No two months in the history of legal sports betting in the US live up to what New York did in early 2023.
After accepting a record $1.788 billion in January bets, NY sports betting put up $1.785 billion in March handle. The top two months in the country. It was a historic end to the NFL and college football seasons, a landmark way to commemorate March Madness. It helped push New York online sports betting over the $20 billion mark in lifetime handle since launching in January 2022.
Now, the industry gets a chance to catch its breath after an Olympic-like sprint to the finish line. The prime season of sports betting has concluded. The offseason awaits.
A time when the Empire State should break through to even more records.
NY sports betting ready to hit new heights
Since the get-go, online sports betting in New York has continued to set new marks in the state-regulated industry. From a then-record-setting month in January 2022 to March 2023, New York has set monthly highs in handle and state tax revenue. The state set lifetime tax revenue within the industry’s first three months of existence.
In February, New York topped $20 billion in handle — in the 14th month of online sports betting in the Empire State.
Now including March, NY sports betting has eclipsed $1.5 billion in monthly handle eight times, five of which came in the past six months.
More benchmarks await.
Already, New York has accepted over $5 billion in bets, $200 million ahead of the pace set in 2022 that ultimately saw more than $16 billion in handle. Not to go overlooked, gross gaming and state tax NY sports betting revenue have two targets in sight.
Within the next two months, likely, sportsbooks should surpass $2 billion in lifetime gross gaming revenue. The state, meanwhile, should witness tax revenue top $1 billion since online sports betting went live.
To illustrate how quickly the industry reached that last number, consider the executive budget enacted by Gov. Kathy Hochul for fiscal year 2023. The budget projected $615 million in state tax revenue during that window, which concluded March 31. All told, NY sports betting generated nearly $745 million. Now, Hochul’s executive budget projects $896 million in state tax revenue for fiscal year 2024.
Recapping historic prime season of NY sports betting
While complete, and now a time to look forward to what can be accomplished next, let’s take a minute to recap what was accomplished during the first full year of a prime sports betting season in New York.
Through 15 months of online sports betting in the state, the industry amassed over $21 billion in handle. Over 45% of that total came in the six months of in-season sports betting — October through March. In fact, those six months sit within the top nine in terms of handle, headed, of course, by January and March 2023.
On top of that, during that prime season, New York set single-month records for state tax revenue. Four times.
- October 2022: $74.3 million
- November 2022: $75.6 million
- January 2023: $76.2 million
- March 2023: $83.0 million
It was also during this time that FanDuel Sportsbook NY established four of New York’s five highest monthly handles.
Dog days coming for New York
Pick any month in the year, and New York’s sports betting industry stacks up with any other state in the nation. Of course, it isn’t a steady high for the Empire State.
The prime season, understandably, begins in the fall with the kickoff of professional and college football. It continues into January and February with bowl games and playoffs and, ultimately, the Super Bowl. Finally, that window closes with the final buzzer of the NCAA Tournament championship.
During that time, October through March, online sports betting in New York averaged over $1.6 billion in monthly handle, leading to nearly $66 million (over $600 million total) in state tax revenue. In those other months, April through September, New York averaged around $1.1 billion and about $51 million in tax revenue (a total of just over $307 million).
Especially toward the end of summer, in July and August, NY sports betting will bottom out. Last year, and likely again in 2023, those two months stood as the lone moments when New York did not exceed $1 billion in handle. Relative, it is a steep drop-off — down almost $600 million from April to July and up nearly $400 million from August to September. Obviously, though, the standard was set high when NY online sportsbooks launched in early 2022.
And while down, this offseason will propel New York (again) into unprecedented territory.