As of mid-November, each of the 4 of the major sportsbook operators — i.e., DraftKings, FanDuel, Caesars, & BetMGM — have reported their Q3 earnings. As sports betting continues to grow in the United States, just five years after the Supreme Court’s repeal of PASPA, the gap between the industry’s winners and losers continues to grow.
Sports Betting Operator Earnings
Below is a snapshot of the Q3 earnings reports for Caesars, DraftKings, MGM, and Flutter — FanDuel’s parent company..
Caesars Digital Sees Major Growth
The Q3 numbers from Caesars Entertainment saw $2.9 billion in net revenues, slightly increasing from the previous year. When it comes to generally accepted account principles (GAAP) net income, the third quarter saw a year-to-year increase of approximately $22 million. One category that particularly stood out was the Managed and Branded Category. Within this particular sector, there was a 104.5% jump from 2022, totaling $45 million. Caesars Digital was a big focus of the financial report, with a 54% improvement to $29 million in 2023. This shows the major growth of both Caesars Palace Casino and Caesars Sportsbook.
DraftKings Q3 Revenue Up 57% From Year To Year
DraftKings had arguarbly the best 2023 third quarter of any sports betting operator in comparison to the previous year. DraftKings Inc. reported a 57% increase from 2022 to 2023 with $790 million in total revenue. And that’s not the only encouraging number, with a 40% increase in Monthly Unique Players. The recent success has DraftKings making adjustments to its expectations going forward. The company’s revenue guidance for 2023 is now between $3.67 billion and $3.72 billion, up from the previous $3.46 billion to $3.54 billion. 2024’s revenue guidance is now between $4.5 billion and $4.8 billion.
MGM China Up 829% In Major Quarter For MGM Resorts International
Consolidated net revenues saw an improvement for MGM Resorts International in Q3 2023. Overall, MGM reported $3.973 billion in consolidated net revenues, up 16% from the previous year. The company also brought in $161 million in net income in the quarter, a stark contrast from last year’s $577 million in net losses. One of the most eye-popping numbers comes from MGM China, which is up 829% from last year in net revenues. The $813 million in net revenues can be partially attributed to the country removing different COVID-19 restrictions.
FanDuel Sees Slight Positives With Competitors Closing In
In terms of the international market, Flutter Entertainment reported $2.04 billion in revenue for FanDuel in the third quarter of 2023. In the U.S., FanDuel brought in approximately $799.5 million in revenue, a 12% increase from 2022. The platform also had 2.5 million Average Monthly Players (AMPs). This is up 35% from Q3 of last year. Although these numbers are definitely impressive, DraftKings has seen more year-to-year growth, especially in revenue. With only $9.5 million separating the longtime rivals, it’s looking like either betting operator could be dominant in Q4.
Each Operators Q3 Net Income
|DraftKings||($105.14 million)||$790 Million|
|BetMGM||$161.1 million (all business segments)||$3.973 Billion|
|Caesars||$74 million (all business segments)||$2.9 Billion|
|Flutter Entertainment (FanDuel(||(Net income not reported quarterly, only revenue)||$2.5 Billion|
DraftKings & FanDuel Continue to Separate
From a market share perspective, DraftKings and FanDuel dominate the sports betting landscape. Collectively, they reach approximately 73.4 percent of active consumers and account for 61 percent of online gaming revenue, according to Eliers and Krejick.
Despite this, both have substantially smaller cash flows and earnings than the next two largest sports betting operators in MGM and Caesars, respectively. While the answer to why MGM and Caesars have greater earnings than DraftKings and FanDuel is obvious, it is worthwhile to note the line of demarcation that separates these 4 operators into two separate classes. Those classes are as follows:
The DFS Giants (DraftKings & FanDuel): Operators whose primary source of revenue is derived from their online sports betting and daily fantasy sports enterprises.
The Las Vegas Giants (MGM & Caesars): Operators whose primary source of revenue is derived from their retail casino & hotel enterprises
MGM and Caesars are naturally more well-diversified than DraftKings and FanDuel on account of their retail businesses. These retail businesses contain massive hotel, casino, and culinary segments that employ upwards of 15,000 people. These segments are largely profitable and give both BetMGM and Caesars access to more liquid capital than operators like DraftKings and FanDuel.
That said, the path forward for Caesars and MGM in online sports betting remains in the balance. What was once considered to be a four horse race between each of these operators has quickly turned to a two horse race between DraftKings and FanDuel.As each operator looks to cut back on marketing costs and focus on product development, the DFS giants may be able to further separate given the emphasis each has placed on employing engineers.
As of the end of 2022, for example, approximately 1,700 of DraftKings’ 4,200 employees were engineers dedicated to product maintenance and development, according to their 10k. Caesars, meanwhile, makes no mention of engineers or plans to employ more engineers for product development in their most recent 10k.
DraftKings Closing in on FanDuel
The biggest takeaway from this round of quarterly earnings reports is that DraftKings has closed the gap on FanDuel as the number one operator in the United States.
Year-over-year, DraftKings’ revenue is up 57 percent totaling $790 million. The platform saw 2.3 million unique users which is a 40 percent increase compared to the same period in 2022. This increase is particularly notable given that the total available market has not grown by 40 percent during that same time.
Each new customer that registers with DraftKings spends an average of $114 betting with the sportsbook.
“Our fantastic third-quarter results demonstrate the positive impact of our product and technology investments as well as excellent preparation and execution by our entire organization,” said CEO Jason Robins. “Our new and differentiated features and functionality have created an exceptional user experience that sustains engagement for our mobile sports betting and iGaming customers.”
BetMGM, Caesars See Disruption
Though MGM doesn’t present itemized information for their digital segment in quarterly reports, their candidacy as one of the “losers” of Q3 derives from a combination of security issues sustained on their sportsbook app in tandem with the rise of competitors such as Bet365 and Fanatics.
In early October, MGM cybersecurity professionals confirmed that a breach had occurred within the digital segment of their business, allowing hackers to access the personal information of certain consumers. Consumers affected by the breach lost all money they had in their sportsbook wallet.
Moreover, increased competition from platforms such as Bet365 and Fanatics have carved into some of the market share that MGM and Caesars once comfortably owned. Prior to this last calendar year, MGM and Caesars were the clear third and fourth largest sportsbooks in the space, respectively.
During Q2 of 2023, BetMGM was supplanted by Bet365 as the third largest sportsbook operator in the state of Ohio — one of the largest sports betting markets in the United States. Though they regained this position over the last quarter by a slim margin, their forecast for the future appears somewhat threatened by the expected growth of both Fanatics sportsbook and ESPN Bet.
Caesars, meanwhile, remains below Bet365 on the basis of both revenue and handle in Ohio. The main advantage for both MGM and Caesars is the fact that they are already licensed to operate in most available markets. As Fanatics, ESPNBet, and Bet365 continue to expand, this competitive advantage could dissipate.