Rejoice: NY Operators Take In $150 Million In Online Sports Bets During Opening Weekend

Written By Mike Mazzeo on January 18, 2022 - Last Updated on January 19, 2022
New York Rangers sports betting opening weekend

Legal online sports betting got off to a strong start in New York.

After going live in NY on Jan. 8, FanDuel, DraftKings, Caesars and Rush Street (BetRivers) took in $150 million in wagers in their first weekend, according to data released in the 2023 NY state budget plan.

By comparison, NY retail sportsbooks at Rivers, del Lago, Resorts World and Tioga Downs took in $197.5 million in bets in 2021.

Also according to the data, 650,000 unique player accounts were utilized, and more than 17 million geolocations were confirmed.

“The State projects $249 million in revenue (includes $200 million in already collected license fees) in FY 2022, $357 million in FY 2023, $465 million in FY 2024, $493 million in FY 2025, $509 million in FY 2026 and $518 million in FY 2027. For mobile sports wagering revenue, effective FY 2023, $6 million will be directed to programs addressing problem gambling, $5 million will be directed to a youth sports grant program statewide, and the remaining amount will be directed to education. License fee revenue is directed to education.”

NY online sports betting opening weekend numbers

BetMGM NY went live on Monday, meaning five of the nine operators for New York sports betting are fully up and running so far. According to GeoComply, 1.2 million sportsbook accounts were opened in the state since it launched mobile sports betting. Also, 9.3% of NY players had previously placed bets in New Jersey, which didn’t see a significant drop in action since the NY online sports betting launch.

“On the mobile sports betting, I think we’ve seen its launch has been a success,” NYS budget director Robert Mujica told reporters on Tuesday. “We have over 600,000 unique accounts that were created in the first week, closer to probably 700,000 by now. So I think some of the concerns, I think we’re seeing it play out people seem to be very engaged. And I think all of the participants both on the player side and on the gambling side or the corporate side are seeing what they expected.

“We expected our revenues will meet our targets both this year and next year if not exceed them. I think we are now No. 1 in the nation in that regard. And I think what’s different about our program from other programs is that 50% of those revenues go to education, as opposed to other parts of the country where they mostly go to the private sector.”

New York downstate casino licenses

NY Gov. Kathy Hochul’s state budget plan also allows the state to award its three downstate casino licenses.

“The current law just didn’t identify where the casinos would be located. So we’re not changing that. All we’re doing is reauthorizing the three,” Mujica said. “There will be a competition for them. And there is always going to be a concern about creating competition amongst the four that are upstate. But there’s no specific designation that they have to be in New York City.”

This was the desire of state policymakers, who have endorsed a potential plan to turn Video Lottery Terminals (VLTs) Empire City (BetMGM) and Resorts World NYC into full casinos.

The third license would then be awarded as part of a competitive bidding process. Among the casino corporations who have expressed interest in a downstate casino: MGM, Universal, Las Vegas Sands, Wynn, Rush Street (Rivers), Genting (Resorts World), Hard Rock and Bally’s. Putting a casino in NYC will be a daunting challenge, however, given the opposition for such a plan.

As NY state senator Joe Addabbo said in a statement:

“Today’s Executive Budget released by Governor Kathy Hochul presents a fiscal path forward for New York State during these difficult times. I believe the inclusion of expediting the three full casino licenses for our downstate region has the potential to bring in $1.5 billion in revenue for the state, additional educational funding and improvements to problem gambling programs. I look forward to continuing to work with the Hochul administration and the Gaming Commission to ensure that gaming in the state expands and advances in a credible, reasonable manner.” 

Photo by AP / Kyusung Gong
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Mike Mazzeo

Mike Mazzeo is a contributing writer for PlayNY, reporting on legal sports betting in New York while covering the potential legalization of NY online casinos and poker. He previously wrote for ESPN, the New York Daily News and The Ringer, among others.

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