The final few months of summer took its toll on the legal US sports betting industry. As the numbers for June and July rolled in, most legal markets reported declines in both betting volume and revenue from the previous month.
While the numbers for August have yet to be released, July was a rough month for most US sportsbook operators.
Regardless of August’s results, September could be a record-setter in many legal states with the return of football. The new college season got underway the last Saturday in August. Wrapped around the Labor Day weekend, just about every Division IA (FBS) team was back in action.
The 2021 NFL regular season made its debut on Sept. 9 in a thrilling shootout between the Dallas Cowboys and the defending Super Bowl Champion Tampa Bay Buccaneers. The rest of the league played their season opener on Sunday, Sept.12.
As the perfect way to end the NFL’s Week 1 schedule, the Las Vegas Raiders upset the Baltimore Ravens as home underdogs. The books cleaned up with nine of 16 underdogs winning their game straight-up. All told, 12 teams closing as underdogs covered the spread.
With Arizona sports betting going live on Sept. 9, there are now 26 of the 50 US states offering legal betting on sports in some form. Connecticut sportsbooks, Louisiana sportsbooks, and Maryland sportsbooks are working their way through the regulatory process.
Two new major markets would be New York sports betting and Florida sports betting. Each one is making a strong push to go live by the end of the year. The big surge in current betting volume is being driven in states with legal sports betting online.
In certain key markets, more than 90% of the betting handle is being booked through mobile sportsbook apps. Overall, industry experts have predicted that more than $20 billion will be wagered on football this season.
This has caught the attention of investors looking for value in gaming stocks. Over the three weeks leading up to the start of the new football season, these same investors got off the bench and into the game.
Shares of DraftKings, Penn National Gaming, and Caesars Entertainment with their strong Caesars bonus code offer experience significant gains. These stocks have surged more than 20% in anticipation of the return of football to betting board.
Given the surge in betting volume in early September, it is easy to see why everyone is jumping back on the bandwagon for gaming stocks in general.
Yaniv Sherman is head of the US market for the UK-based sportsbook operator 888Sport. His comments on the current legal US market included:
It’s very seldom to see the market segment grow in front of you so quickly. There’s no way around it. The US represents the biggest regulated online gaming opportunity in recent history.
DraftKings is the second-biggest US operator in terms of market share. It was reported that this book took in more than 1.5 million bets on the Dallas vs. Tampa Bay game. It also paid out more than $54 million in winning wagers.