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Arizona’s Sports Betting Handle Hits Record $760 Million In March


The Arizona Department of Gaming reported a record monthly total for sports betting handle Tuesday as operators accepted $760 million worth of wagers for March.

The month’s total topped the previous record of $713.6 million set last November and was 17.8% higher compared to the $644.8 million in accepted bets in March 2023. It was the third time in the last five months handle in Arizona eclipsed $700 million as all-time wagering cleared $16 billion after 31 months.

Operators generated $59.3 million in gross sports betting revenue prior to any deductions being counted, resulting in a 7.8% hold. After deductions for the federal excise tax, promotional credits and bonuses, and operator losses, the state was eligible to levy taxes on $38 million in adjusted gross revenue. That provided close to $3.8 million in taxes, and the $11.2 million worth of levies for the first quarter of 2024 is $3 million ahead of last year’s pace.

The $2.1 billion in handle for the opening three months of 2023 is an increase of 14% compared to last year, while the $184.6 million in gross revenue is 35.3% higher. Operators combined for an 8.8% hold in the first quarter, up nearly 1.4 percentage points year-over-year.

Bet365 pips ESPN BET to round out top five for revenue

In its first full month of action in Arizona, bet365 had just enough to edge ESPN BET to round out the top five in both gross revenue and handle. The England-based sports betting app collected more than $1.9 million in winnings from $29.3 million handle, crafting a 6.6% win rate. ESPN BET had a slightly lower hold at 6.4%, keeping $1.7 million of the nearly $27 million in wagers accepted.

Both mobile operators had substantial promotional spends relative to their gross winnings — bet365 claimed no adjusted gross revenue as its outlay was at least nearly $1.9 million. ESPN BET reported $210,900 in AGR after offering more than $1.4 million in bonuses and credits. ESPN BET’s month-over-month handle increased by 1.4%, while bet365 had a 19.7% bounce with 31 days of wagering versus 25 days the previous month following its Feb. 5 launch.

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FanDuel took the top spot in both categories, posting $24.4 million in gross revenue from a state-record $265.1 million worth of wagers and attaining a 9.2% hold. FanDuel bettered its previous record for handle established in January at $258.1 million while clearing $200 million for the sixth straight month. The digital leviathan also accounted for the highest promotional spend among the state’s 16 online books with $6.6 million, raising its year-to-date total to $24.4 million.

DraftKings was a closer second in handle than revenue as its $255.3 million worth of accepted bets easily topped the previous high of $230.2 million set in March 2022. It finished with a 7.4% win rate to claim $18.8 million in revenue, though DraftKings’ hold for the month was its lowest since landing at 6.7% last June.

BetMGM was a clear-cut No. 3 for both categories, fashioning an 8.1% hold in winning $7.6 million against $94 million in handle. Its revenue slipped 20.7% from March 2023 as the win rate was close to 2.9 percentage points lower.

Caesars was the only other mobile operator to surpass $2 million in revenue, keeping $3.1 million of the $50.7 million worth of wagers. Its winnings were 36.5% lower compared to the 2023-best $4.9 million claimed in March 2023.

Hard Rock Bet set an all-time high for monthly handle at close to $9.1 million, but a 1.2% hold resulted in only $112,500 in gross revenue. It was the third consecutive month Hard Rock had a record monthly handle, and its $24.2 million worth of bets in the first quarter of 2024 is up 75.7% compared to the same period last year.

Sahara Bets had its best month in terms of revenue, winning $111,400 while attaining an 8.6% hold on $1.3 million in handle. The Las Vegas-based sportsbook also surpassed $10 million in all-time handle since entering Arizona in January 2022.

The statewide mobile hold was just shy of 7.8% as operators claimed $58.5 million in gross revenue from $752.4 million in handle. The $19.5 million in promotional credits and bonuses was up 20.3% from last March but also down 22.1% from February.

Retail books have highest revenue haul since 2022

Arizona’s retail books combined for a 10.7% win rate, their best since an 11.6% hold last September. The $791,200 in revenue was its most since claiming $798,500 in February 2022.

DraftKings’ venue adjacent to TPC Scottsdale provided nearly one-third of those winnings as it attained a 12.1% hold in winning $262,900 from $2.2 million worth of accepted bets. It was the fourth time in six months since launch that the sportsbook had a 9% hold or better as all-time revenue surpassed $1 million.

FanDuel’s sportsbook at the Footprint Center had a strong bounce back from a rough February, collecting $298,800 in revenue with a robust 16.8% hold from $1.8 million in handle. Caesars’ retail book at Chase Field avoided a fourth consecutive losing month with $109,800 in winnings from $705,600 in handle, and the 15.6% hold was its best since a 21.7% win rate in May 2023.

Bettors who went to either of Gallagher’s two locations in Phoenix fared well in March, coming out $7,012 ahead on $64,300 worth of all bets placed. The Gallagher’s location on East Baseline Road lost $5,626 in March, wiping out its $5,576 in February winnings.

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