Retail Handle Declines as New York Sports Betting Apps Prepare to Launch

Retail Handle Declines as New York Sports Betting Apps Prepare to Launch

After a record month in October, the four New York retail sportsbooks saw a sports betting handle decline in November. But not all of the news was bad. The new figures come as the state waits for New York sports betting apps to launch.

Although New York sports betting handle fell 15.8% at the sportsbooks, revenue was up 130.2%.

The four casinos — Rivers Casino in Schenectady ($9.9 million), Del Lago in Waterloo ($6.15 million), Resorts World Catskills in Monticello ($3.8 million) and Tioga Downs in Nichols ($1.7 million) — combined for $21.519 million in total sports handle in November, dropping from $25.567 million in October.

In October, Rivers Casino was the first of the four casinos to exceed $10 million in sports betting handle for one month ($11.9 million). Rivers almost topped the $10 million mark again ($9.9 million). Handle figures from the New York State Gaming Commission have only been available since April.

The decline in November handle can be attributed somewhat to having one less betting weekend. In October there were five full weekends of sports betting available to take advantage of NFL, college football, NBA and NHL action.

The state is waiting to launch early registration before online sports betting goes live, which is expected before the Super Bowl.

New York Sports Betting, November vs. October

Handle Revenue (GGR)
November $21.519M $3.956M
October $25.567M $1.719M
Change Down 15.8% Up 130.2%

Revenue More Than Doubles

The November revenue figures showed a huge increase despite handle being down. That was opposite of October, which had a record handle, but revenue lagged.

November revenue came up just short of $4 million ($3.96 million). Rivers led the way with $1.75 million followed by Del Lago ($1.3 million), Resorts ($496,440) and Tioga Downs ($408,552).

It will be interesting to see what happens with the revenue figures when mobile sports betting launches in the state early next year.

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New York Mobile Sports Betting Coming

New York gaming is about to change in a big way. In early November, New York chose nine operators to have online sportsbooks in the state.

The sportsbooks — Bally Bet, BetMGM New York, Caesars, DraftKings New York, WynnBET, FanDuel New York, Resorts World, Rush Street Interactive (parent of BetRivers New York) and PointsBet — are hoping to launch early registration soon.

New York lawmakers and stakeholders have said all along that they hope online sports betting is live in time for the Super Bowl on Feb. 13.

With Florida having its sports betting market shut down by a federal court, New York would be the largest state by population with legal online sports betting when it launches. Currently it is fourth-highest population at about 19.3 million. California (39.6 million), Texas (29.7 million) and Florida (about 22 million) have more people.

It remains to be seen when Florida’s situation gets straightened out. California and Texas either need to have voters allow it or legislation to legalize sports betting. Neither state seems likely to accept bets before 2023.

Will New York Affect New Jersey Numbers?

Since New York doesn’t have online sports betting, it’s been estimated that as much as 25% of New Jersey’s handle comes from bettors crossing the state line.

New Jersey in September became the first state to top $1 billion in total handle in a month and has now done it for three consecutive months. Nevada went over the $1 billion mark last month.

In October, New Jersey set the national record with $1.3 billion in total handle. It had about $1.25 billion in handle in November.

Connecticut, which also borders New York, had a decent month in November with a total handle of $131.7 million. The state launched retail sports betting at the end of September and online wagering followed a few weeks later.



Ron Fritz is a former editor for

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