Sports betting stocks have been some of the best performers on the market this year, with DraftKings shares up 466% and Barstool Sports-backed Penn National up 176%.
The state of play: A new survey from CivicScience, provided first to Axios, shows sports betting likely has a great deal of growth potential. But much of that may be baked into already-lofty shares prices.
Barstool Sports was founded in 2003 as a free gambling newspaper. It later became a sports blog before growing into a media empire, and now things have come full circle with the recent launch of its own branded sportsbook.
Driving the news: The Barstool Sportsbook app saw a record 21,000 downloads per day during its first weekend (Sept. 18–20), breaking DraftKings' and Fanduel's daily records despite Pennsylvania being the only state where it was operational.
As sports betting comes out of the shadows and the pool of potential bettors increases, companies are experimenting with ways to target general sports fans.
Why it matters: While some aspects of betting remain complex and require time and research, the basic concept of making predictions is understood by everybody.
For decades, the black market — which consists of offshore sports books and local "bookies" — has been the only option for U.S. sports bettors looking to place wagers.
The state of play: Sports betting is currently legal and operational in 18 states plus Washington, D.C. It's legal but not yet operational in four more states, and another seven have active legislation.
Sports media companies are leaning further into sports betting as more states legalize the practice and the NFL and college football seasons kick into gear.
Driving the news: ESPN has entered into separate agreements with Caesars Entertainment and DraftKings, both of which include exclusive link integrations (i.e. affiliate partnerships) across ESPN's digital platforms.
Mike Greenberg's new show, "Bettor Days," debuts on ESPN+ Thursday.
The big picture: The 15-minute show, which tells the stories behind sports betting's craziest wins and losses, is part of a larger sports betting push by ESPN. The company just debuted its new Las Vegas studio, which will host the network's one-hour weekday sports betting show, "Daily Wager," and other related programming.
When the pandemic arrived, the sports betting industry funneled bettors toward the few sports that were actually happening.
What's happening: Now that sports have returned, the industry has benefited from pent-up demand, while also capitalizing on a busier-than-usual summer, with baseball, soccer, hockey, golf and basketball all in full swing.
2020 was poised to be a big year for sports betting. Some of that momentum was lost due to the shutdown, but the industry is still surging ahead — and holding out hope for a massive fall.
The state of play: Sports betting is now legal and fully operational in 18 states, plus Washington, D.C.
Professional investors have largely abandoned the stock market amid the coronavirus pandemic, but sports bettors and bored millennials have jumped into the retail stock trading market with both feet.
Why it matters: They may be a driving force pushing U.S. stocks to their recent highs — and potentially driving them further.
Despite the lack of live games, sports betting stocks have performed particularly well over the past month, highlighted by fantasy sports/betting platform, DraftKings, and gaming operator, Penn National.
By the numbers: Since going public on April 24, DraftKings' stock is up 82%, while Penn National Gaming — which acquired Barstool Sports in January — is up 130%.