Analyst: North Carolina boffo for online sports betting as USA enjoys a robust May

June 19, 2024 7:59 PM
Photo: Shutterstock
  • David McKee, CDC Gaming Reports
June 19, 2024 7:59 PM
  • David McKee, CDC Gaming Reports
  • United States
  • North Carolina

Only the state of New York recorded bigger numbers for online sports betting (OSB) in May than did North Carolina. This is according to a new investor note from Jefferies Equity Research, released Monday.

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North Carolina operators saw OSB revenue of $63 million generated from a handle of $526 million. “Encouragingly, the promotional environment also appears rational,” reported analyst James Wheatcroft.

“Relative to Ohio, which is widely considered the most successful state launch in recent years, promotions have fallen considerably faster,” Wheatcroft explained. In May, free bets represented just six percent of all wagers made in North Carolina, down from 12 percent in April and 31 percent during a truncated March. OSB went live in the Tarheel State on March 11.

North Carolina was also at the upper end in terms of operator hold with 12 percent. Nationwide (Wheatcroft surveyed data from 11 states), the average hold was 10.9 percent.

The Tarheel State saga headlined a “robust” May nationally. Versus May 2023, same-store handle grew 41 percent and revenue 30 percent or greater. When the new markets of North Carolina, Vermont, and Maine were factored in, revenue jumped 52 percent from last year.

Overall, FanDuel continued to be the largest revenue beneficiary, enjoying 45 percent of revenue share. DraftKings had 36 percent, while other competitors were much farther back: BetMGM (six percent); Fanatics (three percent); and ESPN Bet (two percent).

Revenue growth, however, was fastest at DraftKings, which accelerated 73 percent from May 2023. FanDuel grew 45 percent in the same period and BetMGM four percent.

The positive momentum was also showing up in early returns for igaming. West Virginia was the first state to report, disclosing a 54 percent increase in May, following 37 percent in April and 34 percent across the first quarter of 2024, versus 2023.