In just 8 days of action, Arizona is making a big splash in the sports betting world.
Online sports wagering went live in the Grand Canyon State on September 9. According to analysis released Friday by American Betting Experts, Arizona already is showing signs of becoming the biggest sports betting state in the US.
Arizona managed to time its sports betting launch to the opening night of the new National Football League season, which resulted in a combined total of 6.1m bets and log ins between September 9 and September 12. A staggering 271,000 new Arizona sportsbook accounts were created in those four days, according to GeoComply.
These numbers made Arizona the fourth-most productive state on NFL opening weekend in terms of overall online sportsbook activity, ahead of Illinois in fifth place and just behind Michigan in third place.
According to a statement from American Betting Experts, the debut of the Arizona market in the top five, ahead of several other states that have had sports betting in place for months, is “understandable considering the huge population of Arizona and the state’s passion for sports, but not many predicted the instant impact that online sports betting would have on the Arizona economy.”
However, what separates Michigan from Arizona in the online gaming space is the presence of legal online casino gaming in the Wolverine State. ABE said with both online sports betting and online casino available Michigan, the state is ranked second in the Wedge Index (the official state quality score for legal gambling within the United States) behind only New Jersey. Arizona sits in fourth place in the Wedge Index behind Pennsylvania, largely due to the absence of online casino gaming in Arizona.
The appetite for online casino gaming is “enormous” in Michigan, ABE assessed. The state’s 14 online casinos generated more than $83m in revenue in July, which accounted for 30% of total Michigan online gaming revenue.
ABE projects annual online casino revenue in Michigan could reach $1 billion if the state’s mobile casino apps continue to experience the same demand for the remainder of the year.
The popularity of online casinos in Michigan is due partially to instant brand recognition. For example, when BetMGM launched its online casino product in Michigan, people were already aware of the brand from the well-known MGM Grand in Detroit.
ABE said online casinos in Michigan have grown in popularity as a result of sportsbook/casino integration within a number of the state’s most successful gaming apps. DraftKings, BetMGM and TwinSpires all have both sportsbook and casino products integrated into their apps, allowing players to switch between the two.