Massachusetts Casinos Keep Pace As Sportsbooks Start To Separate In April

Written By Derek Helling on May 16, 2023
April 2023 gambling revenue for Massachusetts shows mixed results

Revenue figures from April 2023 taught everyone a little more about the gambling industry in Massachusetts. It was a good month for the industry overall as the state’s two casinos and slot parlor mostly held steady from their April 2022 performances.

April 2023 marked the first full month of legal online sports betting in Massachusetts. For that reason, it’s possible to start drawing some inferences about the market. There’s good news for some of the licensees while for the rest, there is work to be done.

Massachusetts casinos stay on par with past performances

According to a release from the Massachusetts Gaming Commission, April was all about consistency. The three licensed gaming facilities in the state combined for $101.1 million in taxable gaming revenue during the month. As is usually the case, Encore Boston Harbor represented the vast majority of that revenue.

In April, Encore accounted for about 63.2% of the total. The other casino in the state, MGM Springfield, supplied another 23.4%. Slots at Plainridge Park brought in the remainder. Combined, the three facilities paid about $28.5 m
in taxes to the state off of their revenues.

Overall, Massachusetts’ gaming facilities broke about even in terms of how these numbers compare to the same month last year. In April 2022, the taxable revenue total from these licensees came to $99.1 million.

Plainridge Park was the only of the three licensees to not see a slight year-over-year improvement. Plainridge won about 3.8% more money off slot players in April 2022 than it did in April 2023. Regardless, gains at the state’s two casinos compensated for that downturn.

The comparison shows that the state’s gaming facilities have what it takes to maintain their numbers from poker, slots, and table games regardless of external conditions. At the same time, their physical sportsbooks saw significant downturns during April.

In-person sports betting falls off with sports calendar

As was expected, the activity at all three of Massachusetts’ physical sportsbooks dropped off drastically in April. March saw bettors wager about 62.5% more money in person at the three books as compared to April.

With March Madness in the rearview mirror and nothing going on NFL-wise but the annual draft and some player transactions, April is typically a down month for sports betting.

Massachusetts residents and visitors wagered $12.7 million in person during the month. That is the lowest such figure for any full month since land-based sportsbooks opened in the state in late January. On top of that, the books didn’t have a strong month in terms of keeping bettors’ money, either.

MGM Springfield‘s book actually lost $228,366.75 in April. The books at Encore and Plainridge brought the statewide total back into the black, however, amounting to a sum of $396,985.97 for April. That comes out to a win percentage of about 2.3% of the dollars bet.

Once again, these numbers represent nothing that wasn’t expected. While the licensees probably would have liked to have won more than 2.3% of bets, any revenue whatsoever from their sportsbooks during April actually equates to a win.

For as quiet as it was around Massachusetts’ physical sports betting windows, the app servers were hard at work. April offered the first glimpse at the state’s online sports betting potential.

Online sportsbooks have a great first month

Bettors did quite well in terms of their in-person activity in Massachusetts during April. Online, however, the sportsbooks turned the tables for the month.

Massachusetts’ six online sportsbooks:

  • Took $561.7 million in bets throughout April
  • The apps kept over $59.5 million of that money
  • Amounting to a win percentage of 10.5%

As a result, Massachusetts collected $11.7 million in tax revenue.

The numbers from the respective online books showed that Massachusetts online sports betting will be a story of DraftKings, FanDuel, and the field.

DraftKings actually widened its leading share of the market in the first full month of operation in April. In the last three weeks of March, DraftKings took about 46.8% of all the dollars bet online in Massachusetts. In April, DraftKings accounted for around 50.3% of all the money wagered online.

FanDuel was the only other app to account for a double-digit share of the market in April, raking in 30.2% of the money bet. The other four operators shared the remaining 19.5% of the market but not evenly between them.

In fact, WynnBet, which is connected to Encore via parent company Wynn Resorts, made up some ground in April. Its 4% share in April was close to overtaking Penn Interactive‘s 4.3% for fourth place. Penn also had the second-worst win percentage of the six books during April, keeping just 7.8% of the money bet on the app.

It’s unclear whether Wynn will be able to keep up that momentum in future months. More contenders are entering the market like Betr launching earlier this month. For the state, which saw $40.3 million in new tax revenue off of over $160 million in gaming revenue during April, that competition is producing solid results.

Photo by Playin USA
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Derek Helling

Derek Helling is the assistant managing editor of Playin USA. Helling focuses on breaking news, including legislation and litigation in the gaming industry. He enjoys reading hundreds of pages of a gambling bill or lawsuit for his audience. Helling completed his journalism degree at the University of Iowa.

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