US Sports Betting Update – New York Online Sports Betting Will Begin on Saturday
A brave new era of legal online sports wagering will get underway in New York on Saturday when BetRivers, Caesars Sportsbook, DraftKings and FanDuel launch. The New York State Gaming Commission confirmed that all four operators have satisfied the relevant statutory and regulatory requirement. They have all pledged to begin accepting online and mobile sports bets from tomorrow.
There will eventually be a total of nine sportsbooks in the Empire State. Bally Bet, BetMGM, PointsBet, Resorts Sportsbook, and WynnBET have also gained licenses, and they will launch when they meet the necessary state requirements. BetRivers, Caesars Sportsbook, DraftKings and FanDuel will therefore gain first mover advantage at the perfect time of year. We are approaching the final week of the NFL season, with some huge games on the horizon, including a winner-takes-all clash between the Chargers and the Raiders on Sunday night. All four operators will be ready to take bets on every single NFL playoff game, culminating on Sunday, February 13.
“We are excited to finally be able to offer millions of passionate New York sports fans the top rated DraftKings mobile and online sportsbook,”said Jason Robins, the co-founder, chief executive and chairman at DraftKings. “We want to extend a special thanks to Governor Hochul, Senator Addabbo, Assemblyman Pretlow, the New York Gaming Commission along with the tireless efforts of our dedicated DraftKings team for making this a reality.”
An Exciting Step in the Expansion of Sports Betting
New York legalized sports betting in 2019, but it was confined to retail sportsbooks at upstate casinos, so the industry is currently small. That will all change on Saturday. New Jersey is currently the largest sports betting market in the country. It took $1.3 billion in sports bets during October 2021, which set a new record, but many of those bets were placed by visiting New Yorkers. The Empire State is expected to seize New Jersey’s crown, as it is the fourth largest state by population and the third by GDP. It will be the largest state with legal online sports betting, after Florida’s attempt to launch with a monopoly for Hard Rock Sportsbook fell apart last year.
DraftKings opened a 6,000 square-foot retail sportsbook at del Lago Resort and Casino in Waterloo in 2019, but the opportunity to launch online sports betting will be a game changer. “Growing up in New York and having spent the last 30-plus years in Las Vegas, I am thrilled that my worlds are finally set to collide,” said Johnny Avello, director of race and sportsbook operations. “Millions of New Yorkers will soon discover what we believe makes our DraftKings Sportsbook the very best in customer service and real-money gaming and entertainment.”
Chris Holdren, co-president at Caesars Digital, added: “Today’s news from New York is an exciting step in the expansion of sports betting and something we’ve anticipated for some time. Sports bettors can soon unlock unbeatable experiences through our new app, at the state’s home-grown gaming destinations through our partnership with Turning Stone, in the heart of Manhattan through our partnership with Madison Square Garden, the New York Rangers and Knicks, as well as more exciting partnerships we’ll soon announce. We look forward to launching a unique New York-ready sports betting experience this Saturday, January 8, for sports fans all across the state.”
FanDuel Sponsors Buffalo Bills
New York-based FanDuel celebrated the news by tying up a multi-year sponsorship deal to become the official sports betting partner of the Buffalo Bills. It will have in-game signage at Highmark Stadium, and it will launch TV and radio advertising in partnership with the franchise. FanDuel will also be the presenting sponsor of the Buffalo Bills-themed podcast, Bills by the Numbers, hosted by Steve Tasker and Chris Brown, discussing team updates and key fantasy matchups.
“The Bills take pride in being a culture that is built on genuine connection with their fans, and we are absurdly fan-focused at FanDuel, making this a natural collaboration,” said Mike Raffensperger, chief marketing officer at FanDuel. “As we prepare to bring America’s number sportsbook to New York state, we will collaborate with the Bills to bring unique content and experiences to one of the most loyal fanbases in sports.”
Arizona Made an Impressive Start to Legal Sports Betting
The Arizona Department of Gaming revealed that sportsbooks in the state took $777.3 million worth of bets during the first two months of the state’s legal online sports wagering industry. The first online sportsbooks went live in the Grand Canyon State on September 9. Gaming regulators have now released reports for September and October, painting a promising picture for Arizona.
In September, they accepted $291.2 million in sports bets. That smashed the previous record for the best debut month of any state in US sports betting history, breaking Tennessee’s $131.4 million from November 2020. Arizona’s regulations permit 20 online sportsbooks to launch. Only eight were up and running in September. DraftKings took an early lead by handling $97.7 million, which left it ahead of BetMGM, FanDuel and Caesars Sportsbook. FanDuel is still the number one sportsbook on a nationwide basis, leading the way in states like New Jersey and Pennsylvania, but DraftKings is now the leader in big states including Illinois and Arizona, so it will be fascinating to see who comes out on top in the early stages in New York.
In October, the handle in Arizona increased to $486.1 million. Only six states – New Jersey, Nevada, Illinois, Pennsylvania, Michigan and Colorado – reported a larger handle. DraftKings remained in the lead with $151.5 million in October, while FanDuel moved into second place with $115.9, ahead of BetMGM on $92 million. Sportsbooks reported revenue of $31.6 million in September – a 10.9% hold – but they spent $31.2 million on bonus credits, so it was not a particularly profitable month. Revenue went up to $36.3 million in October, and promotional spending went down to $26 million, leaving $10.3 million in taxable revenue and more than $1 million in taxes for the state.