ARK Invest Forecasts More Growth for Online Sports Betting, Sees $180B Handle

Posted on: July 21, 2021, 10:46h. 

Last updated on: July 21, 2021, 02:08h.

While just 15 states and Washington, DC currently permit online sports betting (OSB), the runway for growth is lengthy and ripe for growth, notes ARK Investment Management.

ARK Invest
ARK Investment Management founder Cathie Wood, pictured above. Her firm estimates sports betting handle will swell to $180 billion by 2025. (Image: TheStreet)

The famed New York-based fund issuer and money manager founded by Cathie Wood is the latest firm to highlight the exponential growth trajectory of online and mobile betting in the US, noting the 2018 Supreme Court ruling on the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act (PAPSA) is a boon for states, such as New Jersey.

“Since it legalized online sports betting in mid-2018, for example, New Jersey has seen its online handle soar to $15 billion, half of which took place in 2020,” said ARK analyst Nicholas Grous in a new report.

Today, 90% of all bets in the state are placed online,” Grous continued.

Today, New Jersey is the US hub of iGaming and sports wagering, with the state rivaling Nevada in terms of total sports betting volume. New Jersey probably generated $115 million in tax receipts in recent years stemming from sports wagering, Grous notes, based on its $15 billion handles. The analyst believes other states can replicate that success.

ARK analyst Nick Grouse discusses gaming stocking in Nasdaq’s video series, Investing Strategies, in February. Today, he sees more expansion for online sports betting.

Other States Benefiting from OSB, Too

Owing to convenience, entertainment value, and superior margins, gaming operators are compelled to grow their online sports betting platforms.

Data confirm some are doing just that with FanDuel, a unit of UK-based Flutter Entertainment (OTC:PDYPY), controlling roughly half the US online wagering market, according to some estimates. The more states make it easier for bettors to embrace the internet and mobile sports wagering avenues, and possibilities for tax collections increase, as do operators’ revenue opportunities. It appears some states are getting that memo.

“Since the summer of 2020, for example, the percentage of mobile or online sports betting handles in Pennsylvania, Illinois, and Indiana has been 75 percent or higher,” said Grous.

He notes Nevada sees about 50 percent of sports bets placed online. The state maintains pesky in-person registration requirements for mobile betting. In addition to New Jersey, Colorado is another shining example of going straight to mobile betting. Colorado did that and in just over a year since legalization, it’s one of the fastest-growing sports wagering markets in the country.

ARK Sees Big Opportunity

Like a slew of other research firms, ARK is bullish on sports betting. But its handle and revenue forecasts are something to behold.

“According to our research, during the next five years, as the handle for online sports betting scales 10-fold from roughly $18 billion to $180 billion, the three major sports betting categories combined could generate 31% revenue growth at a compound annual rate, increasing the online sports betting category from $9.5 billion last year to $37 billion in 2025,” says Grous.

The three sports betting categories are defined as traditional sports wagering, esports, and fantasy sports. ARK estimates $18 billion of that $37 billion forecast will be derived from standard sports wagering.

Related equities currently held by ARK Investment Management include DraftKings (NASDAQ:DKNG) and Skillz (NYSE:SKLZ). Wood’s company is among the largest institutional investors in both of those stocks.