Betting at New York’s sportsbooks slowed slightly in February, but the action remained brisk enough to post the second-highest monthly total in US history.
And even as promotional spending tapers off and football is pushed to the rearview, sportsbooks remain poised to challenge the US betting record in March on the strength of the NCAA Tournament.
“As big as the Super Bowl is, it is still just one game. And a slowdown in the immediate aftermath of the game is to be expected everywhere,” said Mike Mazzeo, lead analyst for PlayNY.com. “The mild pullback won’t last long, though. The NCAA Tournament is the nation’s largest sports betting holiday, and that presents a huge customer acquisition opportunity for sportsbooks.”
New York’s online and retail sportsbooks accepted more than $1.5bn in wagers in February, including $1.53bn through online books, according to official data released Friday by the New York State Gaming Commission. February’s wagering is down 12 per cent from the US record $1.bn in wagering in January.
Online sportsbooks averaged $54.6m in bets per day over the 28 days of February, down from the $69.6m per day online sportsbooks that came over 24 days of betting in January. Retail data was not immediately available Friday afternoon.
Online sportsbooks won $82.4m in gross revenue from February’s bets, down from the US record $124.1m in gross gaming revenue in January. Operators netted $40.4m in revenue and injected $42m into state coffers.
Sportsbooks have now generated $206.5m in gross revenue on $3.2bn in wagers. New York has generated more in sports bets so far than all but eight states did in 2021.
“A modest pullback was expected in February, and it shouldn’t diminish what we have seen so far in New York,” said Eric Ramsey, an analyst for the PlayUSA.com Network, which includes PlayNY.com. “In less than two months, New York sportsbooks have generated more than $3bn in wagers. That is a result that would have been difficult to fathom before January.”
FanDuel wrested away the online market lead in February with $568.1m in bets, which was up from $517.4 million in January. Those bets generated $23.2m in gross revenue, down from $28.1m in January.
Rival DraftKings moved into second place with $387.6m in wagers, up from $378m in January. February’s handle produced a market-leading $30m in gross revenue, up from $29.6m in January.
Caesars, which topped online operators in January with $627.4m in wagers, slowed to a $323.4m handle. Gross revenue slipped to $19.8m from $59m in January.
“With the NCAA Tournament just ahead, sportsbooks have another big event to use as a way to attract interest from new bettors,” Ramsey said. “Baseball’s lockout was a concern for the industry, but with that over now sportsbooks will have numerous opportunities to expand their customer bases in the coming months.”