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US – Arizona sportsbooks hit new high in December

By - 9 March 2022

Sportsbooks fell just short of making Arizona the ninth state to generate $500m in wagering over a single month, capping an impressive debut with $499 million in wagers in December. With the third straight month of at least $466 million in betting, Arizona continues to benefit from good timing and an enthusiastic reception.

“The NFL season kept wagering high even as sportsbooks settled into something resembling normal after a surge of promotional spending early on,” said C.J. Pierre, lead analyst for PlayAZ.com. “Importantly, bettor enthusiasm remains high and Arizonans will become more comfortable with less conventional products such as in-game betting. That should help keep activity brisk through March Madness.”

Arizona’s online and retail sportsbooks drew a record $499.2m in wagers in December, up seven per cent from $466.7m in bets generated in November, according to official data released Tuesday by the Arizona Department of Gaming. December’s handle topped October’s $486.1m, the state’s previous highwater mark. Bettors averaged $16.1m per day over the 31 days of December, up from $15.6m in wagers per day in November.

Arizona sportsbooks won $39.8m in gross revenue, which was down 23 per cent from $51.4m in November. Sportsbooks’ eight per cent hold remained among the highest rates in the US in December, and the highest among the 10 largest markets. After $21.3m in promotional credits, the state taxed $17.3m in gross event wagering receipts. That produced $1.7m in taxes for the state.

Through four months, Arizona’s sportsbooks generated $1.7bn in wagering, $161.1m in gross revenue and $6m in privilege fees for the state

“New York broke many of Arizona’s records after it debuted mobile sportsbooks, but that shouldn’t diminish just how well the state has performed so far,” said Eric Ramsey, an analyst for the PlayUSA.com Network, which includes PlayAZ.com. “We expected Arizona to do well when sports betting launched in September, but the market continues to match the highest expectations with results that rival more mature markets, some with much larger populations.”

Online sportsbooks generated $494.5m in wagers, or 99.1 per cent of the state’s handle in December. Retail sportsbooks took in the state’s remaining $4.7m in bets.

DraftKings continued to hold the market lead with $146m in bets in December, all online. That was down slightly from $148.7m in November. The operator won $11.3m from December’s bets, down from $12.5m in November.

FanDuel crept closer to its rival with $131.1m in wagers, including $128.5m online. December’s handle was up from $118m in November and created $11.1m in gross revenue. BetMGM ($103.8m in wagering, all online; $9.1m in gross revenue) and Caesars ($76m in wagering, including $73.9m online; $5.3m in gross revenue) were the next closest to the online leaders.

With a slew of launches in the first two months of the year, Arizona now has 17 online operators. But one Arizona lawmaker, Sen. Sally Ann Gonzales, recently called into question the fairness of the state’s sports betting law for Native American tribes.

“Arizona is still a very young market, and no launch is completely smooth,” Pierre said. “But most of the state’s operators are off to a great start, even as promotional spending and other early-market hallmarks begin to settle.”

Betfred recently launched its online and mobile betting offering into Arizona with the We-Ko-Pa casino Resort.

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