- After six months of a coronavirus-related halt, the sports betting industry is on a boom again.
- Sportsbooks in the country recorded the best August ever, with huge amounts of dollars wagered on NFL season’s Week 1.
- Several companies took six-figure bets, with others enjoying multimillion-dollar handles.
- Sportsbooks directors have attributed the upward trend to the uniqueness of their companies’ products, the excitement following a long halt to the football season, and the awful college schedule, among other reasons.
The sports betting industry is booming again after six months of a coronavirus-related standstill.
Sportsbooks had their biggest August ever, following it up with huge amounts of money wagered on NFL season’s Week 1.
William Hill sportsbook director Nick Bogdanovich said sports betting is currently at its peak. He added that while NFL is king, betting goes across the board. Moreover, Bogdanovich said enjoying sports betting was a positive distraction for what people are currently facing in the world.
On the opening week of the NFL, BetMGM took 15 six-figure bets, including a $525,000 win on the Patriots. William Hill took a $275,000 bet on New England.
While South Point didn’t take any six-figure wagers, it had a multi-million-dollar handle. The company’s sportsbook director Chris Andrews said the lack of exhibition season probably accentuated the “insatiable desire to bet on the NFL.” He also attributed it to the lousy college schedule since some of the money that people could have used during a normal college week may have gone into the NFL instead.
Circa Sports sportsbook director Matthew Metcalf said the handle roughly doubled last year’s for the opening weekend of the NFL. He attributed the rise to the uniqueness of the company’s product in the current sports betting industry and the excitement for the comeback of football.
On Sunday, DraftKings broke its single-day record for a betting handle, exceeding the amount of money wagered February 2 on Super Bowl LIV. The record handle doesn’t include the promotion the company ran for the September 10 NFL season opener that allowed punters to take Chiefs +101 points against the Texans for a maximum wager of $50.
Las Vegas-based DraftKings sportsbook director Johnny Avello said the company paid out $20 million on that promotion. Avello said the escalation of sports betting isn’t a surprise because it has been an annual trend in Nevada.
New Jersey set a record for betting handle in a month when it took $668 million in wagers in August, which featured NHL and NBA playoffs for the first time. Its previous record was set in November 2019, when Nevada books took $614.5 million in bets.
The Nevada Gaming Control Board will release the state’s August numbers later this month. However, Westgate sportsbook director John Murray said the book took the biggest August handle ever. He added that September could also see records set since all four major American sports are in action, including the Kentucky Derby and US Open golf tournament.
Apart from the loaded sports calendar, the escalating handle also results from the growth of mobile betting apps.