Strong Championship Week In NY Implies Robust March Madness Ahead

Online sports wagering, led by FanDuel, topped $350 million for the fourth straight week
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Mobile sports wagering activity remained high in New York during championship week in college basketball, providing a harbinger of a strong March Madness as online legal bets are placed on the NCAA Tournament for the first time.

For the week ended March 13, New York bettors wagered $406.4 million at online sportsbooks across the state, pushing the 2022 handle to about $3.9 billion since the state began allowing it in January. The figures include early wagering on the NCAA Tournament from Sunday night, shortly after brackets were revealed for the 2022 field.

During the three-week tournament, one of the largest events on the annual sports betting calendar, New York is expected to handle about $400 million on March Madness, according to estimates from New York Online Gambling. Americans will wager more than $3 billion on the event, research from the American Gaming Association suggested.

New York sportsbooks generated online gross gaming revenue (GGR) of $36.9 million on the week, up from $32.9 million for the week ended March 6.

FanDuel tightens grasp on state lead

On the week, FanDuel handled about $173 million in wagers, translating to GGR of $17.5 million. Since January’s New York debut, FanDuel has produced a handle of $1.39 billion along with online GGR of $85.8 million. With the strong showing on the week, FanDuel increased its 2022 lead in market share in both categories to 35.4% by handle and 31.3% by GGR. The week’s activity at FanDuel represented 42.6% of the overall state market by handle, as well as 47.6% by GGR.

DraftKings, FanDuel’s archrival, ranked second on the week with a handle of $103 million and online GGR of $8.3 million. DraftKings handled about 25.4% of all New York wagers and took in 22.5% of the GGR, according to figures from the New York State Gaming Commission.

Caesars Sportsbook, meanwhile, accepted $66.9 million in wagers on the week and wound up with $7.62 million in GGR. Caesars has now handled $1.08 billion year-to-date, joining FanDuel as the only sportsbook operators to clear the $1 billion threshold. By month’s end, DraftKings will likely become the third book to enter the $1 billion club. DraftKings now ranks third in 2022 handle with $952.6 million.

Heavy hitters dominate market share again

Once again, the state’s top four online sportsbooks received the lion’s share of activity, leaving a bevy of smaller operators batting for a tiny slice of the pie. In total, FanDuel, DraftKings, Caesars, and BetMGM handled $383.4 million on the week, representing 94.3% of the overall market. The four other New York books — PointsBet, BetRivers, WynnBET, and Resorts World — handled the rest, a meager 5.7% of the overall state handle.

Resorts World, which launched in New York on March 3, reported weekly GGR of $93,002 on a handle of $742,109, according to Fantini Research. Resorts World reported weekly figures for the first time since its New York debut.

Last November, nine online sportsbooks gained market access in New York when the state commission acted on mobile sports betting licensing bids from the operators. Of the nine, only Bally Bet has yet to launch. Bally’s plans to make its New York sports betting debut in April.

The first week of March Madness includes wagering on games at the Key Bank Center in Buffalo. The arena hosted four first-round games on Thursday, including No. 12 seed Richmond’s upset over No. 5 Iowa in the Midwest region. Another No. 12 seed, New Mexico State, upset No. 5 Connecticut Thursday night in Buffalo.

State regulations prohibit bettors from wagering on New York colleges and universities inside the state, but it’s permissible to bet on collegiate events in the state that don’t include them. Only one New York school, Colgate, earned a spot in the NCAA Tournament.

New York imposes a 51% tax on online sports betting GGR, the highest in the nation along with New Hampshire. Since January’s launch, New York sportsbooks have generated more than $140 million in tax revenue for the state.

Photo: Gregory Fisher/USA TODAY

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