New York Is a lock to have another month with a sports betting handle above $1 billion. The Empire State will be 3-for-3 since New York mobile betting launched on Jan. 8.
📲Sports bettors in New York love March Madness.🏀College basketball saw a spike in sports betting handle⚖New bills aim to expand the New York betting market.
According to the New York State Gaming Commission, the week ending March 20 in New York had a handle of about $428 million spread across its eight live operators. This comes a week after New York topped $400 million. Combining that with the vast majority of the $359.49 million for the week ending March 6 and the number easily is above $1 billion.
Factor in bets from March 21-31 and the monthly retail number and the January handle record of $1.69 billion could be broken.
Will March Madness get New Jersey sports betting revenues back up above $1 billion for March? Note the state fell just below that threshold in February for the first time in five months. Yes, eyeing New York and New Jersey as well as the only other state to top $1 billion, Nevada, will be a must for anyone with a stake or interest in U.S. sports betting.
Is More Always Better?
Earlier this month, new bills introduced in the New York state Senate and Assembly aimed to lower the tax rate on sports betting. New York is currently equal highest in the nation with New Hampshire at 51%.
The bills aim to raise the number of licensed sportsbooks from nine (eight currently operational) to no fewer than 14 by Jan. 31 of next year. Doing so, it is believed, would lower the tax rate from 51% to 35%. By Jan 31, 2024, it would go to no fewer than 16 and the rate would drop to 25%.
But in the early stages of crazy handles coming out of New York, the four main operators are controlling nearly 95% of the money. Those four are Caesars Sportsbook New York, FanDuel New York, DraftKings New York and BetMGM New York.
Those four are paying 51 percent on 95 percent of the money. No wonder it is a worry if the tax rates go down with more operators. Can more but smaller operators mean more money?
Demand Likely Won’t Increase
Bill Ordine, in a recent column for EmpireStakes.com, wondered if adding more operators would backfire.
“The total number of operators is important because the state’s sports betting regulations set the tax rate at 51%, as long as the operators max out at nine. If the state allows more operators, the tax rate would slide to 50% (for 10-12 operators) and then down to 35% once the operator total hits 13. With four operators already dominating, even a one-point reduction in the tax rate across the board could be a net loser for the state if it does allow more operators. The reality is that increasing gambling supply with more sportsbooks doesn’t necessarily increase gambler demand.”
New Hampshire Sports Betting Revenue Drops Severely in Feb
Lou Monaco had been East Coast Scene columnist for Gaming Today in Las Vegas since June 2019, covering the East Coast sportsbook scene with emphasis on NJ and PA. He also currently is a part-time writer for the high school sports department for NJ Advanced Media (NJ.com) in Iselin, NJ. Lou has over 30 years sports experience with previous stints at ESPN SportsTicker, Daily Racing Form and Oddschecker.