Time flies when you are having fun.
After what seemed to be endless waiting for legalized mobile sports wagering to be passed, New York sports betting fans fulfilled a dream Jan. 8, the first day a legal online bet could be placed within state lines.
Can you believe Sunday was the 100th-day anniversary of that momentous occasion?
It’s true. Let’s see what has happened in 100 days and discuss what might transpire in the next 100 days and beyond.
How We Got Here
New Jersey launched legal sports betting in 2018 after years of back-and-forth, then laid claim to the title of sports betting capital of the world in 2019-20 after taking over the top slot from Las Vegas and Nevada.
New York, with the fourth largest population in the country, took the title from the Garden State during this 100-day period. Took it away in the first 24 days, in fact.
The Empire State notched a monthly handle in January, spanning only Jan. 8-31, of $1.69 billion, which easily topped the still-very-impressive $1.35 billion of New Jersey that same month. In fact, New Jersey broke its own record, set in October of 2021 ($1.303 billion).
And New York started with only four of the nine operators granted licenses: Caesars Sportsbook New York, Fan Duel Sportsbook New York, DraftKings Sportsbook New York and BetRivers Sportsbook New York.
BetMGM Sportsbook New York, which started Jan. 17, has surpassed BetRivers and now is fourth in overall handle.
The Beat Goes On
For April 4-10 alone, New York bettors wagered $335.81 million in total mobile handle, a $23.68 million jump from the previous week ($312.13 million).
Six of the eight live operators had increases in their total weekly handles.
Total Gross Gaming Revenue (GGR) for the state posted at $12,932,608, a decrease of $2.24 million from $15.18 million for the week ending April 3.
All New York online sports wagering operators since the launch of mobile betting have combined for a handle of more than $5.33 billion and a GGR of more than $342.67 million.
New York, which shares with New Hampshire a nation-high 51% tax rate, has collected more than $174.7 million in taxes to date.
What Could Be Next?
Here are some items that could/could not happen, but the discussion pieces are out there for review:
More Operators: Bally Bet, the only one of the nine operators that was granted a license to not launch, has said it would launch in April. We are still waiting. When Bally does, the possibility of more mobile sports betting skins within the state could be a possibility.
More equals even more options for the consumer, but will it be water-downed versions when you consider the top four major providers since launch have a huge advantage thus far over the other four live providers?
More Casinos: The New York Fiscal Year 2023 budget was passed and signed by Gov. Kathy Hochul on April 9. The $220 billion-plus budget has the approval for the inclusion of plans for three downstate casinos, which should include new retail sportsbooks.
Each casino will be subjected to a bidding and site process that will include New York City’s five boroughs (Bronx, Brooklyn, Manhattan, Queens and Staten Island), Long Island and the Lower Hudson Valley Region, which includes Westchester and Rockland counties.
The New York State Gaming Commission (NYSGC) could begin the process by issuing Requests for Applications (RFA), just as it did with mobile sports betting licenses, from any potential and interested bidders. Those RFAs would be issued within 90 days and the majority of members appointed to the newly created site selection review board would go over each one.
iGaming: The emergence of online casino gaming is definitely on the table and more than likely will be a top consideration moving forward.
Integrating horse racing and sports betting: This certainly has been discussed. Can a consumer bet a Yankees game and bet on the feature race at Saratoga all from one app? Why not?
More on-site retail sportsbooks: Another ongoing possibility is adding wagering facilities at stadiums, arenas, etc. That discussion also is happening in Albany.
The foundation has been set.
How will the state build on it, improve it, invest and be better for it are the questions of the immediate future. All should have one overriding consideration: How much money can be generated for the residents of New York to improve their lives moving forward?
The next 100 days should move quickly and be another step toward building a better wagering community.