The summer lull apparently is over for legal New York sports betting.
For the first time since early May, New York bettors cracked the $300 million mark for weekly handle, wagering $330 million in the week that ended Sept. 11, according to the latest New York State Gaming Commission revenue report. The first NFL regular season betting action clearly has driven an uptick in action, a good omen for the nine mobile sportsbook operators.
The bettors have struggled so far judging by the hold rate — or loss rate for gamblers — of 9.9% resulting in gross gaming revenue (GGR) of $32.6 million.
Uptick should continue through winter
Even before this week’s report, there were signs that the arrival of the NFL and NCAA football seasons would end New York’s summer slowdown. New York led all states by accounting for 15.7% of all national mobile sportsbook location checks over the first NFL weekend, according to a report from the geolocation firm GeoComply.
The gaming commission doesn’t track bets by sport, but it’s obvious that the arrival of the NFL season has changed the trajectory in New York, which saw July and August produce the state’s only sub-$1 billion handle months. Analyst Chris Altruda wrote for NY Online Gambling that September and October figure to bring combined NFL-only handles of at least $1.1 billion.
The robust action from the return of the NFL comes as some industry insiders have predicted depressed handles in New York due to the state’s 51% tax rate for operators, which is tied with New Hampshire for highest in the nation. Notably, sportsbooks are offering less generous sign-up promotions in New York than they did at the outset of the year.
Thus far, the high-water mark for weekly handle remains the $572.6 million New Yorkers wagered in the week ending Jan. 23, late in the NFL playoffs. After six straight weeks of sub-$200 million tallies over the summer, New Yorkers have wagered at least $200 million in three of the past five weeks. July’s total handle of $800 million will almost certainly prove to be the low mark for 2022 New York sports betting.
Tax revenue set to blow past governor’s projections
All told, New Yorkers have bet $10.7 billion on sports since the state launched regulated gambling on Jan. 8, with the nine sportsbook operators hauling in $826 million in GGR, translating to a hold rate of 7.7%.
In July, Gov. Kathy Hochul’s office projected $357 million in tax revenue for fiscal year 2023, which began April 1, an estimate that could prove extremely low. New York sportsbooks have had to fork over $119.1 million in taxes since the week that started March 28, and there are seven months left in the fiscal year, including the entire NFL season.
Three operators have seized about 80% of New York’s market share, with FanDuel (35%), DraftKings (25%), and Caesars Sportsbook (20%) dominating wagering activity in the state. FanDuel had its best week since May 8 last week, reporting $128.7 million in handle and $17.2 million in GGR for a whopping hold rate of 13.4%.