Sports betting stocks gain after first NFL weekend features big betting volume, parlay-busting upsets

Sep. 12, 2022 8:44 AM ETDraftKings Inc. (DKNG)PENN, RSIBy: Clark Schultz, SA News Editor5 Comments

iPad Displaying the NFL Logo and Web Site

EricVega/iStock Unreleased via Getty Images

DraftKings (NASDAQ:DKNG) continued to track higher on Monday after the start of the NFL season brought some attention back to the online gaming stock.

Geocomply reported that geolocation volume from mobile betting states was 18.8M regulated checks and another 630K checks from non-regulated blocks. That surge in activity is considered a good sign that betting volume will be strong for the football season.

The outcomes of the NFL games also fell in favor of the sportsbooks, according to Roth Capital Partners. Analyst Edward Engel said bettors lost some of the games with a high concentration of bets on one side and upsets broke for the sportsbook operators. "We believe these outcomes resulted in above-average hold rates (over 9% vs ~7% normalized), particularly given user parlays were less likely to hit," he noted.

For investors, Engel noted that bonuses for new and existing users are down materially this year, which the firm thinks indicates a less irrational promotional environment.

"For an industry where NFL is the dominant driver of both wagering and user sign-ups, we view a better start to the season as a positive catalyst for iGaming stocks."

Engel and team have DraftKings (DKNG) and Rush Street Interactive (RSI) slotted with Buy ratings, while Penn National Gaming (PENN) is rated at Hold.

Shares of DraftKings (DKNG) moved up 0.96% premarket on Monday to follow on Friday's 3.77% gain. Rush Street Interactive (RSI) gained 2.61% to follow on Friday's 4.62% rally, while Penn National Gaming (PENN) gained 0.71% to add to Friday's 0.81% gain.

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