With the start of NFL season and college football in its second full week, the top two sites in the sports betting industry made huge profits via online wagering this past weekend.
On Monday, FanDuel Group announced that the amount of money bet by online users for Sunday’s NFL slate was about 12 times more than the same time last season. If you remember, it was around this time last year when FanDuel launched its online betting app.
DraftKings Inc. said the amount of money wagered on Sunday via the mobile betting app nearly doubled what it did on the first NFL Sunday last season.
Neither company would release the financial figures from their huge days, which does make the comparisons more difficult to compute.
According to numbers from the analytics firm SimilarWeb, the online traffic for both sites increased greatly on the first day of the NFL season, which was Thursday. FanDuel had 524,416 visits, while DraftKings had 306,681 on Thursday for the Green Bay Packers at Chicago Bears season-opening game.
All of these numbers do highlight the importance that the NFL has on the sports betting landscape.
“If you bet on sports, you’re almost certainly betting on the NFL,” said Dustin Gouker, analyst for PlayNJ.com, which does in-depth analysis for the sports betting industry.
Even with all sorts of controversy and player injuries, football is (by far) the most popular sport in the United States. In a recent poll done by Gallup Inc., they found that 37 percent of adults said football was their favorite sport – that was followed up basketball at 11 percent and baseball at nine percent.
FanDuel Chief Marketing Officer Mike Raffensperger said the NFL has about 100 million fans in the United States.
“There’s no week of the year we can acquire new customers like we can in the first week of the NFL season,” said Raffensperger.
While no figures from college football were available in recent reports, the beginning of that season cannot be understated. In general, people just love watching football.
New Jersey, in particular, has become a major spot for sports betting wagers. The revenue at Meadowlands, which is home to the FanDuel Sportsbook, was $9.1 million in July – an increase of about $1.4 million from that time last season. These figures also include numbers from horse racing, with a racetrack right there at the Meadowlands facility.
DraftKings operates a 5,000-square-foot sportsbook facility at the Resorts Casino Hotel in Atlantic City, NJ. Digital revenue reported by them indicated that that location made $3.7 million in July, which was right around where they were at that time last year. This also includes revenue from DraftKings’ online users.
“Over time, people have been finding out how much more fun it is, how much more exciting the game is to have a bet on it,” said Jamie Shea, head of sportsbook digital for DraftKings.
While DraftKings and FanDuel have long capitalized on the daily fantasy sports aspect of things, they’re finding out just how much more profitable they can be in the sports betting space.