It’s safe to say mobile sports wagering in the state of New York more than lived up to the hype in its first full year, occasionally producing pinball-like numbers while quickly seizing the No. 1 spot across the board among states for monthly handle, operator revenue, and tax revenue.
The New York State Gaming Commission released the full mobile revenue numbers for December on Monday, with handle surpassing $1.6 billion for the third time in 2022. The nearly $1.63 billion in bets ranked third behind the $1.67 billion in the launch month of January and $1.64 billion generated in March. Overall, nearly $16.2 billion in wagers were placed throughout the Empire State in the full calendar year, already placing New York’s volume fifth all-time in the post-PASPA era while currently less than one-half billion behind Illinois.
Revenue was steady to close the year, clearing $140 million for the fourth consecutive month at close to $141.8 million. That lifted the year’s total to nearly $1.36 billion as New York quickly settled into the No. 2 all-time revenue spot behind New Jersey while continuing to quickly gain ground on its neighbor.
Once December’s retail handle numbers are added, New York will have claimed the top seven monthly handle spots in the post-PASPA era and nine of the top 10. It will also likely have the top six monthly revenue spots, from nine of the 11 occasions in which states reported more than $100 million in monthly sports wagering revenue.
December’s $72.3 million in tax receipts generated by mobile wagering swelled the year’s total to more than $692.8 million that was directed to the state’s education funds. The figure is nearly 40% higher than the estimate of $500 million annually that was forecast by then-New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo in 2021 when he made legalizing sports wagering a priority to address budget gaps. The state’s 51% tax rate allowed New York to quickly become the nation’s leader in all-time tax revenue from sports betting, currently more than double that of previous leader Pennsylvania.
It’s FanDuel … and then everyone else
December mobile #sportsbetting numbers for #NewYork via @NYSGamingComm, a 🧵. Dec/2022 Han/Rev/WR by operator (1/9)@FDSportsbook
2022 Tax: $331.49M
— Chris Altruda (@AlTruda73) January 9, 2023
Though the U.S. sports wagering industry has its version of the “Big 4” with FanDuel, DraftKings, Caesars, and BetMGM when it comes to mobile operators, the rise of FanDuel in New York typified its march to becoming the undisputed market leader nationally.
FanDuel finished with a whopping $6.5 billion handle in New York for the calendar year, which accounted for more than 40% of the overall volume. Its first-to-market status for same-game parlay wagering also resulted in a gulf in revenue collected. Its $650.6 million claimed in winnings nearly matched the state’s other eight mobile books combined, as FanDuel had a 10% win rate or better for each of the final six months and eight times overall in 2022.
FanDuel had four of the five monthly handles that cleared $600 million and was the only operator to crack $60 million in monthly revenue, doing so on six occasions. Its tax bill of $331.5 million in the state included six monthly payments of $30 million or more.
Caesars was the only other operator with a $600 million monthly handle, doing so in January thanks in large part to its staggering sign-up offer of matching deposits up to $3,000 in addition to offering a $300 free bet to newcomers. Though it could not sustain the pace of its early frenzy, Caesars settled into a well-defined No. 3 spot behind DraftKings and finished with close to $2.8 billion handle while grabbing 17.3% of the market share.
Its more pedestrian win rate of 7.7% for the year resulted in $214.6 million in operator revenue, with a nine-figure donation to state coffers of close to $109.5 million.
DraftKings, as is the case in many states, was a solid No. 2 to FanDuel in both handle and revenue, accepting $4.5 billion worth of wagers that led to $354.6 million revenue as a result of a 7.8% hold. The Massachusetts-based sportsbook also gained traction in the final four months of the year, as its market share for handle among New York bettors cracked 30% from September through December after failing to do so the first eight months.
Completing the power quartet, BetMGM closed the year with a flourish, topping $100 million in handle each of the final three months en route to more than $1.3 billion in accepted wagers. While its revenue was steady for much of the second half of the year with five straight months of more than $8 million, bettors more than held their own against BetMGM as its hold just missed 6%.
PointsBet, BetRivers slugging it out for fifth
December mobile #sportsbetting numbers for #NewYork via @NYSGamingComm, a 🧵. 12/22 vs 11/22
Win Rate: ⬇️0.81 pts
— Chris Altruda (@AlTruda73) January 9, 2023
With the big four accounting for nearly 94% of the total handle, PointsBet and BetRivers have proven most adept at getting the biggest scraps among the other five mobile operators. The Australian-based book won both categories head-to-head in 2022: Its $436.1 million handle was $20 million better than BetRivers, while its $25.7 million in revenue created a spread of nearly $3 million.
But there was also more fluctuation in PointsBet’s monthly numbers. In December, it became the first operator in New York to have a minimum $40 million handle while failing to reach $1 million in revenue, as bettors limited it to a 1.5% hold and less than $712,000 revenue in the final month. Whereas PointsBet’s monthly holds ranged from 1.5% to 10.5%, contributing to a top-end monthly haul of $3.1 million in February, BetRivers operated in a more narrow window between 3.2% and 8.2%. It maxed out monthly revenue at nearly $2.7 million in September.
The other three mobile operators — WynnBET, ResortsWorld, and Bally Bet — all had their moments but also largely failed to ignite. WynnBet made the conscious decision to pull back on advertising spend in late 2021 ahead of the New York launch, but it still proved to be the best of the rest with $92.9 million handle. After strong double-digit win rates in its first two months of operations, WynnBET never returned to that rarified air and actually had a hold of less than 1% in November, finishing at 6.7% for the year with more than $6.2 million in revenue.
Resorts World, which entered the arena in March, finished with $57.5 million handle and close to $3 million in revenue. To put the latter number in perspective, FanDuel, DraftKings, and Caesars all made more than $3 million just in tax payments to the state every month in 2022.
Bally Bet remains a curious entity of sorts when it comes to sports wagering, and New York was no different. It pursued entry into the market at a leisurely place, not taking its first wagers until July. and even then there was little fanfare. Its nearly $5.8 million handle for the year was slightly better than the state of Montana’s for the month of November, and Bally Bet also has the dubious distinction of being the only operator to post a monthly loss after paying out $31,467 on top of the nearly $1.5 million in accepted wagers in October.