Sports Betting Helping Drive State’s Economic Growth, Governor Says

Hochul touts the state's emergence as the leader in mobile sports betting
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While operators continue to grumble about their ability to turn a profit and some lawmakers wonder about lowering the 51% tax rate, Gov. Kathy Hochul seems perfectly happy with mobile sports betting just over five months after it launched in New York.

“In less than half a year, New York has become a leader among states implementing successful gaming policies, with hundreds of millions of dollars going to important programs that will improve the lives of all New Yorkers,” she said in a recent press release. “I am committed to upholding responsible and effective gaming policies that will move the industry forward and continue to drive our state’s economic growth.”

The numbers certainly back up Hochul’s contention that New York has become the leader in sports gambling in short order. Since the Jan. 8 launch, New York bettors have risked $7.69 billion in bets, leading to gross gaming revenue of $541 million among the eight operators in the state. The industry yielded $276 million in new tax revenue for the state, 98% of which goes toward education.

In the release, the governor’s office pointed out that mobile sports betting has dwarfed the wagering at the state’s four commercial casinos, which had kept $4.3 million in GGR this year as of the end of May. New York’s activity has also blown past neighboring states, with Pennsylvania having collected $253 million in sports wagering tax revenue since 2018 and New Jersey having collected $229 million, per the release.

New York bettors have slowed their roll since the earliest months of legal, regulated mobile sports betting when the NFL and March Madness were driving much of the action.

Betting hits summer lull

For the week ending June 5, New York bettors generated $270 million in handle, with the operators earning revenue of $10.8 million, according to figures posted Friday by the New York State Gaming Commission. That’s the lowest GGR for the operators since launch. After generating at least $300 million in handle for each of the first 15 weeks after launch, the state hasn’t hit that mark in five of the last six weeks.

FanDuel, the state’s No. 1 operator by volume, took $117 million in bets last week with GGR of $6.8 million; DraftKings took $74 million in bets with GGR of $2.7 million; and Caesars took $40.5 million in bets with GGR of $172,000, a hold rate of just 2.9%. The other five operators split the remaining $38.5 million and, collectively, took in $1.1 million in GGR.

Photo: Kelly Marsh/USA TODAY

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