DraftKings captures top spot in home state of Massachusetts at launch

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DraftKings Sportsbook lived up to the hometown hype, debuting as the most popular online sportsbook according to newly released revenue figures from the Massachusetts Gaming Commission (MGC).

According to those numbers, the state accepted over $548 million in online wagers during its first three weeks of operation in March. The breakdown of handle and revenue by operator is as follows:

DraftKings: $257.6 million in handle, $16.1 million in revenue
FanDuel: $181.1 million in handle, $16.3 million in revenue
BetMGM: $45.3 million in handle, $7.4 million in revenue
Barstool: $29.5 million in handle, $3.0 million in revenue
Caesars: $16.4 million in handle, $1.9 million in revenue
WynnBet: $18.2 million in handle, $2.1 million in revenue

As in most other markets, the behemoths of FanDuel and DraftKings owned the large majority of the market with 80% of the handle in the opening month of action. It is worth noting the MGC revenue report does not indicate how much was spent on promotional credit, which has a tremendous impact on handle, particularly in the opening month of online betting.

The other hometown hero, Barstool, did not come out of the gate in first but did outpace Caesars (3%) and WynnBet (3.3%) with 5.4% of the market share. It did trail BetMGM, which captured 8.3% of the market.

While DraftKings generated substantially more betting activity than FanDuel, it was FanDuel that actually netted the largest revenue share of the month, just outpacing DraftKings. FanDuel generated $16.3 million in revenue (9% hold) compared to DraftKings, which had $16.1 million in revenue (6.3% hold).

Like handle, hold is dramatically impacted by promotional credit so these numbers should not be read into much, but DraftKings did lag far behind every competitor in the hold department, which could be the result of substantial promos designed to be likely-to-cash bets that would pay out to many people.

What is unusual for FanDuel is that, with 9% hold, it was fifth out the six operators in that category when it is usually towards the top. The operator regularly posts double-digit hold in other states.

With online betting taxed at 20% and no promotional credit deductions, the opening month of betting generated $9.1 million in tax payments off $45.6 million in taxable revenue.

On the retail side, operators accepted almost $20 million in bets, posted $1.5 million in revenue and generated $218,000 in revenue for the state. Encore Boston Harbor is far and away the most popular of the three retail sportsbooks with $13.4 million of the wagers compared to $4.9 million at Plainridge Park and $1.7 million at MGM Springfield.

The retail book from Encore Boston Harbor did appear before the MGC on Friday to discuss its mistakes regarding offering prohibited in-state college bets in February. The MGC has yet to rule on what potential fines or punishment will result from the hearing.