FanDuel, DraftKings Lead March Sports Betting App Downloads, Says Bank of America

Posted on: April 5, 2021, 09:22h. 

Last updated on: June 23, 2021, 01:34h.

Buoyed by the return of the NCAA Tournament and a normalized sports calendar, FanDuel and DraftKings (NASDAQ:DKNG) led downloads of sports wagering mobile apps last month in the iOS App Store.

Sportsbook Apps
The BetMGM sportsbook at Park MGM Las Vegas. Sports betting app downloads soared last month. (Image: Las Vegas Sun)

In March, sports bettors placed related apps on their iPhones at a rate that was 559 percent ahead of the year-earlier period. But Bank of America cautions that March 2020 was a “soft comp,” because the US sports slate was essentially non-existent, owing to the coronavirus pandemic. That forced gamblers to wager on obscure fares, such as South Korean baseball and table tennis.

Analysts forecast the return of the NCAA Tournament, also known as March Madness, which could be a catalyst for sports wagering equities, and download data suggest that the thesis has merit. Further confirmation will arrive in the coming weeks as states deliver handle and revenue data for the third month of the year.

Flutter Entertainment’s (OTC:PDYPY) FanDuel and DraftKings — the two largest US online sports betting operators — combined for 64 percent of sports wagering app downloads on the iOS platform last month, according to Bank of America.

The bank says monthly active users (MAUs) at both FanDuel and DraftKings jumped 12 percent on a month-over-month basis.

BetMGM: Solid Third Place

BetMGM — the online sports wagering and iGaming partnership of MGM Resorts International (NYSE:MGM) and Entain Plc (OTC:GMVHY) — continues to solidify itself as a credible challenger to the aforementioned rivals.

The operator captured 12 percent of iOS sports betting app downloads last month, cementing its status as the fastest-growing download in the industry in the US. Analysts are bullish on BetMGM’s prospects.

BetMGM has continued to see robust momentum, at a cost,” Jefferies analyst David Katz said in a note.

“In February, the company saw Michigan online sports betting market share increased to 24 percent from 20 percent in January,” the note continued. “Meanwhile, iGaming GGR market share declined slightly to 34 percent from 38 percent, despite increased competition. As BetMGM ramps marketing spend and goes live in 20 states by year-end, MGM’s share of operating losses is expected to be higher than the FY20 $62 million loss.”

Katz estimates BetMGM will lose $155.8 million this year, up from a prior forecast of a loss of $97.2 million. The operator provides a business update on April 21, when costs and marketing expenses will likely be addressed.

“We also expect the focus to be on technology, progress towards single wallet, marketing spend levels, and the rationale in the recently announced strategic partnership with Audacy,” said the Jefferies analyst.

Don’t Forget Barstool

Penn National Gaming’s (NASDAQ:PENN) Barstool Sportsbook was fourth for sports betting app downloads in the iOS App Store last month, commanding “high single-digit iOS download share,” says Bank of America.

That’s an impressive feat considering that Barstool Sportsbook is live in just three states — Illinois, Michigan, and Pennsylvania.

Additionally, Penn’s free play and marketing spending isn’t anywhere close to that of its rivals mentioned here, indicating the operator is gaining share in the sports betting arena on a cost-effective basis.