Arizona sports bettors were thankful for the opportunity to legally wager on sports online in November 2023. Their gratitude showed more during that month than in any other since that activity began in the state.
Arizona’s licensed sportsbooks accepted over $713.5 million in bets during November 2023, the largest amount of dollars wagered in any single month in Arizona. Bettors were also probably thankful for their winnings throughout November as well.
Arizonans go all-in on sports bets during November
According to the Arizona Dept. of Gaming’s November 2023 revenue report, the amount of money that Arizonans put down on sports bets during November 2023 surpassed the old single-month record of $690.9 million in March 2022 by a significant margin. Most of that action went down on NFL games and other related markets.
That amount of money also represented a 13.6% improvement over dollars bet on Arizona’s licensed sportsbooks in November 2022. The sum pushed the running total of dollars wagered for the current fiscal year to $2.6 billion, which is up 8.7% from the first five months of FY2022-23.
While that means sportsbooks were busy, a lot of that activity was just passing funds from one bettor to another. The portion of the money that the books kept and passed onto the state via taxes was anything but record-breaking.
Arizona sportsbooks take a hit in revenue
For November 2023, all Arizona licensed sportsbooks’ combined gross win (dollars wagered minus player payouts) came to more than $42.3 million. That represented about 5.9% of the dollars wagered.
That total is also a decrease of about 24.4% from sportsbooks’ gross revenue in November 2022. As a result of that decline in addition to sportsbooks’ promotional spending during the month, the state’s cut of that money of just over $2 million was down 47.8% year-over-year.
Through the first five months of the current fiscal year, sportsbooks’ gross win stands at $226.3 million. That figure is slightly up compared to the total for the first five months of the previous fiscal term. However, in that comparison, the $13.3 million in tax revenue equates to a decline of around 5.7%.
Increases in promotional spending are a big part of the reason why sports betting tax revenue has fallen in Arizona. Arizona law allows sportsbook licensees to deduct that expense from their taxable revenue.
That could further increase soon as Arizona has restarted the license application process, opening up two more opportunities. Should some gambling company take advantage of that and successfully earn a license, that could result in a significant if short-lived bump in promotional spending.
In November, that promotional spending helped bring in a record amount of betting dollars. In the future, however, sportsbooks would probably like to hold onto more of that money.