Despite the drastic drop in mobile sports betting for the last week of January 2023, the first month was still a record-breaking one for New York State. The latest numbers by the New York State Gaming Commission confirm that the 31-day period was the busiest until now with over US$1.71 billion in online wagers on sports. Hence breaking the previous record set in January 2022.
The local market kicked off just over a year ago on January 8, 2022, when four online sportsbooks started to accept wagers. Gradually, the other five operators also joined in on the fun, leading to collecting more than US$700 million in wagers in tax revenue for the state. In addition to that, another US$200 million from licensing fees was also added to the state budget.
According to numbers from the New York State Gaming Commission, as of January 29, 2023, the nine online sportsbooks took in more than US$1.71 billion in wagering handle. Thus, breaking the previous monthly all-time high of US$1.67 billion from January 2022. This suggests that the local market has not yet hit its prime as many predicted that volume will drop in 2023.
Meanwhile, the Empire State is expecting another month during which it will pocket more than US$70 million in online sports betting tax proceeds from last month. The current tax revenue stands at US$71.5 million which is quite close to the all-time high on the monthly. The previous record was clocked in November 2022 with a high of US$75.6 million.
Most recently, Governor Kathy Hochul released her executive budget plan for the 2023-2024 year, which snubbed a request from operators to lower the current tax rate of 51%. Meanwhile, her plan projects that the state will generate approximately US$896 million in tax revenue from online sports betting for the FY. This would stretch out to around US$75 million in after-tax proceeds every month.
It should be noted that despite the record-breaking January 2023, in the last week of the month, The Empire State reported a major dip in weekly betting volume. For the week ending January 29, 2023, the nine sportsbooks clocked US$344.8 million in online wagering activity. This was significantly lower than the amount from the prior week with US$450 million.
Problem Gambling is on the Rise
However, even after the major success of mobile sports betting, lawmakers should still take into account the fact that its availability could hurt New Yorkers. According to the New York Council on Problem Gambling more and more young adults from age of 18- to 24-year-olds the state has sought help regarding their compulsive gambling habits.
The organization claims that this demographic has now become pathological gamblers, due to the launch of online sports betting. Apparently, the council’s referral network telephone line has recorded a 25% increase in calls since the debut of the new digital offering in the state. That is why the council is lobbying for increased funds for tackling problem gambling.
Source: Mazzeo, Mike “Online NY Sports Betting Handle Tops Another Record Of Its Own” Legal Sports Report, February 6, 2023