Sports Betting Could Grow 70% In 2021, Casino Recovery Coming: BofA Analyst

Sports Betting Could Grow 70% In 2021, Casino Recovery Coming: BofA Analyst

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Casino, gaming, and sports betting stocks had a wild ride in 2020 with the COVID-19 pandemic and the cancellation of major sports seasons and events. Bank of America analyst Shaun Kelley shared his thoughts on the overall sector with a 2021 outlook called, “From shorts to sports.”

Sports Betting

The key story for sports betting in 2021 could be the additional states that have approved sports betting, adding to the addressable market. “Sports betting/iGaming could grow +70% in 2021,” said Kelley.

The sports calendar could be a major concern again in 2021. The shifting of sports events into the second half of the year 2020 could create some difficult comps in mature markets like New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and Indiana. States like Michigan and Virginia are expected to launch sports betting in early 2021. States like New York, Ohio, Massachusetts, Maine, Georgia, and Connecticut are also ones to watch for possible legalization.

By the end of 2021, Kelley forecasts 27 states will have legal sports betting, representing 49% of the U.S. population. The years 2021 and 2022 could add a combined 24% of the U.S. adult population into the sports betting market versus 10% added in 2018 and 23% added in 2019 and 2020.

DraftKings Inc. (DKNG) was one of the top performing sports betting stocks in 2020. The company is rated neutral by Kelley due to the cost structure and high marketing spending.

Churchill Downs (CHDN) was initiated with a buy rating by Kelley. The analyst highlights the strong Kentucky Derby brand, accelerating growth profile and the online growth platform of TwinSpires. Penn National Gaming (PENN) has a price target of $104 from Kelley.

Casinos/Gaming

The casino sector could be the tale of two halves, as Kelley predicts a recovery of the sector with the second half of the year recovering more rapidly. Widespread vaccine distribution could be a catalyst to bring back convention business in the second half of the year.

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