New York bettors have risked more than $7 billion in wagers since the launch of legal mobile sports betting less than six months ago. And for the week ending May 22, the state’s eight mobile sportsbooks took $261.2 million in bets, bumping the yearly total to $7.15 billion in handle since Jan. 8.
Year-to-date gross gaming revenue (GGR) of $506 million has resulted in $258 million in tax revenue for the state to use for education and other programs. Given the massive tax windfall, why would legislators consider tampering with the state’s new golden goose? One of the most active legislators in the gambling sphere would like to continue to discuss expanding the number of operators, thus lowering the 51% tax rate for operators, broadening the menu of bets available to more closely rival that of neighboring New Jersey, and then moving into the potentially even more lucrative iGaming space.
Those items didn’t make the current budget, so they won’t pick up steam until next January, at the earliest.
“I’m never going to be satisfied. It’s a question of how do we make it better?” said Sen. Joe Addabbo, chairman of the Senate Racing, Gaming and Wagering Committee. “We always have to look to improve. The fact we’re even discussing different operators or the fact we’re discussing NASCAR or horse racing, we’re looking at legislation next session, not standing by and saying, ‘Hey, we did it.’”
Volume plateaus, but eclipses other states
New York bettors have slowed their roll since the early weeks of legal, regulated sports wagering, when the NFL playoffs were in full swing and the NCAA basketball season was heading for the homestretch. Last week’s handle was the lowest since launch, and after eclipsing $350 million in each of the first 10 full weeks, New York’s handle hasn’t hit that mark since the week ending March 20.
Still, the overall volume is remarkable, pushing New York to the head of the class nationally when it comes to mobile sports betting. One operator alone, FanDuel, has taken $2.76 billion in bets since its New York launch, good for a GGR of $226.2 million and a hold rate of 8.2%. DraftKings has taken $1.74 billion in bets for a GGR of $121 million and a hold rate of 6.95%, while Caesars has taken $1.58 billion in wagers for a GGR of $122.1 million and a hold rate of 7.7%.
Those three have locked down 85% of the legal sports betting market in New York, leaving the five other operators left to split the rest.