After NFL and college football, NCAA men’s basketball is always a popular option for sports gamblers. As more states have introduced their own sports gambling markets following the demise of PASPA in 2018, interest has picked up even more. March Madness was forced to skip a year last year because of COVID-19, but while the final numbers aren’t yet available, this year’s NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament is expected to make up for those losses. If the attention is given, DraftKings and FanDuel and their mobile sports gambling apps is any indication, there is a lot of revenue to be reported.
DraftKings, FanDuel Take Control of Mobile Sports Gambling
At least among the iOS crowd, DraftKings and FanDuel are the go-to solutions for mobile sports gambling. This is according to a report just released by Bank of America that points out that the apps of the two sports gambling operators accounted for 64% of all sports gambling app downloads last month. Across the board, iOS sportsbook app downloads jumped 559% compared to the prior-year level.
This increase in popularity was undoubtedly driven, at least in part, by March Madness. Having taken a year off due to the pandemic, the NCAA Tournament made a successful run this year, culminating in a thrilling underdog win yesterday. The Baylor Bears upset the undefeated Gonzaga Bulldogs, 86-70, capturing their first NCAA Men’s Basketball title ever after making their first Final Four appearance since 1950.
BetMGM Mobile App Gains Steam
MGM Resorts International wasn’t going to be left out in the cold when sports gambling began to find widespread legalization in the US. It entered into a partnership with Entain Plc to launch the BetMGM online sports gambling platform, and, just as it has found success with its global casino footprint, MGM is beginning to reap the benefits of legalized sports gambling. The BetMGM mobile app took third place last month among iOS sports bettors, grabbing 12% of all downloads. The Barstool Sportsbook, operated by Penn National Gaming, was next in line, but its fourth-place March finish was a solid drop from prior performances. Last September, it set a download record of 21,000 the first weekend it was introduced, blowing away previous records set by DraftKings and FanDuel.
With 25 states – and counting – offering legal sports gambling markets, the race is on to see who can grab a larger share of the market. Even though states like Kansas and Georgia have recently stumbled in their effort to introduce legalized sports gambling, nationwide access continues. According to some estimates, over 40 states could have their own legal sports gambling markets established within three to four years, allowing those states to capture millions of dollars in revenue that is currently being sent to other states or to offshore sportsbooks.