To the delight of bettors in New England’s largest state, Massachusetts finally passed regulated sports wagering right before the end of its 2022 legislative session and analysts are already identifying potential winners among operators.
Boston-based DraftKings (NASDAQ:DKNG) may have a home field advantage and along with rival FanDuel is already familiar to prospective Massachusetts bettors owing to the companies’ long-running dominance in daily fantasy sports (DFS). Additionally, analysts see the state’s three commercial casino operators — MGM Resorts International (NYSE:MGM), Penn National Gaming (NASDAQ:PENN) and Wynn Resorts (NASDAQ:WYNN) as possible winners as well.
Like DraftKings, Penn’s Barstool Sportsbook could be a hometown favorite due to Barstool Sports’ ties to the Boston area.
While the legacy DFS industry in the state gives DKNG and FLTR’s FanDuel a nice head start on target customer acquisition similar to many other states, we believe the state’s commercial casinos are in strong standing, particularly PENN and Barstool Sports with somewhat of a home field advantage given Barstool’s legacy in Boston and its popularity among the local college population, coupled with the retail presence at Plainridge Park,” wrote CBRE analyst John DeCree in a note to clients.
He adds that BetMGM parent MGM and Wynn could be formidable players in the Massachusetts sports betting scene because locals are familiar with the brands and those operators likely have extensive databases of prospective sports bettors by way of running land-based casinos in the state.
Massachusetts Drawing New Jersey Comparisons
It remains to be seen and it’s a lofty comparison, but some industry observers see Massachusetts as a potential rival to New Jersey in terms of sports betting handle.
There are similarities. Both states are located in the Northeast with rabid fan bases for local professional sports teams. Massachusetts will tax mobile wagers at 20% and retail wagers at 15% — higher than many states, but well below the rates in New York and Pennsylvania.
“We estimate MA’s 7M population could eventually generate OSB GGR of $450-560M annually, implying a $65-80 per capita consumption rate,” said Roth Capital analyst Edward Engel in a note to clients.
He points to DraftKings, Penn and Wynn as operators that could grab significant market share in the state that’s home to all of New England’s professional sports franchises.
“Penn’s Barstool brand has deep ties to MA, including a large base of Boston sports fans. As such, we expect PENN’s OSB market share to index above the 5-10% share it achieves in other states,” adds Engel. “DKNG was also founded in MA, and we would expect a large marketing push. Additionally, Wynn has market share advantages alongside its land-based casino presence in Boston and growing database in the region.”
Needed Jolt for 2022 Sports Betting Legislation
As the Roth Capital analyst points out, Massachusetts provides a needed boost to the 2022 sports betting legislative landscape, which previously included legalization in just Kansas and Maine.
There’s some optimism Massachusetts could have mobile betting operational by the start of the 2022 NFL season on Sept. 11, but that notion is likely rooted more in hope than reality. An early 2023 launch in the state is more plausible. Still, with California, Texas and Florida not yet legal, the Massachusetts news is significant.
“If California voters can follow suit and get a commercially viable sports betting amendment approved in November, the industry could get very interesting for investors in 2023,” adds CBRE’s DeCree.
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