Move Over FanDuel: DraftKings Reigns Over NY Sports Betting Realm – At Least, For Now

Written By David Danzis on July 11, 2023
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It only took 18 months, but New York’s legal online sports betting market has a new king.

Well, had anyway.

For the first time in the market’s history, a NY sports betting operator other than FanDuel Sportsbook saw the most action in a monthly reporting period. In June, DraftKings Sportsbook edged out FanDuel $488.5 million to $418.2 million in reported handle, or the total amount wagered.

But why did DraftKings vault to the top? And can it hold on to the No. 1 spot?

DraftKings’ reign as king of NY sports betting short-lived

The NY sports betting milestone (if we can call it that) happened thanks to three consecutive weeks of DraftKings Sportsbook NY taking more bets than its rival. DraftKings’ margin of victory increased from 8% in that first week (ending June 11) to 19.6% in the third and averaged nearly 13% for the entire period.

DraftKings’ NY reign came to an end as quickly as it happened. FanDuel Sportsbook NY regained the No. 1 ranking for the week ending July 2 with a handle of $88.1 million. DraftKings’ weekly handle for the same week was $73.8 million.

Year-to-date, FanDuel has reported a total handle of more than $3.66 billion, a 15% advantage compared to DraftKings’ $3.15 billion.

What contributed to DraftKings’ rise?

Comparing the two mobile apps, there does not appear to be much of a noticeable reason why DraftKings would overtake FanDuel for a three-week stretch in June 2023.

Promos and bonuses available on the two mobile apps seem to be in line with previous offerings. Both sites push same-game parlay products and promote regional specials for hometown teams.

So why DraftKings saw a surge remains a bit of a mystery. What’s clear, though, thanks to a big month in June, is that DraftKings can and will challenge its longtime rival for New York supremacy.

$DKNG holders are getting giddy

The NY victory for Boston-based DraftKings is a continuation of positive momentum for one of the nation’s top-tier digital gaming operators.

DraftKings dominated the online sports betting market in Massachusetts in May, 51% to 33%. The operator also controlled April’s returns in the Bay State.

In 2022, DraftKings’ online casino product trailed only BetMGM for the top spot among national operators, besting out FanDuel, Caesars and others. Online casino is currently legal in six states. Rhode Island will begin offering internet gaming in 2024.

Most industry experts put New York on a short list of states that could legalize NY online casinos in 2024, which would open up the country’s largest (so far) legal internet casino market to existing sportsbook operators, such as FanDuel and DraftKings.

The overall result may well end up bringing more market value to a once-beleaguered public offering. Some analysts are predicting that DraftKings could have produced its first-ever profitable (not revenue-generating, but profitable) quarter in Q2 of 2023. DraftKings stock (DKNG) started the year at $11.05, close to its 52-week low of $10.69. At the market opening on Tuesday, DKNG is trading at $19 per share.

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David Danzis

David Danzis is a writer for PlayNY. A New Jersey native and honors graduate of Rutgers University, he served as a newspaper reporter for the New Jersey Herald and Press of Atlantic City, earning statewide awards for his coverage of politics, government, education, sports and business. Today, he contributes to New York's growing legal gambling landscape, including online sports betting and potential legalization of NY online casinos. David lives in Mays Landing with his wife and two children. When not on the beach, a golf course, or snowboarding, David enjoys watching his beloved New York sports teams — Yankees, Jets, Rangers and Knicks.

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