The opening weekend for Massachusetts sports betting drew double the activity of similarly-sized states and was the fifth-busiest state for wagers over the opening three-day period, according to data from GeoComply Solutions.
Six operators — BetMGM Sports, DraftKings Sportsbook, Caesars Sportsbook, Barstool Sportsbook, FanDuel, and WynnBET — launched online sports betting at 10 a.m. ET on Friday. With the launch, the Bay State became the 25th US jurisdiction with mobile sports betting, joining the District of Columbia and 24 other states.
According to GeoComply — which provides geolocation security, fraud prevention and compliance services for nearly all of the US online sports betting market — it recorded 8.1 million geolocation checks during the opening weekend on MA sports betting apps which began at midnight Friday and ended at 11:59 p.m. Sunday.
GeoComply said it also recorded 406,437 unique player account were active during the opening weekend.
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State Punched Above Its Weight During Opening Weekend
For a state that currently ranks 16th in terms of population (with 7 million residents), the numbers from the opening weekend were quite impressive.
While New Jersey, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and New York each had more activity over the three-day period, such performances were expected considering three have had sports betting for more than a year (Ohio launched on January 1) and all four are more populous — New York ranks 4th (19.7 million) while Pennsylvania is 5th (13 million), Ohio is 7th (11.8 million), and New Jersey ranks 11th (9.3 million).
But that didn’t stop Massachusetts from putting up numbers that “far outstripped those of similar-sized states,” GeoComply said, which included figures from Arizona, Indiana, Maryland, and Virginia to drive home the point.
Compared to the 8.1 million geolocation checks in Massachusetts, there were 5.2 million in Maryland, 4.9 million in Arizona, 4.4 million in Virginia, and 3.5 million in Indiana.
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Massachusetts also dominated with the number of unique accounts active over its opening weekend. Maryland had 187,507 accounts active during that three-day time frame, while Virginia (179,305), Arizona (174,091), and Indiana (158,198) trailed by that metric.
Virginia ranks 12th in terms of population with 8.7 million residents, while Arizona ranks 14th (7.4 million), Indiana is 17th (6.8 million), and Maryland is 19th (6.2 million).
Other sports betting states with larger populations that Massachusetts appears to have dusted include Tennessee, North Carolina, and Washington. Tennessee is a mobile-only state for sports betting, while the latter two have sports betting limited to tribal casinos only.
Massachusetts Committed to Responsible Gambling
Massachusetts wound up launching online sports betting in March, which is Problem Gambling Awareness Month. Retail sports books opened on January 31.
GeoComply lauded the Massachusetts Gaming Commission (MGC) for its commitment to responsible gaming. The firm also said it had blocked over 5,000 transactions “from devices or accounts with a known history of fraud, saving its customers tens of thousands of dollars.”
Lindsay Slader, senior vice president for compliance at GeoComply, said the firm was “privileged to be licensed in Massachusetts and support operators and the MGC as it builds a regulated online sports betting market with responsible gambling hard-boiled into its regulations.
“Massachusetts citizens will benefit from legal online sportsbooks dedicated to greater protection and an increased budget for responsible gambling programs.”
According to GeoComply, the Public Health Trust Fund, which supports responsible gambling programs and has been funded with tax revenue from gaming since 2011, had $17 million in the state budget for the 2022 fiscal year.