USA.- December 19th 2023 www.zonadeazar.com In a notable development, a Bank of America Global Research analyst, Shaun Kelley, reported on Monday that ESPN Bet seems to be playing a pivotal role in expanding the nation’s sports-betting market, particularly by attracting more women customers. Kelley’s analysis of state data released last week suggests a robust performance for ESPN Bet, surpassing initial expectations and indicating a broader reach.
Kelley speculated that the new platform was making strides in appealing to a more diverse audience, with a particular emphasis on attracting female bettors. In states that reported November data, the handle showed a significant increase of about 15% month over month, compared to a mere 2% increase observed last year.
According to Kelley, ESPN Bet’s impact on the market appears to be pronounced among casual and female bettors, distinguishing it from other sportsbooks. In November, ESPN Bet’s market share saw gains from DraftKings, BetMGM, and Caesars, while FanDuel experienced a one-point gain, likely influenced by NBA seasonality and heightened marketing efforts.
ESPN Bet achieved a remarkable 6% handle share in just half a month, implying a run rate of about 10%, surpassing the initial estimate of 6% to 7%. Kelley emphasized that the early metrics are outperforming expectations, with potential for further growth given the limited integrations and marketing efforts conducted so far.
While concerns have been raised about ESPN Bet’s market share being driven by promotions, Kelley highlighted that in Maryland and Kansas, ESPN Bet’s promotional contribution is 35% of the handle, aligning with launch offers in Kentucky. Despite the strong initial uptake, Kelley acknowledged that absolute promotional expenses would be high, leading to an adjustment in the loss estimate for the fourth quarter from $130 million to $185 million.
Looking ahead, Kelley anticipates the launch of ‘Bet Mode’ in the ESPN Media app before the Super Bowl, which could further drive adoption and enhance customer retention for ESPN Bet.
In addition to the analysis of ESPN Bet, the report also touched on Red Rock Resort’s Durango casino, which opened on December 5. Initial data indicates robust visitation, averaging around 25,000 visitors per day. Despite concerns of cannibalization, with Durango potentially diverting customers from Red Rock, early signs suggest that visitation to both Red Rock and Orleans was up year over year in the first week of Durango’s opening. The report maintains an underperform rating for Red Rock based solely on relative valuation.