New York illustrates sports betting potential with record-breaking first month

New York took less than a month to shatter the all-time US monthly record for a legal sports betting handle.

According to figures released on February 4 by the New York State Gaming Commission (NYSGC) consumers staked a total of US$1.63 billion during the first 23 days of legal online wagering in the state, between January 8 and January 30. Sportsbooks made $113 million in gross revenue, worth $57.6 million in tax dollars, aided by the state’s comparatively high gaming tax rate.

That total handle comfortably breaks the previous record handle, set at around US$1.3 billion by neighbouring New Jersey in October 2021. It means this will be the first month since January 2020 that New Jersey is not the state that leads the US in sports betting volume.

Mike Mazzeo, lead analyst at, said that while New York overtaking New Jersey as the nation’s largest sports betting market was expected, “few thought it would take only three weeks”. He added, per SBC Americas, that “it’s clear that New York is going to be the flagship sports betting market in the U.S. for the foreseeable future.”

Seven sportsbooks are currently operational in the state. Four of those – the major market players of Caesars, FanDuel, DraftKings, BetRivers – were live on the market’s launch day, while BetMGM, PointsBet, and WynnBET all soon followed. In addition, Bally’s and Resorts World have been conditionally licensed to operate but have not been cleared to begin as of yet.

For the week ending January 30, FanDuel led the way with US$141.8m in wagers, followed by Caesars (US$128.1m), DraftKings (US$102.2m), BetMGM (US$37.5m), and BetRivers (US$10.2m).

Eric Ramsey, the lead data analyst for the Network, which includes PlayNY, added, per SBC: “The majority of states have struggled to maximize tax revenue from sports betting, but New York has certainly gone in another direction. Such a high tax rate could still lower the ceiling for New York’s sports betting market in the long term, but after three weeks of unprecedented volume, that seems like less of a concern.”

The situation in neighbouring New York will likely be of keen interest to those in the industry in Ontario, whose online gaming market, the first in Canada to adhere to an open and regulated model, is set to go live on April 4, 2022.

Ontario is the fifth-largest jurisdiction in North America and its population of roughly 15 million would make it the second-biggest market in the continent’s regulated sports betting and iGaming sector to open to date. It is predicted to generate gross revenues of nearly $1 billion in its first year of operation and is expected to be one of the most competitive markets in North America.

As some of the predicted major players in the market begin to confirm their licensing to operate in Ontario, developments in New York will be of keen interest.

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