New York Sports Betting Revenue

At long last, New York is getting legal online sports betting.

The Empire State has featured regulated wagering since 2019 — but limited to only physical sportsbooks at casinos.

While that is better than nothing, the state has been missing out on a huge amount of revenue by failing to legalize online betting like its neighbors New Jersey and Pennsylvania.

Fortunately, in November 2021, the New York State Gaming Commission selected nine operators to launch betting apps in New York. With the first online sportsbooks expected to go live in early 2022, in time to capitalize on the Super Bowl, PlayNY provides a look at current sports betting revenue in New York and the future with online betting.

Before diving in, it’s important to grasp the terminology within the sports betting world:

  • Handle: Amount of money wagered by bettors
  • Gross gaming revenue: Total handle minus winnings paid out
  • Hold: Percentage of the handle that was won by a sportsbook, calculated by dividing gross gaming revenue by handle
  • Tax revenue: Amount of money regulators collect from sportsbook operators

How much money could New York online sports betting generate?

There was never any doubt that New York could become one of the most lucrative legal sports betting states in the country. Its sheer size and population (trailing only three other states) make the Empire State a potential gold mine.

Combine that with passionate fans and some of the most iconic (and valuable) professional sports franchises in the world, and New York seemingly has all the markers of a wildly successful sports betting market.

Before regulators selected the nine online sportsbooks to launch in New York, and based on a closed model of up to four platforms in the state, PlayNY initially projected in its NY sports betting white paper that mobile wagering would generate $7.5 billion in handle over the first four years. That would lead to $750 million in revenue and $375 million in tax revenue to the state.

With nine operators now chosen and ready to go live in New York, those projections will obviously increasePlayNY offers live sports betting updates and will also provide the most recent projection when it is finalized.

How NY sports betting compares to New Jersey, Pennsylvania

Obviously, both New Jersey (2018) and Pennsylvania (2019) got head starts to online sports betting. Their established markets have allowed betting apps to build ample customer databases, including many users from New York.

Lawmakers in the Empire State have long believed that green lighting mobile wagering in New York would allow the state to incentivize locals to keep online betting in New York rather than taking their business out of state.

Certainly, New Yorkers have contributed to the rise of New Jersey and Pennsylvania sports betting. And operators in each state have reaped the benefits. For example, New Jersey, easily the largest sports betting market in the US in terms of money wagered, has brought in more than $1.3 billion in revenue since launching in 2018, generating $198.1 million in tax revenue. Similarly, Pennsylvania has benefited from $183.7 million in tax revenue on $724.5 million in operator revenue since 2019.

In 2021, through September, New Jersey and Pennsylvania have reported $501.2 million and $301.8 million in online betting revenue, respectively. That has resulted in some $65 million in taxes for New Jersey and $92 million for Pennsylvania.

Each state features lower tax rates for operators, as well as markets that invite more sports betting competition, whereas New York has a seemingly more finite model in place. New York will implement a 51% tax rate for each of its nine online sportsbooks — by far the highest rate in the country. For comparison, New Jersey taxes mobile operators at a 13% rate, while Pennsylvania levies a 36% tax on sportsbooks.

All-time NY sports betting revenue

Right now, New York has sportsbooks at the state’s four commercial casinos and at tribal casinos upstate. That lack of online sports betting has resulted in the Empire State becoming one of the smallest sports betting markets in the country. Only Delaware, Washington, DC, Arkansas and Montana performed worse.

Still, physical sportsbooks in New York have enjoyed an uptick in business. In October 2021, for example, brick-and-mortars at those four casinos generated the highest handle in a single month since legal NY sports betting launched in 2019.

CasinoFY 2021-22FY 2020-21FY 2019-20TOTAL
Tioga Downs$700,609$1,697,632$662,956$3,061,197
del Lago$4,041,838$5,386,304$2,920,022$12,348,164
Rivers$5,425,570$6,411,027$4,328,308$16,164,905
Resorts World$1,863,212$1,979,306$1,735,411$5,577,929
Total$12,031,229$15,474,269$9,646,697$37,152,195
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