The recent launch of regulated sports betting in New York has been a bigger success than anticipated. Over $2 billion has been placed in bets in the early weeks, which has led to the generation of tax revenue of close to $80 million. So, how did New York become the country’s number one gambling state, and what might the future hold?
How Did New York Overtake the Rest?
Online sports betting first became legal in the state in January 2022. The first four regulated sites in New York to be launched were Caesars, FanDuel, DraftKings, and BetRivers, all of which attracted a huge number of members almost immediately.
Since then, PointsBet and BetMGM have also launched and the likes of Bally Bet, Wynn Interactive, and Resort World Bet are approved, but awaiting their official launches. There are, of course, comprehensive reviews available for the best NY sportsbooks listed and it’s likely that as more options become available, rankings and reviews will change accordingly.
Impressively, over two million sports betting accounts have now been opened in the state overall, with the wait to get started helping to explain this surge. New Yorkers have looked on eagerly as people from around the US have gained access to mobile sportsbooks before them.
It is believed that 51% of the gross revenue generated by gambling is paid in taxes by the sportsbooks, which means that the state has collected a huge amount of taxes from a completely new source of income. Mobile betting has been particularly important in this surge and, indeed, New York has overtaken the previous leader, New Jersey, in this respect.
This can be measured comparatively by looking at ‘the handle’, the total amount of bets taken by a sportsbook, of both states. The record for the total monthly handle in the US was previously held by New Jersey as NJ sportsbooks collected a staggering $1.33 billion in bets in October last year. Before that, Arizona had recorded $777 million in the September/October period of 2021.
As a state of sports fans, the introduction of regulated gambling in NY was always likely to be a success. Yet, this isn’t only due to the pent-up demand that was created while we waited for the new sites to go online. There are two more key factors that help us to understand the outstanding success of the first month.
New Player Bonuses and Advertising
The expectation was that New York would be a highly competitive market and this belief led to the main sportsbooks investing in huge advertising campaigns. So, it’s likely that many New Yorkers are aware of the names of the sportsbooks that they can now use.
This has undoubtedly encouraged newcomers to sign up and try these services. It should become clearer over the next few months how many of these users are going to carry on wagering after using up their welcome bonus. The operators may also decide to continue offering ongoing promotions to their users.
We should remember that the extraordinary figures posted so far include the welcome bonuses that new members have used after joining the NY sportsbooks. It will likely be a few months before this settles down and we can then see how much of their own money New Yorkers are betting on sports events.
The Super Bowl LVI and Other Sporting Events
The launch of the first sportsbooks in NY coincided with the lead-up to the Super Bowl LVI, which is traditionally the nation’s biggest sports betting occasion. 2022 showed no change from what we’re used to seeing: bettors all around the country put their money on either the Los Angeles Rams or the Cincinnati Bengals to take the glory.
Clearly, many New Yorkers decided to use their free wagers and risk-free bets on the highlight of the football season: it is believed that around 25% of all Super Bowl 2022 bets were made in this state. In total, a staggering amount of $470 million in bets was placed across New York on this game, which the Los Angeles Rams won on February 13th.
March Madness, the college basketball playoffs, is the next major sporting event that should see a significant surge in online betting activity. It’s likely that even those who don’t follow the NCAAB religiously might decide to place some bets. However, what goes up must come down. The championship game that tops off the tournament on April 4th will be inevitably followed by a dip in gambling activity across the US market.
Spring through to summer is typically a slow period in sports, with baseball the main option during those months. This year’s FIFA soccer World Cup should help to fill in the calendar, with the US team needing to secure their place in Qatar where they go up against Mexico and Panama in March. Since New York sportsbooks offer a wide variety of sports from across the planet, bettors could also use this time to explore different sports and events.
Which Other States Could Overtake New York?
NY has overtaken both Nevada and New Jersey to become the nation’s new gambling hotspot. Will it remain in the top spot or is this a short-lived moment at the summit? There are some important factors that could change things.
With over 19 million people living there, New York has a bigger population than any of the other US states that have the legislation in place to allow legal sports gambling. However, California and Texas are more populous states that could take the crown of the country’s gambling capital if legislation is approved there.
California has over 39 million residents and some of the nation’s top sports teams, so it’s easy to see why it should eventually become the betting capital of the US. 45% of residents there would be happy with legalized betting. Having said that, it isn’t yet clear whether California will be included in the November 2022 ballot on this subject.
Texas has a population of 29 million, though there is no sign yet of a gambling bill being passed here in the near future. The latest update comes from the National Council of Legislators from the Gaming States. Their meeting in January of this year revealed that 2023 may be the year when Texans finally get the opportunity to place their sports bets online.
All of this means that New York might stay in the top spot across the US for at least the next year or so. We might not see the enormous figures for wagers that we’ve seen so far in 2022, but NY is currently so far ahead of other states that it could keep the number one position even with a significant drop.
A Look at the Future
The next few sportsbooks will soon open in New York, offering attractive welcome bonuses. Because of this, the appeal of wagering on games isn’t expected to disappear anytime soon. This is a state that’s filled with enthusiastic sports fans and the arrival of regulated betting sites has allowed them to finally enjoy this aspect of their favorite games.