Online sports betting officially began in Massachusetts on March 10, and it has been an interesting first two months. While sports betting news tends to be positive in most states with this industry, that hasn’t always been the case in Massachusetts.
This is a sports betting market that should continue to grow, and Massachusetts could end up being a leader in this industry. Operators haven’t always followed the rules in the state, and Massachusetts is already posting some interesting results.
Things should start to straighten back out in this state soon, but the Massachusetts Gaming Commission has been extremely busy since betting began. Sports bettors don’t really have anything to complain about, but the MGC is hoping that the issues start to go away.
Handle Decreases in April
The April sports betting numbers are in for Massachusetts, and total sports betting handle decreased as expected. Launching in March allowed Massachusetts sports bettors to cash in on March Madness wagers, but that wasn’t the case in April.
The total handle was still $546.2 million, but that amounted to just $18 million per day that was wagered. That was a sharp decrease from March, as more than $25 million was wagered during that month.
Lawmakers and industry experts believed that the state could eventually see close to $5.7 billion in yearly handle, and the state is already well above that pace. Massachusetts sportsbooks still posted a total revenue of more than $58.5 million, and that is the number that truly matters.
DraftKings has also proven to be the clear leader in this state, and that isn’t typically the case in other markets. The Boston based operator accounted for 52% of the online market share in April, and FanDuel typically sees those numbers in other states.
Handle and revenue are both expected to drop over the next few months as that is usually a trend in the U.S. sports betting market.
DraftKings Admits to Violation
It wasn’t long after online sports betting was legal in Massachusetts that DraftKings recognized that it had made a big mistake. DraftKings self-reported violations to the MGC that stemmed from accepting wagers on an unapproved tennis league.
There were over 800 bets taken by DraftKings that shouldn’t have been allowed, and that market remained open for more than a week. DraftKings announced that the error occurred after the operator simply copied over a list of approved markets in another state.
The MGC has not yet announced a punishment for DraftKings, but one is going to be announced at some point soon. This was a shocking revelation from DraftKings, as this operator doesn’t usually make these kinds of mistakes in the industry.
One reason that it took Massachusetts so long to launch online sports betting was due to the fact that the MGC was very thorough in coming up with sports betting rules. Having the top operator break a rule in the first few days is not something that the MGC thought it would have to deal with.