DraftKings Off to Hot Start in Connecticut Online Sports Betting

DraftKings Sportsbook grossed $2.7 million in the opening month of online and mobile sports betting in CT.
DraftKings Off to Hot Start in Connecticut Online Sports Betting
By
December 08, 2021

DraftKings Sportsbook and its land-based partner, Foxwoods Resort Casino, got off to a great start in Connecticut grossing $2.7 million in the vertical in October and leaving its competitors in the dust.

The handle for the first month of regulated, legal online sports betting in Connecticut totaled $54.1 million, according to data from the Connecticut Department of Consumer Protection (CDCP). DraftKings and its only two competitors in the state – FanDuel and PlaySugarHouse – combined for $3.5 million in adjusted gaming revenue from online sports betting.

But the figures tell an incomplete story, as sports betting and online casino gaming were live for only 20 days of October. A seven-day soft launch period began on October 12 and was followed by a full launch on October 19.

FanDuel had a bigger handle…

FanDuel Sportsbook grossed about $610k during the 20-day October period while PlaySugarHouse Sportsbook generated $214k. The operators are in partnership with the Mohegan Sun Casino and the Connecticut Lottery Corporation (CLC), respectively.

Although DraftKings came out far ahead in terms of gross gaming revenue in the vertical, FanDuel actually saw more wagers ($27.1 million for FanDuel, versus $23.8 million for DraftKings). But patrons won just $19.8 million on DraftKings in October, compared to $26 million for FanDuel. DraftKings also had higher costs for promotions ($5.1 million) than FanDuel ($2.6 million).

PlaySugarHouse, a brand of Rush Street Interactive, had a handle of $3.2 million in online sports betting, with patrons winning $2.9 million. Promotional costs were $476k.

Meanwhile, gross gaming revenue from retail sportsbook – of which CLC and PlaySugarHouse was the only market participant – totaled $213k in October, nearly the same amount from its online sportsbook revenue.

…and higher promo costs in October

In online casino gaming, DraftKings and FanDuel combined for $6.6 million in gross gaming revenue.

Although DraftKings had a slight lead in the vertical in terms of revenue ($3.6 million, compared to $3 million for FanDuel), the bottom line again showed an incomplete picture. DraftKings also led FanDuel in terms of wagers, $189.6 million to $123.3 million, but FanDuel racked up higher promotional costs ($5.1 million) compared to DraftKings ($2.4 million).

Connecticut ultimately collected about $1.7 million in tax revenue for the month.

“This first revenue collection for our state reinforces the process and approach by my administration when it came to ensuring our sports betting and iCasino platforms worked seamlessly for consumers,” Connecticut Gov. Ned Lamont said in a statement. “We worked tirelessly with our casino and state partners to ensure Connecticut consumers would have positive user experiences across platforms and that is exactly what these results illustrate.

“We’re off to a great start with this new gaming marketplace and we’re looking forward to years of success.”

Foxwoods is owned and operated by the Mashantucket Pequot Tribe, while the Mohegan Tribe owns and operates the Mohegan Sun.

Comparing CT to recent online gambling launches in MI, PA

Connecticut could very well be off to a “great start” overall as Lamont said, but it’s definitely not a record start in every vertical.

When Pennsylvania’s online casino market came online in July 2019, three operators combined for $812k in revenue. Sportsbook revenue from four operators totaled $2.9 million that month in PA.

In Michigan, revenue from internet gaming totaled $29.4 million in January 2021, the first month of operation. But that figure includes poker because the Michigan Gaming Control Board does not separate poker from online casino revenue. Michigan also had nine operators offering casino games, compared to just the two in Connecticut.

Online sportsbook revenue totaled $13.3 million in Michigan in January 2021, with 11 operators in the vertical.

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