Arizona sportsbooks brought a fitting end to the 2023 calendar year with regards to sports betting in the United States — posting a monthly record revenue haul after the state’s Department of Gaming reported $67.7 million in gross revenue before any deductions were counted.

Operator winnings easily surpassed the previous high of $60.1 million in September, and the top three all-time totals in 28 months of wagering all occurred in the final four months of 2023. The strong close to the calendar year pushed gross revenue to $557.4 million, up 17.8% compared to 2022 as the 8.5% hold was up nearly two-thirds of a percentage point.

Handle was a robust $693.3 million, up 21.1% compared to the final month of 2022 but 2.8% off November’s record $713.6 million. Arizona sportsbooks accepted more than $6.57 billion worth of bets in 2023, up 8.9% from 2022 when it edged over $6 billion.

The state was eligible to tax $48.3 million in adjusted gross revenue, also an all-time monthly high, as the state coffers received $4.8 million in tax receipts from December action. The $34.8 million in tax revenue collected was $5.9 million more than 2022 and put the all-time total at $69.6 million.

Arizona’s report capped a record year of sports wagering nationwide that featured more than $121 billion handle and more than $10.8 billion in known gross revenue. The 9.1% hold was up more than one full percentage point compared to 2022, while state tax revenue totaled $2.15 billion.

FanDuel raises the revenue bar yet again

Arizona has been one of the few states where FanDuel has not been able to exert its customary dominance over the betting public on a month-by-month basis. Though the mobile juggernaut did not post a 10% hold in the Grand Canyon State for 2023 — barely falling short at 9.8% — FanDuel set a state monthly record for gross revenue in December at $29.1 million. That blew by its previous standard of $25.1 million in November 2022 as FanDuel finished with $226.7 million in winnings against $2.3 billion handle.

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DraftKings was a relatively close second, topping $20 million in revenue for the third time in the final four months of 2023, crafting a win rate of 9% as it accepted $228.5 million worth of wagers. That was enough to edge its full-year handle over $2 billion.

The two sportsbooks were separated by less than $288,000 in promotional bonuses and credits in 2023, with FanDuel’s $64.8 million outlay taking the top spot. But it had a year-over-year increase of only 25.4% while DraftKings’ $64.5 million spend was a 55.1% increase versus 2022.

BetMGM took the final podium spots in revenue and handle with ease, fashioning a 10.5% hold as it kept $8.7 million in gross winnings from $82.7 million handle. It also had a notable pullback in promotional spend compared to 2022: Its $39.1 million was a 37.1% decline from 2022, while the $901.7 million in accepted bets represented a 15.9% downturn.

Caesars ($56.8 million) had enough to hold off ESPN BET ($53 million) for the No. 4 spot in handle as the former had a 14.6% dip from November while the latter reported a 35.7% increase. ESPN BET garnered 7.7% of the $685.1 million mobile handle in December, above its first-year target of 7%.

It had a 5.7% hold in claiming $3 million in gross revenue and spent at least $2.9 million in promotional credits as it failed to generate any taxable winnings for the second consecutive month. Those deductions, though, were down 24% versus November. Caesars had a 6.8% win rate in winning $3.8 million, while its $908,000 promotional spend was less than one-third that of ESPN BET.

Desert Diamond was tops among local mobile sportsbooks for both December and 2023 as the Tuscon-based operator close out the year with $414,000 in winnings from $7.4 million handle for a 5.6% hold.

It capped a breakthrough year as Desert Diamond’s $198.7 million in accepted bets was nearly a seven-fold increase from the $28.6 million handle generated in 2022. Three monthly losses — two of them more than $920,000 — contributed to a revenue haul of almost $5 million for the year and a 2.5% win rate. Both figures were enough to place sixth among mobile operators.

DraftKings book at TPC Scottsdale gives retail bounce

Retail handle hit an all-time monthly high of $8.2 million in December, with DraftKings’ brick-and-mortar sportsbook at TPC Scottsdale accounting for almost one-third of that amount at $2.7 million. It notched a 13.5% hold to reap $368,000 and generated $5.9 million worth of wagers in the two-plus months since launch.

The $790,000 in gross revenue from the 15 retail sportsbooks statewide was the second-highest in 28 months of betting in Arizona, trailing only the $801,000 claimed in February 2022. The $5.2 million in operator winnings was up 46.4% versus 2022, and the $63.3 million handled in person was up 26.1%.

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