New York Does $21M Sports Betting Handle In Final Month Of Retail-Only

The final month of retail-only sports handle was barely more than half New Jersey's daily average
New York 2021 December revenue
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To all the other states with legal sports wagering that might be comparing themselves to New York’s handle: Get your laughs in now, because January’s numbers are definitely going to be no joke.

The New York State Gaming Commission reported a sports betting handle of more than $21.1 million taken by the state’s four retail venues in December, the last month they operated in exclusivity without mobile wagering.

Online betting commenced Jan. 8 in the Empire State through DraftKings, FanDuel, Caesars, and BetRivers, bringing New York into the digital era that has seen an exponential rise in handle, operator revenue, and state tax receipts nationwide. BetMGM joined the market Monday ahead of four other operators waiting to receive their approval from the state gaming commission.

New York’s paltry retail-only handle has made it the punchline of jokes when stacking up its numbers against neighboring New Jersey, which has reported at least $1 billion in handle for four months running. In December, New York’s total handle was barely more than half the daily Garden State average handle of nearly $39.7 million.

Additionally, New York bettors had their best month of the year against the house, limiting operators to a 3.6% hold and $764,704. The state gets 10% of retail operator sports betting revenue versus the 51% it will collect from mobile operator revenue, which meant December provided just $76,470 in tax receipts.

A look back at 2021

With the four casino venues open year-round compared to the five-plus months of shutdown in 2020 due to COVID-19, the top-line numbers year-over-year in New York were positive. Both handle and operator revenue more than doubled, with $197.2 million wagered and $23.3 million claimed by operators. The 11.8% hold was more than three-quarters of a point higher than the 2020 win rate.

December’s handle was the third-highest of the 30 overall months New York has been accepting wagers, with Rivers accounting for nearly half that total with just over $10 million. Resorts World, however, took honors for revenue with $288,743 for the month, approximately $11,000 more than Rivers.

Del Lago Resorts narrowly came out ahead of bettors, as it cleared just $38,895 from more than $6.2 million wagered, resulting in a 0.6% hold that was its lowest all-time monthly win rate.

Putting New York’s all-time numbers in perspective

Going forward, it will be easy to label the two eras of New York sports wagering as “B.M.” for “Before Mobile” and “A.M.” for “After Mobile.” To show how digital betting benefited other states as the Empire State struggled first to construct a retail framework and then legalize its own online industry, here are some comparisons to New York’s all-time handle of $363.2 million and all-time revenue of $41.8 million:

  • Indiana generated more mobile handle in December alone ($422.8 million).
  • In just its second month of legal sports betting in October, Arizona surpassed New York’s all-time total with handle of $486.1 million.
  • Ten states — Arizona, Colorado, Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, New Jersey, Nevada, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, and Virginia — all have had at least one monthly handle larger than New York’s all-time handle.
  • Despite New York starting six months earlier than New Hampshire, the Granite State has still generated more than double the all-time handle of New York, with $910 million through November.
  • New York’s all-time operator revenue would rank 47th as an all-time monthly total in the post-PASPA era.
  • New Jersey has had 18 months with more operator revenue than New York has had since inception, including each of the last 15 months.
  • Seven states — Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, New Jersey, Nevada, Pennsylvania, and Virginia — all have posted at least one month of operator gross revenue larger than New York’s all-time total.

New York’s all-time handle would also rank sixth in terms of largest player contracts in sports history, trailing:

  • Lionel Messi’s four-year deal at Barcelona from 2017-2021 ($673.9 million)
  • Patrick Mahomes’ 10-year pact with the Kansas City Chiefs ($503 million)
  • Mike Trout’s 12-year contract with the Los Angeles Angels ($426.5 million)
  • Canelo Alvarez’s five-year, 11-fight deal with DAZN ($365 million)
  • Mookie Betts’ 12-year agreement with the Los Angeles Dodgers ($365 million)

Photo: Shutterstock

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