Maine Sports Betting November Debut Hits $37.6M in Handle

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Maine’s inaugural month of legalized sports betting in November saw its two operators take in an impressive $37.6 million in bets. That’s according to the latest data release from the Maine Gambling Control Unit.

Maine sports betting was legalized in August 2022, but the market just launched on November 3, 2023. Only two online sportsbooks have signed up so far because of the unique structure of the market and its Tribal revenue sharing agreement.

Maine retail sportsbooks will launch in January 2024. There are sportsbooks planned for the two Maine casinos, including the Passamaquoddy Tribe’s Oxford Casino. BetMGM is also planning a retail ‘book, which will add a third operator to the market.

After taking in $5.4 million in the first week, the two current operators, DraftKings and Caesars Sportsbook, have since ramped up their betting volume.  

DraftKings, partnering with the Passamaquoddy Tribe, dominated the market with a $30.5 million handle. Caesars, in collaboration with three of the Wabanaki nations – the Houlton band of Maliseet Indians, Mi’kmaq nation, and Penobscot nation – handled $7.1 million in bets.

From that handle, the operators claimed close to $4.9 million in sports betting revenue, achieving a hold rate of 12.9%. DraftKings accounted for $4.4 million of that revenue.

Maine’s tax authorities have already benefited from the opening month, collecting $464,152 in taxes. That’s based on a 10% tax rate applied on $4.6 million in adjusted revenues. The Tribes are also due their 50% cut somewhere down the line, although how exactly that worked out was not included in the data released.

NFL As Prime Attraction

Interestingly, the Maine Gambling Control Unit publishes a day-by-day breakdown of handle, revenue, and taxes. That is far more information than most other legal state markets, where many regulators only publish the bare bones handle and revenue information.

This breakdown shows just how much sportsbooks’ profits can fluctuate from day to day.

For instance, on November 5, DraftKings saw a 21.9% win rate. But this dropped significantly to 4.7% just a week later. Caesars experienced similar trends, holding on to $101,000 in revenues on November 29, only to lose out to bettors by $110,000 on November 30.

DraftKings reported that 23.2% of its total bets were on football betting, especially the NFL, with the highest daily handles occurring on NFL Sundays and Thanksgiving Day.

The best day of the opening month for DraftKings was November 5, when it made $341,000 in revenues on a $1.583 million total handle.

Caesars best day of the opening Maine sports betting month was the aforementioned November 29, followed by its worst day of the month the day after.

Maine in Context

Caesars and DraftKings collective hold of just shy of 13% is above the national average for U.S online sportsbooks of 7%.

One contributing factor to this hold is the inexperience of state bettors in a regulated market, so that rate could easily decrease over time. Maine also lacks any major top division sports teams to bet on, which could mean more casual bettors and less hardcore fans with top knowledge of their markets.

In terms of revenue, Maine was the second state to report November 2023’s sports betting numbers. West Virginia sports betting placed $52.5 million in wagers over the month, which puts it in first place so far.

Maine’s opening month handle of $37.5 million is on par with that of Arkansas sports betting in the previous month of October. Arkansas has nearly twice Maine’s population, but only three local mobile operators running. Meanwhile, Maine has U.S market-leading DraftKings, which secured a last minute spot to launch when other operators were put off.

However, compare either or both of these states to the largest U.S market, sports betting in New York, and it’s obvious Maine and Arkansas are small-fry for sportsbooks. New York state bettors wagered well over a billion in most months of 2023, and in October, they hit a record $2 billion in handle.

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