After basketball season ended and before football ramps up, the dog days of summer are here for sports bettors. Just ask the sportsbooks at New York State’s four retail casinos, which all experienced precipitous revenue drops in July.
Del Lago Casino in Waterloo experienced the largest drop, with gross sports betting revenue plummeting 50.16% from the $626,478 reported in June to the $312,192 reported in July, according to figures reported by the New York State Gaming Commission. The NYSGC does not report sports betting handle.
Across the board, New York sportsbooks felt the pain of fewer daily offerings, with a combined total of $1,273,621 in revenue. Gross sports betting revenue at Rivers Casino in Schenectady dropped 29.68%, from $770,122 collected in June to the $541,497 in July. Revenue at Tioga Downs Casino in Nichols fell 18.95%, from $147,197 in June to $119,290 in July. Resorts World Catskills in Monticello saw the smallest revenue drop, 4.51% from $314,845 in June to $300,642 in July.
Overall Casino Revenue Still Up
Rivers experienced its lowest sports betting revenue month since February, when it brought in $463,663. Del Lago’s sportsbook had its lowest revenue month since casinos reopened from the coronavirus shutdown. July was the worst month for sports betting revenue at Resorts World since April, when the book reported a loss of $7,747. And Tioga Downs’ July revenue total was its lowest since reporting $85,550 in revenue in May. New York State does not report handle figures.
All four casinos, though, reported increases in total gross gaming revenues for July on the strength of slots and electronic table games. Likely because of increased vacation travel and high coronavirus vaccination rates — nearly 70 percent of adults in the Empire State are fully vaccinated according to the state’s COVID-19 tracker — Del Lago and Resorts World saw total gross gaming revenue increases of $4,412 and $4,585, respectively.
The state’s sportsbooks, though, are clearly holding on until football season, and the arrival of legal mobile betting. With the state in dire need of greater cash flow because of the pandemic, outgoing governor Andrew Cuomo in April legalized mobile betting through its inclusion in a $212 billion state budget. Cuomo expected state revenue from mobile betting to eventually reach $500 million.
Mobile Betting By Early 2022?
While New York sportsbooks enjoyed a strong spring and early summer — they combined for nearly $1.9 million in sports betting revenue in June — sports betting revenue in the Empire State pales to that generated by neighboring New Jersey, which was a forerunner in mobile wagering and generated revenue of over $71 million in June.
New York is currently soliciting bids for potential mobile sports betting partners, a list that includes Bally’s, BetMGM NY Sportsbook, DraftKings NY Sportsbook, FanDuel NY Sportsbook, the Seneca Nation, the Buffalo Bills, the Buffalo Sabres, Major League Soccer’s NYCFC, the New York Yankees and the YES Network. The state gaming commission must select platform and operator candidates by Sept. 1, with selection made by Dec. 6.
A recent survey that EmpireStakes.com commissioned showed at least 25% of sports fans in New York would place daily wagers once mobile sports betting is legal in the state.
Cuomo announced his impending resignation on Tuesday, in the wake of multiple sexual harassment allegations, but that is not expected to derail the state’s sports betting process. New York State legislators, under incoming Gov. Kathy Hochul, hope to see mobile sports betting go live in early 2022, just in time for the Super Bowl on Feb. 13.