One month into football season, and the usual suspects of sports wagering — those being DraftKings (NASDAQ:DKNG) and FanDuel — are leading betting mobile application downloads.
In a new research report out today, Morgan Stanley notes downloads of sports wagering apps surged 183 percent in September. That’s likely a seasonal trend, confirming US bettors’ enthusiasm for football — the most wagered-on sport in this country. More states joining the ranks of live and legal sports betting also sparked increased app downloads.
The excitement around several new states launching OSB (Arizona and Wyoming launched, Connecticut and Louisiana launching soon), along with a noticeable increase in marketing dollars (i.e. TV ads) from betting operators, were likely key contributors to outsized growth,” said Morgan Stanley analyst Thomas Allen.
Connecticut went live last week. Currently, 27 states and Washington, DC are offering regulated sports betting. Five more are in the legal but not operational camp.
DraftKings Asserting Itself
The domestic online sports wagering is heavily concentrated in terms of market share, with the “big three” of FanDuel, BetMGM, and DraftKings combining for about 83 percent share. Alone, FanDuel, a unit of Flutter Entertainment (OTC:PDYPY), controls an estimated 45 percent of the market.
However, the app download breakdown isn’t uniform relative to the overall market share. Last month, DraftKings earned 32 percent of all sports betting app downloads, up from 30 percent in August, according to Morgan Stanley. The bank says FanDuel’s September download percentage was 27 percent, up from 20 percent in the prior month.
The Morgan Stanley data jibes with a September report from Loop Capital, which said DraftKings recently usurped FanDuel as the most downloaded sports wagering app in Apple’s App Store.
Some analysts see DraftKings gaining nearly a quarter of the iGaming and sports betting markets by 2025. Citing cross-selling opportunities, including its burgeoning media footprint, DraftKings can gain market share from FanDuel, according to some Wall Street analysts.
Sports Betting Competitors
BetMGM – a 50/50 joint venture between MGM Resorts and Entain – and Caesars Entertainment each garnered 12 percent of September betting app downloads, according to Morgan Stanley. Year-to-date, August and September are the only months in which Caesars’ new app commanded double-digit percentages of app downloads.
The bank also notes Penn National Gaming’s Barstool Sportsbook saw its download percent slip to seven percent from 12 percent in August, and that it’s been in single-digit percentages for the bulk of this year.
In fairness to Barstool Sportsbook, Penn spends far less on marketing than do its rivals, and the app is live in just nine states — Pennsylvania, Michigan, Illinois, Colorado, Virginia, New Jersey, Tennessee, Arizona, and Indiana. That number is expected to grow into next year.
WynnBet garnered three percent of mobile betting app downloads last month, notes Morgan Stanley.
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