November A Bad Month For Both Sportsbooks, Sports Bettors

  • Gambling stocks took a huge hit in November, with some big names falling more than 25%.
  • However, November itself was a great month for sportsbooks.
  • Could November’s excellent hold % presage a resurgence in gambling stock prices?

LAS VEGAS - Gambling stocks took a plunge in November even as the sportsbooks had their best month of the year.

DraftKings’ stock price plummeted more than 25% in the month of November, while Penn National Gaming, which operates Barstool Sportsbook, dropped almost 29%.

Caesars Entertainment Inc. stock dropped only 17.9% in the month of November, but was still up 13.92% YTD.

MGM Resorts stock dropped 16.56% in November, one of the lower losses among gambling operators.

November Terrible For Bettors

All of this is happening amidst a background of November being one of the worst months on record for the betting public - and thus one of the best months for online sportsbooks.

According to ESPN, the SuperBook at Westgate Las Vegas is looking at a 6.25% hold in November, per SuperBook executive director John Murray.

"It looks like it will wind up being one of our best hold months in Nevada on record," Murray said.

The big wins came from heavy favorites losing in big games, such as when the Baltimore Ravens fell to the Miami Dolphins, the Buffalo Bills fell to the Jacksonville Jaguars, and the Tennessee Titans fell to the Houston Texans.

Bettors tend to end up on the side of favorites, which means the book always has more liability when big favorites cover the spread.

Or, as Murray put it:

"There were some terrible Sundays for NFL favorites this month and that meant great returns for the house."

Given the public tendency to take the favorites on the spread, the fact that underdogs are 99-77-1 ATS this year is a big deal for the sportsbooks. Intriguingly, DraftKings cited poor hold on NFL games in Q3 (Jul-Sept) as a reason for lackluster profits, so it seems possible that a good hold in Q4 could boost them.

The question for online gambling stock market watchers is whether or not this excellent November for sportsbooks will be enough to keep them afloat in the market.