Dulles, VA, December 12, 2023 – With football, basketball, and hockey seasons well underway, mobile app analytics data from GWS Magnify has revealed that sportsbook betting has attracted a surge in young users, with 36% more 21–28 year-olds using sportsbook apps than the same time last year. But while these users are growing, they don’t appear to be attracting large spends; in fact, 21% of 21-28 year olds claim that they spend less than $5 per week

Overall, 2023 has been a huge year for US sportsbook growth with monthly active sportsbook app users (all ages) up 20% over the same time last year. 21-28 year olds now account for 1.2 million out of a total of 7.9 million Americans now active on sportsbook apps each month.

Based on year-to-date analytics data, GWS Magnify predicts that the growth in monthly active users during the year will result in a total amount waged via sportsbook apps exceeding $110 billion for all of 2023.

The figures, which come from real-life mobile usage data tracked by GWS Magnify, show that not only are more people using sportsbook apps, but they are also spending more time on them. In October 2023, Americans spent 67.1 million monthly minutes on sportsbook apps, up 66% on the 40.5 million minutes the year before. These high engagement levels surpass any previous month, even including February 2023 when the Superbowl was held.

Sportsbook betting market now a duopoly

When looking at the number of monthly active users on apps, as of October 2023, FanDuel and DraftKings are dominating the market with 65% of monthly active users, followed by BetMGM with 17%.

In terms of app engagement, FanDuel previously held the number one spot for time people spent on its app; however, in July 2023 DraftKings took the lead and has since raced ahead into a league of its own – up 49.2% on FanDuel. In October 2023, Americans spent 30.3 million minutes on the DraftKings app compared to 20.3 million minutes on FanDuel (see graph below).

However, despite the dominance of both DraftKings and FanDuel in terms of sheer number of users, betting app loyalty is low as users seek the best odds across apps. Looking at overlap data between sportsbook apps via GWS Magnify, 47% of sportsbook betters were using more than one app on their phones to browse bets and place wagers. In a separate study, GWS polled sportsbook app users and found that 70% of Americans who use multiple sportsbook betting apps choose which one to wager on based on the active promotions and boosts offered. In addition, 20% reported that they were influenced by the notifications that the apps sent them, demonstrating the importance of app engagement in the competition for players.

Bet on ESPN

Despite only launching in November 2023, new challenger ESPN BET is making huge inroads into the sportsbook betting market. In just a few weeks, players are spending more time on ESPN Bet than BetMGM SportsBook, and during November it was the third most popular sportsbook app amongst US mobile users with an impressive 11% market share for time spent on the app. The company is also tapping into the betting appeal for the younger user. ESPN BET currently has the largest percentage of young people on its app, with 44% of users under the age of 36.

Consumers planning to wager more in 2024

As well as monitoring app analytics data, GWS Magnify separately polled Americans to look at wagers and spending trends for 2024. The survey data reveals that one in three Americans (36%) plan to place a bet using a sportsbook mobile app over the next 12 months, with over three quarters (78%) planning on waging as much if not more.

Of those who planned to bet more over the next 12 months, over two fifths (42%) said it was because their friends had started betting. Nearly one in three (30%) pointed to in-game commercials and promotions, and 34% said betting made watching sports more exciting.

Dr Paul Carter, CEO, GWS, commented: “Sportsbook betting is an industry that has capitalized on the power of mobile. The personalized nature of apps has been pivotal to the recent success of the nation’s largest sportsbooks, with in-game promotions, ‘peer pressure’ seeing friends doing it, and boosts driving consumer interest. What’s more, for many users, sports betting now goes hand in hand with watching sports. Whether its football, basketball, or even MMA, if there is an appetite for watching sports then there is an appetite for sportsbook betting. As people enjoy the game, apps put the excitement in the palm of their hands, which is why we’re seeing a growth in tailored offers for each better, as people switch between apps to find the best deals live in game. There’s no denying that the market is growing and this is a trend we expect to see on apps for years to come.”

Notes to editors   

Survey and app engagement data were generated using Magnify, GWS’s mobile intelligence data platform. Magnify is comprised of key insights collected nationwide from consumers participating in our market research program. These are real-life consumers who use their mobile devices as normal throughout the day, so that the analytics data GWS gathers provides the most accurate picture of the nation’s mobile connectivity experience. In particular, data is anonymously from Android smartphones 24 hours a day, seven days a week, whenever and wherever the consumers use their devices. Data is reported in aggregate for market research purposes only. All information collected is weighted to a user’s demographic representation of the U.S. adult population. In addition to collecting app engagement data, GWS is able to survey participating consumers to understand sentiment and perception. This survey was conducted from July 25th through August 1st, with a total response size of 2,027. The analytical data was collected between January 2021 and November 2023.  

About GWS  

For most consumers today, their mobile device is their life’s remote control. As an independent mobile insights consulting firm, GWS measures every aspect of how people live, work and play via their mobile devices – as well as how mobile network performance affects them.  

 Combining our market-leading network benchmarking technology and methodology with deep behavioral data, we help businesses and organizations to drive innovation and deliver better customer experiences through mobile insights, anywhere in the world. Championing the needs of mobile users by understanding and testing the things that matter to them, we’ve evolved our technology and services in step with the needs of industry and consumers for over 27 years.  

GWS Media Contact  

Adam Hudson