New York sportsbooks reported $1.46 billion in total handle for February 2023, marking the sixth consecutive month that the figure topped $1 billion, the longest streak in the nation.
Both total handle and sports betting revenue dipped in February, following a record month in January spurred by college football and the NFL Playoffs. In February, sports betting operators posted revenues of $108.2 million, a 27.6% decrease from the previous month.
The state once again lead the U.S. in total handle from sports bets, at $1.46 billion, but that figure represented an 18.1% drop from January when the Empire State set a national record at $1.8 billion. Since it launched online sports betting in January of 2022, New York has been the top market in the industry, with a total handle approaching $20 billion. In nearly 14 months, New York has reported $1,589,415,410 in sports betting revenue, which has resulted in tax revenue of $810,601,859.
In February, the state collected $55.3 million in taxes from sports betting activity. New York taxes operators at 51% of revenue, the highest rate in the United States. Thus far, in 2023, the state has gathered $131.5 million in taxes. That number is fueled by revenue of $258.4 million, which is more than 25% higher than January/February of 2022.
Top NY Sportsbooks by Total Handle for February 2023
- FanDuel … $591 million
- DraftKings … $491 million
- Caesars … $192 million
- BetMGM … $103 million
- BetRivers … $37 million
- PointsBet … $29 million
- WynnBET … $10 million
FanDuel has a stranglehold on 40% of the market share in New York, followed by top competitor DraftKings New York Sportsbook, at nearly half a billion in total handle in February.
Efforts to Legalize Online Casino Games Stalls
Legal online casinos are no closer to becoming a reality in New York than they were months ago, as legislative efforts have seemed to stall. The primary reason seems to be opposition from the Hotel and Gaming Trades Council, which represents hotel and casino workers in New York. Their fear is a loss of jobs at brick-and-mortar casinos if internet gaming is legalized in the Empire State. But data doesn’t support such alarm.
“Both iGaming and retail are increasing in states that have iGaming. There is no cannibalization,” Sen. Joe Addabbo said in a statement in February.
Addabbo has introduced legislation to legalize online casinos in his state, and has long been an advocate for regulated gaming. The immensely successful launch of online sports betting in New York supports the argument that online gaming can add money to state coffers. New York has collected more than $800 million in tax revenue from online sports betting operators alone since its Jan. 2022 launch of mobile sports wagering.
Some are concerned that legal online casinos would interfere with efforts to build three casinos in New York city. Those properties, which have only been conceptualized thus far, could result in thousands of jobs, building contracts, and revenue from economic activity in the city.
Some legislators may be hesitant to take a stance in favor of online casinos because of the backlash against advertising since mobile sports betting was launched in 2022. Some consumers have expressed disdain for the flurry of advertisements for sportsbooks in New York. The high-priced competition for customers in the state has already led Fanatics Sportsbook to announce it won’t enter the New York market. Caesars CEO Tom Reeg called the 51% tax rate “ridiculous,” and questioned whether any sports betting operator can make money in the state. Last May, BetMGM announced it would reduce its spend on acquiring new customers in New York “to nearly zero.”
In February, New York Congressman Paul Tonko introduced legislation that would create a blanket ban on all sportsbook advertising. That type of reaction to legal and regulated activity could give some lawmakers pause at supporting iGaming (also known as online casinos).
While the state had benefitted greatly from online sports betting, some in the state realize that the situation could change unless sportsbooks can make better profits. Addabbo has sponsored a bill that would reduce the tax rate on sports betting operators in New York, but it has yet to be put to a vote and faces obstacles.
Photo By: Wayne Parry/AP Photo