Legalized in April 2021, Arizona launched its sports betting market in September 2021. Although there have been high hopes for the market in the state, nobody expected that it would hit nearly $300 million in wagers in its debut month – September.
Legal Sports Betting Sets Record Debut Month in Arizona
According to PlayAZ.com analysts, Arizona has set a record for the busiest sports betting debuting month last September. Overall, the legal online and retail sportsbooks accepted some $291.2 million in wagers for September 2021. In contrast, the busiest first-month launch record was formerly $131.4 million and was set by Tennessee during November 2020. But why is the nearly $300 million in wagers such a record? New Jersey, which is undoubtedly one of the biggest sports betting markets in the US, did not exceed $290 million until its ninth month of operation. Back then, sports wagers hit $385.3 million.
Breakdown of the $291.2 million in wagers shows that only $2.6 million was generated by retail sportsbooks. The bigger part or $288.1 million was raised via online sportsbooks. For its first month of legal sports betting, sportsbooks hit $32.3 million in gross gaming revenue (GGR).
Not unexpectedly, DraftKings and FanDuel spearheaded sports betting in Arizona. In its first month, DraftKings hit $97.7 million in wagers, which represent $12.7 million in gross revenue. On the other hand, FanDuel was responsible for $57.7 million in online wagers as well as $1.9 million in retail bets. Besides the duo, more famous sportsbook brands such as BetMGM, Caesars and WynnBet also debuted in Arizona in September 2021.
The NFL Season Start Helped Increase the Sports Betting Popularity
Eric Ramsey, an analyst for the PlayUSA.com network revealed that “football is the straw that stirs the sports betting drink, so launching ahead of the NFL’s first game and with college football going full tilt was critical.” He acknowledged that in Arizona, most of the leading sportsbooks brands debuted in the first month. According to him, this combination resulted in a “remarkable debut.”
“Local sports matter and a strong NFL team matters more than most, so the Cardinals’ historic start was a godsend for sportsbooks.”Eric Ramsey, an analyst for the PlayUSA.com Network
Opening the season with 4-0, the Arizona Cardinals also helped increase the interest in sports betting. According to Ramsey, that historic start of the NFL season served as a “godsend for sportsbooks” in Arizona. He explained that while sportsbooks are looking at expanding their customer base, an enthusiastic fan base can do this job much easier.