The old adage that the summer months are a slow time for Arizona sportsbooks might soon be an inaccurate statement, at least if WNBA teams continue their recent uptick in wagering activity.
FanDuel Sportsbook Arizona and BetMGM Sportsbook Arizona reported record figures for WNBA betting handle and bet counts in 2023 — illustrating the continued rise of America’s premier women’s basketball league.
FanDuel Arizona reported a 100.8% jump in WNBA betting handle, along with a 163.4% rise in bet count for the league during the 2023 season. Additionally, first time WNBA bettor figures rose 86.8%, while 66 regular season contests exceeded $1 million in handle and three of those eclipsed $2 million in total handle, according to a company representative. That handle figure represented close to a sevenfold increase, year-over-year, from last season’s total (7)
"The remarkable surge in WNBA betting on FanDuel reflects the growing enthusiasm for women's sports,” said Jennifer Matthews, vice president of brand strategy at FanDuel, in an email to BetArizona.com. “We're committed to creating new and innovative opportunities for fans to engage with women's sports through our sportsbook. Partnering with the WNBA to support the WNBABet tab of their website gives us an opportunity to help educate fans on how they can bet on league games, fueling continued growth."
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Women’s Basketball Betting Up
FanDuel wasn’t the only national sports betting brand to report a surge in WNBA betting interest during the league’s regular season, however, with BetMGM Sportsbook Arizona taking in 27% more wagers on the league’s action in 2023. According to a company press release, the sizable jump in WNBA betting follows an ongoing trend for the brand — that being an increase in women’s sports wagering at large.
BetMGM reported a 40% year-over-year increase in women’s tennis and golf wagers in 2023, along with the 2023 Women’s World Cup being the company’s most bet-upon iteration of the event ever. Additionally, this year’s NCAA Women’s Basketball Tournament drew a 30% increase in handle, year-over-year. Seamus Magee, who serves as a sports trader for BetMGM, said in a press release that BetMGM expects the 2023 WNBA playoffs, which are currently in the semifinals, to continue gathering momentum — especially if the Las Vegas Aces and New York Liberty wind up in the finals.
“The New York Liberty and Las Vegas Aces is our dream matchup for the finals and could generate some serious action. The worst outcome is anyone besides the two clear favorites, the Liberty and Aces, winning it all,” Magee said in the release. “Handle is steadily picking up as the playoffs progress. The expansion of legalized sports betting and the WNBA’s most-watched regular season in over two decades are definitely key factors driving the increase.”
The WNBA’s 27% year-over-year jump in handle outpaced the MLB (18%) and NHL (25%) on BetMGM Sportsbook Arizona. While the 2023 season wound up being a clunker for the Phoenix Mercury, whose Arizona betting apps partner is Bally Bet, it seems the future is bright for the WNBA across the country.