While Industry Nears Historic Total, Some NY Sportsbooks Still Look To Reach The Black

Written By Grant Lucas on December 2, 2023
new york giants celebrate against new england patriots

No stretch in the almost-two-year history of online sports betting in New York has been as big as these past few weeks.

The New York State Gaming Commission released sports betting revenue numbers for the week ending Nov. 26, a report that showed the nine NY sportsbooks accepting $516.6 million in bets. It ranks as the fourth-best week in terms of handle, a week after the industry’s second-best mark of $529.5 million.

Think about that for a moment: In two weeks, online NY sports betting generated $1.05 billion. Now compare that with three of the top sports betting states and their most recent performances: New Jersey ($1.29 billion in October), Illinois ($1.1 billion in September) and Pennsylvania ($829 million in October).

If that weren’t enough, so far in 2023, sportsbooks in New York have accepted $16.7 billion in bets – already surpassing 2022’s entire total of $16.2 billion.

While handle totals will steal the spotlight, success is obviously built on revenue. And so far, four of the nine sportsbooks in NY have yet to break even since purchasing their $25 million licenses.

Not all NY sportsbooks are profitable almost two years in

When lawmakers legalized online sports betting in New York, there came with it a requirement for sportsbooks to pay a $25 million license fee, on top of other costs to operate in the state.

Just by that standard, four of the nine sportsbooks in NY have yet to break even.

It should come as no surprise that the likes of DraftKings Sportsbook NY and FanDuel Sportsbook NY, the industry leaders, have long since cleared the hurdle. Those two cleared $25 million in net gaming revenue (after the 51% tax rate) in the seventh and ninth weeks of operation, respectively.

Caesars Sportsbook NY was the quickest to that benchmark, reaching it by the fourth week. Meanwhile, both BetMGM Sportsbook NY (Sept. 18, 2022) and BetRivers Sportsbook NY (Nov. 12, 2023) have also exceeded $25 million in net revenue.

PointsBet Sportsbook, live since January 2022, is the next-closest, unofficially at around $21 million in net revenue. But the final three – WynnBet Sportsbook at around $5 million, Resorts WorldBet at around $3.5 million and Bally Bet Sportsbook at around $518,000 – a long ways away from breaking even.

NY sports betting on a historic pace

Indeed, NY sports betting continues to grow. Only three other weeks have topped the handle reported for Nov. 26. That said, revenue for the week came in at just $21.5 million, the state’s lowest since Sept. 3 and on the heels of back-to-back weeks of over $40 million.

While not great for the operators, the high handle indicates the continued high interest from NY bettors.

That could result in another record-breaking month, with November numbers potentially coming out next week.

Recall October, when NY sportsbooks reported a national-record $2.006 billion in handle. According to weekly reports, three full weeks in November account for $1.5 billion. That does not account for the first five days or the final four days of the month.

What’s more, the weekly numbers total $16.7 billion in bets for 2023, which already eclipses the $16.2 billion in the entirety of 2022. At this time last year, NY sports betting apps reported some $14.4 billion. By year’s end, the industry could near $19 billion in handle.

Photo by Adam Hunger / AP Photo
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Grant Lucas

Grant Lucas is the managing editor for PlayNY. A longtime, award-winning sports writer, Grant has covered gambling and legal sports betting since 2018, when he got his start reporting on the New Jersey and Pennsylvania industries. He now oversees PlayNY as New York expands legalized gambling to sports betting and online casino gaming.

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