Sports Betting Apps See Substantial Growth as More U.S. States Legalize Them

sports betting apps feature

Let the people bet! That could be the mantra of several U.S. states that legalized online sports betting. While Nevada has been the capital of sports betting, other states want in on the action, spiking high demand for sports betting apps, which FanDuel and DraftKings once dominated.

What does this new market represent to app marketers? Opportunity to acquire users away from those that had the biggest market share. Let’s look at the landscape and what it means for the future.

Where Is Sports Betting Legal?

Action Network, a betting news site, put together a map of the laws around legal sports betting. Not all states allow for betting on an app; some require physical sportsbook options only. The states where residents can use sports betting apps are Colorado, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Michigan, Mississippi (you can bet online but must be physically in a casino), Montana (same as Mississippi), Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Tennessee, Virginia, Washington D.C., and West Virginia.

The options for online betting vary. Some have multiple options, while others only have one. In addition to these states already participating, several more have approvals and are gearing up, including Arizona, Connecticut, Florida, Maryland, Nebraska, South Dakota, Washington, and Wyoming. 

Sports betting is coming to the masses and providing lots of possibilities for app marketers. One, there’s getting your app as an option for legal states. Two, there’s the probability of gaining market share in a genre that previously had fewer competitors. 

Market Share Is Changing Rapidly

The top sports betting apps have been FanDuel and DraftKings. According to Apptopia, those two had a market share of 84.2% in June 2020. That is impressive, however, it’s a young market, and with new players entering the space, their market share declined to 58.7%. Some of the up and comers include Points Bet and Bet MGM. In Q1 2021, PointsBet: Sports Betting had a year-over-year daily active users (DAU) increase of 712%. 

You can see below in the graph those apps that are emerging. 

apptopia sports betting apps

Image: Apptopia

BetMGM, the app from MGM Casinos, is having a great 2021, as well. Their revenues for Q1 2021 hit 90% of their entire profits from 2020

With consumers eager to place their bets on sports, which are all back to normal after a very unique 2020 season, app marketers need to make a play for these users. 

What Matters in User Acquisition for Sports Betting Apps?

campaign types

UA for this category of app is different. It’s very targeted based on the state’s laws and if they allow multiple apps or only have specific ones. That’s stuff you can’t control. What you can control when it comes to UA are the type of campaigns you launch and the user experience. Here are some plucked from our experts’ ideas.

  • Burst campaigns: Get in on the rush for searches with strategic keywords. A burst campaign would be a great idea right before the start of the NFL season, playoffs, or other major events like March Madness. Additionally, those states that are pending legalization are another target for such a campaign on the day it becomes law.
  • Cost per Engagement (CPE) campaigns: CPEs are versatile. Use them for early and deep funnel engagement. The key is to use data to determine when to use them. For example, if you find that those users that go through your tutorial are more likely to make consistent bets, then make that an action you want them to complete.
  • Cost per Install (CPI) campaigns: If you want to drive a high volume of users to your app, then a CPI strategy will work well. This gets your numbers up through paid action but can also result in organic uplift. As a result, your app will rise higher in the ranks and get more visibility. 
  • Offerwalls: Offerwalls are great inventory pieces for UA. They are scalable and cost-effective. You can test out different campaigns, learn from them, and then execute more strategically. You can also increase seasonal bids around some of the events mentioned above in bursting. 

Sports Betting Apps Have Unlimited Potential

As sports betting becomes the norm rather than the exception, millions of consumers will want to find the best online option. Much of that will come down to availability and the user experience, which must be top-notch. Once you have those things in place, the right UA approaches can help you acquire and retain your bettors. So, it’s time to get started. Connect with our mobile app marketing experts today!