With NFL In Full Swing, NY Sports Betting Sees Record-Setting $25.6 Million In October Handle

Written By Mike Mazzeo on November 15, 2021

With the NFL back, New York enjoyed a record-setting month in terms of sports betting handle at its four upstate commercial casinos.

Rivers, del Lago, Resorts World and Tioga Downs combined to pull in a record $25.6 million in wagers placed during October, according to reports from the New York State Gaming Commission.

With that translating to over $1.7 million in revenue, the casino industry as a whole saw nearly $60.5 million in gross gaming revenue last month.

NFL (likely) breathes life into NY sports betting

The four upstate casinos in New York got a significant bump in sports betting handle from September ($17.4 million) but also a drop in revenue ($3.2 million), presumably due to NFL bettors getting the best of sportsbooks in the early portion of the season.

CasinoHandleRevenue
Rivers$11,914,909$949,784
del Lago$7,490,819$503,241
Resorts World$3,918,782$222,437
Tioga Downs$2,242,786$43,152
Total$25,567,296$1,718,614

New York can look forward to much more significant numbers come early 2022, when legalized online sports betting is expected to be up and running in the state.

The NYSGC approved nine operators for licenses at a 51% tax rate. That could lead to the state pulling in $500 million or more annually New York betting apps, according to some industry projections.

The $25.6 million figure, however, represents just a fraction of New Jersey’s record $1 billion in online sports betting handle for the month of September. But at least New York is expected to soon have some real skin in the game. The belief is that around 20-25% of that $1 billion figure comes from the Empire State.

Operators still need to complete the process of installing servers at the four upstate casinos before launching. They also need to ensure they pass the inspection of state regulators. But having NY online sports betting fully up and running by the Super Bowl on Feb. 13 isn’t a pipe dream anymore.

New York casinos thriving as 2021 nears end

In terms of total casino revenue, there were no new records set for any of the four upstate casinos. It will interesting to see how these properties continue to perform as 2021 comes to a conclusion.

  • Resorts World: $19,585,577
  • Rivers: $16,747,574
  • del Lago: $15,630,308
  • Tioga Downs: $8,485,029
  • Total: $60,448,488

New York has issued a request for information regarding the remaining three unawarded downstate casino licenses. The deadline for submission of questions was Nov. 10.

There has been a moratorium in place stating that the state cannot issue the three remaining licenses until 2023. But it appears that policymakers are prepared to revisit the moratorium due to the growing deficit caused by the COVID pandemic.

Photo by AP / Adam Hunger
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Mike Mazzeo

Mike Mazzeo has covered New York sports since 2010, previously working as a beat writer and columnist for ESPN (Nets), Yahoo Sports (NBA/MLB) and the New York Daily News (Yankees). His work has also been published in the New York Times, New York Post, Forbes and The Ringer.

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