As the sun blazed down in June, the online betting industry was left feeling a chill. For the third month in a row, both Colorado and Mississippi’s sports gambling sectors saw an unexpected downturn. The decline was felt not only on a monthly basis but also on an annual comparison for the first time.
Going Digital: The Online Betting Landscape
In Colorado, the vast majority of bets were made online. A whopping $308.2m of the total $310.7m betting handle came from the digital sphere, leaving a mere $2.44m arising from retail and land-based bets. There was a change in the wind regarding the games people bet on too. Baseball, receiving $104.6m in wagers, took the top spot. Next were basketball and tennis, raking in $57.9m and $23.7m, respectively. Notably, this is a significant departure from June 2022, when ice hockey clinched the third most popular sport for betting.
Mississippi, on the other hand, saw coastal casinos emerging as the hot spot for betting. They handled $13.0m and generated $832,238 in revenue. Betting enthusiasts in the central region placed $5.1m worth of bets, which resulted in $717,679 in revenue. Lastly, the northern casinos managed $2.3m in bets with a revenue of $298,760. Like their Colorado counterparts, Mississippi gamblers also favored baseball, attracting a total of $9.3m in wagers.
The drop in the betting handle affected the revenue too. Gross gambling revenue in Colorado plummeted 70.7% to $9.2m from May’s $31.4m. In contrast, Mississippi’s revenue stood at $1.8m, showing a 14.3% year-on-year drop and falling 43.8% from the previous month. But in Colorado, the decline in revenue is not all bad news. Despite a lower betting handle, the revenue still showed an improvement on the previous year’s $6.8m.
Implications for the US iGaming Industry
The betting trends observed in Colorado and Mississippi have potential ramifications for the wider US iGaming industry:
- Digital Domination: The large online betting handles, particularly in Colorado, suggest a shift towards digital platforms. The industry may need to invest more in improving online user experience and mobile betting options, following the global iGaming trends of 2023.
- Sport Preferences: Changes in the most bet-on sports could influence the marketing strategies of sportsbooks and online betting platforms, with a need to adapt to changing customer preferences.
- Revenue Fluctuations: The substantial revenue declines, despite some gains year-on-year, suggest the potential for unstable revenue in the iGaming industry. This emphasizes the need for strategic planning and diversified revenue streams.
In the realm of sports betting, the only sure bet seems to be change. As the saying goes, “The house always wins”, but it’s clear that adapting to these new dynamics will be key for the house to keep winning.