New York Sports Betting Volume Has Declined Five Straight Months

Mobile sportsbooks in July had roughly only half the handle of January or March
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The Raiders beat the Jaguars 27-11 in the kickoff to the NFL preseason Thursday night. The rest of the NFL schedule can’t get here soon enough for the nine New York mobile sportsbooks.

July marked the first time since mobile sports betting went live in the state on Jan. 8 that New York bettors failed in a month to hit the $1 billion mark in handle. July accounted for $800.8 million in betting volume, less than half the all-time monthly high.

The volume of legal sports betting in New York has declined for five straight months, as Major League Baseball was the only one of the four major sports in action and some of the early promotions to draw new gamblers have dried up in New York. The numbers were released Friday in the New York State Gaming Commission’s monthly report.

Gross gaming revenue (GGR) for July totaled $73.3 million, giving the sportsbooks a robust 9.2% hold rate. The revenue actually eclipsed the GGR from June, when the total handle was $1.05 billion, because June’s hold rate — or loss rate for bettors — was a lower 6.9%.

For the week ending July 31, New York’s handle actually ticked up from the previous week, likely because the previous week had less sports action due to the MLB All-Star break. The total handle for last week was $177.8 million, an increase of $28 million. The GGR for the week was $22 million.

Football season will be key indicator

Despite the summer lull, New York remains the most active sports betting state in the country. Since launch, the Empire State has accounted for $9.3 billion in handle, $680.5 million in GGR, and $347 million in tax revenue (thanks to a 51% tax on GGR, highest in the nation).

Once the NFL schedule and NCAA football are in full swing by early September, it will become clearer whether the decline in handle is strictly the result of a lack of summer action or could also reflect declining marketing and promotions from the sportsbooks. Typically, operators spend lavishly, often taking deep losses, immediately after launching in a state before scaling back many of the splashier offers.

January remains the high-water mark for sports betting in New York, or any other state for that matter, as New York bettors risked $1.67 billion in wagers in three weeks. The second-highest volume came in March, fueled by March Madness, when New Yorkers placed $1.64 billion in bets.

FanDuel remains a clear market leader in New York. The operator reported $347.7 million in handle for July and $39 million in GGR; DraftKings had $213.5 million in handle and $15.8 million in GGR; Caesars Sportsbook took in $118.2 million in handle and $8.7 million in GGR.

Photo: Shutterstock

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