New York Assemblyman Gary Pretlow believes it’s time to give the state another nickname: “The Sports Betting Capital of the World.”
The world might be an exaggeration. However, in the first 30 days, New York has definitely lived up to the expectations that were placed upon the state when it legalized mobile sports betting last year, expanding access to the gaming opportunity across the state.
A statement released by Gov. Kathy Hochul on Monday revealed that mobile sports betting operators have reported $1.98 billion in wagers since the first apps launched in the state on Jan. 8.
Hochul’s announcement comes after the state set a record for the biggest one-month handle in January. Despite missing the first week of the month, the $1.6 billion handle still trumped the $1.3 billion New Jersey’s operators took in October of last year.
“I’m happy the Gaming Commission proceeded with haste to get the determination of the operators in place two weeks earlier than anticipated,” said Pretlow, D-Mount Vernon, who chairs the Assembly Committee on Racing and Wagering.
That figure does not count bets taken in the past week, including most of the Super Bowl wagers. That report is scheduled to come out this Friday.
Hochul: Mobile Sports Betting an ‘Economic Engine’
The governor’s release cited data from gaming technology vendor GeoComply that nearly 1.8 million unique accounts were used over the first 30 days of legal online sports betting in the state. Those accounts generated 187 million transactions to ensure users were located within New York so they could legally place their wagers.
GeoComply states that such transactions aren’t all tied to bets but they do correlate with activity in the market.
The nearly $2 billion in handle has generated $138 million in revenue for the sportsbooks. That, in turn, has created $70.6 million in tax revenue for the state.
State officials had expected sports betting to generate $49 million in tax revenue for the 2022 fiscal year, which ends on March 31. Nearly all of the tax dollars will fund education, but some will also go toward gambling addiction services and youth sports programs.
Over the past month, we’ve seen how mobile sports wagering can be an economic engine for New York, driving significant funding to our schools, youth sports, and so much more,” Hochul said in a statement. “As this new industry continues to grow, New York will make sure we have the resources and guidelines in place to make it a success for all.”
By Fiscal Year 2026, the state forecasts sports betting taxes to generate more than $500 million in income for New York.
With football season now complete, the betting figures will likely slip a little until the NCAA men’s basketball tournament that starts next month. While the Super Bowl is the biggest one-day activity in U.S. sports betting, the tournament is considered the biggest event overall for gamblers.
Since the online apps rolled out on Jan. 8, New Yorkers have wagered more than $600 million on football. Gamblers have bet more than $540 million on basketball.
What’s Next in New York?
Expanding gaming remains a key topic for the New York legislature. This year, lawmakers will consider awarding the remaining three full casino resort licenses a year early. While not limited exclusively to the downstate area, most expect the state to award licenses in or around the New York City area.
The push for expediting the licenses comes as the state continues its recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic. The health emergency and the ensuing shutdowns and restrictions caused by the health emergency hit the state’s tourism and hospitality industries especially hard.
With up to three licenses available, state Sen. Joseph Addabbo, the Queens Democrat and chair of the Senate Committee on Racing, Gaming, and Wagering, has estimated the licenses could bring the state $2 billion or more in one-time licensing fees.
The online sports betting licenses generated $200 million in funding for the current fiscal year. The sports betting licenses are good for 10 years.
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