CT sports betting hits a new high on the eve of the FIFA World Cup

A tight range saw Connecticut record its biggest month ever for sports betting in October, a year after the state sanctioned it for both online and sports betting – with the world’s biggest betting event on deck for this weekend and beyond at the FIFA World Cup.

In the first year of legalized sports betting, the monthly numbers averaged $111 million per month, and in the last 12 months excluding the first of October, reached a low of $73 million.

Foxwoods and its DraftKings sports book have pestered Mohegan Sun and his partner FanDuel for the total stakes most months. DraftKings and ESPN have been in talks about potentially expanding their original partnership to promote the sports betting app on ESPN sites.

The Connecticut Lottery has generated smaller totals overall with its sports betting services offered in partnership with PlaySugarHouse and Sportech by Rush Street Interactive at Bobby V’s in Stamford and Windsor Locks and Winners in New Haven, Hartford, Torrington, Milford, Waterbury, New UK and Manchester.

For even more action, PlaySugarHouse is offering an introductory “second chance” option for new accounts. With initial bets of up to $500, if a new account holder loses the bet, they will receive an additional $500 to wager. Only two bites are allowed on the apple.

“Initial results have been good,” said Andrew Walter, the Connecticut Lottery’s director of legal and business affairs, during an October board meeting. “It’s a nice, competitive proposition which I think will help us build that market share over the course of this football season.”

Connecticut isn’t the only state booming as the NFL season progresses — in New York, sports betting topped $1.5 billion in October, about $286 million more than September, an increase from 19 percent in a single month. FanDuel has always been ahead of DraftKings in New York when it comes to betting in the Empire State.

However, New Jersey demonstrates that there is a ceiling to the entire sports betting market. As the first state in the Northeast to legalize sports betting in 2018, New Jersey saw a 7 percent drop in sports betting in October from a year earlier, according to updated figures Thursday.

This weekend sees the start of the FIFA World Cup in Qatar, which DraftKings CEO Jason Robins says is an unknown in the US sports betting arena – but he’s interested to see if that sparks activity that could spark betting for the NFL, the Kentucky Derby, compete and NCAA March Madness.

The 2018 edition of the World Cup generated $136 billion in wagering worldwide, according to FIFA – with the final grossing $7.2 billion that year, compared to $7.6 billion for Super Bowl LVI last February, as calculated by the American Gaming Association.

“It’s going to be interesting to see what kind of engagement we get,” Robins said on a conference call in early November. “We don’t have a lot of data on the World Cup so it’s really hard to say what to expect from it.”

[email protected]; @casoulmann

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