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Published on June 19, 2024
Arizona Sports Betting Surges Past Nevada with $656 Million Handle in April, Boosted by Final Four Tournament in GlendaleSource: Google Street View

April was a windfall month for sports betting in Arizona, with the Final Four basketball tournament playing a significant role in the surge. Reports from the Arizona Department of Gaming, released June 14, showed a notable 22.5% jump in total bets placed compared to the same month last year. The dollar figure on total bets, often referred to as the handle, exceeded $656 million across Arizona sportsbooks and mobile apps, according to ABC15. This boost appears tied closely to the events in Glendale's State Farm Stadium.

In a remarkable turn of events, these numbers from Arizona have eclipsed their notorious neighbor, Nevada, where total wagers held steady at $569.3 million in April. This swing comes despite Nevada's established reputation as a gambling hub. Arizona's betting handle has been on an ascending trajectory since June 2023, in contrast to Nevada's recent backslide in month-over-month action, Covers reports. The figures suggest a potential shift in the geography of American sports betting.

The NCAA's March Madness, particularly with the Arizona Wildcats' progression to the Sweet 16 and the Final Four's residence at State Farm Stadium, significantly bolstered Arizona's sports betting landscape. March's bets nearly hit $760 million, topping April's large handle and marking a significant increase over the previous year's totals. This period marks one of the wealthiest stretches for Arizona bookies, where despite a lower month-over-month handle going into April, sports betting sites retained a firmer grip on revenue, resulting in $63.3 million in earnings.

Arizona's preference for online sports betting heavily contributes to these impressive figures. Nearly 99% of April's bets were placed through online platforms, culminating in a staggering $649.91 million handle for the virtual domain. The onsite sports betting market, while still active, gathered a more modest $6.4 million. Leading the online charge, FanDuel and DraftKings dominated market share, pulling in a combined handle of over $440 million, according to Covers. Arizona, already a competitive market with a plethora of sportsbooks, is poised for further growth as it may welcome two additional sportsbooks in the coming months.

With state coffers enriched by $4.3 million in privilege fees just in April and a total of over $15 billion this year, Arizona's foray into sports betting continues to demonstrate a clear, upward momentum. The cumulative wager for 2024 in Arizona stands at a hefty $2.76 billion, an impressive number that solidifies the state's rapidly growing stake in the sports betting realm.