Penn National Gaming stock gained as much as 9% this morning. DraftKings shares were up as much as 8.5%, while MGM Resorts rose nearly 3%, part of a wider boost for sports gambling stocks after voters in a handful of states chose overwhelmingly to expand their legal betting options.
While much of the election results remain too close to call, at least one thing appears clear—Americans are looking for more sports gambling. Betting amendments and ballot initiatives in a handful of states were successful Tuesday, including ones that could bring legal sports gambling to Louisiana, Maryland, Nebraska and South Dakota in the coming year.
The results are good for “the industry as a whole in signifying the public’s large appetite for legalized sports betting,” Oppenheimer analyst Jed Kelly said in a note.
That’s particularly true in Maryland, home to 6 million people and three major U.S. sports team. Two-thirds of Maryland voters cast ballots in favor of legalizing sports betting. It will now be up to the state legislature to create the laws, but Kelly said he believes Maryland will have mobile betting next year. Oppenheimer estimates that the gross revenue from sports betting in Maryland’s first full year could be $185 million, or roughly 62% of New Jersey’s first full year.
In Louisiana, 55 of the state’s 64 parishes voted to allow sports betting. It’s still unclear how mobile fits into those plans, but the state has 4.6 million people, an NFL team, an NBA team and is college football obsessed.
Elsewhere around the country, a South Dakota ballot initiative to allow sports gambling in Deadwood appears to be passing comfortably, a Nebraska initiative to allow gaming – including sports wagering – at racetracks was successful and Colorado voters passed an amendment to remove maximum betting limits at casinos (this doesn’t impact sports betting directly, but does impact some companies that offer it). Similarly, in Virginia, where sports betting is already legal, voters in Bristol, Danville , Norfolk and Portsmouth approved measures to allow casinos in those cities.
Gaming stocks were up across the board. Flutter, the parent of U.S.-based FanDuel, rose 3.5% in London trading, and BETZ, an ETF designed for sports betting and online gaming, was up as much as 3%.
–With assistance from Brendan Coffey.