Massachusetts’ Lottery and Online Betting Recorded Suboptimal Revenues in February

Massachusetts’ State Lottery has suggested that the online sports betting sector is hurting its revenue but the latter vertical’s figures show that this might not be the full picture.

The Lottery Seeks to Go Online

The Massachusetts State Lottery is seeking to launch online lottery options in order to remain competitive amid the growing popularity of sports betting. The state launched online wagering last year and cannibalized the lottery’s retail sales.

The effect of sports betting on the lottery sector was predictable, considering that the lottery is the only legal vertical in Massachusetts to not operate online. Mark William Bracken, the lottery’s executive director, previously commented on the matter, describing the Massachusetts State Lottery as the “last gambling hold-out to be able to go online.”

Bracken explained that the convenience that the ability to bet from home offers is a major concern for his team because lottery players cannot do the same yet. He was also concerned with DraftKings’ acquisition of Jackpocket and the lottery’s suboptimal February 2024 results. For reference, the Massachusetts State Lottery reported $478.3 million in sales.

The Online Betting Sector’s Results Were Not Thrilling Either

However, the decline in was also reflected in the handle recorded by Massachusetts’ online betting operators. In February, the sports wagering sector recorded a double-digit drop in handle. For reference, the total handle recorded by the Bay State in February was $542.5 million. Online sports bettors, in particular, recorded $530.3 million in handle, which was the lowest monthly figure since September 2023.

The aforementioned figures translated into a monthly GGR of $52.5 million, down 26.1% month-on-month. The industry also paid $10.5 million in taxes – a decline of 25.8% from January.

The most popular app for wagering was DraftKings Sportsbook with a handle of approximately $269.8 million. Next up were FanDuel, BetMGM and Caesars Sportsbook with handles of $158.8 million, $34.7 million and $18.3 million respectively.

The suboptimal online sports betting results suggest that the online betting sector might not be the only thing to blame for the lottery’s unexciting performance in February. In addition the Massachusetts State Lottery recorded a staggering $1.19 billion in revenue in 2023, demonstrating its resilience. Despite that, the lottery might be in for an uphill battle if it remains retail-only.