While the Arizona Diamondbacks’ quest for the franchise’s second World Series championship came to an end Wednesday night, the team’s impact on the state’s sports betting marketplace will be felt for weeks.
World Series Run Pays Off For Arizona Sportsbooks
Thanks to the team’s surprise run to the World Series after entering the playoffs with an 84-78 record and +5000 championship odds, the D’backs will provide juice to an already revved up Arizona sports betting scene.
If the Grand Canyon State can exceed the total handle posted a year ago ($618.57 million) then October 2023 stands a chance to go toe to toe with March 2022 ($690.979 million) and March 2023 ($644.763 million) as Arizona’s largest single-month handles to date.
Brendan Bussmann, who serves as the managing partner of B Global, told BetArizona.com the team’s World Series run has a shot at providing some serious momentum to the state’s October handle, thanks to the team’s partnership with Caesars Sportsbook Arizona and the state’s maturing wagering marketplace.
“It’s a market where the team is the one that has market access with a venue right outside the stadium with Caesars,” Bussmann said. “And FanDuel has their facility just a block down the road at the Arena. I call that a nice triple play.”
A Win for The State of Arizona
Officials from the Arizona Department of Gaming expect to see a connection between the D’backs’ World Series run and an increase in wagering totals for October when official numbers are released later this year.
"While the October event wagering figures have not yet been released, the Department has seen an increase in wagering levels during previous major sporting events, such as March Madness and the Super Bowl,” O’Brien told BetArizona.com. “Given that trend, it is very possible the D-Backs postseason run could result in increased wagering in Arizona."
Arizona State University Teaching Associate Professor Daniel McIntosh sees a scenario where fans from visiting states that don’t have sports betting at all (Texas and California) flock to Phoenix for the playoffs, bringing an increase in betting volume at various Arizona betting apps and retail sportsbooks.
McIntosh also wondered whether pro sports teams with retail facilities inside or near their downtown facilities, such as the D’backs and neighboring Suns, could see the lion’s share of that increase due to the proximity of their sportsbooks to the heart of the action. As part of its partnership with the Suns, FanDuel Sportsbook Arizona operates a retail facility at the Footprint Center.
“The increase in sports betting will be very interesting as the stats are broken out now by in person and mobile/online betting,” McIntosh said. “I'll be very curious to see how Caesars and FanDuel do relative to their peers who don't have downtown foot traffic to try to work out the observed lift.”
Operators Feeling World Series Excitement
Caesars Sportsbook Chief Development OfficerDan Shapiro told The Arizona Republic they saw huge spikes in betting traffic (both online and at their downtown retail facility), while also seeing a surge in food sales at their Caesars Sportsbook at Chase Field facility.
"We have had some record-breaking days last week during the NLCS," Shapiro told The Arizona Republic. "The engagement level of the fans around the Diamondbacks and the World Series is tremendous, and that translates to more betting activity.”
For longtime sports betting and iGaming industry insiders like Bussmann, there remains a level of hope the experience of visitors from non-wagering states like Texas could ultimately spur those locales to support legalized wagering. If that happens, then the D’backs’ run to the World Series will have left a much larger impact than television viewership numbers or social media engagement figures.
“You can’t tell me that some of those Texans in Phoenix this week for the World Series didn’t place a wager or two on their team,” Bussmann said. “Hopefully, they can take that fun experience back with them to Texas so we can advance sports betting across home plate in the short term.”