Online gambling activity spikes in Mass. during first week of NFL season

People in Massachusetts interacted with online sports gambling companies more than 9 million times during the first week of NFL action, according to the company that provides location data and fraud protection to online sportsbooks.

This was the first week where Bay State residents could legally place a bet on NFL games.

There were about 383,000 mobile sports betting accounts active here during Week 1, including nearly 60,000 accounts that were newly created during the week, GeoComply said in a report it released Wednesday.

Not all of the 9.2 million total Massachusetts transactions were necessarily bets, according to the company. The company said it counted "geolocation transactions," which happen at various stages of the betting process including when a user registers an account, logs in or places a wager. The company's report did not include statistics on bets placed at physical sportsbooks, though mobile betting is by far the dominant form.

Of the three states for which last week was the first start of an NFL season with legal betting, Massachusetts recorded the lowest level of transactions and had the fewest active accounts, GeoComply said. Ohio had 854,000 active accounts with 133,000 newly created during Week 1, and saw a total of 19.4 million transactions. And Maryland — which is smaller in population than Massachusetts — had 388,000 active accounts including 61,000 newly created, and saw 12.7 million transactions last week, GeoComply said.

GeoComply said that the NFL season has historically produced about 60% of online sportsbook operators' annual revenue, making it "one of the most important times of the year for online sports betting operators." The Mass. Gaming Commission is due to report on August sports wagering revenues and the state's tax take by Friday and NFL betting activity will be captured in the September revenue report, which is due Oct. 16.


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