That dynamic takes on an added importance when a market is just a few months old and every operator is still clawing for a larger share.”