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Survey: Bet365 beats out DraftKings, FanDuel among youngest US bettors

| By Kyle Goldsmith
A new YouGov survey has highlighted the growing momentum among emerging sportsbooks in the US sports betting market.
YouGov US

The YouGov survey revealed that DraftKings and FanDuel are still capturing the most usage from older bettors. However, Bet365 is emerging as the dominant sportsbook among those aged 21-24.

It ranked as the top sportsbook for both the 21-24 and 25-34 age categories, above FanDuel and DraftKings. Some 31% of those surveyed between 21 and 24 had bet with Bet365 in the month prior to the survey.

Only 14% of the 21-24 age category were categorised as prospective bettors. Therefore, Bet365’s opportunity among the younger market looks set to grow further thanks to investment in the US. In total, 60% of sports bettors reported using Bet365 more, the most among all US sportsbooks.

Taking it slow working for Bet365

It should be noted that on its 2022-23 financial year, Bet365 posted a £61.2m loss. However, the company also posted significant revenue growth, with sports betting and gaming revenue hiking 18.9% to £3.39bn. Chief executive Denise Coates highlighted Bet365’s growing US presence in her yearly notes, with the business launching in a number of US states during the reporting period.

Ed Birkin, a senior analyst at H2 Gambling Capital, stated his belief at the time of the earnings release that Bet365’s long-term approach in the US could prove fruitful.

“Of most interest to me is their positioning in the US market,” Birkin told iGB. “Whereas a number of other operators rushed into the US sports betting market and are already exiting – Kindred, Pointsbet and Wynn among others – Bet365 have always taken a more long-term, patient view.

“They have avoided the huge cash outflows that others have suffered over the past few years during the initial fight for market share.”

Emerging brands gaining momentum in the US

DraftKings and FanDuel have largely dominated the US sports betting scene since the 1992 Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act (PASPA) was overturned in 2018. However, the YouGov survey identified that emerging sportsbooks are growing.

While DraftKings, Bet365 and FanDuel were still the sportsbooks most used by US sports bettors, YouGov found that younger bettors were more likely to branch out and use other sportsbooks, with those aged 25-44 using three sportsbooks on average.

Therefore, there is opportunity for sites such as 888 Sport and ESPN Bet, the latter of which launched in November as a product of a $1.5bn (£1.2bn/€1.4bn) partnership between Penn Entertainment and ESPN.

Looking at trends, 58% of sports bettors stated they were using 888 Sport more than they had previously. Meanwhile, 51% were betting with ESPN Bet more often. ESPN Bet ranked in the top five for overall usage across all ages despite only launching recently.

Meanwhile, 40% said they were using FanDuel more, with 23% stating they were using it less.

Despite younger bettors branching out, older demographics were found to be more loyal. 44% of those aged 55 and upwards used just one sportsbook, with just 25% utilising three or more. DraftKings and FanDuel ranked first and second respectively as the most used sportsbooks among those aged 35 and upwards.

YouGov finds sign-up offers to be crucial to customer acquisition

A “good welcome offer” was deemed to be the biggest attraction to current bettors in creating a new account. Just over half – 55% – of respondents stated it as one of the top influences on their decision to join a new sportsbook.

Also, 53% outlined that offers and promotions after they signed up were a key factor, compared to good customer service or a family and friend recommendation, which were both identified by 37% of bettors as a top reason to create a new account.

Meanwhile, 33% wanted a better site or app experience and 28% outlined the influence of advertising as a reason to launch a new account.  

Among prospective bettors, welcome offers again led the way with 49% of those who planned to bet in the next 12 months citing it as a top factor in their decision to join a new sportsbook.

Ability to stream sports while betting to be key

As sportsbooks look ahead, the inclusion of streaming live sports looks set to play a big role in customer acquisition.

Two-thirds – 63% – of those surveyed stated that a live streaming feature would make them either much more likely or somewhat more likely to use an app.

Meanwhile, 41% of those aged between 35 and 44 stated they were very interested in live streaming events in sportsbook apps and 40% of the 25-34 age group said the same.

However, this attraction drops off significantly for older categories. Just 11% of those aged 55 and upwards said they were very interested in live streaming on a sportsbook while 32% stated they were neither interested or uninterested.

The attractiveness to younger demographics of being able to stream while betting could be an important differentiator for ESPN Bet.

ESPN is the largest sports media brand in the US, with its ESPN+ streaming service boasting 25 million subscribers and 74% of current sports bettors being aware of the service. This is compared to FanDuel TV and DraftKings Network, which were known by 45% and 44% respectively.

YouGov stated the high level of awareness of ESPN’s streaming capabilities positions ESPN Bet for “sustained growth” with bettors more likely to use a betting app linked with a streaming service.

Details of the poll

In January, YouGov surveyed over 2,000 US players who had either bet on sports in the previous 12 months or who hadn’t yet gambled on sports but were intending to do so over the next 12 months.

Some 71% of the surveyed respondents current bet on sports, while 29% were planning to do so. YouGov’s intention was to identify which sportsbooks were trending and among what age groups, as well as what features mattered the most to bettors. Additionally, the survey looked to grow understanding of what the next steps in sports betting innovation will be.

The survey identified that 65% of sportsbook users in the 12 months prior were aged between 25 and 44. Meanwhile, 54% of prospective bettors were also in that age category.

Males dominated the responses of current bettors. Of men surveyed 72% had bet in the previous 12 months compared to 28% of females. Meanwhile, 57% of males were deemed as prospective bettors to 43% of females.

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