US Mobile Sports Betting Continues to Surge in 2023

A recently published study by GWS has indicated that the 2023 football, basketball, and hockey seasons have attracted a large number of new players who are primarily wagering with mobile apps. This year has recorded an increase of 36% in users between the ages of 21 and 28 years old when compared to the previous year.

Despite the sharp increase in the number of users, the growth is yet to catch up to spending, as 21% of users within the same age group (21 to 28 years old) claimed that they do not spend more than $5 every week.

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2023: A Huge Year for US Sportsbooks

In comparison to the last year, monthly active sportsbook users have increased by 20% overall. Additionally, 1.2 million out of the total of 7.9 million active users on American sportsbooks are aged between 21 and 28 years old. Based on the analytics data for the year-to-date, the study predicts the growth in active monthly users will lead to the total wagered amount for 2023 exceeding $110 billion.

With information obtained from the mobile data of consenting users, the study has determined that not only are there more people using sportsbook apps, but the average time spent on the apps has also recorded an increase. As of Oct. 2023, Americans had spent 67.1 million minutes every month on mobile betting platforms, pointing to a massive 66% increase over last year, where the tally stood at 40.5 million minutes monthly.

The engagement levels of Oct. 2023 exceeded any month in the history of sports betting in the United States, ahead of the previous spike recorded during the 2023 Super Bowl.

US Sports Betting Duopoly Faces Fresh Challenges

As of Oct. 2023, the sports betting market in the United States is controlled by a duopoly between DraftKings and FanDuel, who collectively hold 65% of the active user base. The nearest competitor is BetMGM, with 17% of the active bettors on its platform.

Previously, FanDuel held the distinction of having the highest engagement rate of any betting platform in the country. In October, DraftKings took the lead with a massive 49% increase in engagement time when compared to FanDuel. Overall, Americans spent 30.3 million minutes on the DraftKings betting app in contrast to the 20.3 million minutes spent on FanDuel.

Despite the strengths of DraftKings and FanDuel in engaging active users, player loyalty has remained low as users continue to seek the best odds, promotions, and offers within the ecosystem of betting apps available. The study documents a significant overlap between sportsbook apps. 40% of all users were documented using more than one betting app on their mobile devices to bet. A separate study conducted by GWS found that 70% of Americans who use more than one sportsbook app make their decisions based on the availability of active promotions and odds boosts. Additionally, a significant 20% of these users also reported that they were influenced by the notifications that they received from sports betting apps.

ESPN BET Making Inroads in Booming US Betting Market

Despite launching only in Nov. 2023, ESPN BET is making a splash in the US sports betting market. In the few weeks since its introduction to the public, players have already been spending more time on ESPN BET than on BetMGM Sportsbook.

In Nov. 2023, ESPN BET was the third most popular sports betting app in the United States, with an impressive 11% market share for time spent on the app. ESPN BET has also acquired the largest percentage of young people on its app — 44% of its user base is under the age of 36.

GWS ran an additional poll to analyze wagers and spending trends for 2024. According to this survey, 36% of Americans (one in three) look forward to placing a bet on a mobile sportsbook over the next 12 months. Among these bettors, 78% plan on wagering as much as they already have in the past, if not more.

Of the future bettors from the United States, 42% stated that they signed up with a sportsbook because their friends had begun betting, while nearly 30% said that in-game promotions and commercials prompted them to wager. Finally, 30% of those in the survey said that having an active wager made sports more exciting.

Women Continue To Drive US Sports Betting Surge

In a previous survey from earlier in 2023, it was found that 3.2 million women joined sportsbook apps in 2022, an increase of 45% over the previous year. This rate outpaces the growth rate of male users for the third year in a row. 59% of the surveyed users claimed that they planned on betting on the Super Bowl, setting the tone for the future growth patterns of the industry. A GWS survey of BetMGM found a 220% increase in women using the app.

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About the Author
Nikhil Kalro

Nikhil Kalro

Nikhil Kalro covers the sports betting industry and revenue reporting at Gaming Today. Much of his work analyzes state revenue information, including betting activity and revenue for individual states and sportsbook operators. In addition, Nikhil provides news updates on the gambling industry itself, including product launches and legal issues. Nikhil’s previous experience includes five years with ESPN.

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