Looking Up: Has New York Sports Betting Already Surpassed Entire 2021 Handle Total This Week?

Written By Mike Mazzeo on January 14, 2022 - Last Updated on March 2, 2022
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The four upstate commercial casinos in New York wrapped up the 2021 campaign by releasing their final yearly numbers via the New York State Gaming Commission on Friday.

Last year, Empire State bettors combined for $197.5 million wagered on sporting events at Rivers, del Lago, Resorts World and Tioga Downs. That resulted in $23.3 million in revenue for the casinos.

It’s obviously a monumental year for legal sports betting in New York. No doubt, this year should show even bigger — and even record-breaking — numbers.

How will NY online sports betting affect state revenue?

Fittingly, December 2021 marks the last full month in which New York only featured retail sports betting. Since Jan. 8, the Empire State has featured betting apps that went live in time for the NFL playoffs.

So how did NY casinos end 2021?

Casino2021 Handle2021 Revenue
Rivers$88,634,478$10,168,691
Del Lago$58,865,220$7,724,982
Resorts World$35,352,079$3,489,059
Tioga Downs$14,624,886$1,938,416
Total$197.5 million$23.3 million

Of course, it’s possible that New York has already surpassed this total in less than a week in 2022, given the launch of NY online sports betting in the state.

It’s even possible — though less likely — that it has already surpassed its total sports wagering handle since 2019 ($363.5 million). 

That’s based on the massive number of geolocation pings throughout the state — 17.2 million total over the weekend, according to GeoComply.

Now, some of those wagers likely came via promotions and free plays offered by those NY sportsbooks. Still, given the palpable buzz in New York upon launch, it’s safe to see the Week 1 figures are going to be massive.

How sustainable will NY online sports betting be? 

The question long-term will be how online sports betting sustains in NY after the initial promotions and other incentives die down.

But with a population of 20 million — about double that of New Jersey — the potential to become the No. 1 sports betting state in America seems pretty high right now.

New Jersey, by the way, just wrapped up its fourth consecutive month with over $1 billion in sports betting handle, closing out 2021 in grand style. But it’s believed that about 20% of that handle comes from New York, so we’ll see what happens moving forward. 

DraftKings, FanDuel, Caesars and BetRivers all launched Jan. 8, with BetMGM set to join them on Jan. 17. PointsBet is expected to follow shortly thereafter while Bally Bet may be delayed. There have been no timeline updates from WynnBet and Resorts World. 

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Mike Mazzeo

Mike Mazzeo is the Lead Writer for PlayNY, arriving after covering several of New York's professional sports teams in a variety of roles for the past decade. Previously, he served as a beat writer and columnist covering the Brooklyn Nets (ESPN) and New York Yankees (New York Daily News). Mike also covered both the MLB and NBA nationally for Yahoo Sports. In addition, he served as a general assignment reporter for ESPN NewYork.com. He has also had bylines in the New York Times, New York Post, Newsday, Forbes and The Ringer. With PlayNY, Mike brings extensive coverage and unique story angles to what is projected to be one of the biggest and most lucrative online sports betting markets in the country. It's been an arduous and confounding process to get here, but 20 million New Yorkers (many of them die-hards) are now legally able to bet on their favorite sports teams across the state via online and mobile platforms.

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