New York Reports Robust Mobile Revenue For First Week Of March Madness

State gamblers placed $428 million worth of wagers, the most since Super Bowl week
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New York gamblers have contracted a serious case of March Madness, as the state gaming commission reported $428 million in mobile sports betting handle for the week that ended March 20 and included all play-in games plus the first two rounds of the NCAA Tournament. It was the highest volume of online wagering in New York since the Feb. 13 Super Bowl.

Just as they did during Super Bowl week, New York gamblers appear to have fared relatively well in early March Madness betting. Gross gaming revenue of $26.1 million equaled a weekly hold rate (or loss rate for gamblers) of 6%. The hold rate for Super Bowl week in New York was 3%.

For the 11 weeks since mobile sports gambling launched on Jan. 8, New Yorkers have wagered a total of $4.4 billion for a GGR of $300.1 million and a hold rate of 6.8%.

Major wagering was expected

The three weeks of March Madness, which conclude with the national title game on April 4, make up one of the most active sports betting periods on the calendar. New York was expected to handle about $400 million in NCAA Tournament wagers, according to New York Online Gambling‘s estimates, and Americans are likely to wager more than $3 billion on the event, research from the American Gaming Association suggests.

The release of the revenue reports from the gaming commission on Monday did not break down the wagering by sport, so it’s impossible to tell exactly how much of that volume was bet on March Madness. New York law allows gamblers to place bets on NCAA games played in the state, such as the early-round games played in Buffalo, but bans them from placing bets on teams with New York campuses.

The weekly handle has remained within a range of $350 million to $573 million since New York’s launch. That could bode well for the eight operating New York sportsbooks as they look ahead to the late summer months, when Major League Baseball is the only one of the four major American sports in action. A ninth licensed operator, Bally Bet, has said it will begin accepting wagers sometime in April.

Market leaders stay the same

FanDuel continues to be the market leader in New York, though its percentage of the overall weekly handle dipped a bit, to 39.3% from the 42.6% in the prior week that ended March 13. Since legalization, FanDuel has booked 35.8% of all action placed online in New York.

DraftKings remains in second place, with overall weekly numbers of $110.8 million in handle and $3.3 million in GGR for a market share of 25.9% by handle. Caesars, which has settled into third place, booked $67.8 million in bets that week for a GGR of $4.4 million. That gives it a market share of 15.8% by handle.

The five other active books – BetMGM, WynnBet, PointsBet, Resorts World, and BetRivers – shared 19% of the weekly market share by handle.

Photo: Kevin R. Wexler-North/USA Today

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