Online sports betting in New York is seeing a boom in activity with the kickoff of the NFL season.
Since January 1st, New York has exceeded $10 billion in total online wagers, accruing nearly $800 million in revenue.
“We expected New York to be big but when they got $1.6 billion dollars in handle right out of the gate, that is the biggest debut month for any state,” said Grant Lucas, senior managing editor of Play NY, a local resource for legal New York gambling and sports betting.
Grant says NFL season is the time of year lawmakers and proponents of sports betting have been most looking forward to – to see those numbers surge.
It is the number one watched sport in America, it is the most popular, bet on sport in America, so you can assume a very high percentage of the money that is coming from the NFL,” he said.
“You could see the first $2 billion month before 2022 ends.”
We caught up with some folks in Buffalo about why they play, and why they think online sports betting has taken off.
“It gives every game a reason to watch,” said Justin C.
“There might be 30 games on and you might only be watching two of them, but if you’re betting on the other 28, you’ve got something to do,” he said.
“For a lot of people who weren’t originally sports fans, it gives them some skin in the game,” said Nick Carzo.
“So if you put a little bit of money on the game, it gets more people out watching the game, and it’s better for everyone.”
Since January, the state has collected has more than $400 million in mobile sports wagering tax revenue, far exceeding any other state.
According to the governor’s office, the entire amount, which is 51% of the total online sports betting revenue, will be used for education aid, youth sports and responsible gaming programs.
But Lucas says heading into next year’s legislative session, there will be discussions about the state’s tax rate, which is much higher than other states, as well as expanding online gambling access.
“We’ve seen that online sports betting in New York can not only thrive, it can exceed expectations,” said Grant.
“Now it’s just a matter of can New York expand and add more online sportsbooks in the future? Can we get online casino legislation passed so there will be more legal online gambling in New York? Now it’s just looking to the horizon to see what more can be done.”
New York became the 19th out of 20 U.S. states to legalize online sports betting.
The timing couldn’t have been better with the Bills starting the NFL season as a Super Bowl favorite.