How Holding 44 Percent Is Not Enough: Retail NY Sportsbooks Lag

Posted on September 21, 2021
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Written By on September 21, 2021

New York‘s gaming regulator finally is giving a clear look at how little business the four commercial NY sportsbooks do.

The four sportsbooks did just $4.2 million in handle for the week ended Sept. 12, the first week of NFL regular-season games. Handle was small but an extra-chunky 44.3% hold translated to $1.9 million in sports betting revenue.

The New York State Gaming Commission only recently started reporting handle publicly, which makes the desire for online NY sports betting that much clearer. The market has taken just $278 million in bets since its July 2019 launch through August.

Thankfully for New Yorkers, this should be the last football season with no legal online NY sportsbooks. Those should launch at some point in January, which should stop the bleeding of tax dollars over state lines.

NY sportsbooks outpaced significantly by neighbors

It will take a few more weeks to get September reports from New Jersey and Pennsylvania, but it’s safe to say both will crush New York’s results.

NJ sportsbooks did $748.6 million in handle last September, for an average of $187.2 million bet weekly. That monthly total includes nearly $160 million bet on September’s football games alone.

PA sportsbooks hit $468.2 million bet last September, or $117.1 million on average each week.

New York, meanwhile, has broken $20 million in monthly handle just once since launch.

Selection process still chugging along

The process to find out who will operate New York’s online sportsbooks is basically still in the same spot.

The NYSGC decided there was no need for oral presentations from any of the six bidders. That does not change the process a whole lot, though. The commission was always tied to selecting winners based on their application score, which would have been unaffected by those presentations.

No winners have to be selected before Dec. 6, with licenses awarded to those winners at the following commission meeting.

CT to the rescue?

While New Jersey is the clear favorite for out-of-state betting, those bettors above New York City have a closer option coming next month.

Legal online Connecticut sportsbooks are scheduled to launch Oct. 7. Three operators will be fighting fiercely for market share as soon as the books launch, including from out of state:

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Matthew Waters

Matthew Waters is a reporter covering legal sports betting and the gambling industry. Previous stops include Fantini Research and various freelance jobs covering professional and amateur sports in Delaware and the Philadelphia area.

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