March Madness Boosts NY Sports Betting To Near-Record With Over $1.7 Billion In Handle

Written By Grant Lucas on April 6, 2023 - Last Updated on April 7, 2023
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Fittingly, March contained plenty of sports betting madness in New York.

Fueled by NCAA Tournament action that featured games in both Albany and at Madison Square Garden, NY sports betting last month amounted to a near-record total of $1.785 billion in accepted bets.

Officially, according to the New York State Gaming Commission, bettors placed $1,785,952,977, just over $3 million shy of the Empire State’s — and the nation’s — single-month record of $1,788,991,455 set in January.

New York continues to set records. And more are forthcoming.

Marching by the beat of its own drum

All-around, no month in the brief-yet-record-setting history of online sports betting in New York stacks up with March 2023.

As noted, only one month (January 2023) exceeded the output of March.  By the way, it’s happened so frequently that it has become overlooked and taken as a given: NY sports betting exceeded $1 billion in handle for the 13th time in 15 months. It was also the eighth time New York surpassed $1.5 billion — five of which came in the past six months.

Consider this past month’s handle compared with March 2022, when online NY sportsbooks were still relatively new. A year ago, online betting totaled nearly $150 million less than what was totaled in March 2023.

Also last month, sportsbooks accounted for $162.8 million in NY sports betting revenue and over $83 million in state tax revenue, both single-month records in New York.

NY sports betting ahead of pace, nearing landmarks

Through three months last year, online sports betting in New York totaled just over $4.8 billion in handle that generated over $160 million in state tax revenue.

That set up a record-breaking 2022, and many expected and even warned that the following year would not live up to expectations.

So far, bettors in New York have proven those naysayers wrong.

With three months in the books, 2023 is $206.3 million ahead of the pace in terms of handle, already over $5 billion. On top of that, the state has pocketed over $50 million more in tax revenue than this time last year.

For perspective, last year, Gov. Kathy Hochul’s enacted budget projected $615 million for fiscal year 2023, which came to a conclusion on March 31.

Here is the final tally for FY2023: $743.98 million.

As it stands, within the next two months, NY sports betting should see lifetime gross gaming revenue and state tax revenue eclipse $2 billion and $1 billion, respectively.

March 2023 revenue broken down by sportsbook

With over $740 million in handle, FanDuel Sportsbook NY reset the industry’s record for highest betting total in a single month. It also posted its second-best month in terms of revenue at nearly $80 million. All told, FanDuel owns each of the top five biggest months in terms of handle and eight of the top 10.

Meanwhile, DraftKings Sportsbook NY posted the second-highest total at nearly $590 million, its second-best month, generating a personal-best $52 million in GGR.

Other noteworthy records include BetRivers Sportsbook NY setting its own top marks in handle and revenue, a similar feat accomplished by Bally Bet NY.

SportsbookHandleGross Gaming Revenue
Bally Bet$3,002,231$207,727
BetRivers $49,878,528$3,580,406
Resorts WorldBet$5,141,840$340,239

New York turns out, in more ways than one, for NCAA Tournament

Of course, NY betting apps would have put up great numbers regardless if the NCAA Tournament laid temporary roots in the Empire State or not.

But it certainly helped.

One of the craziest March Madness tournaments ever began in Albany. The first two rounds featured No. 5 Miami, which went on to its first Final Four in program history, and No. 4 UConn, which began its historic championship run at MVP Arena.

Not to be outdone, Madison Square Garden played host to part of the Sweet 16 and Elite Eight, highlighted by No. 9 Florida Atlantic upending No. 4 Tennessee and No. 3 Kansas State en route to the Final Four.

Now, we’re left to look forward to April. By no means should we expect New York sports betting to set records. Football is over. The NCAA Tournament crowned it champion. Now, most notably, it’s just the NBA and NHL playoffs while MLB gets its season underway.

That said, it will be interesting to see those April NY sports betting totals. Especially considering that both the New York Knicks and Brooklyn Nets both stand ready to get the NBA postseason started, as are the New York Rangers, New York Islanders and Buffalo Sabres. Although it would be more likely that Buffalo misses the NHL playoffs for the 12th straight season, extending the league’s record for longest playoff drought.

Photo by Frank Franklin II / AP Photo
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Grant Lucas

Grant Lucas is the managing editor for PlayNY. A longtime, award-winning sports writer, Grant has covered gambling and legal sports betting since 2018, when he got his start reporting on the New Jersey and Pennsylvania industries. He now oversees PlayNY as New York expands legalized gambling to sports betting and online casino gaming.

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