Not So Hot in July as New York Sports Handle Falls Below Billion For First Time

The monthly handle of New York State online sports betting has dipped below US$1 billion for the first time since legalisation at the start of the year.

Punters wagered a total of US$800.8 million (£661.34m/€782.24m) on sports in July — a down of almost 24 per cent, compared to the US$1.05 billion (£867.15m/€1.02bn) placed on events in June.

And July was the second monthly drop in a row.

Nine outfits—Flutter Entertainment’s top performing FanDuel, DraftKings, Caesars Sportsbook, BetMGM, PointsBet, Rush Street Interactive (BetRivers), WynnBET, Resorts World Bet and Bally Bet—currently operate in the Empire State, arguably the hottest sports betting market in the world.

But while Gross Gaming Revenue from online sports wagering clicked almost imperceptibly up by 1.2 per cent to US$73.3 million (£60.53m/€71.6m) in the month, July still posted the second lowest monthly GGR to date.

FanDuel–with revenue of US$39 million (£32.2m/€38.09m) from a handle of US$347.7 million (£287.15m/€339.64m)—remains king of the hill.

DraftKings followed way behind in second place, trailed by Caesars, then BetMGM in fourth.

Ballybet, the newest kid on the block, having gone live only in July, based the list with revenue of just US$40,080 (£33,100/€39,151) on a handle of US$640,397 (£528,877/€625,558) — although they can boast the major prestige of having a marketing deal with the storied New York Yankees baseball team.

Against this background of a cooling scene, it remains to be seen if major operators follow BetMGM’s example and decide to dial back their multi-million-dollar marketing spend as they tussle to “buy” market-share with deals and offers.

Meanwhile in bordering Massachusetts, gambling industry regulators have warned that the launch of legal sports betting in the state may take longer than expected.

After months of deadlock, the state legislature has just agreed a bill that would legalise sports betting. Now it only needs the signature of governor Charlie Baker to pass into law.

Operators of land-based casinos or racetracks can apply for traditional sports betting licences, and a maximum of seven online permits will also be available.

Individual licence fees have been set at US$5 million each (£4.13m/€4.88m).

“If we are going to do this right, we need to take our time a little bit,” cautioned Bradford Hill, a commissioner on the Massachusetts Gaming Commission and former Republican Party Minority Leader in the state’s House of Representatives.

“I’ve seen some folks in the newspaper that hope to have this up and running in a very short amount of time. And I just want the public to know that in my view–and this is my [personal] view, not necessarily that of the commission–this is going to take a little bit longer.”

Another commissioner, Eileen O’Brien added: “We will move expeditiously if and when this is signed.

“But we will do it in a manner that is consistent with our values as a regulatory body, in protecting the commonwealth and maximising the benefit.”

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