Sports betting in Massachusetts has only been legal for less than a year but it is already having a dramatic effect on its neighboring states. This is because there have been notable falls in the sports betting handle in New Hampshire recently and the projections are that Rhode Island could suffer the same fate.
The Massachusetts sports betting bill was signed off in August 2022, and this paved the way for retail and online sports betting in the Bay State. From 31 January 2023, it has been possible for sports fans in MA to bet at one of the retail sportsbooks, while March 10 brought in the arrival of six legal online sports betting apps.
The theory is that this newfound legality is causing sports fans in the Bay State to stay at home to bet on sport rather than travelling across state lines as they previously had done. So is the Bay State ready to totally dominate the sports betting scene in New England?
The evidence is that smaller states in New England are struggling to keep hold of their market share against their larger neighbor. This is because the total amount of sports bets taken in New Hampshire in May 2023 was down a staggering $24 million compared to May 2022.
The fact that only $52.1 million bets were taken in the Granite State last month means that there was an overall drop of 32% in sports betting handle compared to the $76.2 million taken during the same month last year. .
This compounded on disappointing figures in April where the Granite State saw its sports betting handle falling from $73.1 million in April 2022 to just $65 million in April this year. This represents a total fall of 11% in sports bets taken on a year-on-year basis.
While such figures won’t be encouraging, DraftKings still managed to report growing revenues with figures showing a boost of $7 million last month. This was an impressive 23% increase compared to the $5.7 million that it took in May 2022.
Tax revenues on sports betting in New Hampshire have also been enjoying a comfortable rise. With another month left to complete the NH fiscal year, the Granite State has already taken in $35 million which is more tax revenues compared to the whole of 2022 where just $23.9 million was received through sports betting taxes.
Not only are sportsbooks in New Hampshire having a tough time as a result of Massachusetts’ legal sports betting. This is because Rhode Island is also feeling the effects of its more populous neighbor.
Recent estimates have stated that the Bay State could be taking anywhere up to 15% of the sports bets that would have ordinarily been taken in Rhode Island. Plus with Vermont set to launch sports betting in 2024, it looks like New England is set for a major shake up.
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