US sports betting handle November growth, unless you’re a state lottery


US sports betting states continue to report solid growth despite ongoing pandemic restrictions, proving once and forever that where there’s a will, there’s a wager.

Last week, the Indiana Gaming Commission reported that the state’s licensed sportsbooks handled a record $251.4m in November, a decent premium on October’s $231m and the third straight month of record activity. Mobile betting accounted for 85% of that sum, only slightly higher than October’s digital share.

Indiana’s betting revenue was also in record-setting mode with $25.3m in November, $4.2m better than October. Archrivals DraftKings and FanDuel combined for nearly two-thirds of the state’s November handle, with DraftKings’ $95.2m nearly 50% higher than FanDuel’s $64.2m. 

In Iowa, the Iowa Racing & Gaming Commission’s betting licensees set a new monthly handle record with $87.2m in November, up from $82m in October. Digital channels accounted for around $62.4m (71.5%) of November’s handle. Iowa’s betting revenue headed in the other direction, falling about $1.1m from October to $8.1m. 

In West Virginia, where the West Virginia Lottery calculates results on a weekly rather than monthly basis, betting handle in the four weeks ending November 28 totaled $48.5m, a modest 8.7% improvement from the four weeks ending October 31 but well off the state’s September record of $77m. November’s betting revenue gained 17.8% sequentially to $4.4m. 

West Virginia also has a legal online casino market, albeit a relative minnow when compared to the likes of New Jersey and Pennsylvania. WV’s online casino revenue rose 30.3% from October to $2.1m.

West Virginia’s online casino options are set to grow come next spring as Rush Street Interactive recently announced a market access deal with Century Casinos’ Mountaineer Casino, with RSI aiming to launch a BetRivers iGaming offering sometime in Q2 2021.

The relentlessly upward sports betting narrative didn’t extend to jurisdictions that opted for a lottery-based digital betting monopoly, such as Oregon and the District of Columbia. 

The Oregon Lottery’s Scoreboard product reported betting handle of $25m in November, down from Scoreboard’s record $29.4m in October. On the flip side, betting revenue improved from $2.75m to $4.1m over the same period as the Lottery grew stingier with its bonus offers to players.

Over in the nation’s capital, the DC Lottery’s GamebetDC product reported handle falling 7% from October to just $3.9m in November, while the Lottery’s revenue nudged up slightly to a still paltry $883k.