Massachusetts gambling revenue fell in November despite breaking its record for monthly sports betting revenue. More interesting, however, was the increase in betting at Penn Interactive.

Accordingly, casino revenue remained largely unchanged compared to the previous month Figures from the Massachusetts Gaming Commission. However, it was a good month for bettors, with accumulated winnings from sports betting down $10 million compared to October.

Total taxable gaming revenue for all casino and sportsbooks was $143.0 million, decreasing 7.7% compared to $155.8 million in the previous month.

Overall sports betting revenue impacted by low hold rate

In reviewing aggregate sports betting performance, the eight mobile and online sports betting licensees in Massachusetts, as well as the three in-person betting licensees, generated a combined profit of $50.6 million.

In November, sports bettors wagered around $654.4 million, up nearly 15% from October’s $571.8 million. It was 12% higher than the previous best month for Massachusetts betting, which was $579.3 million in April 2023.

Despite the increase in handles, profits actually fell by more than 16% compared to the previous month. In a good month for punters, sales retention was just 7.72% in November, compared to 10.5% in October. May’s record win for Massachusetts came with record winnings of $61.0 million.

DraftKings broke the state’s monthly handle record again in November when players deposited $320.0 million. The company broke the previous record in October with $304.8 million. However, as seen across the Massachusetts betting market, revenue fell from $34.3 million to $27.2 million.

With profits of $181.5 million, FanDuel had its best month ever in Massachusetts. However, a retention rate of just 6.9% meant profits were only $12.6 million.

ESPN Bet – behind Penn Interactive’s rise?

Most interesting was Penn Interactive raising the stakes. While only $13.9 million in bets were made in October, with a 10.65% drop in sales, the picture seems to have completely changed in November.

Just a month later, Penn Interactive processed $39.1 million in bets. This was an increase of nearly $16 million and taxable gaming revenue of $5.7 million. The sales share also increased to 14.86%, the highest in Massachusetts.

ESPN Bet is the product of Penn’s $1.5 billion partnership with Disney-owned ESPN, the largest sports media brand in the United States.

ESPN Bet has undoubtedly made a splash since its launch in 17 states in November in the middle of last month.

The app was downloaded over a million times in the first six days of launch, and DraftKings CEO Jason Robins admitted he is “keeping a close eye” on ESPN Bet’s progress.

After lagging far behind the likes of Caesars Sportsbook and BetMGM in October, only DraftKings and FanDuel surpassed Penn in total stakes settled in November.

Whether growth can be sustained remains to be seen, but early signs are undoubtedly positive.

Massachusetts casinos earn $94.0 million

With Casino, the state’s three casinos generated gross gaming revenue (GGR) of approximately $94.0 million in November. Plainridge Park Casino, MGM Springfield and Encore Boston Harbor earned $32.1 million from table games and $62.0 million from slots.

The figure was slightly below the $96.7 million raised in October, even though November is a shorter month.

Encore Boston Harbor accounted for $61.4 million of the state’s total casino revenue, down slightly from October’s $62.4 million. The amount was slightly higher than the $59.4 million in November 2022.