Upstate New York Casinos Experiencing The Roller Coaster Ride Of Sports Betting

Written By David Wysong on February 21, 2020 - Last Updated on November 30, 2022
New York casinos

Many casinos around the country are reaping the rewards of sports betting as it becomes legal in more and more states. However, they are learning that it is either a really hot or really cold source of revenue.

During the final weeks of the NFL season, many casinos – including Rivers Casino and Resort – had some big weeks revenue wise when it came to sports betting. They had some terrible weeks too though.

New York casinos learning sports betting revenue trends

The NFL playoffs helped give Rivers Casino and Resort its best week ever for sports gaming revenue, according to The Daily Gazette, and it then doubled that revenue two weeks later. However, in that same time period from mid-January to early February, the casino also had its worst week ever and then lost nearly twice as much two weeks later.

There is not an exact science in predicting how much revenue casinos can actually make from sports betting on a weekly basis as a lot of it comes from an underdog winning, or a team favored to win not beating the spread. How can one predict when that is going to happen?

For example, Rivers Casino general manager Justin Moore told The Daily Gazette that their best week in January was when the Baltimore Ravens lost to the Tennessee Titans in the playoffs. Not many people expected the league’s MVP Lamar Jackson to lose to a 9-7 Titans teams, so those people who bet on the Ravens ultimately lost a lot of money to the casino.

In comparison to other forms of revenue like slot machines, sports betting does not eventually have a somewhat normal pattern while the others – to some degree – do. Moore said to The Daily Gazette that “the math will kind of settle into normalized percentages,” when it comes to those other revenue streams.

Additionally, even if there is a big game like the Super Bowl, it doesn’t always equal a big pay day for casinos and sportsbooks. This year’s Super Bowl was pretty even in the pregame odds making. It resulted in a lot of winning bets. Rivers made $810,973 in the week ending Feb. 2 but lost $776,676 the next week.

Not only affecting Rivers

These trends – or the lack of consistent ones – are not just exclusive to Rivers.

Tioga Downs Casino Resort made $118,174 in sports betting during the week ending Feb. 2, but they then lost $156,251 the next week. Additionally, del Lago Resort and Casino made $505,592 the week ending Feb. 2 but lost $356,447 the following week, and Resorts World Catskills made $345,621 the week ending Feb. 2 but lost $419,845 the following week.

Even with the lack of consistent trends though, casinos certainly still welcome sports betting.

Rivers has made about $4.05 million in sports betting revenue since adding the option the week ending July 21, 2019. Tioga Downs has also made $695,270 since they added the option that same week while del Lago has made about $2.75 million since they added it the week of Aug. 25, 2019. Additionally, Resorts World Catskills has made $1.67 million since the week of Aug. 25, 2019.

“It’s another microbusiness within our business, another amenity with a whole new demographic,” Moore said to The Daily Gazette.

With the NBA in the thick of things and March Madness starting soon, time will tell how much more sports betting revenue can continue to grow at local casinos.

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