October Sports Betting Index (SBI)
In the chart below, we present our RubinBrown Sports Betting Index (SBI). The SBI is based on our proprietary index of the leading sports betting states in the U.S. To continue to best reflect current market conditions, we’ll occasionally adjust the components of the index. To better compare competitive conditions, our index numbers focus in on a group of mature, competitive states. Therefore, a state with an index score of 1.15 had a raw index score of 15% greater than the average, while a 0.90 index score shows a 10% lower than average result.
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The best sports betting story of Fall 2023 was the strength of the New Jersey market, and by association, the growth in sports betting activity in the New York City area. The Garden State has surged into the lead as the best performing State (excluding Nevada and its tourism-aided numbers).
October’s index of 1.46 following after a 1.59 in September shows New Jersey’s strong relative growth in its 5th year of operation. In raw numbers, New Jersey gamers placed $1.3 billion in wagers in September and October, impressive growth compared to $866 million in September 2022 and $1.0 billion in October 2022. New York’s numbers show strong growth as well, with its index up to 1.14 compared to 1.00 this time last year, so it appears true organic growth is coming out of the nation’s largest metropolitan area.
Further bucking the trends, New Jersey has shown sports betting strength even though it is an online casino state. We note the continued relatively weak sports betting performance for states that also have online casino offerings. Pennsylvania continues a slow, but consistent, decline in its index. While handle has seen slight growth in Pennsylvania, its relative performance to the national market is not holding up. West Virginia continues to see significant declines in their index, 0.38 for October compared to 0.52 in October 2022, coming after very weak levels seen over the summer. It is probably safe to assume that residents of these states are spending more of their gaming budgets on online casino instead of sports betting. This is something to consider for states looking to allow online casino offerings.
This is why we created the RubinBrown Sports Betting Index (SBI), to help identify markets that may be showing some growth, such as Pennsylvania, but are in relative terms, falling behind. The index also helps identify when states are maturing after showing consistent index growth as they ramp up from opening. It also identifies states such as Indiana, where operators are likely looking at the market as not worthy of significant marketing investment and preferring to harvest profits from the customers they have already acquired.
We would also like to give a warm welcome to Kansas as the Sunflower State was added to our universe of competitive mature markets. Most states go through a ramp-up period of 2-3 months as sportsbooks begin operations and initiate their marketing campaigns. Kansas, however, began in September 2022 and by their second month, were recording handles that surpassed the 1.0 level on our index, thanks to high interest in their beloved Chiefs as well as the added support of border crossing bettors from Missouri. Their 1.23 index rating in October was the second highest rating during 2023, just a little shy of the 1.30 index last February when the Chiefs won the Super Bowl.
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